How-To Install A Swivel Seat Adapter
A swivel seat adapter allows your front factory seats to turn and face the back of the van. In such a small space being able to have one of us sit in the passenger seat and face the living area is crucial.
We bought the swivel adapter from SwivelsRus as that is the only provider in the US. These swivels are for the base level mechanical seats, not the 10-way power seats which we have. But this was the only option available so we bought it anyways with the hope we could make it work.
We wanted to install a swivel on the driver’s seat but the emergency brake and the 4×4 shifter would get in the way. Others have installed one on the driver’s seat by modifying the emergency brake. The level of modification didn’t seem worth it for us.
We are happy with the swivel, but it’s far from perfect. Once installed it adds 2.25″ to the seat height which isn’t an issue for us as we are both around 5’10”. Even if we raise it as high and almost as forward as it will go, it still wont rotate because the plastic shrouds hang low. So we had to add 0.5″ of washers between the seat rails and the top plate of the swivel adapter to raise it even more.
Tools and Parts
To perform this modification you’ll need the following parts and tools:
- Swivel adapter from SwivelsRus ($374.00)
- Additional washers and bolts if you have the 10-way power seats (about $5)
- M8-1.25 x 45mm Zinc Plated Class 8.8 cap screws
- M8 zinc plated washers
- Socket wrench
- 7mm and 13mm sockets
- Torx T-40 socket
- Grinder with metal cutting disk
- Metal file
- Rust-Oleum black paint and brush (about $5)
First thing you need to do is raise the seat all the way up and forward. Then you’ll need to remove the baby seat anchor, at least that’s what I think it’s for, with a grinder. The anchor is a U shape round bar welded to the top of the seat pedestal in the back. If you don’t remove this anchor the seat won’t swivel.
After removing the baby seat anchor, remove the 2 rear bolts that hold the seat rails to the top of the pedestal. You’ll need a torx T-40 socket to remove the screws. Then move the seat as far to the rear as it will go and remove the front 2 screws. Next disconnect the wire harness under the seat by using a 7mm socket. Also detach the wire loom from the first 2 attachment points. The wires need enough slack to allow the seat to rotate. Just pull the attachments and the wire loom will come out.
Move the seat out of the way while leaving the seat belt connected to the B pillar. Then place the swivel adapter on the seat pedestal. Now using the 4 screws you just removed, attach the swivel. You’ll need to rotate the top plate of the swivel to access the screw heads with your socket.
Next place the seat back on the swivel and line up the screw holes. If you have a non-powered seat you can now attach the seat to the top plate of the swivel using the provided hardware. If you have the powered seats it won’t be able to swivel as the plastic shroud hits the top of pedestal.
We thought about cutting the plastic, but there are small metal bars attached to the back. The seat switches might be in the way. And getting a clean cut on the curved plastic would have been impossible given our tools and experience. So we opted to raise the seat 0.5″ using washers and longer screws. Make sure the longer screws are at least class 8.8 screws as that is what comes with the swivel.
To add the washers we lined up the seat on the top of the swivel top plate and then fed the screws through the holes. Next we tilted the back of the seat forward and slid the washers into place between the seat rails and the swivel top plate, and fed the screws back through the holes one at a time. The nut was then added and loosely screwed into place. The seat was then moved backwards and repeated on the front, tilting the seat towards the back.
Once you have everything tightened down take it for spin and make sure nothing is hitting. If you have the power seats you’ll need to raise the seat as high as it will go and almost all the way forward before rotating.
Now that you have verified the seat swivels you just need to do some finishing touches. Move the seat forward and file the sharp edges that the grinder left behind when you cut off the baby seat anchor. Next paint the bare metal spots left behind. And finally, once the paint dries, place the carpet under the swivel adapter, but on top of the jack.
The install took us half a day, but a lot of that time was playing with cameras and making a couple of trips to the hardware store. If we weren’t taking pictures and had all the hardware on hand we could have finished it in about 2 hours.
The yellow thing in the last couple of pictures above is the jack. It is still possible to access the jack with the swivel installed if you have the power seats. Just move the power seats as far forward and as high as it will go and then you’ll have enough clearance to finagle the jack out of the center hole. If you have the non-power seats you’ll need to move the jack elsewhere.
Another thing to watch out for is the outer diameter of the washer that sits on top of the seat rails. If it’s too big it will not provide enough clearance for the seat rail to easily move all the way forward or backward.