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Discussion Starter #1
Currently have a mazda bongo seat fitted in the back of my t4.

I want to have it so it turns into a bed aswel, similar to the multivan set up, without having to remove it all the time.

My initial idea, is to have the bed platform fold up against the back of the seat when not it use, and then it folds out when it is being prepared to become the bed, it will then have screw on legs to support it towards the rear of the van.

The only problem im currently having, is finding something that will be strong enough to hold the platform in situ and also to hold the weight of two adults. I have bought heavy duty t hinges but i dont think these will work.

Any ideas will be appreciated

Thanks T:
 

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I have a pair of bongo seats on full length rails. I tried various design layouts using one or both, I can go through the advantages and disadvantages of each. I need to load a few pictures first so will update my reply a little later.

Are you planning to use just one bongo seat and do you have short or full length rails?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have a pair of bongo seats on full length rails. I tried various design layouts using one or both, I can go through the advantages and disadvantages of each. I need to load a few pictures first so will update my reply a little later.

Are you planning to use just one bongo seat and do you have short or full length rails?
Thatll be great, thanks.

I only have one bongo seat, so the idea of utilising two wont work with the layout i have. Also, i dont have full length rails, id say they were half the length as they were cut down, however, i am able to slide the seat backwards and forwards in 4 positions. T:
 

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I am still searching for pics of my early Bongo Bed solutions. Hope the following description helps untill I can locate them on one of my many memory sticks.

Idea 1. Seat folded forward to provide a flat surface. Seat then slid forward and the gap between the Parcel Shelf and the seat was bridged with a piece of 12mm Ply that simply rested on the seat and was hinged on to the parcel shelf using three good quality hinges but bolted not screwed.

Problem with this idea was, that to make a 6ft bed, the length of the section needed is quite deep and I found it a 'pain in the ass' to make the bed.

Idea 2. The Bongo seat was pulled forward and fully inclined to a flat position. The advantage was that the hinged section needed to make a 6 ft bed was much smaller (around 13inches). To make the bed you simply brought the hinged section forward so that a few inches rested on the edge of the seat to bridge the small gap. Three Hinges bolted not screwed were perfectly adequate.

Disadvantage. The Bongo seat is contoured for bums not backs and I had to carry extra pieces of foam and cushions as well a 4in thick memory foam topper tto make a bed that was half decent and comfortable to sleep on. You also had to remove the headrests whenever making the bed.

Idea 3 current version of Bongo Bed.

This is the easiset and relatively simple to do (making a removeable parcel shelf and support structure that is correct in height for the seat is also not too difficult). Strip the Bongo seat to its frame (relatively easy) and replace the the contoured factory foam with flat 4inch foam. No messing, just pull the seat forward and lie it flat - Voila! A comfortable 6 ft bed with no hinged sections.

The seat is deeper and far more comfortable for lounging about in and this works although it does require a bit of work but fairly straightforward to do.











 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thats brilliant, thank you!

It would be good to see pictures of how you done option 1 and 2 once you have found them.

I understand it will be abit of a pain to keep making up, but i want something that is hinged as i can then keep everything in the van and use it as and when i want it, whilst then putting it all away once done, I can then carry on using the van as a van etc.

What hinges did you use? I know that theres a decent metal bar that runs across the top of seat at the back, so perfect for bolting to, for some reason, i didnt even think of using bolts, makes complete sense as screws would just pull out once theres weight on there...
 

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1. So you don't have a parcel shelf or similar and are you thinking of attaching the fold out part to the back of the seat itself?

2. Where about in the van is the seat positioned when you slide them forwards?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
1. So you don't have a parcel shelf or similar and are you thinking of attaching the fold out part to the back of the seat itself?

2. Where about in the van is the seat positioned when you slide them forwards?
1. No parcel shelf and yes, thinking of bolting to the back of the seat.

2. I have a kitchen pod behind the drivers seat and i want to make the bed so that i can keep the pod in there when wild camping etc. It is removable when i am at a campsite and it then goes in the awning. When bed is forward and flat with the pod, i have 70cm from head rests to where the rear light covers are and 120cm wide.
 

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You have to be careful regards bolting to the frame. The frame has tubelar sections running across from side to side and you cannot use these as inside are the linking rods for the seat posiition mechanism either side of the seat.

There are six right angle brackets (that you can see in the picture, three upper and three lower directly opposite each other), each with a single hole, to which is attached a plastic sheet. You could use these brackets to attach a length of wood or flat steel bar and bolt your hinges to that. I cant see any other way of doing it.

Also, to do this you will need to separate the seat into its two halfs and remove the back seat cover . Its easy to do as the seat cover has a full length zip at the bottom. Once you have separated the seat and removed the headrests, undo the zip and take it off. You can then access the brackets.

I have tried screw in legs and fold out legs but on a long stretch I found them to be very unstable. For that reason a parcel shelf with its own support goes along way to solving the problem. Most parcle shelves that I have seen on this forum are removeable so when you want your T4 as a Van just take it out. Mine can be removed in about 2 minutes as it is connected to the frame by 4 wingnuts. The end support frame remain but they dont take any space so not in the way





Heres a pic of the bare frame so you can see what you are dealing with:-




 

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I am still searching for pics of my early Bongo Bed solutions. Hope the following description helps untill I can locate them on one of my many memory sticks.

Idea 1. Seat folded forward to provide a flat surface. Seat then slid forward and the gap between the Parcel Shelf and the seat was bridged with a piece of 12mm Ply that simply rested on the seat and was hinged on to the parcel shelf using three good quality hinges but bolted not screwed.

Problem with this idea was, that to make a 6ft bed, the length of the section needed is quite deep and I found it a 'pain in the ass' to make the bed.

Idea 2. The Bongo seat was pulled forward and fully inclined to a flat position. The advantage was that the hinged section needed to make a 6 ft bed was much smaller (around 13inches). To make the bed you simply brought the hinged section forward so that a few inches rested on the edge of the seat to bridge the small gap. Three Hinges bolted not screwed were perfectly adequate.

Disadvantage. The Bongo seat is contoured for bums not backs and I had to carry extra pieces of foam and cushions as well a 4in thick memory foam topper tto make a bed that was half decent and comfortable to sleep on. You also had to remove the headrests whenever making the bed.

Idea 3 current version of Bongo Bed.

This is the easiset and relatively simple to do (making a removeable parcel shelf and support structure that is correct in height for the seat is also not too difficult). Strip the Bongo seat to its frame (relatively easy) and replace the the contoured factory foam with flat 4inch foam. No messing, just pull the seat forward and lie it flat - Voila! A comfortable 6 ft bed with no hinged sections.

The seat is deeper and far more comfortable for lounging about in and this works although it does require a bit of work but fairly straightforward to do.











Great info AngeloEvs, been trying to work out how to do this for a while, option 3 looks spot on to me, needs to be usable for the kids to sit in for me and your idea number 3 fits the bill.

Cheers
Ade
 

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Thanks Ade, bongo seats come up on Ebay (without rails) quite cheap. I have a pair, the Bench seat cost me £20.

It's realtively straightforwwrd to do the conversion but there are couple of things to be aware of.

Heres how to do it and how I did mine.


1. Remove the mechanism either side and separate the seats.

Remove the head rests and fold the seat forward.
remove the plastic trim screw, drift the lower handles off with a piece of wood and mallet and remove the trim.

There are Four 14mm bolts (yellow arrows), two smaller ones (10mm) Blue Arrows and two star washers (red arrows).
Slip the linkages off the pins to access the 14mm Bolts and remove the smaller ones.
Carefully lift the Near Side mechanism away.
The offside mechanism is different as it does not have the two smaller bolts, instead the linkage rods are welded to the
mechanism and the rods with mechanism are removed as a complete assemby - easy, seats are now separated!

2. Remove the covers and foam
The back rest cover has a full length zip at the bottom. The Zip fasteners are tucked away, pull them out, undo the zip and
remove the cover. The removal of the foam, etc is straighforward.

The lower cover is held in place using a lot of mild steel rings. I used long nose pliers to deform the ring so they could be
removed

3. Remove the S springs.

These are held by folded tabs, just drift each tab with a hammer and cold chisel enough to remove each spring in turn.


3. You can either re-assemble the seat and ditch the factory foam and covers or you can simply replace the factory foam
with flat foam and the original covers (might need a bit of alteration for a nice fit).



 

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Here you can see the frame in its original condition and the condition after removing unwanted metal

I was attaching ply wood using bolts and captive nuts. You can see that I have removed the two original cross members and replaced them with 5 lengths of Mild steel 5mm flat bar. These are welded to the frame and have the captive nuts and the ply will be bolted to the new mild steel supports.











The only problem I encountered was that the Back of the seat is slighly higher by approx 30mm than the lower seat section when folded flat. You can see that I added wood spacers to the cross members to equalise the height when the seat is folded flat. I had to get slightly longer bolts but this worked out fine as I really preferred the seat being a little higher than standard.




 

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There are three sections of ply, two 12mm that form the lower and back and a 6mm section. These are cut then fitted for sanding and then removed to have the lining material glued. I glued a section of softwood to the back to fill the gaps along the top and sides to make it look a bit neater.









The next stage is to assemble it in the van. Using captive nuts and bolts, it takes just a few minutes. I also made a sliding drawer and so this was fitted as well.

























 
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