Transit Passenger vans have removable seats. Using the right tools, you can strip your Ford Transit in less than two hours. The free-standing, double, and triple seats conjoined at the base each need to be removed in a different way. You should get help to carry the double seats as they are heavy.
Ford Transits are incredibly versatile vans. They come with enough room for passengers, cargo, or a mix of both. The spacious interior makes it a popular choice among van life enthusiasts.
If you have a Ford Transit van with three, four, or five rows of seats, you can have moments when you crave more space to store your camping or hiking equipment.
The seats of the Ford Transit Passenger Van are removable. You only require a few tools, creativity, and this guide to reduce the number or remove all back seats on your vehicle.
Tools You Require to Remove Seats from Your Ford Transit Passenger Van
You need an assorted range of tools to complete the seat removal. Here is a list of equipment you should have,
- Socket Ratchet
- Torx Bit Set
- Socket Wrench Extension Bar
- Zip Ties
- Binder Clips
You will also require someone to help you lift and carry the heavy seats.
1. Different Seats Need Different Steps to Remove
The seating configuration on your Ford Transit is essential in determining the steps required to remove the seats.
Some seats are free-standing, while others are double and triple seats conjoined at the base.
For the 15-passenger configuration, the first row seats sit independently. The second-row seats are all conjoined at the base, forming a triple seat. The third and fourth rows have one single seat and one double seat each.
The seats at the ends of the fifth row are free-standing, with the middle rear seats being twin seats. They all have different bolting and latch mechanisms that hold them to the van’s floor. As such, each group set may require a separate procedure to remove them.
Removing the Ford Transit Passenger Van Seats
You have the luxury to pick out the order in which you remove the seats. However, it is advisable to start from the rear, working your way to the front of the van.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for each group set in a 15-seater Ford Transit Passenger van. You can replicate the same strategies on Transits with fewer seat capacities.
Removing the Rear Double Seats
The first seat to get off your van should be the double at the rear. These are the two middle seats on the fifth row.
- Open your rear doors to get a full view of the back seats.
- Locate the quick-release straps at the base of the seat.
- Grab both straps and pull them towards you at a 45° angle. The levers hooking the seats at the back will detach.
- Use your body weight to push the upper back of the seats. Push forward until the two rear-seat bases come off their mounting slots. As a cojoined set, both seats move in tandem.
- With the upper side tipped forward, grab the sides of the double seat and shuffle it back until the front latches disengage from the mounting slots.
- Lift the unlatched seat out of the rail and take it out of the van.
The quick-release straps may be missing for previously owned vans used for commercial purposes. You can improvise using the zip tie cords. Lock two zip ties into a tight fit.
Push the cords under the rear mounting holes to hook the silver and red levels. The zip ties will then act similar to the quick-release straps. You can then continue from step 3.
Caution: Ford transit double seats are heavy. The manufacturer estimates that the two seats weigh approximately 125 pounds.
You should not attempt to lift or carry the seat alone. Get an extra pair of hands to help you out.
Removing the Twin Seats at Fourth and Third Row
Once the rear double is out, you can proceed to remove the other twin seats in your 15-Passenger Ford Transit. These seats feature the exact lever locking mechanism. However, you may not have the quick-release straps.
The latches often have a plastic cover, preventing other passengers from releasing the seat from its slot when the car is in motion.
- Remove the plastic covering with a screwdriver to access the quick-release levers for the fourth row double seats.
- Tie two zip cords into a circular shape. ( If you hadn’t while removing the rear double)
- Push the zips cords into the mounting space to hook the quick release levers. Next, you can use the pliers to pull the red tab to give you enough space to slide the zip tie in.
- Grab the two zip ties and pull them towards you to unlock the levers at the back.
- Use your shoulder weight to push the twin seat forward, shuffle it to disengage the front latches from their slots. Then, lift the seat and take it out.
In some 10-seat or 12-seat configurations, the double seat may be bolted to the wall. You need to pop out the plastic covering on the side of the seat to expose the Torx bolt. Next, use a T-55 Torx bit socket wrench to get the bolt out.
You can repeat the same procedure for the double seat on the third row. Your van now remains with two independent seats at the rear, one each on the third and fourth row, as well as the triple second-row seats.
Removing Triple Second Row Seats
For the standard 12 and 15 seat configurations, all three seats on the second row are connected. You need to get a little creative because you have to trip three (not two) levers simultaneously to pull the seat out. Here’s one way you can do it.
- Pull out the plastic coverings on the base of the seats to expose the levers.
- Use the pliers to pull the red pull tab behind the lever on the extreme right and stick the screwdriver behind the lock. The screwdriver prevents the quick release lever from sliding back to its slot.
- Use the zip ties to pull the remaining two levers from the mounting slot.
- Use your body weight to push the seat forward, pull it back to disengage the front levers, and pull it out. Again, you may need someone to help you move and lift the seat from the rails.
- Take the seat out of the van through the sliding door. It is much easier than getting it out through the rear doors.
Caution: The triple second-row seats are the heaviest in the van. The manufacturer’s estimate is approximately 167 pounds. You need an extra pair of hands to help you lift and carry the heavy load outside.
Time to work on the four single back seats remaining in your 15-seat Passenger van.
Removing Single Seats in Row 3, 4, and 5
The Ford Transit Passenger Van has all free-standing back seats bolted to the floor. Unfortunately, the seats lack the quick-release mechanism, thus more cumbersome to remove. You need to get your Torx set and extension bar out to unfasten two or three bolts from each seat.
Removing the Rear Free-Standing Seats
The single seats at either side of the fifth row have three bolts that secure them to the van’s frame. One bolt is at the seat’s base, running to the floor of the van.
The second is behind the seat, one foot from the floor, within the plastic enclosure housing the seatbelt. It’s mounted on the wall. The third is mounted at the top, near the shoulder harness assembly.
You need to locate all three bolts to get the seats out. The following are necessary steps to guide you.
- Locate the bolt at the base of the seat. Use the T-55 Torx bit to get the bolt out.
- Remove the plastic covering at the back of the seat covering the seatbelt retractor assembly. Be gentle to avoid breaking the side tabs on the inside.
- Use the T-55 Torx bit to get the bolt out. The bolt might be tighter than you expect. You can use a wrench extension bar to help you remove the bolt.
- Use the screwdriver for popping out the little plastic covering at the top of the seatbelt shoulder assembly. Then, use the T-50 Torx bit to bolt out.
- Place the whole seatbelt assembly on the seat. Use your body weight to tilt the seat forward disengage the front levers before pulling backward
- Lift the seat of the mounting slots and out of the van.
- Repeat steps one to six to remove the other free-standing seats at the back of the van.
You need to be wary of the seatbelt retracting too much and getting stuck. Prevent this by using binder clips or zip ties to hold the webbing at a position you are comfortable with.
Removing the Free Standing Seats on Third and Fourth Row
The single seats remaining have two bolts each. The free-standing seat on the third row has both bolts on the floor. The seat on the fourth row has one bolt at the base of the seat while the other is on the wall, right above the wheelhouse.
Start with the fourth-row seat before removing the one nearest to the sliding door.
- Remove the plastic covering at the base of the fourth-row seat. Use the T-55 Torx bit to remove the bolt.
- Use your hands to prod the side of the plastic covering on the wall behind the seat. Then, use the T-55 Torx bit to get the bolt out. You require the extension wrench for a better grip.
- Push the seat forward, detach the front latches and pull the seat out.
- Remove the plastic covering at the base of the third-row seat. Use the T-55 Torx bit to get the two bolts out.
- Use your weight to push the seat forward, wiggle it to detach the front latch, and lift the seat out.
Now all rear seats are out. In some models, you may find the bolt anchor points protrude slightly above the floor. Again, you can use a rug or carpet to even out the surface.
Removing the Front-Passenger’s Seat
Some van enthusiasts toy with the idea of removing the passenger seat to create more cargo space. While it is simple to carry out, you may have to contend with the risk of messing with seat and airbag sensors.
You need to turn off the airbag on the passenger’s side to avoid setting it off while driving. Find the keyhole to turn it off on the glove compartment. Verify that the entire airbag system isn’t shut off from the seat removal.
The front passenger seat has four bolts anchoring it to the van’s floor; two at the front and two at the back. You require a T-50 Torx bit, ratchet, an extension wrench, and a flashlight to remove the seat.
- Remove the plastic cover on the side of the seat belt bracket. Then, use the T-50 Torx bit and ratchet to detach the seat belt from the seat.
- Use the flashlight to locate the two front bolts. Use the T-50 Torx bit, ratchet, and extension wrench to remove the bolts.
- Slide the seat all the way forward.
- Use the T-50 Torx bit to remove the two rear bolts from the rail.
- Unplug the wiring harness from the back of the seat.
- Lift the seat and take it out.
Storing the Removed Seats
You require a lot of storage space to keep the newly-removed seats. As such, most van conversion enthusiasts prefer selling them online.
Keeping the seats gives you the freedom to pop them back whenever you wish to carry more passengers for your trips. You need cool, dry storage space away from direct sunlight.
You can rent a storage unit and design shelves tall enough to fit the seats. Then, if your garage is spacious enough, you can use it to keep your seats safe from dirt, mold, and rodents.
Here is a Step by Step Guide on Proper Storage of Your Van Seats
- Thoroughly Clean the Seats – You need to give your van seats a thorough cleaning before storage. It can be as simple as using a damp cloth to wipe off the dust from the seats of your Ford Transit Van.
Older seats may require deeper cleaning. Use a commercial vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters to get out as much dust as possible. Use wet clothing to wipe off the fabric before leaving the seats out to dry.
- Seal The Car Seats- You need to protect the seats from dust, dirt, and vermin. Cover each seat individually with a protective bag. A simple solution is to use plastic drapers to preserve the fabric. You require an airtight, water-tight seal to keep the seats fully protected.
- Store The Seats Away from Direct Sunlight – Exposing your seats to UV light can damage the fabric, causing it to fade and weaken. You can prevent the discoloration of your seats by storing them away from windows, doors, or any source of direct sunlight. This includes cracks in your garage walls or shed.
- Keep The Seats Above the Ground – Place the seats on a raised platform to keep out rodents and bugs. Then, you can place them on shelves, cabinets, or counters within a controlled environment.
Ford Transit Passenger Van Seating Configurations
2. Standard Layout
The standard version has 10, 12, or 15 seats for the standard version.
Of course, the driver and front-passenger seats are on the first row. These reclining bucket seats come with an adjustable armrest for both the driver and the passenger.
10-passenger seating configuration
You get three additional rows of seats.
The second row has two seats, while the third and fourth rows have three seats.
This configuration is standard with the Regular Length Ford Transit.
12-passenger seating layout
This has four rows of seats.
The first belongs to the driver and front passenger seats.
The second rowand third rows have three seats each. Finally, the fourth row has four seats. The configuration comes standard in the Long Length Ford Transit.
The15-passenger seating configuration
This contains four additional rows of seats.
The front row has two seats.
The second, third, and fourth rows have three seats each. The fifth has four rear seats.
This configuration as a standard layout in the Extended Length Passenger Van.
3. Customizable Layouts
You can also get unique configurations such as the 2, 5, 8, 14 seat.
The two-seater only has the driver and front passenger seats. You can request this layout with the Long Length Passenger van.
The 8-passenger seating configuration has two seats on the front row and three seats each for the second and third. The layout is optional for the Long Length model but unavailable for the low roof van.
The 14-passenger seating configuration is available in two optional layouts. The first design has two front-row seats. The second row has two; the third and fourth have three seats, while the fifth row has four seats. This layout is available for the Passenger van XL and XLT.
The second design has a similar seating configuration. However, it is available for the extended-length passenger van.
Ford Transit seats are removable. By following the guidelines above, you can have your customized seating arrangement within a short time.
The seats are relatively heavy, and you need help to carry them around. Remember to find a proper storage system for the seats to keep them in mint condition.