Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

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Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » December 2nd 2020, 9:51am

Hi All,

I've just designed a passenger-side swivel base specifically for the Astro/Safari using the unit bearing design that so many on this (and other) forums have used:

Mod1.JPG


Mod2.jpg



These will be laser cut and CNC bent out of 3/16 steel. The swivel assembly rides on a (brand new) unit bearing from a small SUV and the locking mechanism (not pictured) will be stout and easy to use using a brake rotor and a spring-loaded 1/2" metal pin to lock in both the rear and forward position.

Importantly -- I've designed this to be the exact same height and pitch as the OEM seat pedestal. I can provide seat rails upon request -- but it will be just as easy to repurpose the ones from your existing seat.

I am aiming for $345 + shipping with a minimum group buy of 10 units. I get very good shipping rates -- but I am also located in Portland, OR and local pick-up is always an option!!

I realize this isn't cheap and it isn't for everyone -- but laser cutting nor CNC bending are cheap either, especially in smaller quantities, but I am still shopping around.

I believe this will be far superior to anything available on the market and will look great in your Astro/Safari for years to come.

PM me or put a message here if you are interested.
Last edited by WinnieVan on December 3rd 2020, 4:48am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby SportsBoy » December 2nd 2020, 3:01pm

Very cool Winnie - I'm not in the market at that price, but glad to see you making cool stuff for these vans!

How does this compare in price and design to the johny5 guy who makes these on the expedition portal forum?
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby AstroOafAdventurer » December 2nd 2020, 3:47pm

Is the overall height the same as the factory seat bracket?
I'm liking it and may be down for getting in on it.
See how things go with forum interest and an actual ETA at some point, my financial status and interest vary greatly lol.

To SportsBoy, I think Johnny5 was in Canada, and if so shipping should be quite a bit less. Still not a cheap ship though I'm sure.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » December 2nd 2020, 7:27pm

I actually have a Johny5 swivel in my van right now and it was just under $400 USD delivered — so despite all the feedback I’ve gotten in other places (not this forum) for the price being too high... I think the price is close to where it ought to be to make it worth building.

I recognize this price ain’t for everyone — but if you’ve ever built a swivel, the amount of work to do it well isn’t trivial and requires more than you standard fare tools.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » December 2nd 2020, 7:28pm

AstroOafAdventurer wrote:Is the overall height the same as the factory seat bracket?
I'm liking it and may be down for getting in on it.
See how things go with forum interest and an actual ETA at some point, my financial status and interest vary greatly lol.

To SportsBoy, I think Johnny5 was in Canada, and if so shipping should be quite a bit less. Still not a cheap ship though I'm sure.


Seat will be exact same height and pitch as the OEM unit.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby SportsBoy » December 3rd 2020, 3:38am

WinnieVan wrote:I actually have a Johny5 swivel in my van right now and it was just under $400 USD delivered — so despite all the feedback I’ve gotten in other places (not this forum) for the price being too high... I think the price is close to where it ought to be to make it worth building.

I recognize this price ain’t for everyone — but if you’ve ever built a swivel, the amount of work to do it well isn’t trivial and requires more than you standard fare tools.

Cool, I had no idea his were that pricey whew $$$
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby AstroOafAdventurer » December 3rd 2020, 3:47am

Pricey for sure, but solid and well built. I'd plunk my money down on this over a cheap swivel plate make it work thinga majigger.
I would say count me in but not sure how I'll be doing money wise when it comes time to pony up, plus I've been contemplating just removing the passenger seat for the extra space.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby AstroWill » December 3rd 2020, 4:08am

Freaking awesome! :rockon:
I have been thinking about getting something like this together for some time now. But it appeared that $250 would have been the sweet spot and trying to hit that would require a larger outlay then I am willing to accept. It's a whole lot cheaper per piece to make 1000 of them, but are there 1,000 Astro owners that are out there willing to purchase them? Even at $350 +shipping, they will sell.

Glad to see that we will have another option to put a swivel seat in our vans!

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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » December 3rd 2020, 4:37am

Stole the words right out of my mouth Will. $250 was my target as well -- but it just isn't feasible in numbers under about 100 or more -- and there are still some parts of this assembly that are going to take some serious tooling, machinery and (most importantly) time to finish!!

Appreciate the interest -- I really do hope to get the price down -- but I don't think it's going to happen unless (legitimately) hundreds of people want them.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » December 5th 2020, 6:19am

Well I got enough interest here and on the FacePage to continue development... I'll start the process of dialing in a prototype and then I'll do a production run based on that.

Stay tuned everyone... I'll post some photos of the upgraded design.

I'll also be making these for Express/Savanna vans once I can get to the JY and grab a seat base and the floor bolt pattern -- seems that market is incredibly underserved and modifying the design should be quite easy from here.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » December 5th 2020, 6:44am

:text-worthless:

Besides streamlining a ton -- I changed out the unit bearing for a RWD unit that is sealed and doesn't rely on the splined CV or axle nut to operate! I remember once someone rolled an Astro around without CV axles and the hub just fell apart -- will this happen in a swivel seat? Probably not -- but since I'm starting from scratch, I don't want to leave any possibility of the hub developing play over time. This one is similar to the RWD Astro hub that doesn't rely on splined CV or the nut to operate -- so it should be good. Necessary? Probably not but it was an easy fix and gives me peace of mind.

v2-design.JPG



- Developed a locking mechism -- will rely on a 1/2" pin a spring loaded lever to pull it in and out of the base. I'll machine these parts on the mill/lathe and they will bolt directly to the mechanism -- I'm going for bolt-on so I can take advantage too-cheap-not-to-do-it powder coating at the same place that'll CNC bend these parts. Unfortunately -- after weldment these prices skyrocket -- so I'm trying to make everything modular so I can minimize cost.

v2-lock1.JPG

v2-lock2.jpg
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby AstroOafAdventurer » December 5th 2020, 1:59pm

Nice, good update! No idea about the hub, but sounds good lol

One thing I'm wondering though, other brackets I've looked at indicate for factory or aftermarket seats, I have a conversion van with non-factory seats, will these fit? No idea what, nor have ever really looked to see, the differences.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby copperhead » December 5th 2020, 3:51pm

I have an interest, especially due to the fact it retains the factory seat height. But like others it would be cost prohibitive for me right now. It's nice to see other options though, regardless of price points. I notice most(all?) of these mention an offset, which I assume is needed to allow the seat pivot freely. Is that the case in yours as well?
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby SportsBoy » December 5th 2020, 4:00pm

WinnieVan wrote:Well I got enough interest here and on the FacePage to continue development... I'll start the process of dialing in a prototype and then I'll do a production run based on that.

Stay tuned everyone... I'll post some photos of the upgraded design.

I'll also be making these for Express/Savanna vans once I can get to the JY and grab a seat base and the floor bolt pattern -- seems that market is incredibly underserved and modifying the design should be quite easy from here.

Awesome, glad you're moving forward with it!
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » December 5th 2020, 7:39pm

copperhead wrote:I have an interest, especially due to the fact it retains the factory seat height. But like others it would be cost prohibitive for me right now. It's nice to see other options though, regardless of price points. I notice most(all?) of these mention an offset, which I assume is needed to allow the seat pivot freely. Is that the case in yours as well?


Currently there is no offset -- it's actually a balance between the doghouse and the passenger door to make sure it can pivot freely.

I'll do some testing once I get to my van in a couple days to determine the best placement for the unit bearing.

Goal is to make sure it can swivel without opening the passenger door. I know on my current swivel -- you need to move the seat all the way back on the rails to start spinning it -- and then pushing it all the way "forward" to finish the swivel.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » December 5th 2020, 7:50pm

AstroOafAdventurer wrote:Nice, good update! No idea about the hub, but sounds good lol

One thing I'm wondering though, other brackets I've looked at indicate for factory or aftermarket seats, I have a conversion van with non-factory seats, will these fit? No idea what, nor have ever really looked to see, the differences.


The difference between OEM and conversion seats is usually the mounting pattern on the bottom of the the seats themselves. Do you have factory OEM seat bases in your vehicle? I imagine if you do -- then the conversion company already built some sort of bracket to attach your seat to the OEM mounting points and the curved Astro sliders.

My swivel is built to mount the OEM seat rails to -- which were obviously designed to mount directly to the OEM seat -- so if you're current setup uses OEM/bases at least OEM rails -- then this swivel will be a bolt-on provided the height of the mount is the same. The seat rails are curved on the Astro -- so if your conversion seat uses flat rails -- there really isn't a way to incorporate that -- unless we use spacers -- which we could do but may affect the ride height of the seat.

Image

If they've replaced the OEM mount with something completely aftermarket -- then it less clear if this will work without basically designing a whole new design.

In fact, I'll send you a PM since I'm interested in how builders have decided to do this on conversion vans.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby AstroWill » December 8th 2020, 4:58am

Yes, the RV/aftermarket seat mounting is pretty standard. I could measure the mounting for my Tigers, but they are all aftermarket seats with a different pattern than the OEM seats. I know they matched the other aftermarket seats that I replaced the originals with, again aftermarket(I think most are 8"x11" and mounted flat, lots include the bar for the seatbelt as well, 20-22"). Mine all have swivels on them, so I don't have the older OEM seat mounts to measure.
I will get whatever measurements for them that you want/need, just let me know. The bonus is that the bottom of the mount/plate will be the same, the only thing that would change for aftermarket seats would be the top plate.

If you could make the base plates adaptable to something like https://amzn.to/3opNBoK then you could avoid designing a different top plate for aftermarket seats. They could buy the bottom plate from you, slap that on there, and bolt it to their aftermarket seat.

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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby MI_Ghost » December 8th 2020, 6:06am

AstroWill wrote:If you could make the base plates adaptable to something like https://amzn.to/3opNBoK then you could avoid designing a different top plate for aftermarket seats. They could buy the bottom plate from you, slap that on there, and bolt it to their aftermarket seat.


With those being available in 3", 5.5", 7" &10" heights. It would give flexible seat height also.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby WinnieVan [OP] » December 10th 2020, 8:49pm

We're getting closer -- found a local laser cutter who isn't raking me over the coals...

Just need to figure out how much offset to put into the swivel and we're off to prototype land.
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Re: Passenger Swivel Bases for Sale

Postby AstroOafAdventurer » December 10th 2020, 9:08pm

FYI, my seat brackets look to be factory, and don't appear to have adapters.
One thing I'm curious about, is there a way to make the seat slide further forward? My plans for having it rotate is to then tilt back and have almost a recliner, but I think I saw in another thread somewhere you couldn't recline the back very much.
PS, click the pic and it's upright, and I'm curious what the rest of that sold by tag says...
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