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Old 08-09-2021, 09:34 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 192
Year: 2002
Chassis: Ford e450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Necessary Steps Before Installing Passenger Seats

Hi there, I am wondering if anyone can help me. I am hoping to have a passenger seat installed in my bus in two weeks when I plan to make a trip with my bus. The seat will be for my four year old (so will need to hold a front facing car seat).

Wondering what steps I really should get through with the floor before installing a seat, or if push comes to shove, if I can jump over a few steps in order to install a seat and could then take it out when I return and continue with the build. Do not know too much about seat installment.

The plywood is still on the floor (and darn wheelchair tie downs). My plans are the usual: take up the plywood, treat rust, frame, insulate, subfloor...

Should I, do I need to, get through all the whole floor work before installing the seat?

It doesn't seem like much, but not sure how much time I'll have to work on the bus before the trip, and would really like us to take the bus for its first somewhat big 'outing'.

Thank you!

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Old 08-09-2021, 09:58 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Simplicity's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 779
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
So those tie down strips are called Q Straints used for strapping down wheelchairs and seatbelts. They are probably part of the solution than a problem. Research them and see how you could use them.

Do you still have any of the original buss seats? Reuse that hardware and floor holes.

Otherwise, an automobile seat with a built in seatbelt.

The bolt rating and under floor backing plate will be important. Research what grade bolts, probably 5 minimum, maybe an 8.

It's your child, do it right.
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Old 08-09-2021, 11:29 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,099
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
It depends on what kind of seat you have and how you install it. If you need to fabricate your own pedestal for it and weld it in place, then you need to treat the whole floor area there first. If you install something like a seat from a Ford Transit Van (like I did), then you can bolt the mounting brackets over the existing plywood now, and then later on down the road unbolt the brackets, remove the plywood and treat the steel floor, and then re-bolt the brackets.

This shows my brackets bolted in from the top.

This shows how I secured the bolts on the underside using long pieces of angle steel. You have to carefully consider where the cross-members on the underside of your steel floor are before drilling the bolt holes. It is possible to run the bolts through the center of the cross-members (many of the bolts for my original seats were like this) but the kind of mounting you have to do is more difficult.

FWIW my seats are horribly uncomfortable for adults - it's a double bench seat that is only 31" wide, so each passenger gets 15", and they don't recline at all. But a single seat for a young child would not be too bad, and there is a variant of transit van seat that is slightly wider and also reclines.
Rusty 87 build thread
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Old 08-13-2021, 09:22 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 192
Year: 2002
Chassis: Ford e450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Thank you for the thoughts.
Simplicity I have not yet found anything about using the Q Straints for securing a passenger seat. Do you know any more?
I do need to remove them to take up the plywood and have not seen a way of doing that without busting the Q Straints. I'm sure there is a way.
Unfortunately I don't have any of the original bus seats (besides the torn apart driver's seat).
Thanks for the tip on the bolt rating and under floor backing plate. Definitely want to do it right.

musigenesis that's good to know about a Ford Transit seat, that I could install, remove then reinstall. I would really like to have a seat that swivels. But first and foremost for the safety of the car seat it needs to be a seat with a three point belt.

And yes, those transit seat look made for people with snake shaped bodies.
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