Adding a Sprinter seat

pierak

New member
Hi everybody!
I'm new to this forum, so please forgive me if I am posting this in the wrong area.

My husband and I have a 2005 Freightliner Cargo Van. It has only two seats. We used for our business, which no longer exists. We like it a lot, and would like to add a bench seat to it, so that it becames a passenger van for more than two people. I have been scouring the internet, and have found very little information about how to get this done, and about companies that may do this kind of modification.
Any suggestions you could provide would be very welcome!
Thanks,
Piera K.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Pierak,
First let me extend a hale and hearty welcome to the forum.

In the blue bar above there is a search function. The first drop down box is the site search engine. The second drop down is Google, but when you use that it will only search within the Sprinter-forum posts. They will each sometimes provide different hits for given search words so it's worth trying both especially if you haven't yet found all of what you need.

Unfortunately, for your question the searches will most likely take you to many DIY threads for seat installation. Still worth trying.

You might try the RV section of this forum. It also may help to include at least your general location. Knowing that they do seats somewhere in Los Angeles won't do you much good if you live in northern Maine. Hope this does some good. AP/vic
 
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glasseye

Well-known member
Piera, if you email me, I might have a solution to your problem.

peteratvfsdotcom
 

ECU

Well-known member
I posted pictures and all about my install of a seat. Buy the tracks from the dealer, about $10 each. Find a seat, I have leads on them in Oregon.
Cut out the wood part of the floor along the marked points. Yes your floor is marked for where the seats go.
Install JackBolts into the holes and you are good to go.
 

struckachord

New member
This thread is interesting primarily because we just got back from the Dodge dealer with our 07 Sprinter 170 2500 and were told that we don't have the appropriate floor pan for fitting the tracks - so the dealership told us that even if we had the track ordered, we would not be able to do a factory install on any seats in the cargo area simply because we don't have the right floor pan.

any thoughts? This was totally news to me.

PS: I just saw that this was in the T1N section - so mods move or delete me if you must...still a newbie at this whole thing :)
 
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mawsea

sprinter guru
Ecu, Does your lead on seats in Oregon include front seats? My driver seat is starting to wear thin. I will be driving to Oregon next week to get my "new" 3 passenger seat. Also what kind of marks am I looking for on the floor I have the factory plwood but see no markings. EDIT: I'm looking for holes, tiny drill holes. ( I just read ECU's thread on the subject)
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Struckachord,
I don't know if your edit meant you got the answer to your question or not.

..... we don't have the appropriate floor pan for fitting the tracks ....


any thoughts? ...

:)
FWIW. My take on this. The NAFTA passenger model Sprinters definitely come with a different floor pan setup which is modified to provide necessary strength for fastening the seat brackets. That extra strength is not found OEM on the cargo model.

Given the constraints on a dealership from the perspective of liability and representing the manufacturer they just will not add seats to a cargo model. Some people may not like this situation, but were I a dealer I would take the same position.

I'm certain you can find local shops who will install seat brackets for you in a cargo model. Just be certain that the brackets are securely fastened to appropriate support and not just the sheet metal floor pan. Given that the shoulder and lap belts are integral with the seat frame, in the event of a crash there is tremendous force transferred to the seat brackets. That is especially true for the aft, or rear, fasteners. If you look at where the shoulder belt bears at the top of the seat relative to the position of the bracket fastener it should give you some idea of the leverage and forces from up to three people flying forward as the vehicle decelerates in a crash. Hope this does some good. AP/vic
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Struckachord,
I don't know if your edit meant you got the answer to your question or not.

..... we don't have the appropriate floor pan for fitting the tracks ....


any thoughts? ...

:)
FWIW. My take on this. The NAFTA passenger model Sprinters definitely come with a different floor pan setup which is modified to provide necessary strength for fastening the seat brackets. That extra strength is not found OEM on the cargo model.

Given the constraints on a dealership from the perspective of liability and representing the manufacturer they just will not add seats to a cargo model. Some people may not like this situation, but were I a dealer I would take the same position.

I'm certain you can find local shops who will install seat brackets for you in a cargo model. Just be certain that the brackets are securely fastened to appropriate support and not just the sheet metal floor pan. Given that the shoulder and lap belts are integral with the seat frame, in the event of a crash there is tremendous force transferred to the seat brackets. That is especially true for the aft, or rear, fasteners. If you look at where the shoulder belt bears at the top of the seat relative to the position of the bracket fastener it should give you some idea of the leverage and forces from up to three people flying forward as the vehicle decelerates in a crash. Hope this does some good. AP/vic
 

ECU

Well-known member
Connections for seats. My brother has a fleet of 118s. To get them with windows, he had to get seats. They took all the back seats out and they are at Hillsboro Auto Wrecking. Front seats are all in use.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
Hey Glasseye,
Will your solution work on an 08?
I don't know. It's an aftermarket seat that bolted through the floor. The NCV3 floor is probably different than the T1N, but you'd have to do a little measuring.
 

struckachord

New member
Struckachord,

FWIW. My take on this. The NAFTA passenger model Sprinters definitely come with a different floor pan setup which is modified to provide necessary strength for fastening the seat brackets. That extra strength is not found OEM on the cargo model.

Given the constraints on a dealership from the perspective of liability and representing the manufacturer they just will not add seats to a cargo model. Some people may not like this situation, but were I a dealer I would take the same position.

I'm certain you can find local shops who will install seat brackets for you in a cargo model. Just be certain that the brackets are securely fastened to appropriate support and not just the sheet metal floor pan. Given that the shoulder and lap belts are integral with the seat frame, in the event of a crash there is tremendous force transferred to the seat brackets. That is especially true for the aft, or rear, fasteners. If you look at where the shoulder belt bears at the top of the seat relative to the position of the bracket fastener it should give you some idea of the leverage and forces from up to three people flying forward as the vehicle decelerates in a crash. Hope this does some good. AP/vic

Yeah, I had that really nasty suspicion. Needless to say it looks like we are going to be in the market for another van...:cry:

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question though. Sometimes I think I know more about sprinters from this board that most dealers do.

Best,
Lisa
 

ohlsonmh

Grumpy Member
I bought a "Used" (2,400 miles :lol:) 2004 window van in '05 and sold the two 3-seat benches and the 2-seat bench.

They were so heavy and difficult to remove/install that I just wanted to get rid of them - got $1,000 so I'm happy.

But, it is occasionally nice to have a seat in back, in front of the easy in/out bed I built for camping.

So I found an old two-seat middle seat from a VW Vanagon and bolted it to the floor using pieces of perforated angle-iron from the hardware store, using the original slots in the floor - works great, and this seat is light enough that I can remove/install it myself - the originals were a 2-3 person job.

I got seat belts on eBay that I have bolted to the floor (not to the seat) so I'm pretty confident of this installation & it sure was easy (and cheap!)

Hope this helps - be creative & avoid those heavy seats!

-Oly
 

deanlnor

New member
I have an 05 158 that I just finished adding a rear seat. After doing a lot of searching on this wonderful forum I decided to go for it.

A previous posting said there were markings in the wood floor to show where to cut, not so on mine. I drilled out the rivets and removed the front section of the wood floor.

The floor pan is the same as the passenger model. The location for the anchors are already stamped into the floor pan. I ordered the anchors from an online dealer. Two long and one short for the middle. There were holes in the forward part of the two long sections in the floor pan for the middle seat location. Not so for the location for the front seat. Also if you are using the front seat location you will have to deal with the issues of dropping the fuel tank.

I chose to keep it simple and use the middle location, which still gives me about 8.5 feet of cargo area behind the seat. I used the front holes in the long sections of the floor pan to position the anchors for drilling through the floor and frame. I used a 3/8" drill bit and with the help of a friend managed to align the drill so as to come out in the middle of the frame under the van. I used number 8 steel bolts and cut a piece of steel plate the width of the frame long enough to run from the front hole to the back hole in order to spread the load in the event of sudden impact. Once I got the holes drilled and before mounting the anchors in place, I reinstalled the wood floor. I then used the drill under the frame to drill up through the wood floor. This provided the position for placing the anchors on top of the wood floor so I could use them as a template to cut out the wood floor. Using a circular saw at a depth just deep enough to cut through the wood I cut the wood floor. Last step was placing the anchors on the cut out wood on to the floor pan and bolting into place. All together it took about 4 hours.

Hope that helps.
 

mawsea

sprinter guru
"FWIW. My take on this. The NAFTA passenger model Sprinters definitely come with a different floor pan setup which is modified to provide necessary strength for fastening the seat brackets. That extra strength is not found OEM on the cargo model."

Is your take on this the same for T1N's? Here you are refering to the 2007's and up?

I'm getting ready to install a factory seat in a 03 cargo. There is alot of info to weed thru here and at Yahoogroups but no clear answer how to do it.
From what I have gathered there is a few options
1. weld in some sort of nut with or without extra reinforcement.
2. M10 0r M12 Rivnuts
3.run a grade 8 bolt thru the frame.
4. cut a access hole in bottom of frame and and use a nut and washer.
All methods have pros and cons. I got really excited when I read that M1o rivnuts are the way to go but further reading makes me question this route. Has anybody used these for seat installs?
So far I'm leaning towards a hole in the frame and nut and washer. I'd like to get this job out of the way but the more I read the more I get confused.
Has anybody had a seat "professionally" installed? If so what method did they use?
 
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Afigman

Afigman
I installed a seat in my van. The write up is called a (stronger way to install bench seats) . I studied cargo van frames and passenger van frames and tried to copy the passenger van frame as best as possible. I welded a 3/8 plate 6" long into the frame with a nut welded to the bottom of it. If I had to do it all over I might try to through bolt through the frame and use a 1/4" thick bent channel shaped washer plate 6 " long. The only problem with that is the fuel tank has to be lowered. Being as i own a welding shop I would have welded the nut into the washer plate to reduce the amount the tank is lowered. Rivit nuts are worthless. Welding a nut and washer to the sheet metal is also worthless. On the center seat mount I fabricated a crossmember like the passenger vans. I dropped the exaust pipe and lowered the fuel tank for access.
 

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