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SteveMalone189

Storage Under the LWB's Load Floor Extension?

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I've been discussing with Windguy via PM the possibility of utilizing the seatwell area under the LWB van's load floor extension (see page 11 of the Body Builders Layout Book - https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/non-html/2015/2015_Transit_Connect_v1-0.pdf)) as a potential extra storage area. Since U.S. vans are imported as wagons the seatwell area comes already carpeted, so it could be possible to store stuff there without it rattling around. It seems the seatwells are about 6" deep at the deepest point, but it is split in the center by the driveline hump, where there is perhaps a few inches of clearance. The difference in height from the bottom of the load floor extension to the sill of the sliding door is probably less than 3". Since the LWB model is nearly 16" longer than the SWB model, I thought there was a possibility that the load floor extension was also that long, but I'm virtually certain that it is only about 9" long - the difference in the sliding door width of the SWB vs LWB models.

When the van is converted from a wagon in Maryland, there are some exposed seat belt anchor points on the floor (these were bolted down with T-50 Torx bolts). There is a picture of the seatwell area of a LWB wagon in this post:

http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/topic/3551-my15-slim-pickins-pics-or-it-didnt-happen/

There is a tower and beam structure that supports the load floor extension, and that is bolted into some of the seat bolt anchors shown in the seatwell picture. I'm guessing there is a box beam that spans the width between the two towers, so it is only the space aft of that box beam that might be modified to provide access to the seat well. And as stated earlier, that can't be more than 9" wide. The load floor extension is less than 4' wide and the driveline hump probably takes away close to a foot of that. So what you are left with is two 9"x18"x6" tall spaces (located more-or-less in the center of the sliding door openings) which could provide a place to store some gear, but the access would pretty much have to be through the load floor. As such, if you store much on the load floor, the practicality of accessing the area won't be very good.

I'll be taking out the vinyl load floor when my van is finally delivered, as a plywood floor bolted to the load floor will give me the flexibility that I need for the camping and cycling gear that I'll be storing inside. I would have liked to have accessed the seatwell area as an additional storage space, especially if it could be done without extensive modifications, but it looks as though that is not possible. Or at the very least, I can't think of anything small enough to fit in the seatwell that I can't accommodate more easily elsewhere.

A better way to approach converting the space to storage would be to remove the factory load floor extension and create your own custom design for the area (wood would be the simplest option for most people), using the existing T-50 bolt anchors to secure it in place.

Edited by SteveMalone189

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I'm very interested in this as a few more inches in height might let me carry my scooter in the van. Neither link seemed to work right, the first said there wasn't a page at that URL the second had all the photos gone. Any further info on this?

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Is the load floor extension tac welded in place or bolted. I would love to remove it and add a seat or two.

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Some are welded (like the one in the photos above) but mine is bolted. I have a project in mind for mine. You'll have to peel back the carpet and look.

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There are 2 types of the footwell cover. The earlier version is narrower and uses the same plastic door sills as a van with seats. The later version is almost full width and the plastic sills blend into it. They unbolt by removing the 6 Torx head seat mount bolts and the plastic door sills. I bought a spare of each type of panel at a local junk yard to experiment with. I think you could make two top open doors over each well for storing tools and tiedowns. Another option would be to check marine supply shops for boat drop in fiberglass boxes or just the covers to make fabrication easy.

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I am very interested in installing either a battery bank or ir compressor tank in this space...

Any updates?

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Firstly, I apologize if the answer is obvious to this topic, but, is there a load floor extension in the Wagon model?
I once removed the rear seats in my 2014 LWB Wagon, but noticed that the carpet area has what appears to be a long black metal plate-like floor, underneath.
Is that black plate-like floor removable?
Thanks in advance.

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I dont believe there is a load extension in the wagon models

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Cosworth you are spot on . The Load floor extension covers the foot well for the second seat

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poster JRM223 recently added some nice pics to his gallery regarding the foot well area as a storage spot.

I don't see a reference to them in any post so here's the link in case you missed it

http://fordtransitconnectforum.com/gallery/image/1007-total-depth-of-steel-floor-without-vinyl-is-11-inches/

wonder why his van has vinyl flooring. as far as I can tell mine has black carpet, same as what's under the front seats and in front of them.

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Windguy, thanks for posting a link to my pics, they should be helpful to everyone :) As for the vinyl floor in mine, I have a base-model van with vinyl floor up front instead of carpet, thus the vinyl underneath the load floor - which, as seen in my pics, I have cut out for additional storage depth. For reference, the vinyl floor was wasting just over 4" of depth!! I'm still doing measuring and brainstorming to figure out how to best utilize the space in my van for my purposes, which will include a narrow foam mattress (cheap Walmart full size one cut in half length-wise and then stacked for extra thickness, roughly 26"x74" or so) for camping in the van. One thing I'll definitely be doing is bedlining & some type of insulation, lol.

Windguy, in the other thread, you had mentioned wanting to utilize just the space directly behind the seats. I would think that you could leave this tower (pic below) in place with the flat extension panel (assuming LWB instead of SWB), remove just the front section shown here and then either fab a panel to cover up the space below the flat load floor so your stuff doesn't slide or roll back there - or you could even access all that extra space from the front seat area... If I remember right, I think you would need to temporarily remove the flat panel in order to remove the front section, b/c it overlaps some. The biggest issue, primarily aesthetic, would be the plastic steps by the sliding doors, since the ends closest to the b-pillar wouldn't have that front panel to attach to, off-hand I'd guess maybe 25% of the cover would be unsupported? But, as seen in this pic, there's a steel bracket below the plastic cover where you step on to get in the van - so no real worries about strength. I suppose the plastic cover could just be trimmed/cut to remove that forward section that's no longer needed.

gallery_5065_168_194210.jpeg

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OMG.. Perfect for a small pull out drawer placed on each side with storage in the middle. The drawer's face could be made from the molded foot step. So when one shuts the drawer.. the step falls back into place and no one would even know it's there.

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I can't believe the wasted space behind the front seats. But without that extra surface behind the seats, I wouldn't be able to lay down comfortably. So now I have to create a locking drawer under the mat and two side drawers at the sliding doors.

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As you can see The Load extension has nothing to do with the strength of the Van the Load floor could be removed, or modified in lots of ways for different uses. How close to the front seats would be wide open to what ever plan was had for the Van.

post-4748-0-62825800-1458340768_thumb.jp

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@jrm223 - thanks for the design ideas and pics. very helpful.

@GBL - thanks for posting the pic of the wagon model step molding. I can see using that in place of the van step molding.

It will be fun to see how we customize this storage area.

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