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Old 01-24-2020, 07:04 AM #1
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Seat Swap Research Begins...

Now that I'm almost done with exterior mods (high clearance attachments finally installed) its time to look at seats. Despite my love for Recaro seats they're too freakin expensive so I've been eyeing a set of Sheel-mann Vario R XXL. For those interested in replacing your own seats I reached out to the company, who put me in touch with a retailer and heres what he had to say. And yes, i originally asked about the Traveler LR seats.

"There is only one company I am aware of that makes an adapter for you rig: Planted Technologies. These adapters work with the Scheel-Mann flat sliders. This is the only part that is vehicle specific. Any of the seats will fit in your vehicle since the 4Runner has so much room. Traveler LR base is $1399 and goes up from there depending on added on options and covering option. This will be about a 10 week lead time depending on Toby's
stock.
The only thing that is a speed bump would be the airbag system in the seats. The true speed bump is the occupancy sensor in the passenger seat. Toyota has a fascination with 4 post weight sensors as their OCS. These will need to be
transferred and integrated into the adapt bracket. **This is only if you plan on doing both driver and passeneger** The next little bit is transferring the rest of the wiring harness for the distance sensor and seatbelt receptacle. Last piece is
bypassing the side airbags that are built into the seats themselves. This is bypassed with a simple resistor soldered in line with the wires right at the plug. This will trick the vehicle into thinking the airbags are still there and keep the SRS
system still active"


I'm 6'4 240, so the stock seats drive me absolutely insane, especially after driving the M3 for a few days and then switching back. the 4Runner is pretty much a perfect utility vehicle in my opinion but damn if they didn't take some serious cost saving measures in terms of comfort. More to follow, Cheers.
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:44 AM #2
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Have you sat in GX460 seats? They're at least a direct swap supposedly.
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:35 PM #3
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Let's talk airbags a moment.

Regardless of manufacturer, the airbag system is designed that the individual airbags work in tandem. The side curtain bags rely on the seat airbags to deploy properly. If one part of the system is bypassed, there is guarantee that the rest of the system will function as intended.

Unfortunately, there is no way to test the system out without crash testing the car.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:20 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
Let's talk airbags a moment.

Regardless of manufacturer, the airbag system is designed that the individual airbags work in tandem. The side curtain bags rely on the seat airbags to deploy properly. If one part of the system is bypassed, there is guarantee that the rest of the system will function as intended.

Unfortunately, there is no way to test the system out without crash testing the car.
Thats a damn good point, i was unaware they were designed to work in tandem... I may go take a look at GX460 seats now. Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:27 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
Have you sat in GX460 seats? They're at least a direct swap supposedly.
When I clicked on the GX460 that was turned into a hyperlink it took me to Amazon and some pimp floor mats. Super funny but it seems all of the hyperlinked keywords take me to Amazon or eBay. Irritating.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:23 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paragon1 View Post
I'm 6'4 240, so the stock seats drive me absolutely insane, especially after driving the M3 for a few days and then switching back.
Comfort is definitely subjective. I'm 6'5" 225 (so we're punching in the same weight class), and I find the seats in my 4Runner more comfy than my Audi. Go figure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
Regardless of manufacturer, the airbag system is designed that the individual airbags work in tandem. The side curtain bags rely on the seat airbags to deploy properly.
I'm honestly not sure about this. I understand your point, as it often applies on other vehicles. I know that in the 4Runner, the front passenger airbag needs to rebound off of the windshield to deploy properly, yet the side curtain airbags don't appear to have any physical prerequisites.
Admittedly, I don't know what electronic interlocks may be in place... but from a purely mechanical standpoint, the side curtain airbags will deploy correctly independent of other airbags in the vehicle. They fire straight down from the sides of the headliner, and are restrained by the gap that forms in the a-pillar trim. The only impediment would be if they were unable to push the upper seatbelt anchor out of the way.

In any case, It's an excellent point to bring up.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:44 AM #7
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6'8" and 275lbs. I love my seats in the 4runner. Comfort is definitely subjective.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:03 AM #8
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Comfort is definitely subjective, Im not that
tall, only 6, and I like the seats in the 4runner BUT the long travel comfort seats from recaro or scheelmann are better IMO, I travel in both a long trip and that was a big difference.
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:11 PM #9
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I'm on the same boat as OP. Came from a Scion FRS with side bolsters that would hug my back and prevent me from swaying.

I love my runner, but I do get uncomfortable after long periods of driving.

Probably going to visit an upholstery shop and see what my options are for adding more side support. Has anyone successfuly swapped the seats with other Toyota/Lexus vehicles like the GX?

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Old 01-25-2020, 01:00 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
Have you sat in GX460 seats? They're at least a direct swap supposedly.
That’s funny because I was just listening to the latest episode of the Overland Journal podcast and Scott Brady was looking for a set of seats to replace the stock ones in his GX because they were horrible.

Comfort really is subjective so I don’t put more stock in his opinion than anyone else’s, I just found it an interesting observation.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:26 AM #11
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Quote:
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That’s funny because I was just listening to the latest episode of the Overland Journal podcast and Scott Brady was looking for a set of seats to replace the stock ones in his GX because they were horrible.

Comfort really is subjective so I don’t put more stock in his opinion than anyone else’s, I just found it an interesting observation.
It is indeed subjective, however as someone with a degree in human factors (many courses in ergonomics) i obsess about these things. I have 98K miles in these seats now over the 5 years of ownership, so there's been a fair amount of driving. Also, i travel for work quite a bit and get rentals of every sort just to see whats out there.

The 4R seats start off okay, but now its just too soft on the door-side of the seat pan, and the seat has always been too short for the legs, as well as the seatback. The area where the upper seatback protrudes is meant to support the shoulders, it hits me mid-spine and hunches me forward. The lumbar support is fair, but the lateral support from bolstering is non-existent.

Im not bashing the runner though!! I love this thing, but we all know Toyota could've done a little better in a few areas and for me this is one of them.
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Old 01-26-2020, 01:48 PM #12
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Quote:
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Im not bashing the runner though!! I love this thing, but we all know Toyota could've done a little better in a few areas and for me this is one of them.
Thats for sure.

My C63 has excellent seats as did the S5 I had in the past. My Z06, not so much. Those actually ranked up with the worst Ive ever experienced to be honest. The 4Runner is ok. Im not looking for highly bolstered seats in a vehicle like this but there are times Im trying to find enough adjustments to get comfortable. My Tundra was the same, maybe worse in fact but I havent put the miles on a longer trip in the new 4Runner yet so time will tell.
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Old 01-26-2020, 02:36 PM #13
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Manufacturers need to design seats not only for you but for everybody else - from the 5ft 95lb female (or the 5ft 200lb female) to the 6 and a half foot 160lb male (or the 320lb male).

The different trim levels have slightly different seats and you may find a different trim has a more comfy seat for you.
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:52 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space King View Post
Comfort is definitely subjective. I'm 6'5" 225 (so we're punching in the same weight class), and I find the seats in my 4Runner more comfy than my Audi. Go figure.



I'm honestly not sure about this. I understand your point, as it often applies on other vehicles. I know that in the 4Runner, the front passenger airbag needs to rebound off of the windshield to deploy properly, yet the side curtain airbags don't appear to have any physical prerequisites.
Admittedly, I don't know what electronic interlocks may be in place... but from a purely mechanical standpoint, the side curtain airbags will deploy correctly independent of other airbags in the vehicle. They fire straight down from the sides of the headliner, and are restrained by the gap that forms in the a-pillar trim. The only impediment would be if they were unable to push the upper seatbelt anchor out of the way.

In any case, It's an excellent point to bring up.
I don't know how the 4R airbag system deploys (but neither does anyone else here) because there are so many variables. Is there a scenario where the pax side curtain deploys when there there is no passenger in the seat? (it does - generally in a rollover). Does the seat airbag deploy? Perhaps. What we don't know is if the side curtain deploys the same way each time - regardless of if the seat airbag deploys. If the trick the system into thinking the airbag is there, will the rest of the system deploy all of the other airbags as if that seat airbag deployed - or if it didn't?

Good point about the windshield as well as the fewest people would consider that a part of the safety system and why it is vital to change a cracked windshield.

The airbag system makes literally millions of calculations prior to a deployment to answer one question "Will I reduce or avoid injuries if I deploy?"

Some vehicles take seat position and passenger weight into consideration. While the 4R doesn't do that, it does include active headrests to reduce whiplash injuries.

What else does the airbag system take into consideration and how will a swap affect the deployment of the rest of the system?

Manufacturers make the theoretical calculations when they decide on a a change - then they crash test the cars to validate their calculations.

We don't have that luxury, so we need to consider all of the consequences. While we can't consider unanticipated consequences, we can anticipate unintended consequences.
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Old 02-05-2021, 01:45 AM #15
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Hi

I was wondering, for 2020 seats- do any 5th gen 4runner seats fit? Can I just swap the driver seat for an older model that I found at a local yard? I was able to purchase a 2020 4runner at the auction and need to replace few of the airbags ( driver seat being one).

thank you
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