Do Ford Transit Seats Fold Flat? Are They Removable?

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The Ford Transit is a versatile van with room for numerous passengers, lots of cargo, or a mix of the two. If your Transit has four or five rows of seats, there may be times when you wish you had more space for cargo. Can you fold the seats down flat or even remove them to make room for bulky cargo items? We’ve done the research, and we have the answers for you!     

The seats in the Ford Transit passenger van (10-15 passengers) do not fold down. However, they are removable. The rear seats are both foldable and removable in the smaller Ford Transit Connect (5-7 passengers).  

In the remainder of this article, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions for removing the seats from a 15-passenger Ford Transit van. We’ll also describe how to fold and remove the back seats in a Ford Transit Connect van. Keep reading to learn more! 

A white Ford Transit parked on the side of a building, Do Ford Transit Seats Fold Flat? Are They Removable?

Do Ford Transit Seats Fold Flat And Are They Removable?

The seats in a Ford Transit passenger van do not fold down. However, if you need more cargo space, you can remove some or all of the back seats. In a Ford Transit Connect — a smaller version of the Transit — the back seats are foldable and removable.

How To Remove Seats From The Ford Transit Passenger Van

The Ford Transit passenger van holds 10, 12, 14, or 15 seats. We’ll describe how to remove the seats from a 15-passenger Transit van; you can use the same strategies on Transits with fewer seats.

First, for convenience, let’s assign a number to each seat. Starting with the driver’s seat, number the seats from left to right (as viewed from the rear) and front to back. So, the driver’s seat is 1, the front passenger seat is 2; the second-row seats are 3, 4, and 5; third-row seats are 6, 7, and 8; the fourth row has 9, 10, and 11; and the back row holds 12, 13, 14, and 15.

If you’re having trouble visualizing this, click here for Ford’s official 2021 Transit brochure and scroll to page 14 to view the seating chart for a 15-passenger setup. Note that, in the third and fourth rows, respectively, seats 8 and 11 are mounted by themselves, unattached to any other seats. Seats 12 and 15 are also mounted individually in the back row, although you can’t tell this from the diagram. This is important because you use a different strategy to remove individually-mounted seats.

This YouTube video provides a detailed visual demonstration of the steps. Because it’s a lengthy video, we’ve indicated the time stamp where each seat removal segment begins:

Removing Seats 13 – 14 

Start in the back and work your way forward. Begin with seats 13-14, the two middle seats in the back row (17:58 in the video)

  1. Stand at the back of the van, with the rear doors open.
  2. Locate the rectangular handles attached to the quick-release straps at the bases of seats 13-14. 
  3. Grasp both handles and pull crisply up and out toward you at a 45° angle. The silver-and-red quick-release levers at the seat bases will unlatch and become visible.
  4. Press your shoulder against the upper back of the seats and push forward until both seat bases come out of their mounting slots. (Seats 13-14 are connected so that they will move in tandem.)
  5. The upper part of seats 13-14 will now be tipped far forward.
  6. Grasp both sides of the seats and pull back until you feel and hear the front latches disengage.
  7. Seats 13-14 are now unlatched. Lift them backward out of the van’s rear door. (Caution: seats are heavy, so you may want someone to help you lift them out.)

Removing Seats 9-10 and 6-7

Next, remove the paired seats in the fourth row (9-10) and then in the third row (6-7). These seats feature the same quick-release mechanism as seats 13-14, but they do not have rectangular handles and straps. (20:17 in the video)

  1. Locate the quick-release levers at the back of the seat bases of seats 9-10. 
  2. Hook a coathanger or similar piece of bent wire into the hole at the elbow of the quick-release lever on each seat.
  3. Using the coathangers or wire instead of handles and straps, repeat steps 3 – 7 above to remove seats 9-10.
  4. Repeat this procedure on seats 6-7.

Removing Seats 3-4-5

Seats 3-4-5 form the second row and are all connected. They are equipped with quick-release levers, so you can remove them using the same technique you used on seats 9-10 and 6-7. (22:40 in the video). The only difference is that, with three seats instead of two, you will need to trip all three quick-release levers at once, so you may want someone to help you. It is easiest to remove seats 3-4-5 out of the sliding door on the side of the van rather than through the rear.

Removing Seats 12, 15, 11, And 8

The 15-passenger Ford Transit has four free-standing seats bolted to the floor and bulkheads of the vehicle. Because these seats don’t have quick-release levers, they are more cumbersome to remove. You need to locate two or three bolts in each case and use a ratchet to release them. Here’s how to locate and remove the bolts for each seat.

Seats 12 And 15: Each has three bolts. (24:05 in the video)

  • One at the base of the seat, at floor level. Use a T-55 Torx-bit socket.
  • One mounted on the wall, at the top of the shoulder harness assembly. Carefully remove the small plastic cover to expose the bolt. Use a T-50 Torx-bit socket.
  • One mounted on the wall, about a foot up from the floor, behind the seat. Carefully remove the large plastic cover over the seatbelt ratcheting mechanism to expose the bolt. Use a T-55 Torx-bit socket.

Seat 11: Two bolts (29:19 in the video)

  • One at the base of the seat, at floor level. Use a T-55 Torx-bit socket.
  • One mounted on the wall, at the right rear of the seat, just above the wheel well. Carefully remove the plastic cover to expose the bolt. Use a T-55 Torx-bit socket.

Seat 8: Two bolts (31:21 in the video)

  • One bolt on each leg of the seat’s base, at floor level. Small plastic panels conceal the bolts. With your fingers, squeeze the side tabs of each panel and then swing the panel up. Use a T-55 Torx-bit socket to remove the bolts. 

After removing all the bolts from seats 12, 15, 11, or 8, press the top of the seat forward with your shoulder and pull the front base of the seatback until the front latches disengage. Then lift the seat and remove it from the van via the rear door. 

Click here for Lexivon Torx socket set on Amazon.

How To Fold And Remove Rear Seats In Ford Transit Connect SWB 

The Ford Transit Connect SWB (short wheelbase) has bucket seats for the driver and front passenger and three foldable and removable seats in the back.

To fold the seats, follow these steps:

  1. Press the headrest all the way down.
  2. Locate the strap on the side of the seat closest to the door.
  3. Pull the strap forward. This will fold the seatback down, creating a flat surface.
  4. You can leave the seat folded flat or tumble it forward to create more space.
  5. To tumble the seat forward, locate the two straps on the seatback.
  6. Pull straight up on the longer strap. This will allow you to tumble the seat forward to fit snugly on the floor behind the front seat.
  7. On the floor behind the tumbled seat, locate the prop rod.
  8. Lift the prop rod and snap it onto the frame of the seat. This will keep the seat from falling back down. 

To remove one or more of the rear seats, complete steps 1 – 6 above. Once the seat is tumbled forward, locate the yellow release lever on the seat bottom. Pull the release lever and lift the seat up and out of its housing.

Ford Motor Company provides this video demonstration of folding and removing a rear seat in the Transit Connect SWB:

How To Fold And Remove Rear Seats In The Ford Transit Connect LWB 

To fold down the 2nd-row seats in the Ford Transit Connect LWB (long wheelbase) van, follow these steps:

  1. Press the headrest all the way down.
  2. Locate the strap on the side of the seat nearest the door.
  3. Pull the strap forward. This will fold the seatback down, creating a flat surface.
  4. Locate the two straps on the seatback.
  5. Pull up on the longer strap until it unlocks.
  6. Push the seat forward and down.

To fold the 3rd-row seats, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the strap that extends out of the gap between the seatback and the seat.
  2. Pull the strap up and forward. This will flip the seat cushion forward and upside-down, creating a flat surface.
  3. Locate the red strap in the seatback.  
  4. Pull this strap up until it unlocks.
  5. Fold the seat back down. This creates another flat surface, just behind the upside-down seat cushion.

Once the 2nd- and 3rd-row seats have been folded down, you can create a seamless flat surface for easy stowing of cargo. 

  1. Locate the folding floor support panels that are secured to the back wall by red tabs.
  2. Pull the panels forward crisply to detach them from the back wall.
  3. Unfold the panels forward until they cover the entire cargo area. 

Click here to watch Ford’s video of folding and removing the back seats in the Transit Connect LWB.

To remove the second and third-row seats in the Transit Connect LWB, grasp the yellow release levers under the seat bottoms, pull them forward until the seats unlatch, and lift them up and out.

In Closing

Folding or removing the seats in your Ford Transit or Transit Connect can significantly increase the cargo space and flexibility of the vehicle. By following the guidelines above, you can customize your van to meet your needs at any given time. 

You may also enjoy the following posts:

How Big Is A Ford Transit Van?

Can You Stand Up In A Ford Transit? Would It Make A Good Camper?

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