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I am hoping to be able to mount a 2 person bench in the back of a cargo by using the existing MB optional floor L-track on the left side, and adding another shorter L-track to mount the right side (of course the seat will need modification).

My question is this: Is the factory installed L-track option mounted securely to the van along it's entire length, or is it really only mounted to the wood floor for the most part? Is it up to the job of holding a seat and passengers in place?

thanks!
 

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To what extent? For normal driving, I'd guess so. That is designed to facilitate the Metris's ability to cary 2000 lbs or so of secured pallets, and therefore must be able to secure that kind of weight from shifting under harsh conditions.

In an accident, however, the amount of force exerted on the mounting brackets of seats is an entirely different matter. The cargo straps are not designed to fully secure the load in an accident- that is what the bulkhead is for.
 

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Cargo Seats

I am hoping to be able to mount a 2 person bench in the back of a cargo by using the existing MB optional floor L-track on the left side, and adding another shorter L-track to mount the right side (of course the seat will need modification).
This is the conclusion to which I came.
I worked for a mfg of Aircraft seats. They are essentially mounted using a logistics rail similar to what I have in the Metris.
I used to get to watch the "crash tests" of the seats. Basically a sled with logistics rail with a seat mounted and Crash Test dummmys in the seats.

If you ever saw this event and thought about hacking together a seat in the cargo area you will understand why I abandoned my plan when I saw that the seat rail and the logistics rail are mounted differently...
 

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There is the van floor (the chassis) and then there is the cargo floor (board/decking). Some upfitters have told me that in order to bolt seats in the cargo van they would need to remove the gas tank and weld a plate to the chassis under these new seat track mounts. Maybe so for custom seats that use some other rail/track system, but it sure seems to me that there would be the same holes in the Cargo van chassis where the Passenger van has it seating rails.

I have a cargo deck with the load retainer rail package and so the outer two most mounting channel areas (closest to the rear wheel wells) have the load retainer rails bolted down with Torx bolts. It seems they are bolted to or through the chassis and then the deck is oriented with routed channels through these and held in place along with the 6 D-ring mounts around the periphery of the decking.

Last night I crawled under my Metris and looked to see if I could find where the Torx bolts for the load retainer rails protrude through the van floor. I saw none of the bolts tips or anchoring nuts for either of these rails. Instead, I noticed there are four extruded square steel supports following the contour of the bottom of the chassis which correspond exactly down the same channels where the cargo and passenger vans would have track systems mounted. There are four of these square tubes. There seems to be no direct access through the tubing to these mounting locations. When I pulled a downward facing rubber plug about six inches offset forward from where the rear most Torx bolt should come through, I could barely see what looked like a reinforced or welded and treated structure inside. I take this to mean there is a fixed, threaded seating for these Torx bolts that hold the tracks in place. The Body and Equipment Guideline for the Metris seems to support this theory.

After reviewing section 7.6 of the Metris BEG.pdf doc found on the upfitter portal, it seems clear that the most acceptable areas to bolt through the chassis are these same 4 channel locations where there is not supposed to be any wiring and where there is this square steel tubing and presumably "...existing threaded holes in the vehicle floor". (p.87)

It's worth mentioning that this is documentation is covering the mounting of shelving, cabinets, tables... and not seats. This document states in section 8.1.2 that MB prohibits retrofitting additional seats for certification reasons.

With this information I am more confident to unscrew the rails and D-rings and try to pull up the cargo flooring deck to see if there are exposed threaded holes in the center two most channels. If so, I see no reason why I couldn't source the seating rails and swap them out if I wanted to put in seats. Somebody please let me know if I am wasting my time or likely to drop an unretrievable nut inside one of these square tubes.

I'll check back.
 

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If you want to hack, there are dozens of ways to do this. If you want a genuinely safe rear seat with something approaching the safety of a Vito Pax van without rear curtain airbags, thats an entirely different thing.
 

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There are so many aftermarket ie legit parts people add-on to their vehicles that are not 'certified' or 'genuinely safe' . I hope to eventually get some rear seats in my Cargo van. I just look at transportation and 'handicap' vehicles and mini buses that have l-track that secures wheel chair bound riders. By the way, have you seen some of the hookups and large loads many light duty pickup trucks are 'safely' hauling around? I'm not looking to carry passengers everyday in my MC, just on the rare occasions i need to carry one or two more crew members to a gig.
 

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I don't criticize or judge what kind of seating arrangements you put into the back of your car. So long as I am not riding there, I don't care- I'm not the safety police.

I just feel it important that people who want to jury rug seating are aware that the mounting of factory seats is a lot more complicated than a lot of people assume, and that non factory seat mounting will not be remotely as safe as factory ones. Armed with this data, do what makes sense for you.
 

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waterjerome.
Three posts in the following thread outlined my step by step process for installing L tracks in my van. Very confident in the integrity of this installation. This track is the attachment for much of what is going into my conversion, including the robust RV folding seat/bed unit that I was fortunate to find on Craigslist last year.

http://www.metrisforum.com/forum/40...sions/5122-beginning-conversion-progress.html

An error in the 1st post -"The center line for the outside track installation begins at the factory D-ring tie down, in the floor, behind the driver (and passenger) seat"
- these are not factory D-rings but simply circular plates bolted to the frame.
 
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