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Old 06-13-2022, 04:20 PM   #1
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Bus Seat Upgrade

I took out the brown lump of a drivers seat and managed to build a mount to install the seat and back from a Herman Miller Aeron Chair.

It is not just comfortable, but it breaths!

IT WAS NOT AN EASY MOUNT!

There are mesh office chais that are not only are less expensive, but have much easier mounting configurations. And I was about to do one from Staple’s, when I found an Aeron chair for cheap that was broken in a part of the chair that I was not going to use.

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Old 06-13-2022, 04:25 PM   #2
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Here are some pictures from the build.
Attached Thumbnails
469DAE1F-B585-40BB-82F8-E4C9F840DEC3.jpg   C6867B06-4610-4BF6-A80B-6CFC2FAA98DA.jpg   146E2774-DD41-443D-9619-4CE703A9F8E4.jpg   1863EA3C-6219-4EDE-9395-8E6DC08E3633.jpg  
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Old 06-13-2022, 04:25 PM   #3
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Sorry about the pictures being sideways.
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Old 06-13-2022, 07:41 PM   #4
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interesting seat.. thats gotta be cooler!
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Old 06-14-2022, 04:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
interesting seat.. thats gotta be cooler!
Yes! I plan to put a shearling over it in winter.

Sadly we did not find what was wrong with the AC.

It is not just the $, to fix, but the time and favors it is hemorrhaging.

My approach is to cool the occupants while driving instead of cooling the entire space while driving. It is what most all auto companies are doing to reduce their carbon footprint.

I am going to be careful about removing the components if you want them. I know that you are a champion for the oe systems, and I appreciate that!

But somewhere in the system is a hidden problem.

If I can convert the compressor brackets to alternator ones, I will.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:46 AM   #6
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Yes! I plan to put a shearling over it in winter.

Sadly we did not find what was wrong with the AC.

It is not just the $, to fix, but the time and favors it is hemorrhaging.

My approach is to cool the occupants while driving instead of cooling the entire space while driving. It is what most all auto companies are doing to reduce their carbon footprint.

I am going to be careful about removing the components if you want them. I know that you are a champion for the oe systems, and I appreciate that!

But somewhere in the system is a hidden problem.

If I can convert the compressor brackets to alternator ones, I will.



yeah my new hybrid Hyundai elantra backs my A/C down when I open the sunroof Grrr!! Apparently there is a computer setting I can hack to fix that but yeah carbon footprint stuff..



the OE systems can be tricky to work on if you arent familiar with them.. and theres also the hack-factor which is that of schools , churches, other owners simply hacking a system to get it to sort of work.. so by time you get it things are Buggered up!
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Old 06-14-2022, 09:23 AM   #7
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Do you plan on driving from the new chair? Have you given any thought to what would happen to that office chair in an accident? Seems a bit sketchy, imo... Just thinking safety.
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Old 06-14-2022, 10:51 AM   #8
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Do you plan on driving from the new chair? Have you given any thought to what would happen to that office chair in an accident? Seems a bit sketchy, imo... Just thinking safety.
Absolutely!

Yeah. It only has a lap belt, so it is not but so safe to begin with. The seat frame is super heavy. It is not a flimsy or brittle plastic frame. The leverage put on the mounting points requires lots of integrity, and the highly leveraged part is not in shear in a front, rear or side collision.

I do chairs for a living, and hot rods for fun, I am super comfortable with the level of safety, especially compared to the weak link of the lap belt.
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Old 06-15-2022, 06:18 AM   #9
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Yeah if it only has a lap belt then you can only be so "safe". They have options for driving from your wheelchair but I won't do any of them since there's no upper back or head support in the event of an accident. But if your rebuilding hot rods you could probably mount a third point to get a proper seat belt???
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Old 06-15-2022, 08:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TMartineau View Post
Yeah if it only has a lap belt then you can only be so "safe". They have options for driving from your wheelchair but I won't do any of them since there's no upper back or head support in the event of an accident. But if your rebuilding hot rods you could probably mount a third point to get a proper seat belt???
Oh yeah! Making the 3 point mount will not be hard.

I am a fabricator by trade.

I do wonder though…. Is the bus too big to activate the inertia switch in the belt?

Sudden movements activate the lockup mechanism in the seatbelt; with the bus being sooooo big and heavy, thus slow to respond, I wonder if it will be effective. If not… then a hard mount like the lap belt is better.

I appreciate your questions. I am very interested in safety!

And I do need to be kept in check. I do have a lot of experience, but I can not think of everything.
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Old 06-15-2022, 08:51 AM   #11
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Yeah if it only has a lap belt then you can only be so "safe". They have options for driving from your wheelchair but I won't do any of them since there's no upper back or head support in the event of an accident.
A wheelchair place can add that support to your, or a specific chair for driving. When you lock the chair down to the floor, it will become part of the bus, and as good as any bus seat.

It would not be hard for someone to make this stuff for you, but the problem is liability. There is toooooo much risk of being sued by your family, a lawyer, or the insurance company, that it makes it really dangerous for those of us who can, and like to help people. It is a huge flaw in our legal system that really inhibits helping people.

End of rant. Sorry.
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Old 06-15-2022, 12:28 PM   #12
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Problems I see

In the event of collision, head on or heavy rear end. There is no head support in terms of mitigating whiplash.

A 10 g collision is pretty easy to do. So let’s say you weigh 250 lbs. roughly half is upper torso. A little less. So call that 100 lbs. Will the back of the chair support 1,000 lbs?

All the modern vehicle seats, made after 1975, I have been in to, are built in such a way as to progressively collapse. The couple of metal office chairs I have cut up and modified are made of cast aluminum, zinc alloy of some sort. Well there was one exception of a carbon fiber chair, and that one cost as much as my last new car…. Anyways, I don’t think the castings will fail in a smooth progressive fashion. It will be more like there one moment and gone the next. When that casting does fail, sharp, irregular surfaces are exposed.

Looks cool and I am sure it will be comfortable. This your bus, and this won’t affect me directly. So, go for it.

I am real about this- if you are satisfied with this, so am I. I hope I am not coming across as condescending. I have trouble with that.

Road stress and vibration are not going to be your friends. Keep watch for cracking around bolt holes and stress risers.

I really do dig the look.

William
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Old 06-15-2022, 02:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChurchBuz View Post


I do wonder though…. Is the bus too big to activate the inertia switch in the belt?

Sudden movements activate the lockup mechanism in the seatbelt; with the bus being sooooo big and heavy, thus slow to respond, I wonder if it will be effective. If not… then a hard mount like the lap belt is better.
My thought is an accident wont be slow and smooth. 10 g's is a lot, I use to work on F-15s. If our jet hit 10 g's it'd be in the scrap yard next week.

I like to get out of my wheelchair any time I get. That includes driving. No wheelchair was designed to be in a vehicle crash. Ive had aluminum frames and carbon fiber frames. if you drop an alum frame just a foot or more it can twist or bend the frame. Driving from a wheelchair is a death trap.

I just see all that plastic as failure points. But like the last guy said its your bus and I wont be in the seat if it fails. just a word of caution. Not to mention would an insurance company insure the bus with an office chair as a drivers seat...

Good luck.
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Old 06-15-2022, 03:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
In the event of collision, head on or heavy rear end. There is no head support in terms of mitigating whiplash.

I am real about this- if you are satisfied with this, so am I. I hope I am not coming across as condescending. I have trouble with that.

Road stress… risers.

I really do dig the look.

William

I am not not put off or offended. Thank you for your feedback. And I do appreciate your courtesy as much as I appreciate your feedback. Life is hard enough, it is nice to get along.

All that you have said sounds right.

The bus seat had no head restraint, nor even shoulder support. It may have only failed slowly at 1000 lbs, but the driver would have folded over it backwards mid shoulder blade.

Yes, castings are more brittle than extrusions, but I find in my experience that they bend a lot before breaking.

That said; it might be worth considering mounting the head restraint to the side of the bus. Might also be worth dropping a brace to reinforce the back.

Thank you for your words, concern, and courtesy! Much appreciated.
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Old 06-15-2022, 03:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TMartineau View Post

I like to get out of my wheelchair any time I get. That includes driving. No wheelchair was designed to be in a vehicle crash. Ive had aluminum frames and carbon fiber frames. if you drop an alum frame just a foot or more it can twist or bend the frame. Driving from a wheelchair is a death trap.

I just see all that plastic as failure points. But like the last guy said its your bus and I wont be in the seat if it fails. just a word of caution. Not to mention would an insurance company insure the bus with an office chair as a drivers seat...

Good luck.
My godfather was a quadriplegic who drove bolted down in his wheelchair. It may have been a death trap, but he sure drove it.

It was his most recent van, a Toyo Sienna that his chair locked down into. I believe that was the only recent van that was that way. But the chair was a power assist (he had use of his arms, but not fingers) and the chair was certainly nice but just had a bracket bolted to the bottom.


.
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Old 06-15-2022, 04:08 PM   #16
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Looking at the mount, there is plenty of room to run a significant steel brace (from the bottom, between the bottom of the mount and the seat sliders) to support the back and mount a headrest. One that would put a regular car seat to shame (if desired). And I will.

Not only will there be an op for that improvement, but the mount can be improved for the better as well.

I do like being helped with questions and concerns; and I like being challenged to make improvements.

I don’t always like how people make their points, but that is for me and God to wrestle with.

Thank you all for your engagement, you are helping!
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Old 06-17-2022, 04:14 PM   #17
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Went to the pick and pay junkyard and got matching headrests from a Saturn Ion (at some point I will make a passenger seat). The style fits the Aeron theme nicely, I think.

Got also a stick of 1.25 OD .085” wall tube to bend and mount between the seat sliders and the seat. Meanwhile connecting to the back reinforcements, reinforcing them, and going up to the top of the back for support, with sockets for the headrest.

Got to unbolt the seat pedestal and bring it into the shop. May get to it right away, or if I need to mow my grass first, I might have to wait a bit. But it is on the list.

The seats that the rests came out of were not impressive inside. The sockets were 0.02thin and the tube that they were spot welded to were also thin walled and crushed flat so that they would bend more easily instead of being more resistant.

Sure, it would have been cheaper and easier to buy a seat, but it would not have breathed nearly enough.

I am going to foam wrap all the metal parts and vent a small AC (and heat) through them. The foam will insulate the metal from condensation.

Will post more pics when I get moving
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Old 06-18-2022, 05:27 PM   #18
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A thought:
The strength and restraint in car and pickup seats does not come from the seat. The seat belts are what restrain the driver or passenger. They are attached to the floor, and B pillar. I had a 1984 Mercury Capri RS that experienced failure in the floor under the driver's seat (it cracked no rust). I purchased a wrecking yard seat for my 93 F250 and found the lower seat frame to be ruined from fatigue. The seat frame was made from sheet metal. I bought some seats from a cross-country bus that are another story. The seat belts are attached to the seat frame which is made of good solid steel. I put some 60's vintage cross-country Crown bus seats in the "old Crown" also made with good steel with attached seat belts.
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Old 06-18-2022, 06:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ChurchBuz View Post
Oh yeah! Making the 3 point mount will not be hard.

I am a fabricator by trade.

I do wonder though…. Is the bus too big to activate the inertia switch in the belt?

Sudden movements activate the lockup mechanism in the seatbelt; with the bus being sooooo big and heavy, thus slow to respond, I wonder if it will be effective. If not… then a hard mount like the lap belt is better.

I appreciate your questions. I am very interested in safety!

And I do need to be kept in check. I do have a lot of experience, but I can not think of everything.
The inertia switch will activate in a class 8 semi so it is likely that it will do the same in a bus and be a pain in the hennie.
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Old 06-18-2022, 09:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChurchBuz View Post
I took out the brown lump of a drivers seat and managed to build a mount to install the seat and back from a Herman Miller Aeron Chair.

It is not just comfortable, but it breaths!

IT WAS NOT AN EASY MOUNT!

There are mesh office chais that are not only are less expensive, but have much easier mounting configurations. And I was about to do one from Staple’s, when I found an Aeron chair for cheap that was broken in a part of the chair that I was not going to use.
Nice...looks comfy
I used the drivers seat out of a 06 Chevy Avalanche.
Seat belt comes outa the left shoulder side of the seat,very comfy...
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