2019 Cargo into improved Crew

P7HVN

Member
This will be boring compared to some of the very cool & technical builds here, but maybe interesting to those who ”settled” for a Cargo because of the great deals out there...
Picked up my new Cargo in April, at the Charleston dealership. What I really wanted was a Crew, silver or gray would be perfect, but leftover 144” short roofs were really hard to find and close to $50k. Dealer dropped $5k off my Cargo’s $37k MSRP, so I figured I’d use that to make a better Crew. This will be used for pickup truck duties(since I sold mine), taking a few bikes to the beach along with 3 small dogs, occasional motorcycle transport and random retiree meanderings...
Starting point-
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Prep for Raptor liner under & below trim.
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Afterwards, along with hood deflector, fender flares and side rails..
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Next up I have a new Crew bench take-off, from a 2018 Passenger van, to put in and a big order from Van Windows direct.
 
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P7HVN

Member
New take-out bench from an 18’. There’s already a bolt in spot for the front hole, on the outside tracks. A local body shop is going to drop the tank to mount the middle track, then do something about the rear mount on the other two. My big window order arrived, so looking forward to that change...
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VanGoSki

Active member
Those existing holes up front are for the flooring bolts, and definitely not meant for seats. They are a fraction of the diameter than the seat bolts. Danger, Will Robinson.
 

45Kevin

Member
Cool build up, but a MB salesperson pointed out that cargos are rated for two people, and unless you get the back seat engineered to conform to regs, an accident may raise the eyebrows of your insurance people.

Likely to never happen, but you are flirting with potential problems.

Now show us those windows.
 

P7HVN

Member
Those existing holes up front are for the flooring bolts, and definitely not meant for seats. They are a fraction of the diameter than the seat bolts. Danger, Will Robinson.
Seem to be a decent size. That they match up perfect to the existing seat tracks, and thread into the boxed frame rails underneath, makes me think they’re put there on all vans then used according to application. Certainly bigger than needed for the 1/2” particle-board floor. But I haven’t seen actual bolts for the seat bases, so may be way off track...
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Shop that’s gonna do the seat almost exclusively works in collision repair/rebuild, so I think they’ll reinforce well. Really just putting the seat there for our three small dogs; my 4dr pickup that this replaced only had people in the back seat 4 or 5 times over 10+yrs..
 

P7HVN

Member
Cool build up, but a MB salesperson pointed out that cargos are rated for two people, and unless you get the back seat engineered to conform to regs, an accident may raise the eyebrows of your insurance people.

Likely to never happen, but you are flirting with potential problems.

Now show us those windows.
Windows, at rest... 😬
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VanGoSki

Active member
Seem to be a decent size. That they match up perfect to the existing seat tracks, and thread into the boxed frame rails underneath, makes me think they’re put there on all vans then used according to application. Certainly bigger than needed for the 1/2” particle-board floor. But I haven’t seen actual bolts for the seat bases, so may be way off track...
Not even close. Here are the two bolts side-by-side, a floor-bolt and a seat base bolt.


I would expect the attachment of the nut to the frame is far more robust for a seat bolt as well.
 

Ferrets

Member
I'm in the process of installing my seat. (3 person VS30 reclining bench into a 170 Cargo 4by ) That forward bolt, (one pictured on the left above) looks to be threaded into what is at best a rivnut. I'm not trusting that for the forces potentially encountered. I went with 1/2" grade 8 hex bolts from mc master carr (not from home despot) up through the frame rails. They will be passing through 3" by 1/4" galvanized bar along with rated washers and nuts. Additionally, I'm keeping the forward bolt (the more the merrier) and using Sikaflex for adhesive/sealing rails into recesses on floor - as well as Sikaflexing the galv. bar stock to frame rails below. The tank has two recesses where some shorter sections of bar stock and bolts have clearance. (aprox 19 1/2" apart) I drilled all the holes etc. but realized before reinstalling the floor permanently, I may want to install my D2 heater control wires etc. The plan is to drop the tank slightly with a transmission jack, then shift it enough to get the bolts up thru the frame - hope that works out. When its done, you'd literally have to rip out long sections of frame to make that seat go.
 
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P7HVN

Member
Put my AMA bunk sliders in today. Went well, but a little stressful cutting holes in my new van. May attempt to do the crew windows tomorrow. They might be a little too cumbersome to handle by myself. I got some suction cups from the hardware store and they really helped today.
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P7HVN

Member
One of the crew windows in. Mostly went smoothly. First oh-shoot moment, had a little kick back on the jigsaw when I was doing the top left cut; bounced out and put a little divet in the body. Then when fitting the window in place it slipped off the little body molding ‘shelf’ and had to scramble to keep hold of it. Got a big smear of Sikaflex on the window that I‘ll have to scrap off later...
Heat index here has been over 100 this week, so that’s not fun...
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Grill guard arrived yesterday and tow hitch should be here in a day or two, so staying busy..
 

P7HVN

Member
Unfortunately no pre-drilled holes for seats, in the Cargo models. Having an auto body shop install the seat; they’re gonna drop gas tank, remove heat shield over muffler, then fabricate some heavy-duty anchoring for the 6 seat track rack mounting holes.
 

P7HVN

Member
Curt trailer hitch & Weathertech trailer hitch-mounted step/bumper protector. Curt was fairly straight forward; two holes to drill and 8 total bolts, and remove exhaust hanger to push tailpipe out of the way. Unfortunately the main six bolts were a little(1/2" or so) too long; when tightening the nuts I was running out of threads and the bolts(2 of them) were still loose. So quick trip down to hardware store for some thick, heavy duty washers. Took a while to figure out where I wanted the wiring harness. I didn't want it hanging lower than the hitch, as the hitch was about even with the bottom of the spare tire. Ended up going off to the side and putting it up against the body pinch weld.

The step is about perfect for getting in thru the back. I think with a motorcycle ramp slightly offset it will allow me to walk mine right up into the cargo area, without having to put something on the ground to step up on... About to start on some preliminary sound deadening & insulation, but it's really friggin hot down here in coastal GA, so not sure how quickly that'll get done. Might tackle front fenders trim soon; would really like to go up an inch or so, to about 31.5" tires with more aggressive tread, something like an LT235/85.
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germaninpdx

New member
Hey Folks, I just installed a 2019/2020 seat bench into my 2020 cargo... Didn’t find much on how to do it online before, so it was a lot of experimentation. From what it sound like I did it fairly similar to what @Ferrets did. I made a video of it if anyone is looking for some visual on it (@Rennivan). You can view it here:
If I had to do it again it could be done in an afternoon, but definitely an annoying learning experience ;)
 

P7HVN

Member
Been busy last few days; seat was finally finished, so did some interior stuff. Put 80mil sound mat along the sides, over wheel wells and inside sliding door. Then 50mil along the entire floor and a layer off 1/4” insulation on top of that, before putting the factory floor back down. Next I intend to get some commercial grade, wood-look vinyl flooring that’s waterproof & scratch resistant to put on top of the factory stuff. Probably stick to 10mm or less, but I also want it to have a little texture so it won’t be too slippery. Maybe have a thin roll-up rubber mat on standby in the garage if I’m gonna haul stuff...
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Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
I played with seat mounts in my bus and I ditto the safety concerns for using smaller bolts.
This is a bench with integrated belts and in case of accidents the bolts will have tons of load on them.
Factory nuts in the floor are welded above unibody rail, so no way to redo it on finished van, but at least for the rear I would add long bolts thru the rail with big washers on the end.
Still heat-treated bolts and locking nuts.
 

P7HVN

Member
I played with seat mounts in my bus and I ditto the safety concerns for using smaller bolts.
This is a bench with integrated belts and in case of accidents the bolts will have tons of load on them.
Factory nuts in the floor are welded above unibody rail, so no way to redo it on finished van, but at least for the rear I would add long bolts thru the rail with big washers on the end.
Still heat-treated bolts and locking nuts.
Yep, kept the smaller front bolts for floor only. New ones(2 per track) are 1/2" grade 8. Tho' mine isn't anchored as well as it should be, it'll work for my purposes now...
 

HarryN

Well-known member
For some reason I thought that the sprinter cargo van had the seat nuts welded in under the floor in specific locations that are in the builder manual. Is that wrong?
 

P7HVN

Member
Unfortunately the Cargo, of the three models(Crew & Passenger), is the only one that isn’t predrilled and anchored for seats. Not sure if that was the case on earlier generations(pre-19). It’s a major pain in the butt and something they could have done with very little effort on the assembly line, especially since the Crews seem to be harder to find than the Cargos...
 

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