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Removing 3rd Row Seats & Installing Cross Brace

Post number 10 has been selected as best answered.

2014 Sport - Removal of 3rd Row Seat Assembly - Does it compromise crash safety?

So as some might or might not know the 2013-14 Police interceptor has a very interesting support structure where the stock Explorer has a third row seat..

Its an X Member and its quite impressive and used to achieve the needed rear impact speeds Law Enforcement needs...

So after looking at the rear seat arrangement in my mew 2014 Sport - There is a considerable seat cross post that ties the left and right side of the vehicle together in the rear with the seat in the middle.

I am curious if removal of this seat could affect chassis rigidity or rear crash safety.

As a side not - it is not even recommended to remove the spare in vehicles these days as that also is part of the rear impact studies.

I really want to remove mine and to build a custom rear storage cabinet for all my equipment I carry. But it might need to incorporate a metal cross brace to replace the rigidity provided by the seat assembly.

HsLGXQ

See image link for rear X member diagram...

Anyone have any thoughts?
 



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So as some might or might not know the 2013-14 Police interceptor has a very interesting support structure where the stock Explorer has a third row seat..

Its an X Member and its quite impressive and used to achieve the needed rear impact speeds Law Enforcement needs...

So after looking at the rear seat arrangement in my mew 2014 Sport - There is a considerable seat cross post that ties the left and right side of the vehicle together in the rear with the seat in the middle.

I am curious if removal of this seat could affect chassis rigidity or rear crash safety.

As a side not - it is not even recommended to remove the spare in vehicles these days as that also is part of the rear impact studies.

I really want to remove mine and to build a custom rear storage cabinet for all my equipment I carry. But it might need to incorporate a metal cross brace to replace the rigidity provided by the seat assembly.

HsLGXQ

See image link for rear X member diagram...

Anyone have any thoughts?
As per my PM to you, I have moved your post to this thread in the 'Modified' forum.

Peter
 






Thanks - the concerns are considered in the thread above, but not answered.. so its still an open question on if the rear works as a strut / stiffener in the rear of the vehicle...
 






Maybe the X brace in the Interceptor Explorer could be purchased at the dealer and installed to add bracing versus the larger round tube designed for the seats?
 






So far I was unable to find an answer to this question, whether this bar serves other purpose besides holding up the rear seats. Police cars are usually reinforced since they need to be able to ram things and withstand being rammed so the presence of that massive X-bar in the Interceptor can be a whole different story. I also asked around and I can't find a way to source such a bar. Also, the bar can't be removed from the seats easily (at least not obvious to me) or I'd have had it powder coated black and I'd put it back.
 












I am not sure we will find this answer but I assume the overall redigity of the vehicle is technically affected in some way even if its small.

That said I will probably just make a bolt in replacement cross brace that will be recessed into the custom cargo box I will put in there. That way the support is not lost.

Looking over the manual it makes no mention of removal of the 3rd row seats and that makes me feel ford does not want you to do it. If that is the case I am sure there is a reason.

The X brace in the police vehicle is there to maintain the rear crash rating of 70-75mph and I assume a consequence is that it also stiffens the frame and in turn gives a better handling vehicle at higher speeds.

We build police and fire equipment daily - these mods are not crazy to me, but if there was a way to see the service manual for the vehicle it might make mention of both removal instructions and cautions .. if there are any.
 






Hey guys thanks to another member we were forwarded here to help as much as we can. The X-Brace from the interceptor is available to purchase here http://www.levittownfordsupercenter.com/oemparts.php?partstr=123/db5z7810780a.html

There is hardware shown as well which we can offer but we imagine generic Grade 8 hardware can do as well. We also noticed the rear most part of the bar attaches with studs that come up from the floor but these do not seem to have a part number for ordering.



Please let us know if you have any questions we will assist as much as possible

-Benny
 

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Its hard to tell, but I would think that it would attach to the same mounting points as the seat 'rod' and the front bracket (as seen in the photos on page 2)
 






Its hard to tell, but I would think that it would attach to the same mounting points as the seat 'rod' and the front bracket (as seen in the photos on page 2)

Yes, that's what I though too. These are the studs that hold the seat supports and they are permanently welded to the floor. I guess that's why there is no part number for them.

Benny, thanks a lot! I would be willing to try and order one and post my results. But what is your return policy? What if it doesn't fit a standard Explorer?

Ah, you're in Hicksville? I'm in Queens, I could actually stop by.

This is what I'm thinking:

16.jpg
 






Hello,

There would at least be a 15% re-stocking fee to send it back to Ford. This is out of our control. If you are willing to trial fit this and report back to the forum we will give you free shipping on it. Yes we are in Hicksville,NY :)

Please let me know

-Benny
 






I've sent Benny a PM and I will likely get the X-brace and post my results here - with pictures, of course :) So stay tuned if you're interested. It would solve the dilemma. Despite some uncertainty I was prepared to keep driving the car without the brace, but if this works, it would give me a peace of mind.

BTW, a small rant...

I won't even bother with the 2-door model, looks like that horse has been beaten to death on Ford enthusiasts forums and blogs...

It's really stupid that there is no Explorer model offered without the rear seats and with the set up like in the Interceptor: with a floor cover that lifts up for extra storage space. I really can't imagine how many people buy this vehicle to haul 6 people. In particular the Sport model. It's a fun car. A get-away-from-it-all kinda car where you load it with crap and disappear for the weekend. I'd pay extra for such model. I've been driving a minivan for the past 10 years and I really miss the nice, flat rear cargo area and removable seats. I have been looking at SUVs literally for several years now and this was the #1 reason why I was sticking to a minivan for so long. But I wanted more comfort, more tech, 4WD and more power. I can haul entire bicycles and crapload of gear in the van with seats removed.

Which makes me wonder if the other Interceptor parts are available as well so one could convert a standard Explorer's rear area nicely.
 






It's nice that you were able to find the brace. I was going down the same route by removing the third row seats. I had removed them and put everything back together. Then one day I decided to go on a trip with my daughter and her 2 cousins. When I ran into an issue, you can't fit three kids in the 2nd row while using the inflatable seats belts :(. I had to put the third row seats back in. The inflatable seat belts stick out too much to allow three people to sit in the 2nd row.
 






It's nice that you were able to find the brace. I was going down the same route by removing the third row seats. I had removed them and put everything back together. Then one day I decided to go on a trip with my daughter and her 2 cousins. When I ran into an issue, you can't fit three kids in the 2nd row while using the inflatable seats belts :(. I had to put the third row seats back in. The inflatable seat belts stick out too much to allow three people to sit in the 2nd row.

Ah, you're carrying kids around. It's just me and my wife. We rarely take along two friends. We definitely have no need for the third row. Even in my old minivan I removed the third row and never needed it even once.
 






Pretty sure the rear second row seats are perm and non adjustable in the Police unit. It would be interesting to see how and where the rear seats bolt.. I assume the same location but the front portion of the X bolts in that area..

Any other parts schematics that show different views...
 






@ adamdz.... Looking forward to your update. We bought our Explorer Sport with the intention of removing the third row seats and converting the cargo area into a built-in dog kennel (Setina partition, D&R window bars, Line-x coating on the floor and sides). Glad to know we may need to buy the cross brace. Hoping it works out for you.
 






I've just placed the order so it'll be at least a weak before I get. Installation should be quick since the bolts are accessible without removing the panels again (or at least looks like it). I'll post once I've done this.

I may also want to paint it or have it powdercoated but I can do that later.
 






I just got a quote for the x-brace from the dealership that we bought our Sport from. I sent them the parts diagram that Benny posted above. They are saying $650.49. Any idea why it is so much more expensive here?
 






I just got a quote for the x-brace from the dealership that we bought our Sport from. I sent them the parts diagram that Benny posted above. They are saying $650.49. Any idea why it is so much more expensive here?
:eek:



I think you should buy it from us :)


-Benny
 



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