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Middle seats

Discussion in 'T3 & T4 Tech Help Clinic' started by Dapom, May 5, 2015.

  1. Dapom

    Dapom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    805
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hey all
    Looking to pick some brains. Been hunting for months for a solution to this issue and have found nothing so thought I'd see if anyone had any ideas.
    My 83 bus has the full 8 seats, low back brown vinyl and am trying to come up with a way to fold or slide the middle seats to allow a full length bed without removing them. Main reason for this is that we need the 6 seats for all of us to go away but then we want to sleep in comfort whilst the kids slum it in tents.
    My ideas are either to replicate the hinge mech as per the folding access seat and on the 2 seat section and lock in upright position with a pin or to install sliders to the bottom so I can slide it forward. I can see issues with both methods.
    Any ideas greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. Luckyphil

    Luckyphil Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,079
    Location:
    Gosford
    My Caravelle C came a an 8 seater however also had this nifty bed set up and I think it worked whilst the middle row is in place. Took it back out after TheBusStop but will put back in and get some measurements for you. I no longer have the middle row of seats as its now engineered as a 4 seater as can be seen. Ignore the black painted frame as that is for the Recaro seats and is not part of the bed solution.
    [​IMG]

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  3. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,849
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Remove the centre row, and replace the front passenger seat with a 2 seater LH front seat from a SC, DC or Panel, leaving you with a 6 seater bus perhaps...? :rolleyes:

    You'd have to fit a crossbar or full bulkhead to mount the seat back too, and you'd lose your "walk through" between the front seats, but gain a heap of luggage space behind the front seats, where the middle row was..;)

    [​IMG]

    Notice the seat back brackets on the bar below the back window:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
    Crump74 likes this.
  4. Dapom

    Dapom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    805
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Thanks phil n grantus :) like your thinking re the middle front seat but as our kids are 11,15,15 n 16 the rear seats have gotta stay...they're all tall and wedging one up front with us isn't going to work for us.
    Spose my other option would be to try and source the brackets and mech from another folding middle set and transfer the frame to the 2 seater. Reckon finding one at reasonable cost might be the stumbling block.
     
    Miss Rosie likes this.
  5. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,849
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Turn the middle seat around to face the rear?

    Seat belt and engineering may be a problem though..... and leg room would be cosy.:rolleyes:
     
  6. nils

    nils Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    newcastle
    I have an 8 seater that I would like to remain that way too, the currant plan includes making the top half of the rear seat more easily removable ( have latches on there now, but it is a pain) Then creating a 600mm fold or slide out shelf to add to the rear area. Someone more talented than I with a needle and thread will then build a tent to add to the rear hatch,

    A bit like this
    [​IMG]

    That or I scrap the idea, spend all my money chasing performance and fuel economy, then put a rooftop tent on. :p
     
  7. Luckyphil

    Luckyphil Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,079
    Location:
    Gosford
    Hey Nills you might want to recount those seats as last time I saw your van there was only 7 :)
     
  8. Dapom

    Dapom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    805
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Now that's a thought!! I like your thinking nils! Hadn't even considered going jayco style...dammit! Thought I was set for middle seat modification but now there's even more thinking to be done.
    On the other note..pretty sure performance and fuel economy only come with an 'ej' engine code ;)
     
  9. nils

    nils Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    newcastle
    ha ha ! Your right Phil! As long as dapom got my point it doesn't matter that I can't count.

    Right you are Pom, I have one right here with those very letters on it :)
     
  10. Whitie

    Whitie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    288
    Location:
    Warriewood
    Here's an idea for you
    This system worked for us, lay a foam mattress over the top, you still retain a rear seat, & can still access the engine bay if you put a lid on it.
    Just a sheet of ply & 1 hour of your time.
    Tony
    im[​IMG]g
    im[​IMG]g
    img[​IMG]
     
  11. Dapom

    Dapom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    805
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Thanks for the thoughts tony! Was planning something similar to the rear platform...was going to frame it with 25x25 aluminium tube so I can have the hatch to access engine. What's yours framed with? Hate having to take out the current compromise (built by prev owner) every time I need to get to the motor. Must admit I miss my t2 with 'proper' engine hatch!
     
  12. Syncro27

    Syncro27 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,652
    Location:
    Terrigal, NSW Central Coast
    Hey Nils,

    I have one of these tents which just needs the base board and stays which I am sure you could sort out.

    Interested?

    Cheers,
     
  13. Dapom

    Dapom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    805
    Location:
    Brisbane
    A conclusion has been reached.
    I removed the seats from the bus and moved them into the garage...one thing led to another and this is where I ended up...
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    Over cam latch with provision for locking pin.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Covers on
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    Am very happy with the result as can now travel with all seats and then lay down full size queen bed :) now onto stereo install and then the bed design.
    Only thing I need are the screw covers for each end of the FM/grab handle on the back of the middle row. Anyone got some or know where to get them?
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  14. melissa

    melissa Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,671
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    Well done! Very creative.
     
  15. Gerry and Robyn

    Gerry and Robyn Active Member

    Messages:
    615
    Location:
    Ocean Grove Vic. Australia
    Hi Dapom,
    The 3 seater at the back of our van has been permanently removed and stored.
    But the back space was always too short for us to sleep in.
    So,to fit the stock caravan mattress (1900 x 1200) in the back of the caravelle, my mechanic cut, drilled and welded, 4 steel plates, (120 x 60 x 10 mm) to the bottom of the base frame on the middle seat. This enabled the 2 seater to be moved forward by 100 mm and be bolted down.
    This meant I was still able to still use the factory holes in the floor of the van (didn't need re-engineering), able to sleep in the back, and also take 3 passengers at the same time. The footspace in the back is still adequate, and the seat belt off the driver's side is just long enough for most passengers.
    I rarely need to take the seat out, and the seat could always go back to it's original position if needed.
    It works for us.
    Gerry.
     
  16. Moonie86

    Moonie86 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Out of interest, do you have any idea on how much Middle seats are worth? I'm currently looking at one on eBay which suits late 60's early 70 models and is in its original condition but in struggling to find out what they are worth as there doesn't seem to be many for sale. Any help most appreciated.
     
  17. Gerry and Robyn

    Gerry and Robyn Active Member

    Messages:
    615
    Location:
    Ocean Grove Vic. Australia
    Hi Moonie86,
    No, I wouldn't know. Sorry.
     
  18. melissa

    melissa Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,671
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    A middle early bay seat can be priced from $100 to $1500 depending on its condition, location, how many for sale at one time and what the seller wants for it. There is no set price.

    This thread was about T3 seats - they will not fit in a bay.
     
    Moonie86 likes this.
  19. KahunaKombi

    KahunaKombi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    22,287
    Location:
    Bracken Ridge, Qld
    Price is also dependant on how much someone wants to pay or how desperate they are to get one - ebay gives an inflated price imho - but people pay crazy money for things on there :confused:
     

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