Rear seat & window conversion
The standard Berlingo van is available in
'Estate car' form, called the Multispace, which has rear windows and seats, and
at least one sliding door.
The Electrique is only available in van form, with no rear seat or window option, but sometimes with a sliding door. However, the body is the same and is fairly easy to convert.
There are many 'Leisure Vehicle' companies who fit rear seats and windows to almost any van, and I used one of these to fit the side/front windows to mine.
I decided to fit the seats myself after I found a source from someone who converts the Multispace for wheelchair use, removing and discarding the rear seats in the process. However, if you are not experienced in metalwork engineering and welding, it might be advisable to let a conversion company do the work; especially as an engineers report may be required for your insurance company!
Of course, there is the problem of no rear side door on mine means folk have to clamber in from the passenger side (the driver's seat doesn't fold or tip). It's not difficult, but there is the seat frame in the way, so perhaps less agile passengers will have to ride in the front!
Although the side panel of the van looks as though it can be replaced with a single window, the inside bracing structure means the window has to be split (as you can see from the inside view below). I decided that initially I would only fit the front window, following on with the rear later if I felt it necessary.
This window will give the rear seat passengers adequate view, and make manoeuvring the van much easier, especially at 'Y' junctions where a rear quarter view would be useful.
(click on the picture to enlarge)
Removing the extra floor
The load bay of the Berlingo has an extention (approx 30cm deep, full width) behind the front seats, covering the ready carpeted footwell where the rear seats would be fitted. This may be different on later Berlingo vans.
This extention overlaps and is spot welded to the original load bay floor, so can be removed quite easily with the right tool (see pictures below, click on any picture to enlarge).
Fitting the seats
The hinges of the seats are bolted to the load bay floor as shown. These holes have to be drilled and mostly go into a box section. Note the large holes drilled under the hinges to access the nuts.
Another Electrique owner (Phil) decided to weld the seat hinges to the floor, as the box section does make it difficult to use bolts.
The rear of the seat bases incorporate a 'hook' system, and in the Multispace, two pockets would be present in the floor. As you can see from the pictures, I have cut holes where the pockets would be and welded in some I made from mild steel plate and 10mm rod. Note the 'spot welds' created by drilling 6mm holes in the top plate and mig-welding through to the cleaned floor section.
(see pictures below, click on any picture to enlarge).
Although I had the original seat brackets (for the top of the seat backs), they were designed for the later Berlingo and couldn't easily be modified, so I made new ones!
I used 10mm mild steel rod, the same as the original brackets, bent to shape and welded to some 2.5mm sheet steel.
Obviously, fitting the seatbelts must be done with proper regard to safety! All bolts should be high quality, and areas where the seatbelts are bolted to the bodywork must be reinforced either with very large, thick washers or some other metalwork.
The top and floor seatbelt fixings are made into 'blind spaces' with no access to fit nuts. I cut additional holes to feed 'home made' captive nuts (see pics) to get around the problem.
The seatbelt reel mechanism was bolted to the seat bracket as shown.
Another option for the seat belt reel is to hide it on the inside of the bodywork (just below where I mounted mine and on the other side of the panel) and cut a slot for the webbing. Also, it is possible to fix the lower seatbelt mounts to the side of the wheel arch, but that does mean dismantling the heater fuel filler pipe etc.
Thanks to Phil for the alternative ideas.
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