BMW SEATS CONVERSION IN MERCEDES SPRINTER VAN

ENMeyer

Active member
I actually find the stock Sprinter seats pretty comfortable and great quality. About zero wear after 3.5 years and 150k miles.

But, BMW seats sure would be a nice upgrade.
 
I actually find the stock Sprinter seats pretty comfortable and great quality. About zero wear after 3.5 years and 150k miles.

But, BMW seats sure would be a nice upgrade.
I would disagree. Stock seats - a nightmare for long travels. For tall people and for people with back problems. I traveled on my Sprinter over 50k miles all over US. And that was one of the reasons to make that conversion. My wife has back problems, after conversion she was able to adjust BMW seat the way she wanted. And told me she doesn't feel any pain while driving.
+ At summertime cooling option and stock AC - is really great feature.
So definitely BMW seats are the best seats for Sprinter Van.
I am working right now on armrest upgrade.
 

RTCuy

New member
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzskGK3AqFk

Finally uploaded my video, where I install BMW seats in Sprinter.
Hope you will like it :)
Feel free to ask any questions!
Hi Custommbsprinter, I left a similar comment on your Video, its definitely a cool project but I would be very careful with the mount, they might snap very easily. The side airbags are even more of a worry in my opinion (could not see if they are connected or not) as an airbag is an extremely specific thing of each vehicle, and in a different car not only they will not work but they might case a lot of harm too.

I have thought of doing the same project myself, but I would only mount seats that can be bolted through their factory locations, or through a base that has been tested in a pull test. My sprinter does not have side airbags so in this case it´s more simple.

Anyways, thanks for sharing!
 

OffroadHamster

Active member
Agree with RTC..for all that work I cant understand why you didnt tie them back to the boxed corners of the seat base. It would have been trivial amount of time for all the work you put in and it would have made them safe. Which, honestly, is a lot more important than comfort, IMHO
 
Hi Custommbsprinter, I left a similar comment on your Video, its definitely a cool project but I would be very careful with the mount, they might snap very easily. The side airbags are even more of a worry in my opinion (could not see if they are connected or not) as an airbag is an extremely specific thing of each vehicle, and in a different car not only they will not work but they might case a lot of harm too.

I have thought of doing the same project myself, but I would only mount seats that can be bolted through their factory locations, or through a base that has been tested in a pull test. My sprinter does not have side airbags so in this case it´s more simple.

Anyways, thanks for sharing!
Thanks! Frame is secured to factory seat base, with seat bolts, and seats connected to frame also with seat bolts. Mount will not snap easily, it is enough thick and reinforced with cross members. Take out your seat base and take a look at thickness of steel in your seat base.
Chest (or torso) SABs are mounted in the side of the seat or in the door and are designed to help protect an adult's chest in a serious side-impact crash. All Sprinter Vans starting from 2017 have side airbags. Location of those airbags is standard to all vehicles. I don't see any problem with that.
That was my personal van and I did connect them because I had stock Sprinter Airbags. For customers without airbags in stock seats - I will not connect them.
 
Agree with RTC..for all that work I cant understand why you didnt tie them back to the boxed corners of the seat base. It would have been trivial amount of time for all the work you put in and it would have made them safe. Which, honestly, is a lot more important than comfort, IMHO
Watch the video and you will understand why.
I am 100% sure that this installation is safe.
In the future, I will definitely make a test of those frames.
 

RTCuy

New member
Thanks! Frame is secured to factory seat base, with seat bolts, and seats connected to frame also with seat bolts. Mount will not snap easily, it is enough thick and reinforced with cross members. Take out your seat base and take a look at thickness of steel in your seat base.

Chest (or torso) SABs are mounted in the side of the seat or in the door and are designed to help protect an adult's chest in a serious side-impact crash. All Sprinter Vans starting from 2017 have side airbags. Location of those airbags is standard to all vehicles. I don't see any problem with that.

That was my personal van and I did connect them because I had stock Sprinter Airbags. For customers without airbags in stock seats - I will not connect them.
Yep but even if your sprinter had airbags, the ones in your new seat will be completely different in shape, volume and even firing time (which is given by the vehicle, not the seat). As we were discussing on your video, airbags are designed specifically for each vehicle (even each shape of door cover, geometry of the seatbelt etc) and I am pretty sure they will not work as designed. I would be very cautious, specially if you're passing your van on to someone else after.

Regarding the anchorage of the seat, it's not all about thickness but the way forces are applied in a crash. The wight of the seat is now also different and that might play a role too. Unfortunately manufacturers very often build their vehicles at the edge of the safety performance, so a little more and you might be crossing the line in some cases. I have access to a lot of good seats and I haven't made the change as I have not yet find the correct ones to anchorage it and be sure it will stick.

Regulatory quasi-static testing is technically not that complicated. Perhaps you could look into it? It's not a crash test but it's something, and if you're doing it as a business I'm sure it will be an added value to your customers. In Europe you can even get regulatory approved labs to perform the test without giving you the certified approval but only the data, which could be enough in your case.

Anyways, not trying to talk down on your project but just give you my opinion [emoji106]

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
 
Yep but even if your sprinter had airbags, the ones in your new seat will be completely different in shape, volume and even firing time (which is given by the vehicle, not the seat). As we were discussing on your video, airbags are designed specifically for each vehicle (even each shape of door cover, geometry of the seatbelt etc) and I am pretty sure they will not work as designed. I would be very cautious, specially if you're passing your van on to someone else after.

Regarding the anchorage of the seat, it's not all about thickness but the way forces are applied in a crash. The wight of the seat is now also different and that might play a role too. Unfortunately manufacturers very often build their vehicles at the edge of the safety performance, so a little more and you might be crossing the line in some cases. I have access to a lot of good seats and I haven't made the change as I have not yet find the correct ones to anchorage it and be sure it will stick.

Regulatory quasi-static testing is technically not that complicated. Perhaps you could look into it? It's not a crash test but it's something, and if you're doing it as a business I'm sure it will be an added value to your customers. In Europe you can even get regulatory approved labs to perform the test without giving you the certified approval but only the data, which could be enough in your case.

Anyways, not trying to talk down on your project but just give you my opinion [emoji106]

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

Sure, I have ideas like that to perform some kind of stress test for my frames. Or even simple brake force test. That will be in the future definitely.
Older F series seats are wider that's why I have to build frames. But for example yesterday I received seats from G series and they are the same width as Sprinter ones, and frames match seat base holes, except rear ones. Maybe I will reinforce someway seat bases itself, in the future. We will see.
As for Airbags - as I said I don't see anything critical, size of the airbag itself is same as on Sprinter one (BMW and Mercedes - don't produce airbags, they outsource them). Distance between seat and B-pillar is almost the same. But sure, based on liability reasons - I would rather not connect them at all.
Thank you for comments and detailed explanation.
I am really looking forward to update the design, make frames safer and more accurate.
It's not a business in means of business for now, but I am thinking to make it as a business in the future.
 

flyag1

Member
Watch the video and you will understand why.
I am 100% sure that this installation is safe.
In the future, I will definitely make a test of those frames.
There is no 100% with any install, always leave yourself an out!
I did the best I could your honer:) Then get ready to pay the piper. Hopefully you have insurance.
 

RTCuy

New member
Sure, I have ideas like that to perform some kind of stress test for my frames. Or even simple brake force test. That will be in the future definitely.
Older F series seats are wider that's why I have to build frames. But for example yesterday I received seats from G series and they are the same width as Sprinter ones, and frames match seat base holes, except rear ones. Maybe I will reinforce someway seat bases itself, in the future. We will see.
As for Airbags - as I said I don't see anything critical, size of the airbag itself is same as on Sprinter one (BMW and Mercedes - don't produce airbags, they outsource them). Distance between seat and B-pillar is almost the same. But sure, based on liability reasons - I would rather not connect them at all.
Thank you for comments and detailed explanation.
I am really looking forward to update the design, make frames safer and more accurate.
It's not a business in means of business for now, but I am thinking to make it as a business in the future.
I am 100% sure the airbag from the seat you installed is completely different to the Sprinter one, in specs and in how its supposed to work. But good luck with your project anyways, I hope you get to do some tests in the future and if you do I hope you share it here. Passive safety of our conversions is definitely not discussed enough in these forums.

Cheers!
 
I am 100% sure the airbag from the seat you installed is completely different to the Sprinter one, in specs and in how its supposed to work. But good luck with your project anyways, I hope you get to do some tests in the future and if you do I hope you share it here. Passive safety of our conversions is definitely not discussed enough in these forums.

Cheers!
Thank you! Yeah, I will definitely do some tests for the frame.
And will not connect Airbags at all. :cheers:
 

Gsand31415

2011 NCV 144 crew high roof
I don't recall such criticism of the safety engineering of seat mounting on the threads involving swivel seats. I could be wrong, though -- I don't follow the forum that closely.
 

OffroadHamster

Active member
My professional opinion? ...i'm 100% sure what you did is less safe than factory and by a good margin. Its all about your risk tolerance/aversion. We all run around with a fair amount of loose things in our vans, any one of which can kill you as it flies around in an accident. I like to mitigate risk and I am not someone who would bolt a reclining seat through the floor with fender washers because I can do some very simple FEA and know that its unsafe to do so. SImilarly I both belt and LATCH my kids car seats, because I did the analysis on the latch bars and with my kids weight + their car seat weight, they exceed the ultimate tensile strength of the latch bars with accelerations found in common collisions. The bars were designed for around a 60lb kid. I believe they forgot they needed to factor the car seat weight. At 100lbs of kid+seat....you get it.

Anyway, where you bolted that is appreciably more likely to fail in an accident than the factory points, IMHO. Will it? Depends on the accident (severity, angle, passenger weight, any number of other factors). But then you can die in a factory seat too soooo.........To each their own. I was only saying I would have personally taken the time to mount it differently.

It looks like a good bit of quality work and craftsmanship. I just disagree with some details. To each their/our own :cheers:
 
My professional opinion? ...i'm 100% sure what you did is less safe than factory and by a good margin. Its all about your risk tolerance/aversion. We all run around with a fair amount of loose things in our vans, any one of which can kill you as it flies around in an accident. I like to mitigate risk and I am not someone who would bolt a reclining seat through the floor with fender washers because I can do some very simple FEA and know that its unsafe to do so. SImilarly I both belt and LATCH my kids car seats, because I did the analysis on the latch bars and with my kids weight + their car seat weight, they exceed the ultimate tensile strength of the latch bars with accelerations found in common collisions. The bars were designed for around a 60lb kid. I believe they forgot they needed to factor the car seat weight. At 100lbs of kid+seat....you get it.

Anyway, where you bolted that is appreciably more likely to fail in an accident than the factory points, IMHO. Will it? Depends on the accident (severity, angle, passenger weight, any number of other factors). But then you can die in a factory seat too soooo.........To each their own. I was only saying I would have personally taken the time to mount it differently.

It looks like a good bit of quality work and craftsmanship. I just disagree with some details. To each their/our own :cheers:
I would be more then happy if you will tell more about what exactly you disagree with. I am working in this direction and trying to update design and make it as safe as possible. In the nearest future, I want to perform some kind of stress test for the frames with seats on them.
Also during installation, I was using BMW OEM seat bolts.
Newer seats from 2014 match Sprinter seat base bolt pattern (but only front). Older that are on video are wider that's why I used frames.
Anyways - I appreciate your comments and would be more then happy If you describe your thoughts on things you disagree.
So I can develop my design.
 

turbo911

Active member
i am intrigued. i would like to do the same conversion but want swivel seats. what is the bolt pattern distances you used on the 7 seats. my swivel bases i think are wide enough to accomodate the 7 seats and still be mounted at factory ponts.
 
i am intrigued. i would like to do the same conversion but want swivel seats. what is the bolt pattern distances you used on the 7 seats. my swivel bases i think are wide enough to accomodate the 7 seats and still be mounted at factory ponts.
I haven't tried but, I think it might be a problem with turning those seats because they are really wide.
I will measure bolt pattern distance and update later.
 

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