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How-to: Swivel seat adapter installation

39881 Views 65 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  MattyR
My swivel bases from Travois arrived Friday (thanks for the quick shipping Travois!). I tackled the installation this afternoon. The overall process is fairly easy and straightforward. The trickiest thing was giving the wiring harness enough slack. Here's an overview of parts, tools and steps I used.

CBTO 21 D2 - passenger ($300)
CBTO 21G2 - driver ($300)
Plastic wire sheath (optional)
Zip ties

Socket wrench
10mm socket
E-12 (External Torx)
17mm socket
17mm combination wrench
Tiny slotted screwdriver (used to release factory wire harness zip ties and harness socket clips)
10mm allen key

1. Disconnect battery. 10mm socket to remove battery bracket and negative terminal (see your Metris manual for specifics)
2. Disconnect seat wiring harness (Unclip the yellow and white connectors.) Release zip ties securing harness to seat frame.
3. Remove four external Torx E12 seat rail bolts. Remove seat.
4. Extend wiring harness as far as possible. (I removed the wire ties securing the harness to the chassis under the driver's seat)
5. Feed harness through the center hole in the swivel base. (I added plastic coil wire wrap for good measure)
6. Fasten the swivel adapter to the platform with the allen bolts (10mm allen key)
7. Fasten seat to the swivel base with 17mm bolts and locking nuts. (spin top plate ~45º from lower to access holes)
8. Reconnect seat wiring harness (I repositioned the white connectors with zip ties for additional wiring harness slack)
9. Reconnect battery.

The adapters seem well made. The seats feel stable and secure, especially when locked in the forward position. The additional stack height of the adapters is noticeable but not bad. Be careful with the wiring harness and connectors. There is not enough slack to start with. You need to create additional slack by disconnecting wire ties. Travois shipped quickly. I had them about one week after placing my order. Spinning the seats around to face backward really opens things up in the van. This modification is going to be great for camping!


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Also, do you get any seat rattle while driving due to any slop in the swivel mechanism?
I'm curious how the passenger armrest clears/impacts the door as you swivel?
Copied from one of my earlier posts.

Swivel operation requires cranking the seat back upright a bit, moving the seat forward, and, because I have armrests, opening the passenger door a bit to allow clearance for the arm rest during rotation. Once facing rearward the seat can be adjusted and swiveled as required. Rear facing seat is great for opening up the van space for various uses. I am slow and methodical so installation took me a little over an hour.

If you search>swivel seats, there are previous posts by owners who have installed RIB swivel plates.
Thank you, Peter! Much appreciated!

How about the distance horizontally - the distance between the perpendicular projection of the front edge of the seat on the floor and the front edge of the metal seat box. I am sure my description is still vague. Hope the picture below would give a better illustration. Thanks!

The RIB adapters do not change the fore/aft position of the seat. The adapter bolt holes line up vertically with the factory mounting locations. Increased stack height is the only change in seat position with the adapters.


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My swivel bases from Travois arrived Friday (thanks for the quick shipping Travois!).
Thanks for posting your install details. Would you mind clarifying which site or vendor you purchased from? A link would be best, of course.
Thanks for posting your install details. Would you mind clarifying which site or vendor you purchased from? A link would be best, of course.
I am not Peter Thomsen, 148am, but will answer your question, here is the link that you are asking for
by the way incredible upfitting place incredible people...
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I am not Peter Thomsen, 148am, but will answer your question, here is the link that you are asking for
by the way incredible upfitting place incredible people...
Excellent, thank you. I was not particularly excited about ordering from any of the European websites.
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Thanks Peter! Your instructions worked like a charm. I did release and reattach more wire harness, just for a bit more play in seat movement.
+1 for

Shipping to CO only took a week. Easily installed, and it fits!
A couple issues installing on 2017 comfort seats...

I had a couple issues getting them installed to my satisfaction on my 2017 with 'comfort' package seats. Here's my full experience.

I ordered the RIB seats through Travois thanks to Peter Thompson's excellent write up. After waiting for a bit longer than I had expected (a couple months since they were not stocked and still needed to be imported at the time I ordered them (Mar 2018), I contacted Brad whom I had ordered from at the BC office. He was very responsive, and due to an honest mix up on his side, he apologized and fixed it right away. The swivel bases arrived a few days later. When they did, I noticed the driver side lock handle was bent but they otherwise seem very solid and I don't think whatever happened to the handle in shipping damaged the swivel joint or bent either mounting plate. Total cost = $675 with shipping for both swivel seat bases.

Not sure if other Metris models have this but there is a little stamped sheet metal plate with a U shape extension inset towards the seat center. I'll call this the "extra bit" for simplicity when referring to it from here on in. This extra bit is welded to the bottom of the factory seat rail track. See the photo so you know to what I'm referring. Automotive exterior Bumper Auto part Windshield Vehicle
There is a corresponding plastic channel (with a connected wire) mounted on the bottom of the seat. When the seat is scooted fully forward these two elements are lined up such that the extra bit is within the plastic channel. Anyone know what this is? Black Darkness Light Night Lighting
My guess is its something like a Hall effect sensor to report full seat forward seat position. Perhaps unused or perhaps to disable the passenger dashboard airbag when the seat is too close. What ever it is, its preventing a clean mating of the seat to the swivel base. There is actually a much longer inline plate under the rail on the opposite side too (toward van center) but that one has no protruding U shape or corresponding plastic channel under the seat.

Whatever it is, this extra bit keeps the seats sliding rails from sitting flush on the top plate of the swivel base Auto part Bumper Automotive exterior Vehicle Metal
when you mount them and that is an issue (it is for a careful perfectionist like me). On the fixed factory based there is a depression in the top surface of the seat mounting base which that accommodates this piece. Windshield Vehicle Glass Automotive exterior Automotive window part
The RIB swivel bases are flat plates and so there is no room for this extra bit, and when mating the parts, the extra bit causes an uneven teetering front to back on the door side (both seats).

I considered just mounting and wrenching it all down - but I didn't want to bend the rails or the extra bit.

I considered grinding the extra bit off with an angle grinder - but I didn't want to destroy any intended functionality. Even if it's unused today, someone in the future may want or need it, and I'm sure I'd pay a high price for whatever I'd need to buy from Mercedes to restore the seat to its original state. My goal with any mod to my van, is to be able to bring it back to factory state if desired whenever possible.

This issue was really pretty significant and I scratched my head for a day thinking what the best way forward was. I ultimately decided if the mounting of the seat rails from the factory is really only at four points (due to the seat base depression, then I should be fine to raise the seat a little more with a thick washer in order to clear the extra bit. So I bought 8 nice fat steal washers Hand Button Finger Metal
and attached the passenger side swivel.

These washers add another 1/8th or so to the height, oh well. Thankfully there is plenty of headroom to start with.

Use and Experience...
I have had the same experience as folks have posted before as for how to maneuver them into position so I wont repeat it. Well worth the effort for the benefit here I feel. My head touches the headliner when positioned closer to the front windshield and facing the rear but I can adjust and eliminate.

I notice the seats are less solidly fixed in place than with the factory fixed base. For example, if there is no one in the passenger seat I can shake it and it bobbles for a second before settling. Also, when sitting in the seat I can wobble it around a bit. I am 6'3" and 220lbs so somethings gotta give. I can see that the movement is all coming from flexing/bending of the swivel plates around the center hole swivel joint which seems very solid. While they come close, I have not noticed any contact between the top and bottom plates with the movements I have described.

I also hear subtle creaking/rattling from the empty passenger seat when driving. Its the kind of sound you might hear if you have a little sand between two metal plates. I'm hoping the sound will go away after some driving and tightening a bit and maybe even padding the space under the odd curved plate I mentioned (which now just barely contacts the bottom plate). At any rate, I am certain I can overlook these sounds after I get used to them.

All in all I am pleased with the results and look forwards to taking advantage of the increased openness and space this modification will offer.
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Hey folks, great thread!

I am getting ready to install some swivels. My van has the auxiliary battery. Do I need to disconnect both batteries to avoid a fault code?
Thanks for the excellent description of your install, waterjerome! I'm getting ready to install the same RIB swivels, and can confirm that my 2016 with comfort package also has the "extra bit" welded to the bottom of the rail track. It does seem likely that the corresponding sensor disables the airbag when the seat is in the fully forward position. Does anybody know for sure?

Regardless, your install solution seems like a good one (and probably what I will do as well), but I hate to lose that additional 1/8" of headroom. I'm interested to hear if anyone else encountered this issue and how they dealt with it. I haven't completely ruled out the angle grinder yet. LOL
Thanks, that is my guess too. My understanding is that the auxiliary battery is not really hooked up to anything yet until I attach something to it. I am just getting to know this van.
Well I can confirm that I didn’t need to disconnect the auxiliary battery. It isn’t doing anything yet accept getting charged.

My van also had the extra bit described in the posts above on the outside seat tracks on both sides. I just wrenched the bolts down on each end and the the top of the swivel plate flexed up around the extra bit. They seem to work fine and I am not worried about it.
Attempted to install my passenger-side swivel today. Unfortunately the wiring harness doesn't have even close to enough slack. I undid all the ties underneath the seat and at the top of the battery compartment, but it is several inches too short when sliding all the way forward. Ugh! Anything I'm missing?
Poptop, I had to release and reroute more directly the harness inside the battery bay as well as remove and reattach the yellow and white connectors to a more central location in order to get enough free movement in mine. Check for clear and free movement of that cable bundle in all positions and maybe add a more durable sheath around it to protect it from wear. It's short, but it will work.
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+1 Disconnect those white and yellow plastic plug connectors near the front of the seat and use zip ties to hold them up closer to beneath the center of the seat.
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Thanks everybody in this thread (especially PeterThomsen, waterjerome and Geomorph!). I underestimated how much slack would be created by moving the connectors. I had time to work on it again today--both swivels are in and work great!

Installation took me a while (some of the plastic connectors and cable ties were a little fiddly to disconnect and reroute). Height difference is noticable but I'll get used to it. Like waterjerome, the seats have a slight bobble if you rock them and let them go, but not bad at all and they feel solid.

Swiveling the seats around makes the interior space seem HUGE. It will be the perfect hangout space for three or four. Looking forward to enjoying it this summer!
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Just installed the Travois swivel today, works like a charm and install was way quicker than expected. Seat positioning is a bit of a key when maneuvering but I'm sure I'll get used to it. Its amazing how much space is created when the chair is rear facing. Thanks for the install directions
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