In the Belly of the Whale

I wired the whale for overhead lighting and remaining DC circuits. I’m going to have just the main center light remain on the door switch. To that light fixture I added a piggy back LED (thanks again GeorgeRa) that will operate on a switch. The rest of the overhead light I will cannibalize to operate on a switch. Those will all be replaced with LED. The MB circuits will be left but unconnected and I will do my own runs for those fixtures.
 

Attachments

The van is pretty much wired now. All main runs for DC and AC runs are in. Branches runs for fixtures and outlets will happen as I go (pending insulation, cabinets, walls and …). I’m still missing the RF for Weboost and WIFI and missing the D2 wiring. The D2 wiring will happen when it gets installed. I’ll add the RF cables when I cut the hole in the roof for the junction box for solar and RF ingress.

I added a little more wire guard here and there.
 

Attachments

I drilled out the rest of the seat holes. A word of caution on doing this. Most of the captive nuts have an offset between the sheet metal and the start of the thread (see picture seat_holes_02_with_notes). Two of the captive nuts are right up against the skin of the van (see picture seat_holes_03_with_notes). It will be very tough to center the hole and not damage the thread for these two. Go slow and use a step drill to move the hole as necessary.

The pictures, seat_hole_00_arrow and seat_hoe_01_arrow, below shows the location of the two offending nuts (at least in my van). The one on the port side had the threads start right up against the sheet metal. That one was tough to get without buggering up the threads. The one on the starboard side was easier since I became aware that the gap might not be there.
 

Attachments

A while back I purchased the shorter seat base, folding brake handle, folding brake handle covers and brake cables. My plan is to replace the standard height with the lower height ones and add Eurocamper swivels.

906-190-79-00 Seat console passenger
906-910-73-00 Seat console driver
906-420-03-12 Brake lever
906-427-06-34 covering
906-427-01-20 handle
906-420-54-85 cable

The shorter base come in primer black. I had them painted.

There’s a little over 3” in height difference between the standard height pedestal and the shorter ones. The MB swivels are that exact same height. The Eurocampers ones are only 1.9” tall. So there’s going to be a deficit of about 1.2”. I’m short and use the lowest setting as it is so the adjustability of the seats will more than make up for the 1.2”.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Today I’m tackling the task of making that swap. Since I’m in there I will also run the wires for the D2 heater.

Start with disconnecting the ground that is next to the gas pedal. Doing this is probably enough for just removing the seats and not triggering a CEL. But since I’m going to be removing the driver’s seat base which contain a ton of electrical crap. I will also disconnecting the hot leads that feed them.

Remove the trim that at the top of the step for both the passenger and driver’s side.
Remove the cover to the jack.
Remove the screws that hold the rear vent cover on if you have a vent that feed the rear compartment.
Remove the small rubber mat that is behind the driver’s and passenger seat.
Remove the floor mat that covers the driver’s side.
Remove the floor mat that covers the passenger side.
Remove all foam blocks from the driver’s foot well and from between the seats.
Remove the plastic blocks that are against the vent. Remove the rear portion of the vent.
Remove the battery cover.

Disconnect the hot lead from the battery. You do not have to remove the terminal that is attached to the battery to do this. The battery has a terminal on it. Screwed to that is a bus bar that has a bundle of red wires to it. That’s the one you want to disconnect. It feeds nearly everything. Also screwed to the battery terminal is another bus bar that has a 200A relay on it. That connects the battery to the starter and alternator. You do not need to disconnect that. I placed a piece of wood between the bar I disconnected and the battery terminal. I screwed the disconnected bus bar to the wood so there’s no accidental shifting and contact (paranoid).
 

Attachments

Now I’m ready to remove the seats.

From both seats remove the cover to the bolt that connects the seat belt to the seat. The seat belt connector has a long tongue on it. You’ll have to wiggle it to one side to get it out.

I remove both the B pillar covers at this point also. Not necessary unless you need to run wire.

Slide the passenger seat forward and pull the wire up and disconnect the yellow connector. Remove the passenger seat (4 bolts).

You can see that there’s not much electronics in the base of the passenger seat. There’s just one item. I unscrewed it from the base. And remove the base (4 bolts).
 

Attachments

Remove the rear brake cover. Just lift it up a little and rotate it back while pushing it from port to starboard. This will allow the pin that is holding it to free.

Disconnect the brake cable. Be careful here. The thing is under spring tension. Probably would have been better to disconnect it from under the van so the loading is not there. But since it was raining I just went with it. Remove the brake handle.

Slide the driver’s seat all the way forward. Pull the wires through the foam and disconnect them. There are two connectors for the driver’s seat. Remove the driver’s seat.

There’s a mess of wires in the driver’s side base. There is at least 6 items to unscrew from the driver’s seat base. Seven if you have the DC socket. There are three fuse bars on the port side. There are two bars across the top (relays and other stuff). And another piece similar to the passenger seat pedestal. Unscrew them all and pile them in the middle of the pedestal. Remove the pedestal.

I installed the shorter passenger pedestal and screwed the one piece of electronic back in place. I ran D2 harness through the channel between the passenger seat and driver’s seat. It’s a tight squeeze. I pushed a fish through from the driver’s side and pulled the pump wires. Then I taped the next bundle to the pump wires and pulled it through. Then I did the final one after that.

The pump wire can go through the floor where all the other wires exit. Thanks to Midwestdrifter for the heads up on this one. There’s a zip tie under the van that holds the rubber boot close. Cut it and push the wire through. Close it back up with another zip tie. I ran the other two bundles up the Driver’s B pillar and put the pillar back.

Install the shorter driver’s seat pedestal. Screw all the electronics back. I only got as far as putting the foam cover back on the two new pedestals. What a ton of work just to have it looks just about the same.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
With a little day lights savings time I had a bit of time to do a tiny bit of work. I remove the original brake cable and installed the new one and the new brake handle and covers.

Disconnect it from the back where it attaches to the spring bracket.
Remove the front fuel tank guard.
Pull the front end of the cable through the van floor.
Grab the black plastic end with a pair of channel locks and work it loose.
Before pulling it through the various body holes and tunnels I attached a string to the ball end so I can use the string to pull the new brake cable through.
Attach new cable to string and pull it through.
Tie off string so cable doesn’t come back when you’re working at the front.
Push front of cable end through van floor.
Push black plastic fitting into hole.
Push rubber boot into place.
Put fuel tank guard back on.
Go inside the van and attach cable to new brake handle.
Attach wires to the brake handle sensor.
Install brake handle to seat base.
Attach the rear of cable to spring lever.
Put new covers on.

With the brake handle and cable in place I was a little perplexed. It looked pretty much just like the one I just removed. The height was the same. The dealer called it a “folding brake handle” which I feel is a misnomer. It doesn’t really fold. It’s more like a ratchet. You pull up on it to engage the parking brakes just like the original one. But after you do that you can push it back down so you can use the swivel seat. To disengage the parking brakes just pull it back up until it tensions then you can push the button in and lower it.

I ordered it because he described it as “necessary”. I typically don’t engage the parking brakes unless I’m on a steep hill. Will I be using the swivel seats in that situation? Probably not. If you’re not the type to engage the parking brakes every time then I would say you can skip this bit if you’re doing a low seat base.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
With a little day lights savings time I had a bit of time to do a tiny bit of work. I remove the original brake cable and installed the new one and the new brake handle and covers.

Disconnect it from the back where it attaches to the spring bracket.
Remove the front fuel tank guard.
Pull the front end of the cable through the van floor.
Grab the black plastic end with a pair of channel locks and work it loose.
Before pulling it through the various body holes and tunnels I attached a string to the ball end so I can use the string to pull the new brake cable through.
Attach new cable to string and pull it through.
Tie off string so cable doesn’t come back when you’re working at the front.
Push front of cable end through van floor.
Push black plastic fitting into hole.
Push rubber boot into place.
Go inside the van and attach cable to new brake handle.
Attach wires to the brake handle sensor.
Install brake handle to seat base.
Attach the rear of cable to spring lever.
Put new covers on.

With the brake handle and cable in place I was a little perplexed. It looked pretty much just like the one I just removed. The height was the same. The dealer called it a “folding brake handle” which I feel is a misnomer. It doesn’t really fold. It’s more like a ratchet. You pull up on it to engage the parking brakes just like the original one. But after you do that you can push it back down so you can use the swivel seat. To disengage the parking brakes just pull it back up until it tensions then you can push the button in and lower it.

I ordered it because he described it as “necessary”. I typically don’t engage the parking brakes unless I’m on a steep hill. Will I be using the swivel seats in that situation? Probably not. If you’re not the type to engage the parking brakes every time then I would say you can skip this bit if you’re doing a low seat base.
I like your work and progress, I still have unfinished items and after not touching the van for a year I am getting antsy.

I am thinking about adding the "folding" brake handle, what was an approximate cost of the necessary items?

George.
 
I like your work and progress, I still have unfinished items and after not touching the van for a year I am getting antsy.

I am thinking about adding the "folding" brake handle, what was an approximate cost of the necessary items?

George.
Thanks.

I ordered it from http://www.mbwholesalepartsonline.com/ . They were way cheaper than the local guy. I like them but not when the total order is over $250 more even with taking shipping into consideration.

Item: brakes, parking brake, parking brake control Sprinter Van w/Foldable Brake Lever
Price: $129.60

Item: brakes, parking brake, front cable Sprinter Van w/Foldable Brake Lever w/Low Driver Seat Frame 144 Wheelbase
Price: $26.80

Item: COVERING
Price: $12.40

Item: HANDLE
Price: $7.60

The covering you might be able to salvage if you're careful enough. The handle (which is just a handle cover) will not come off. Once you put it on the lever itself it's on there for life. Don't put the covers on until the very end.
 
I really needed to finish the swivel project before I did this but today is a dry day and Sunday is a rain day. I need a dry day to remove the door panels and install the insulation and new speakers. I’m also going to do the tweeters and connect the rear speakers up. In the end it turned out that it was way easier with the seats out of the way. If I were to ever do extensive dash work again I would remove the seats.

Getting to the tweeters and head unit:

Remove A pillar trim starting at the top. Remember the bottom has a tongue on it that points forward. Once all the clips are popped pull the pillar toward you to release the tongue. When you remove the A pillar trim it will likely pop the tweeter speaker covers out. If it doesn’t you can just grab the edge that was touching the A pillar and gently lift. It will just pop out.
 

Attachments

Next remove the front bezel from the head unit. You just open the storage door above it and pull gently on the top. The top two clips will pop. Don’t pull further on this area or you risk bending the bezel. Now go to the bottom of the screen and pull on that part of the bezel. I should just pop off. Disconnect the wires at the bottom and set the bezel aside.
 

Attachments

Next remove the trim that covers the air vents just to the left/right of the head unit. There are two screws each. Remove the two screws on the edge that is now exposed since the head unit bezel has been removed. Pull this piece of trim toward you. Do not lift up. The trim has clips that go straight into the dash and tongues that point forward. It should come out with very little effort.
 

Attachments

Now that the A pillar and the vent trim is removed the four screws that attaches the trim that holds the tweeters can be accessed. Remove the screws. Lift the panel from the side that is closest to the door just a little bit. The tweeter wires are very short. Don’t lift too high up before disconnecting the tweeters. Continue to lift it on the door side and it should just slide up and out. With the panel out the tweeters are just held in by clips. Remove and replace them. I added a little extra wire length when I ran the wire from the crossover to the tweeters. It made it easy to connect the tweeters and not have the panel so low. But I’ve since found out that they now rattle in the dash. I should have added some padding in the well that the wire sits in or secure it. I can see why the factory wires were so short now. It will be fixed at a later date.
 

Attachments

The head unit is easy. It’s just held in there by four screws. Once it is free it will want to hang down. You might want to drape a towel in the head unit opening and cover the climate control so the head unit doesn’t mar it.
 

Attachments

The connector with the speaker contacts that I’m interested in is in the main connector. There is an eject lever but the wires are in the way. To get the eject lever to move there are two connectors in the main connector that can be removed by depressing a clip on them and pulling. Once these connectors and wires are out of the way the eject lever on the main connector can move. Lift up on it and the main connector will come away from the head unit.

The speaker connector is part of the main connector. The contacts for the rear speakers are not present. I crimp the contacts onto some weahterpack connectors and pushed them into the connectors.

Thanks JJolls for the info on the front speakers:
Driver side (+) brown/purple
Driver side (-) brown/green
Passenger side (+) brown/orange
Passenger side (-) brown/blue

The above wires occupy the four center positions of the orange 8 pin connector. The rear speakers +/- are on the same side as the front speakers +/-. The rear speakers left and right are next to the front speakers left and right.
 

Attachments


Top Bottom