fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

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fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

Post by jimbib123 on Mon May 03, 2010 8:49 pm

Hi Guys

Newbie here!

I'm looking at buying myself a hijet so i can get to the coast for surfs more often. My dilemma is that I want to be able to sleep in the back sometimes but when i'm just going for the day i'd like to be able to take more than one mate.

Does anyone know how you'd go about fitting a folding bench seat in the back of a panel van or if you could remove the seats from the MPV version and put one in there (maybe on rails)? i'm thinking if i could get a folding seat that i could make a platform with a piano kinda hinge bit that could fold down over them when they weren't in use in order to make a sleeping platform....any view/ideas welcome! also anyone know how that would affect the insurance/legality of the van?

Cheers
James

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fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

Post by rich the mechanic on Mon May 03, 2010 9:58 pm

Hi welcome, if you are looking to buy you may be better off getting the MPV or ex-mobility one like SkippyGLI has and blacking the windows out as if you add extra seats to a van you will have to get it certified or checked at a ministry centre not sure on the details for change of use and I dont think the vans have the reinforced mounting bolt holes where as if you have the seats to start with and take them out and/or put them back its a different kettle of fish, we have gone this way so we have three seats for going to events with the stall and stock or like today when we had all 6 in to take the lad and his mates to town. Hope you get a jet and join us regularly. Very Happy
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Re: fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

Post by jimbib123 on Mon May 03, 2010 10:11 pm

Cheers for the reply Rich!

how long does it take you to put in/take out a seat? i know some of the old hijets had bench style seats at very back, so would be useful if i was able to move them forward...Only thing is finding an mpv that been LPG converted, don't seem to be too many around (unlike the panel vans) and as a student petrol cost is pretty high on my list to keep the cost down on! also do the seats you've got in your hijet fold flat either way?

thanks again!

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fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

Post by rich the mechanic on Mon May 03, 2010 10:20 pm

Hi we have the standard arangement in our MPV and no the seats don't fold flat I think it took me about an hour to put the back bench seat in and the other middle row seat in but also had to find all the bits and fit the rear most seatbelts as haven't used them in months but if I changed the bolts to hex heads instead of the torx as standard and had the bits ready to go I recon about 15 mins should do it. I can't remember who did it but there was a mention of someone fitting the bench further forward so it folds flat against the very front seats.
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Re: fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

Post by jimbib123 on Mon May 03, 2010 10:32 pm

would it be possible to bolt the bench seat in where the two middle seats usually go, or are the bolts at different widths? When you said it folds flat do you mean it fold in on itself like a normal car seat does? if so that would be great news! getting quite excited for this project! Very Happy

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fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

Post by rich the mechanic on Tue May 04, 2010 7:40 am

the bench seat folds flat as in the back goes flat on top of the base but also the base then folds forward so the whole lot is flat upright behind the seats in front and no of course the bolt holes don't match also the base clips into two rings welded to the floor.
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Re: fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

Post by large519 on Wed May 05, 2010 9:13 pm

Hi jimbib123, I moved the bench seat forward, as when I bought it the middle seats were missing, and the bench was all the way in the back. With fitting it, as the holes didnt line up I bolted a metal plate to the original holes for the 2 middle seats, then offset 4 further holes to bolt the bench onto, then welded 2 new loops for the back legs to latch onto. Handy as I could now use the 2 original loops for tie downs. Even with the seats up, it still leaves a nice sized boot space. If you look in the pics category, at 'my bad ass hijet', I've posted some pics of what I've done to get an idea.
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Re: fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

Post by jimbib123 on Thu May 06, 2010 11:19 am

hmm think i'll have to get my grandad down! i've got absolutely no welding experience! Having done it yourself is the insurance still valid? and what sort of metal plates did you use?

Cheers mate

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Re: fitting a bench seat in a Hijet

Post by large519 on Sat May 08, 2010 12:48 pm

used 10mm mild steel plates, as under the carper the floor pan is ridged, also to level the seat out. dont know about the ins haven't mentioned it!! by the look of the welding on the original loops, the new ones look better anyway!!! Have you purchased a jet yet or still looking, mine will be up for sale in the next couple of months, keep an eye out for it on ebay, mot due next week, hopefully she'll sail straight through she's a great little motor but i'm requiring something abit bigger.
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