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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
new member here
I am interested in purchasing a new 2016 Dodge Caravan CVP / SE Model in Ontario Canada

Problem....I would like to swap out the regular seats for power seats. Is the plug in under the carpet under the regular seat??

Reason....I have a very rare cancer, which has taken my Complete Femur, Hip, Hip socket, Pelvis and Alot of Muscle and Tendon on my right side. My femur, hip, and hip socket have been completely replaced and pelvis is repaired from many pieces. The muscle and tendon is still missing. This will not allow my leg to bend at the knee and i have limited movement at the hip.

I do not want to buy anything other than the CVP / SE model. It comes very well equipped. Unfortunately I cannot get power seats for it, even as an option. Chrysler offers a $1000.00 disability credit payable to any company that can convert the seat to a power seat for a disabled person. The cost on this is roughly $3000.00
I believe it would be much better, cheaper and easier for me to go to the wreckers and buy a power seat out of a newly wrecked van.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this. Any suggestions are welcome.

Looking forward to your appropriate comments.

Thank you

Geoff
 

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Even if the wiring is there (and it may not be), it may not be powered and might need a trip to the dealer to "turn on" that circuit.
 

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KOG
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You can run a feed directly from the battery if necessary. Use 10 ga wire and put a 30amp breaker at the battery end of the wire within 12" of the battery terminal. The best seats would be in a Limited trim . I don't think the memory feature would interfere with operating the seat directly from its own controls but I'm not certain about that.
 

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Have you asked the dealer service department about help in this case, it cant be that difficult.
Is it impossible to get the dealer to get a "special" van for you?
Mostly worried about all those airbags.
 

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I am going to say that unless the van was built with a power seat option the plug will not be there. but even if one was there,chances are slim you would find seats with a matching plug and the correct pinout. I converted a Chevy truck once to power seats it is as easy as stated above,only I don't agree with running wires direct from a battery. IMO finding a power socket that turns off with the ignition is a better option. The Memory Seat Module is separate you only need a power going into each seat switch and a ground. Supposing you did the foot work and located the seat(s), any dealer that wants your business should be able to install and wire one or both seats for about 2 hours of labor. Good luck with your purchase and conversion.
 

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I was able to do such a swap of the power seats from my '91 Voyager into my '94 GC in about 15 minutes as everything lined up on the van floor for the seat brackets and the plug was there. However, that was before Skynet (BCM) went online and took over so many vehicle functions.
 
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I was able to do such a swap of the power seats from my '91 Voyager into my '94 GC in about 15 minutes as everything lined up on the van floor for the seat brackets and the plug was there. However, that was before Skynet (BCM) went online and took over so many vehicle functions.
And even beyond the BCM is the TPIM (Totally Integrated Power Module) which controls even more. With the TPIM, even if the wiring is there, there may be no power applied to it until the TPIM is reprogrammed.
 

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Welcome to Allpar. It was easier and more basic to wire up power seats in the older vehicles. The modern vehicles have control modules and communication buses to convey commands and signal the 'smart' power seats now. The TIPM may not recognize a non-factory 'added' power seat option.
The factory does it best and I would really recommend getting the vehicle equipped with the options you want from the factory.
A special-needs minivan upfitter may do it 2nd best. Definitely use your disability credit and any other help you are eligible for towards this.
Adding a home-made power seat won't be easy and may complicate the new-vehicle warranty.
Having a minivan special-needs upfitter install a power or swivel seat to ease your ingress/egress might also be suggested. Will you also be installing any hand-controls in lieu of your right leg? Discuss this power seat addition with the upfitter.
If you do want to try to wire in a rudimentary 6-way, non-heated, non-memory power seat, use a 20 amp circuit breaker and 16 gauge wire to supply the switches and motors.
Run the supply wire in a protective loom under the step plate alongside the main wiring harness away from sharp edges and pinch points.
A good eyelet ground terminal can ground to a paint-free area on the floor sheetmetal. This is as close to 'plug n' play' as you may get.
If the drivers seat back has side-airbags inside, you will need to take precautions to avoid disturbing that.
 

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KOG
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Imperial gave a more detailed instruction of what I had suggested. I've installed power seats in at least 6 87-95 models which don't have integrated power modules. Taking a feed directly from the battery is acceptable IF you use the proper gauge wire (minimum 10 ga) and use a circuit breaker located near the battery terminal. This avoids any interference with power module or warranty issues with the original vehicle wiring. You'll want to have the seat wiring plug that came with the seat to splice into your supply and ground wires. I would suggest larger gauge wire than he did. It's always better to have wire larger than needed. Small wire can overheat and cause fires. DO NOT DO THAT. A 20 amp breaker may be sufficient in which case you can use 12 ga wire. I've always used 10 ga just to be on the safe side.
 

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Im still worried with the airbags and other safety features and the biggest obstacle
may be that the computers will miss the old chair and not accepting the new one.
I also belive that the safetyfeatures should be retained and working, as a fireman i have seen people
cooming out of wrecks unharmed when the first though was that we were going to cut out bodies..
This is rather common with modern vehicles.
Why do you promptly need a CVP / SE model?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
AS I outlined in the very beginning....this cannot be done at the factory. This is why I came here, to ask opinions of others, that may have done this type of thing.
The dealership, wants nothing to do with this. it is 4 trim levels up and I am not prepared to pay another $7,000.00 plus taxes to get a power seat.
As far as air bags go, I do not see anything wired up to to the manual seat. You pull the bolts and the seat lifts out. no wires. Nothing....nothing except the bolts.
The reason for the CVP / SE....I am disabled....I need to watch my money. I can get that van for $18,488.00 CAN plus tax as compared to a model with power seats for $27,988.00 plus tax...to me, that is alot of money.
 

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Ok, thats a lot of money for a seat.
If there aint no airbags and the seat doesent connect to any of the computers it seems like a tear out/ bolt in and make some wiring deal.
Should be easy to test the replacement seat by connecting it to a battery and test it, if it works with just 12 volts and no computer go ahead and mount it.
Be smart and get any connectors with a pigtail on from the car to connect the seat.
 

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I was told by a trusted friend that he put a pwer seat out of a 2006Town and country and put into a 05 caravan. The 05 caravan had the plug already installed. he put the new seat in and plugged it in and he said everyrthing worked fine.
 

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A lot has changed (CANbus for one) since 2005.
 

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Maybe one can be bolted in with 12 volt on-off control switches, maybe not. 2016 is very different than 2006.
If the seat contains passive restraint hardware, then it may not be feasible.
It may void warranties. Tampering with safety equipment isn't recommended. These issues must be considered first.
 

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KOG
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There is no need for an on/off switch. The stock seats are wired hot at all times. All you need is a 12V feed with a circuit breaker on the end where it gets power. Ground to a screw in the floor pan. That's it.
 

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Sorry, by on-off switches I meant the forward/reverse motor control switches.
 

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It sounds like to me, you "want" to purchase the seats of higher trim level and retro-fit them to a vehicle of lower trim level? It also sounds like you want to do this with minimum work and complication.

First, have you checked the price of purchasing the power seats? Last I checked, granted a long time ago, the price of higher trim seats to retro-fit an option in my mini-van myself (replace the middle bench with the OEM middle buckets), I discovered they wanted more than a $1000 a seat for basic NON-Powered Seats.

To be fair, since so few people actually order replacement seats for their vehicles, the don't maintain them in parts systems and its likely a special order.

Unfortunately, since its done so rarely, no one is going to know if the seats are "plug and play" or NOT. If we had to guess, we'd have to say, don't count on it, NOT only might the price of the new seats be insanely expensive, getting the power options to work might be incredibly complicated. Taking a lot of physical and mental work on your part, lots of expense, etc, etc.

I hate to say it, but judging from what you've said in the posts, going to a company that does custom/conversion work for vans for the disabled would be your best bet. NOT only to get what works best for your disability, but also the lowest cost and least aggravation/frustration.
 

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A couple rules to keep in mind, at least from what I've seen.

The OEM's design the assembly line to build the vehicles the fastest/cheapest/most flexible way. They have absolutely no concern about customers wanting to retro-fit options after the vehicle has been built.

The OEM's only stock and offer at reasonable prices those parts that are commonly needed by customers, they do NOT stock every part for their vehicles (including special orders) and the few rare parts they do, they'll set the price at insane levels to cover the costs of stocking and maintaining only a few in the parts system.

In the few rare cases they do want to offer an option that can be retro-fitted, its offered as a dealer installed option. So if you don't see it offered as a dealer installed option, then don't count on retro-fitting an option as being practical.

Many people investigate retro-fitting options themselves and give up in frustration, since the OEM made no consideration for retro-fitting and so few people actually try it, the costs of the components are outrageous and there are all sorts of complications.

Finally, what can be deceiving in newer vehicles. To keep the assembly line flexible, they try to keep as many components "common" as possible. That means keeping the total number of unique wire harness's down to a minimum. So in the long run its cheaper to spend a few extra dollars on connectors and wires that may NOT be needed, so that the wire harness works with half the possible configurations that are run down the assembly line. But keep in mind, and several have mentioned it already, just because the connector is there doesn't mean its connected or have the equipment on the other side to make what plugs into it work correctly.

IC mentioned that before as well, with digital communications buss's taking over all the vehicle operations, don't be surprised if even power seats require new communications modules to make them work, and the new modules all come disabled requiring the Dealer to Enable the module, meaning at the very least having to explain and pay the dealer their high prices to enable certain modules and reconfigure things to get them to work right.

If you're talking about making the power seat work from scratch, basic power, isn't that what the Company doing disabled van conversions does? Might as well go to them.
 
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