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Old 12-14-2020, 01:05 AM #1
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4th gen driver seat alternatives

Hey Everyone,

I hate the seats in my 2008. My seats are tan leather, all manual adjustments, and honestly in pretty decent shape for 165k miles, but man they just donít do it for me. Like a lot of you, I feel like I have no head room. I can kinda get the seat adjusted around to work good enough, but Iím really just making excuses about whatís comfortable. Iím 6í2Ē and 185# with a 32Ē inseam so most of my height is in my torso. I want to sit up straighter, but my head hits the roof. But even if I solved that problem, I still think the seat back is just too short/small. Iíve searched far and wide for information about seat swaps in a 4th gen but havenít really found definitive information for a 4th gen (LOTS of info for 3rd gen though).

Iíve decided the route for me to go is to either get a real seat that fits my needs, or step up to a GX.
Im not afraid of some heavy fabrication, so making a seat work is a welcomed challenge. Stepping up to a GX means playing the long game To find exactly what im looking for, so Iím leaning towards making a real seat work.



1) who has replaced the driver seat with a totally different seat? What did you use? What would you do differently? Iím looking at a recaro or scheelmann, but can be persuaded.

2) does anyone know the resistance of the airbag in the OEM seat? I found conflicting info out there so I hope someone has a solid answer.


EDIT: For the record, when I sit up straight in the seat like I want to, the top of my shoulders is 5-6 inches above the top of the seat back (where the headrest is inserted).


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Last edited by JH225; 12-14-2020 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:09 AM #2
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I ran some generic racing seats for awhile, welded to my OEM bases. They worked very well! Just decided to go back to more of a stock look after a while.



and then 2001 Lexus RX300 seats (I think). These were too puffy, made my nogin hit the roof while wheeling.

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Old 12-14-2020, 12:36 PM #3
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I'm similar size but more legs and arms. I feel like the seat bottom only supports half my thigh and on long trips it's not the best. Oddly enough, when I had the car packed tight for a cross country move, sitting close and upright was more comfortable long term and I had to get used to the "normal" position after I had room behind the seat.
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Old 12-14-2020, 12:52 PM #4
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These are on the wish list, I have read great things about this is a solution.
Front Seat Jackers - 4Runners, GX and FJs
– Desert Does It


I also looked into seat replacement and any option seemed extremely expensive. I did replace the seat foam myself and that seemed to be worlds better than the original worn down the foam. I have also seen a few posts along the way of swapped seats from a volvo, but it looks very involved.
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Old 12-14-2020, 04:30 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaber6 View Post
I'm similar size but more legs and arms. I feel like the seat bottom only supports half my thigh and on long trips it's not the best. Oddly enough, when I had the car packed tight for a cross country move, sitting close and upright was more comfortable long term and I had to get used to the "normal" position after I had room behind the seat.

I know exactly what you mean. If my legs were a hair longer I would start to be bothered by the seat bottom length as well.

Sitting upright is supposed to feel comfortable!! Haha. Iím trying to find a solution where I can do that all the time without hitting my head.


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Old 12-14-2020, 04:32 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSeth View Post
I ran some generic racing seats for awhile, welded to my OEM bases. They worked very well! Just decided to go back to more of a stock look after a while.



and then 2001 Lexus RX300 seats (I think). These were too puffy, made my nogin hit the roof while wheeling.


Iím definitely considering keeping stock sliders like you did so I have some height adjustability. Looks like they worked well!

What did you do in terms of the airbag system? Did you put a resistor in place or did you just let it be? Iíve found conflicting info on if the airbag system gets disabled if one component (I.e. seat) is removed.


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Old 12-14-2020, 04:38 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billynath1988 View Post
These are on the wish list, I have read great things about this is a solution.
Front Seat Jackers - 4Runners, GX and FJs
Ė Desert Does It


I also looked into seat replacement and any option seemed extremely expensive. I did replace the seat foam myself and that seemed to be worlds better than the original worn down the foam. I have also seen a few posts along the way of swapped seats from a volvo, but it looks very involved.

Iíve seen these, They look awesome! But honestly Iím not sure itíll check all my boxes if I go that route. If I were to use the seat jackers, or go the other way and flatten out the rear brackets, that fixes only seat height. Iíve kind of decided that the seat back is really just too small for my super long torso.

You said the seat replacement options youíve researched are extremely expensive, and Iíll agree to that. I think Iíve convinced myself to make the investment in a nice recaro or scheelmann and that seat will just travel from car to car with me forever.

Question for you: how did the seat foam improve your situation?


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Old 12-14-2020, 04:56 PM #8
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I wonder if it would be worth trying a similar gen 4runner that has power seats. My seats height is adjustable, maybe you could just change the base that has all the power adjustments? I do notice that my passenger seat which does not have power is way too high. Can't imagine having that on the driver's side too.
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:02 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JH225 View Post
Iíve seen these, They look awesome! But honestly Iím not sure itíll check all my boxes if I go that route. If I were to use the seat jackers, or go the other way and flatten out the rear brackets, that fixes only seat height. Iíve kind of decided that the seat back is really just too small for my super long torso.

You said the seat replacement options youíve researched are extremely expensive, and Iíll agree to that. I think Iíve convinced myself to make the investment in a nice recaro or scheelmann and that seat will just travel from car to car with me forever.

Question for you: how did the seat foam improve your situation?


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The original seat bottom foam was extremely worn especially on the side where you get in and out.. basically falling apart. I would say changing the seat foam was one the best things I've done on my truck as far as enjoyment goes. Im not a super tall or big guy, the biggest issue I find now would probably be solved the seat jackers. That said, if I had the extra bux id go for the name brand replacement seats you mentioned.
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:10 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JH225 View Post
Iíve seen these, They look awesome! But honestly Iím not sure itíll check all my boxes if I go that route. If I were to use the seat jackers, or go the other way and flatten out the rear brackets, that fixes only seat height. Iíve kind of decided that the seat back is really just too small for my super long torso.

You said the seat replacement options youíve researched are extremely expensive, and Iíll agree to that. I think Iíve convinced myself to make the investment in a nice recaro or scheelmann and that seat will just travel from car to car with me forever.

Question for you: how did the seat foam improve your situation?


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You can do a "cheap" version of the front of seat boost by putting 5 washers under each foot.

I am very similarly sized and have a lot of the same complaints... I actually find the seating position in Jeep Wranglers to be significantly better :/
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Old 12-14-2020, 06:03 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinNH67 View Post
I wonder if it would be worth trying a similar gen 4runner that has power seats. My seats height is adjustable, maybe you could just change the base that has all the power adjustments? I do notice that my passenger seat which does not have power is way too high. Can't imagine having that on the driver's side too.

Iíve wondered this too, although as a general rule power seats adds more components under the seat and canít go as low as manual. Certainly worth finding one for sale with electric seat and taking it for a test drive.


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Old 12-14-2020, 06:04 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimlithepirate View Post
You can do a "cheap" version of the front of seat boost by putting 5 washers under each foot.

I am very similarly sized and have a lot of the same complaints... I actually find the seating position in Jeep Wranglers to be significantly better :/

I agree on the keep wranglers, VERY upright. Thatís my kind of style.


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Old 12-15-2020, 04:48 PM #13
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Originally Posted by JH225 View Post
Iíve wondered this too, although as a general rule power seats adds more components under the seat and canít go as low as manual. Certainly worth finding one for sale with electric seat and taking it for a test drive.


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If you'd like, I'll measure the center of my seat to the ceiling with it all the way down.
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Old 12-16-2020, 01:54 PM #14
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If you'd like, I'll measure the center of my seat to the ceiling with it all the way down.

Would you?? That would be great!


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Old 12-16-2020, 04:54 PM #15
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Would you?? That would be great!


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Sure thing, I'll send myself a reminder right now to check tomorrow.
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