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Discussion Starter #1
I have been comparing the order guides (release date 11/17/2015) for the Cargo and Passenger Metrises today, trying to decide which way to go. Here are a few questions from my study so far:

1. In Cargo standard equipment, two items are listed that do not show up in the Passenger order guide at all:
ZB6 Parts kit for SKD process
Z90 Deletion of underfloor preservation
Does anyone know what these mean? Z90 sounds like not a good thing, and SKD I have no idea.

2. In Cargo guide optional equipment, items W16 & W17, fixed window left and right sliding doors, under notes it says "requires D50 or D51", which are versions of the cargo bulkhead.
Does anyone know why the bulkhead would be required when opting for a fixed window in the sliding doors?

3. Is it possible to get the 3-person seat mounted in the cargo van? This would require, at minimum, U63 (the seat itself) and UR1 (rear seat floor pockets with quick release).

Looking forward to all of your input.
 

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Hi,

I know about the 2nd row windows in the cargo van. I just ordered one within the last two weeks. Brand new from Mercedes is you are no longer required to order the bulkhead when getting the windows.

Before making your order, please get an updated order list from a dealer. The Mercedes USA site does not have an accurate build list online.

Leslie
 

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The cargo van is built and then partially disassembled for shipment to the US on separate boats to avoid the chicken tax (some 25%). The parts kit is for reassembly once it gets to Ladson, SC.

The passenger version is not subject to the chicken tax and thus leaves Spain fully assembled.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@LeslieB - Thanks for your info. It's good to know, and I couldn't see a reason why the bulkhead would be required.

@Greenmanedlion - Thank you also. I first heard about the chicken tax in this forum. Your explanation makes perfect sense (although the chicken tax makes no sense at all). I looked up chicken tax in Wikipedia and got an education. Just another instance of government sticking its nose in for some short-term gain, resulting in a long-term harm to many.

Is the "Z90 Deletion of underfloor preservation" also somehow related to the fact that the cargo vans get shipped partially disassembled?

Gotta love this forum!
 

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Actually, the chicken tax was mostly laid the way it was because of the success of VWs Transporter (a ancestral Metris competitor, in fact) and has mostly accomplished the goal of keeping foreign commercial vehicles out of our market, which is why the Econoline et al were 30 year old designs when the Sprinter came in.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I thank you all again for your thoughtful responses. I think 2 out of 3 questions from my original post have been answered. The third question remains....

3. Is it possible to get the 3-person seat mounted in the cargo van? This would require, at minimum, U63 (the seat itself) and UR1 (rear seat floor pockets with quick release).

I have repeated this question since RobbMeeX has returned. (welcome back - again, congratulations)
 

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3. Is it possible to get the 3-person seat mounted in the cargo van? This would require, at minimum, U63 (the seat itself) and UR1 (rear seat floor pockets with quick release).
That is correct. I'm not sure about the subfloor mounting for the rails although I would guess it'd be the same. Quick release is part of the seat frame.
 

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I've asked both our dealer and MBUSA about adding a seat to the rear of a cargo version and both answer that that is not available. I'm looking to some 3rd parties to do this.
 

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I am having the local Van Specialties add a folding bench seat with three seat belts. When folded down into the bed position, its is 44" deep and 60 " wide.(sits above the wheel wells) I will also have a platform bed in the back, that when added to the folding bench seat, will be a queen size bed. There will be a large open area for storage under the platform bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'd suspected that MBUSA would be averse to offering a means to installing a second seat in the cargo version, for liability reasons. Even though the seat belts would be in place, there would be no air bags behind the driver and passenger seats. I'm thinking it would be possible to get either a three-place or two-place stock seat from a Metris passenger owner who didn't want same. The tricky part would be acquiring the UR1 rear seat floor pockets. Possibly a bit of cutting and welding might be required.

I'm not interested in a heavy bed combo seat, but if anyone finds a source for a simple, removable rear seat for the cargo version, I would be very interested in that.
 

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Junkyard. Grab one out of a 15 passenger Chevy. (I'm pretty sure you'll get two intergrated belts for a 3 pax seat). Whatever home remedy you make for securing it will be as lame as any other in an actual crash.
 

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There should be lots of seating options on Van conversion supply stores. My set up will be bolt thru the floor, with easy to remove hardware, so the seating can be easily removed.
 

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Which is not reinforced to handle the force of, say, 30 mph and 5000 lbs of van (3 150 lb people and 300 lbs of cargo)

F=.5vm^2 where F is force, V is velocity, and M is mass.

30 mph = 44 feet per seconds

5000lbs of weight is 156.25 slugs (weight divided by gravitational constant

F= .5 * 44 * (156.25 * 156.25) = .5 * 44 * 24,414 = 22* 24,414 = 537,108 lbs

Or in English, your hook up will have to withstand 268.6 tons of force acting against unreinforced steel you could drill through and your hardware store bolts. Waste your money on new stuff if you like. And make sure you seat the people you actually like up front!
 

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If you have the optional cargo rails in the floor those are very similar to the Seat Tracks in a Boeing passenger airplane. Perhaps some surplus airline seats could be picked up cheap and mounted to those cargo rails. Look for some on eBay.
 

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School was some time ago so I could be off here but I think your numbers are way too high. I assume you realize, 260 tons of energy on the seat it doesn't matter who made the connection. What you have tried to calculate is the kinetic energy of the entire vehicle. I believe the correct formula for the kinetic energy of the van is E = 0.5 m * v^2. The velocity is squared not the mass.

To skip the deep math this site has a nice calculator:
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/carcr.html

Examining the bolts to the sheet metal floor as the point of failure. The bolts must stop the seat and everything attached to it (aka people); not the whole car. Assume 150 lbs seat and 150 lb people x 3 = 600 lbs of weight. The link has a space where you can enter in a weight of 600 lbs. The result is 9 tons. This makes since as the UK M1 Pull test standard is 7 tons.
http://bebb.co.uk/

Assuming 9 bolts on a 3 seater bench that is 1 ton per bolt. To look at the shear strength you would then need to know how the load would be distributed and get into the strength of the floor and bolts but 1 ton per bolt isn't crazy if reinforced. I would agree the seat should be reinforced and any good conversion shop will make reinforcement plates to distribute the load over a larger area of the floor.

I believe it is a larger issue that many camper van seats lack 3 point seatbelts, are not pull tested of any sort, and a cargo van will lack the airbags in the back. I wish we could get seats in the USA which under go the same safety scrutiny as the UK. Sadly, no one I can find will ship these pull tested seats to the US.
 

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Touche! :laugh: Can't disagree with that. People who do good work and are very safety conscious are tough to find.

Sadly, I feel like models like the Marco Polo VW California are not in the market place because there are too many safety standards they can't meet. So instead we have to do these aftermarket conversions which seem to have no standards.
 
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