Swivel Seats

swivel seats in van

Before deciding anything else, one thing was certain – the van was going to have swivel seats! Such an elegant way to optimize internal space. Without the swivels, the entire front area of the van cannot be used for chilling – unacceptable!

Swivel seats are actually just swivel adapters, and are very easy to install. Just unscrew the seat from its base, install the swivel adapter, and then install the seat on top of the adapter. The swivel mechanism then allows you to turn the seat around and to face the back of the van. Swivel adapters are van-specific, and we are really glad they were available for the Metris.

With the limited space in our small van, being able to turn the seats around has been transformational. It greatly expands our ‘living space’, allowing us to comfortably lounge, cook, and soak in the beauty of our pretty little cabin on wheels.

How to Install Swivel Seats

The installation process requires you to unplug the wiring underneath the seats. Before doing so, you should ensure that the battery is disconnected first – otherwise, the vehicle’s diagnostic system sets a fault code for a disconnected seat sensor, and you will have to get that fault code reset by a Mercedes dealer (some dealers may charge for this). While reinstalling the seat, be sure to reconnect the wiring before reconnecting the battery.

Tools Needed:

  • Socket wrench & 10 mm socket
  • E-12 socket (External Torx type socket)
  • 17 mm socket
  • 17 mm wrench
  • 10 mm allen key
  • Swivel seat bases (driver & passenger side are slightly different)


1. Remove the battery bracket with the 10 mm socket.

2. Slide the battery out, and remove the negative terminal using the 10 mm socket.

3. Disconnect the seat wiring harness (unclip the yellow and white connectors). The wiring harness is attached to the seat with several clips – you will have to cut the clips to completely free the harness from the seat.

4. Remove the seat from the frame by unscrewing the four E12 Torx screws. These will not be needed for reinstalling the seat on the swivel base (you will be using the screws provided with the swivel base).

5. Next, you will have to free up the wiring harness. The length of the harness can be an issue while installing these swivel bases, so it’s a good idea to free it up as much as possible at this stage. The wiring harness emerges from the battery compartment, and is attached to the seat frame in several locations. In order to free up the harness, you can remove the felt covering and cut those clips.

6. Place the swivel base on the seat frame. Route the wiring harness up from the battery compartment, through the gap in the center of the swivel base, down into the back of the seat frame. Next, pass it up through the center hole of the swivel base so that it can lie on top of the swivel base.

7. Since the swivel base and the seat frame are both metallic, and they tend to squeak while driving. To prevent this, you can apply a bit of grease or put some thin rubber strips between the base and the frame.

8. Install the swivel base on the seat frame using the countersunk screws provided with the swivel base (using a 10 mm allen key).

9. Install the seat on the swivel base with the 17 mm bolts and lock nuts provided. This can be a bit tricky to properly access the underneath of the base, you will have to rotate the swivel base to do that.

10. Reconnect the wiring harness to the seat. Ensure that the seat is able to rotate freely and slide front to back all the way, without stretching the harness. Attach the wiring harness to the seat frame using zip ties, so that it doesn’t get pinched while you are swiveling or sliding the seat.

11. Reconnect the negative terminal of the battery, and slide it back in.

12. Swivel the seat around, open a beer, and enjoy the view to the south!