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DonShockley

Converted 2015 LWB Wagon into a Van

38 posts in this topic

I would love to see what the TC's that come into the country  and are converted to a van look like.  I suspect that the interior set up is not as good as the real wagon. It would be nice to see a pre conversion  photo of the inside.

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On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2016 at 10:57 PM, Fifty150 said:

sIn the U.S., all Transit Connects are imported as wagons, then stripped of the interiors to be sold as vans.

Interesting.  I did lots of research and looked at a dozen vans prior to making the purchase of our 2014 XLT SWB Wagon.  Initially we wanted a SWB van for the extra room, but on occasion we do need to carry a 3rd or sometimes a 4th person and it looked to be lots harder to add seats to a van than it probably would be to remove them from a wagon.  We looked at a van with the floor liner removed and it's a completely different floor pan than the one used in the wagon  -  I can't see them importing wagons only to rip out the interior and weld in a completely new floor pan

Anyway . . . . with the SWB wagons there are no 3rd row seats of course, but the second row seats are very different from the LWB version.  Our seatbacks fold flat and then the entire seat flips up vertically to rest just behind the front buckets  -  The headrests end up pointed down into the footwell space. This gives you back an extra 18" or so of virtually flat floor space.  Seats still in the way?  Flip two little yellow levers and the seats lift completely out of the van which gives you another foot or so of space  The rear seats are 60/40 and you can take out either one or both of them.  Total time less than 2 minutes.  They reinstall just as easily.  Flat floor except for the small footwell space just behind the front buckets.  The center shoulder seatbelt is built into the larger seat and comes out with it.  You are left with four small recesses where the rear of the seats anchor to the  floor, but the recesses are only about 1 1/4 by 3 inches, so your cargo slides over them unobstructed

Once we found out about this simple very well engineered seating removal system . . . . and not a single sales person in any of the dealerships we visited knew that the rear seats just lifted out (We were twice told "I suppose you could find a way to unbolt them") it was an easy decision as to whether to buy a van or a wagon

The LWB van may have the same floor pan as the wagon, though if it does you would see where they welded in a cover for the footwells, but the SWB van and wagon have very different floor pans as the recesses for the seat latches isn't there in the van version

Don 

Edited by Beta Don

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I suppose we all make decisions that best suit our individual needs and wants.  

 

For me, the short wheel base would have been better for maneuverability and parking.  Having only 5 seats would usually leave me out as the driver on any outing since someone else would be able to carry more passengers.  Living in The City, being able to squeeze into small parking spots is a huge advantage.  Not so important if you live where there is plenty of parking.  But the long wheel base would be better for carrying passengers and cargo.  Although the obvious observation would be that if I had really wanted to move large cargo, I should look at a larger van or truck.  In addition, if I wanted to simply carry passengers, a larger van would also serve better.  

 

In the end, I remembered what my dad told me about trucks.  If you don't get an 8' bed, then you didn't really buy a truck.  I guess if I only cared about carrying 5 passengers, I could buy a sedan.  I bought a long wheel base, and now I'm driving around by myself with all the seats flipped down, including the front passenger seat.  Kind of nice being able to flip over that front passenger seat and having a work surface to write on or eat lunch off of.  I could simply do more with a long wheel base, so I decided to to sacrifice being able to squeeze into small parking spots.   Fortunately, I also own a pickup truck for cargo and towing, a small import for fuel economy and parking, and a motorcycle just because I like motorcycles. 

mrtn likes this

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This thread is fantastic, thanks for the detailed writeup.  I'm in a situation where I'm desperately trying to find a way to make one vehicle do-it-all.  Basically what I want is a motorcycle hauler with the ability to occasionally take some extra passengers, but for the most part is just a commuter/cargo hauler.

I THINK my ideal solution is to remove the second row seats and build a similar platform, then when I need to haul a bike I'll remove the third row (since they're just a few bolts and easier to remove).  Maybe design a quick-release chock on the platform or something.  Hmm...

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Knolly,

No need to remove any seats.  Get a wheel chock.  Cut a piece of plywood down to size to fit in your van.  Bolt the wheel chock to the plywood.  Add a couple of eye bolts for your ratchet straps.  

I have a pickup with an 8' bed.  So for me, there was no need to cut the plywood.  

Then all that you will have to do is fold down your seats, slide that piece of plywood in, roll your bike into the van, and strap it down.  

image_13132.jpg

image_13274.jpg

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I measured up a Connect at a dealer a while ago and I didn't think it would fit with the seats down.  My bike is 44.3 inches tall at the windscreen.  I might be able to find a couple inches by removing the windscreen but I think it's going to be a really sketchy fit without removing the seats.

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very informative thread. Thanks!

 

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Just wanted to say hello and that I am following suit with a lightly used (11k miles previous rental unit) 2016 TC XLT LWB Wagon that I picked up just today from Carmax for a fair price. I traded my F150 Supercrew 4x4 down for more practicality and utility of this van. I pulled all of the rear seats out today and saw the massive gaps under the second row of seats,,,,I plan on building some sort of a bracket and incorporate the seating studs to support it,,,my goal is for a bike hauler/beagle hauler/stealth camper van type of setup,,,,quick question,,,does anyone know if the rear seatbelts are tied into the airbag system? I want to remove them completely out of the vehicle and use the anchors for something more useful. thanks!

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If you mean the seatbelts for the third row, I don't see any way they can be related to the airbags. As you can see in this photo from the work I did in my 2015, the belt mechanism has no electrical connections to it which could provide any kind of signal to the airbags. Just bolted in place. You can also see a bit of the second row belt mechanism in the corner of the photo. Although none of my photos catch it clearly, there don't seem to be wires going to that one either.

20150806_225556.jpg

Edited by DonShockley

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13 hours ago, DonShockley said:

If you mean the seatbelts for the third row, I don't see any way they can be related to the airbags. As you can see in this photo from the work I did in my 2015, the belt mechanism has no electrical connections to it which could provide any kind of signal to the airbags. Just bolted in place. You can also see a bit of the second row belt mechanism in the corner of the photo. Although none of my photos catch it clearly, there don't seem to be wires going to that one either.

 

You are correct. I removed both seatbelt units tonight in the rear (3rd row). No wiring or sensors associated with them. Contemplating removing the seatbelts in the 2nd row as well,,,Now, the unused  threads up in the pillar could have so many uses,,,, 

Edited by r1alvin

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r1alvin

I know it would be a bit of a drive from Allen down to Belton, but I just reinstalled the seats in mine so I won't need the deck I made. If you want it free it's yours for the taking. Rubber mat, mounting bolts, and installation wrench included. Just let me know if you want it.

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I appreciate the offer Don! I am still  brainstorming exactly which steps I am going to take next now that I have the blank canvas in the back of the van. My original plan of starting with a bicycle mount inside the Van has changed. I decided that carrying a bicycle covered with dirt inside the van is not appealing, so I installed a uhaul 2" Class 3 hitch yesterday and a Thule bike rack. I am leaning towards the 3 box flip lid design for a raised sleeping area and storage underneath,,,flooring,,,I don't know,,,I believe the OEM carpet will have to go,,those raised humps where the second row bolted in are kind of annoying. Also, I am brainstorming Ideas to cover the void in the floor from the stud bases to the raised floor lip,,,something made either our of wood or metal,,, i suppose it would be a good idea for me to start a build thread in here now huh,,,

17814283_10212731499591742_8474979616475150625_o.jpg

Edited by r1alvin

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A bike that nice deserves to ride inside. Yours will fit in the LWB easily. I use the same hitch rack when I have two bikes. As you know, you prevent a lot of problems with the bike inside. The factory fills the floor voids under the front seats with Styrofoam blocks. It is light, simple and sturdy.

.30185665956_8e354ff1e0_n.jpg

 

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