I have an 88 chevy van that doesn't have a back seat nor does it have
the hardware to install one. I would like to retrofit a rear bench
seat for occasional use. my only criteria are that it be cheap and
safe. anyone have any ideas about this? I was thinking perhaps
through bolting a 2x4 or even a 4x4 to the bed and affixing a seat
(from a junkyard) to this. but maybe someone's got a better idea? I'm
a carpenter, and i have a friend who is a welder. any of you engineers
out there have any idea what kind of force to expect on the connection
between the seat and the bed in the event of an accident?
Been there done that for a friends commercial van that now hauls a baby
Had old bench seat with safety belts attached to seat. Had friend weld
steel angles to seat base, it had originally been a hook type. seat a
little low so bolted it to floor adding 2 by 4 as spacer.
use several hardened boths per side with large washers on underside.
hardest part is deciding where to drill if the floor is flimsy use
metal plates under vehicle or even matching steel angle like used
drill angles clamped together so everything matches up.
in our case we moved the commercial vans security screen to behind the
new seat so stuff couldnt fly forward.
with the seat pre assembled with welded angle job took us about 8
paint stuff underneath to slow rust. do a nice safe strong job
BTDT a time or two myself, making good seats from a deceased junker fit a
still-running junker with bad seats. Yeah, probably safe from a physics
perspective, but quite possibly not safe from the perspective of local
law/dmv, and/or your insurance company. This is very locality specific and
insurance company specific. Some don't care, some only allow 'factory'
components that have been blessed by NHSTA and company.
If done well, a retrofit would be safer than what came from the factory.
Perhaps google "installing van seats" and see what pops up.
I assume the van floor on a cargo van is exactly the same as the floor on a
passenger van. But they may have welded in additional metal or plates
under the areas where the van seats were to be bolted. You might want to
check on that.
Also you want to make it so you can push the seat forward, out of the way,
so you can haul cargo. I have a minivan and usually leave most of the rear
seats out, except for one (that stays folded forward). So I have tons of
cargo space that I definitely need.
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