Preamble: I have had my 2010 Ford Flex for a few months now. As a “this-is-a-cool-car-not-minivan” family hauler, it does a great job. I bought it used and made some compromises. I didn’t get the two tone paint job, Vista roof, and captain’s chairs in the second row, but I did get a great price on AWD with the Limited trim package and Navigation.
It took me a little while to find the right opportunity, but I eventually found somebody who had the right trim level and seat color that wanted to swap seats: bench for bucket. As it turns out, this was basically dead simple. See disclaimers below for things you might find less than ideal if you, dear reader, attempt something similar.
- This is the 60/40 bench seat configuration I started out with. The bucket portion that will stay put is the part of the seat in the foreground. It has powerfold, while the bench side simply has a 2 stage lever. *I’m trading with a guy whose left side bucket seat has both powerfold and the heated seat option. In our case, both parties were okay with the mismatch, but something for others to consider.
- This is the bench seat folded forward. The entire bench seat is anchored to the body with two brackets bolted to the floor. The bracket location and the catch bars for rear seat latches are identical to the captain’s chair layouts. The end of the middle section does not bolt or latch onto anything, the feet of the seat lay flat on the floor.
- This is a closeup of the inner bracket. One the left is a 15mm bolt and on the right is a 15 mm nut on a stud coming up from the floor. A deep well socket is your best bet here- it will give clearance over the bracket and be deep enough to not get tripped up on the stud.
- Here’s the bench seat unbolted and ready to go. Note the “X” carpet cutout- this is where the connection for the heated seat/powerfold wiring would be. Also note the tab in the nearside bracket. That is where the hydraulic cylinder for the power fold would go (if equipped). In the upper right corner, a plastic cover can be seen. This covers the bracket that is used to anchor the center console.
- This is the swapped in captain’s chair. Swap in was literally an exact fit. Tighten up a total of 2 bolts and 2 nuts and it is road ready. My plan all along has been to have the 2nd row captain’s chairs and skip the console in favor of a passthrough to make it easier for all my kids to get mounted up. With this plan in mind, it turns out to be quite convenient that the carpet is in place. *In the donor car, the carpet had been cutout around the console- it is barely noticeable with the seat in place. A third row floor mat or something similar could probably cover this up and look very unobstrusive.
- This is the end result- captain’s chairs, no console.