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@ icerabbit, I have only taken out one bolt in the floor rails and one in the side rails. They both have a nut under the metal floor of the van. However, if you crawl under the van, what you find where you should see that nut is, instead, a longitudinal box beam running the length of the cargo floor. So, there is no way to fabricate that nut in there without either installing it before the frame is put together, doubtful because maintaining location tolerances to fit floor rails would be impossible, or installing it from above after the van steel subfloor is fabricated. I just looked again and I can see 3 more box beams below the steel subfloor with proper spacing to fit passenger van seat rails. One of those is above the gas tank, but the van steel floor is at the top of that beam 2" above the gas tank. No, there is no plywood floor below the L-track tie-down rail. The L-track is an inch tall and is slotted into the ply floor, which must exist below the 3/8" composition floor that I can readily see surrounding the L-tracks. The L-tracks are hefty aluminum, unlike the more normal 7/16" thick wall-mounted L-track. The floor rails are extruded with a horizontal rib at their midline, so, looking from the end, they are a figure 8 with square corners. Where they have mounting bolts tying them to the floor, that rib is drilled large enough for the head of the torx bolt to go through it. So, only the bottom of the L-track is bolted to the floor. That way, unlike with normal L-track, you can slide a clamp down the track without hitting a bolt head because the bolt heads are recessed in the lower chamber of the L-track. After looking again today, I would bet with 90% security that the cargo van can easily become a passenger van and be safe. By simply slotting the floor for the 2 inner seat tracks 21-1/4 apart to match the floor bolt mounting points, and using Mercedes or equivalent tracks, you can install a seat safely. The only thing missing will be the side curtain air bags, which don't work on a large number of cars today because of the giant recall! Nobody is going ape-sh... and parking their cars due to that recall. If you put a child in the middle of a tested rock-n-roll bed or an OEM Mercedes seat, I'm confident they will be as safe as in a passenger Metris, but you can be your own judge, assuming you, too, find mounting nuts when you slot your plywood to install the seat tracks as I believe you will. I prefer to live fact-based. Yes, I am speculating that what I have seen, when I looked at it in detail, is typical of the rest of the van floor. I guess whoever disassembles first will be the one to inform this community with the facts. Stay tuned. For the doubters, please read the Magnuson-Moss act of 1975. It is legal to modify your van without impacting the warranty unless something you do provably destroys the integrity of the vehicle. We are talking of doing no such thing. Also, icerabbit, I realise you are just replicating L-track, but others may be interested in going further.
 

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Yes, no ambition here to put any kind of seating in.
Just exploring options to secure cargo, so stuff doesn't go flying if I need to step on the brakes, or have a tight on or off ramp ( as it currently tends to do in my Grand Caravan, I pack it carefully, and have tie ups via the seat belt anchors, ... :) ... but still )
The easiest for me ( upon purchase of a van without lashing rails ) would be to get the official ones for the horizontals on the side, so the hole pattern matches; and then get equivalent 8 foot lengths, for surface mount, that has chamfered sides.
 

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@ icerabbit, I have only taken out one bolt in the floor rails and one in the side rails. They both have a nut under the metal floor of the van. However, if you crawl under the van, what you find where you should see that nut is, instead, a longitudinal box beam running the length of the cargo floor. So, there is no way to fabricate that nut in there without either installing it before the frame is put together, doubtful because maintaining location tolerances to fit floor rails would be impossible, or installing it from above after the van steel subfloor is fabricated. I just looked again and I can see 3 more box beams below the steel subfloor with proper spacing to fit passenger van seat rails. One of those is above the gas tank, but the van steel floor is at the top of that beam 2" above the gas tank. No, there is no plywood floor below the L-track tie-down rail. The L-track is an inch tall and is slotted into the ply floor, which must exist below the 3/8" composition floor that I can readily see surrounding the L-tracks. The L-tracks are hefty aluminum, unlike the more normal 7/16" thick wall-mounted L-track. The floor rails are extruded with a horizontal rib at their midline, so, looking from the end, they are a figure 8 with square corners. Where they have mounting bolts tying them to the floor, that rib is drilled large enough for the head of the torx bolt to go through it. So, only the bottom of the L-track is bolted to the floor. That way, unlike with normal L-track, you can slide a clamp down the track without hitting a bolt head because the bolt heads are recessed in the lower chamber of the L-track. After looking again today, I would bet with 90% security that the cargo van can easily become a passenger van and be safe. By simply slotting the floor for the 2 inner seat tracks 21-1/4 apart to match the floor bolt mounting points, and using Mercedes or equivalent tracks, you can install a seat safely. The only thing missing will be the side curtain air bags, which don't work on a large number of cars today because of the giant recall! Nobody is going ape-sh... and parking their cars due to that recall. If you put a child in the middle of a tested rock-n-roll bed or an OEM Mercedes seat, I'm confident they will be as safe as in a passenger Metris, but you can be your own judge, assuming you, too, find mounting nuts when you slot your plywood to install the seat tracks as I believe you will. I prefer to live fact-based. Yes, I am speculating that what I have seen, when I looked at it in detail, is typical of the rest of the van floor. I guess whoever disassembles first will be the one to inform this community with the facts. Stay tuned. For the doubters, please read the Magnussen act (spelling?). It is legal to modify your van without impacting the warranty unless something you do provably destroys the integrity of the vehicle. We are talking of doing no such thing. Also, icerabbit, I realise you are just replicating L-track, but others may be interested in going further.
Oh, by the way. I learned today that Vito (German version of Metris) comes in the long wheelbase version passenger van. More evidence my 135" Metris floor can easily accommodate seat rails since its probably a long Vito chassis.
 

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Noooo, don't tease me about Vitos and V-class vehicles ;) :p

I actually sent MB of USA a note that they're missing out on sales potential by severely down featuring the option catalog.
The vans are all coming from the same factory, they're all made to order, the parts all exist and have no bearing on certification ... So, why does pretty much every white van have to have black plastic bumpers? Why only three vans with a colored bumper option? Why didnn't we have CarPlay yet? Why no MBUX on the next gen?

The Dodge Grand Caravan is being discontinued. Nissan is being cancelled as well, I heard. And with larger orders coming in, perhaps go on the offensive and ride on the success of the Sprinter. Is there a case to be made to make them local?

We all could be Metris ambassadors ;)

And I say we, as I put a deposit down on one this am and should have it before next weekend. 🤞

Exciting!!!
 

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I have actually been thinking of going to Europe and pulling a bunch of used parts out of ripped vans. They even have pop out rear windows over there.
18094
 

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So, if you can't buy one from Mercedes, why not build one here using the infrastructure they built into your van? That's my approach.
 

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So, if you can't buy one from Mercedes, why not build one here using the infrastructure they built into your van? That's my approach.
Look, bro, these aren’t Legos. Just because a feature is available for the van, and if put into the van while in production is in fact easily possible, does not mean that retrofitting it is reasonably easy, practicable, or even possible.

The passenger seat rails on cargo vans is a perfect example: the reinforcement required to install passenger seat rails are only installed on passenger vans. They are installed on the body shell and then stuff is installed in place on top of it. You have to remove all that stuff to install the reinforcements in order to properly install seat rails.

Installing the power-operated vent windows on the back of the van requires the following: a hinged window, the trim for the window motor, the window motor, the rear seat switch assembly, the trim piece for the different rear seat cup holder trim (which holds the switch in vans so equipped), the four-window switch assembly and trim piece (that should be easy; the same piece is used in various Mercedes sedans), the wiring harness to connect the motor to power, the appropriate relay to activate the motor on command from the CANBUS, the wiring harness to connect the rear switch to the CANBUS, the wiring harness to connect the front switches to the CANBUS, and reprograming of the cars operations computer to activate the motor upon command from the switches via the CANBUS, as that feature would not be active on vans not so equipped. You also have to obviously install all of these things, disassembling the entire vans interior to do so. You may also have to install additional electrical componentry depending on whether or not appropriate pre-wiring and relay boards are present on our vans, something which I do not know.

An example I am aware of is that the difference between the seats we get on the Metris and the folding and reclinging seats available on the Vito is about $1500 for the upgraded trim level that receives them, among other things. The cost, currently, to retrofit those to the Metris (all four tracks, a three row, and a two+1 row with folding and reclining features) is about $5000 for the parts, and I don’t know exactly what it would cost to have them installed. It would take you several good hours if you want to do it yourself.

Frankly though, if you are looking for a luxurious van, you would be best served either buying a Kia Sedona, or ordering a conversion van.
 

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I believe the cargo van has all the seat reinforcements your passenger van has, but I will soon see, when I do it. I have given ample evidence for my case. Crawl under a van. The reinforcement rails are there in plain sight! As to your other objections, to each his own. I don't plan on operable rear door windows because a fan is adequate. I love building vans. Why would I give the fun stuff to an upfitter? Many people on this site are like me in that love of customization. Don't spoil our fun!
 

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I’m glad you believe that. I’ve always wanted to see somebody who insistently believes things they have no knowledge of, especially when they happen to be wrong. (I mean, I’ve had such people coming out of my ears most of my life, but whatever...). The seat rails are secured to the van by bolting them to spreader plates under the floor. Vans that don’t have seat rails don’t have the spreader plates either, because they 1) cost money, 2) would serve no useful purpose, 3) add weight, which would reduce payload, and 4) would have nothing to bolt to in the absence of seat rails anyway. Installing the spreader plates requires removing quite a few components, including the fuel tank, because all of these components are, as a result of logical progression, installed on the van body after the part of the assembly process where the seat rails and spreader plates are installed.

In the world of internet forums, there are some people who just happen to know specific things about the subject under discussion. That is why people like that whither away their time posting on internet forums. You might notice my join date; I am one of the first members on this forum, and may well be the longest active member. I also took delivery of one of the very first Metris vans retailed in the US, (number 3, actually), which I ordered, sight unseen, the day dealers were allowed to place their first order for inventory. When I tell you this, I am not speculating; when I speculate, I indicate that it is speculation. There are a lot of things I don’t know, even when it comes to vans and even MBs, but I know when I don’t know something.
 

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There are those who talk and there are those who do, in spite of nay- sayers. I'll continue to document my progress on the Metris and share what I learn because I appreciate others who have helped me by doing the same. That's what I like about this forum. People helping others get stuff done, adding to enjoyment of life.
 
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