Converting 7 passenger minivans to 8 passenger


#1

I’ve been looking around for an 8 passenger minivan but I’m not finding them in my price range (read:cheap). I have found plenty of 7 passenger minivans: Caravan, Odyssey, Quest, Montana…

I’m wondering if it’s possible to buy one of these and maybe find a 3rd row bench seat at a junk yard to put in the second row. Does anyone know if the floor anchors will match up to do this?

Thanks for any advice in this area.


#2

You would need a second row bench seat to replace 2 single seats. It is a little shorter to allow access to the rear. It is probably reasonable in price.


#3

Hmm…I think those shorter row bench seats only hold 2 people which would defeat the purpose of squeezing in 8 people.

Thanks.


#4

IIRC, the Chevy Venture and Pontiac Montana had rear bucket seats as an option. There were 3 buckets is the middle row and a bench in the 3rd row. This should be true for all years.


#5

Roof rack.


#6

It’s not going to be a cheap conversion if safety is an issue. Proper seat belting isn’t going to be cheap, even if you manage a conversion. Likewise, you loose all he inherent flexibility built into the seating arrangement of minivans. It doesn’t add up. I’d heed “jt”'s advice and consider buying something used already set up that way.


#7

If I get jtsanders correctly I recall as he does. As far a I know the Venture/Montana has an 8 passenger option from the factory. Of course, I only know that it has been true in some years. Perhaps they have given up on it or abandoned it.


#8

I might be in luck! I found an affordable 8-passenger Montana on a local dealer’s website. Waiting on a return call from them to see if they still have it.

Thanks for the advice!


#9

If you need to hold eight passengers, you should be looking at full-sized vans with bench seats. Minivans were never intended to hold that many people.


#10

“As far a I know the Venture/Montana has an 8 passenger option from the factory.”

Correct, cigoller. But they stopped building these vans in 2005. There is good news, though. My 2003 Silhouette runs quite well, and I suspect that there are a lot of similar Montanas and Ventures that also have plenty of life in them. Another option is a Suburban or Excursion. They seat 9. Gas mileage is about 15 on average for the Suburban vs. 19 for the minivans.

The Chevy Uplander was sold from 2006 to 2008 and it had rear (middle row) bucket seats. Maybe there were 3 available in the middle for the Uplander, too. Tridaq had one; maybe he knows.