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Old 12-21-2012, 04:09 PM #1
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How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!

From what I understand the cables that release the seat tracks under 1st gen 4Runner seats are notorious for breaking. My cable broke on my driver side (DS) track on my passenger seat. I pulled out the seat, and figured out real quickly that it is an easy fix. Below I will explain how I fixed my seat for $9.00

1) First off you need to take all 3 of the cables out. This requires you to cut the end off of the good cable, and bend the tab (located under the plastic trim on the DS of the seat, where the back of the seat rotates) just enough to allow you to free the cable [Picture below]. Also remove the cable housing by unscrewing the two screws, shown in the picture. You should now have the three cables and that splitter box in your hand.
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How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2872[t4r]-jpg 
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:26 PM #2
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2) Pull the splitter box apart, remove the metal cable holder that holds all of the cables. Keep all of the cable housings; there is one long, one short, then the one that you had to unscrew (It will have the cap off the splitter on one end and that works fine.) Now put the seat in the upright position, it makes it easier to install the new cables. (hint: Push the passenger side (PS) seat track as far forward as it will go, this will push on a lever with a little wheel on it which allows the back of the seat to lock up)
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How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2873[t4r]-jpg  How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2881[t4r]-jpg 
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Last edited by WoodsRunner88; 12-21-2012 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:38 PM #3
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3) Go to your local bike shop and pick up 2 heavy duty brake cables with the biggest barrel shaped end that is available. Then also grab 2 Cable Knarps. The best I can describe them is they appear to be a small cylinders shaped like a hexagon, and are about a 1/2 inch long. They have a hole that goes all the way through them, and a set screw on the inside that will crimp the cable when it passed through it. I will put my best picture up.
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How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2887[t4r]-jpg  How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2876[t4r]-jpg 
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:52 PM #4
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4) Take one of your new cables and run it through the slot on the back of the seat, after you knock it back down [Picture Below]. Then run the cable through the cable housing that screwed on and then through the shorter cable housing. Finally run the cable through the slot on the DS seat track where the original hooked up. Now tighten your cable adjuster down, running the adjustment nuts as far in as they can go (This allows for adjustments to be made down the road, if needed) [Picture Below]. Then run your Knarp down the cable so it looks like the photo, pull all of the slack out of the cable and tighten down the set screw. [Picture Below]
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How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2872[t4r]b-jpg  How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2874[t4r]-jpg  How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2876[t4r]-jpg 
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:04 PM #5
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5) Take your second new cable and run it through the bracket [Picture Below] and through the long cable housing and hook it to the PS bracket the same way as you did on the DS seat track. I had to wedge the PS seat track up a little from all the way down latched and hook up my cable, it then disengaged the seat track completely when the seat leans forward. A Picture of it complete Below.
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How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2878[t4r]-jpg  How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2881[t4r]b-jpg 
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Last edited by WoodsRunner88; 12-21-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:09 PM #6
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6) That about does it. A little adjustment, and a few tests will be required to make sure it works correctly. Please feel free to suggest different ideas, but this worked for me and it was cheap, and easy to source parts for. Hope this helps. Below is a picture of it complete.
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How to fix broken 4Runner passenger seat cables, for cheap!-dscn2881[t4r]c-jpg 
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:20 PM #7
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Awesome write up! I'll add this to the sticky!
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:04 AM #8
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Or you can get the exact replacement cable from the dealer for $20.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:02 AM #9
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My dealer wanted 75 bucks, this was the Toyota dealership in Salem,Oregon.
Thanks for the write up, I did something similar but did not see this thread.
Thanks again.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:57 PM #10
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Hey I thought, since I found a solution that worked I would just put it up here just as a simple fix for a common problem, thanks for reading though.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:24 AM #11
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Bad news folks...my local toyota dealers says those cables are no longer available anywhere. So this seems to be the only game in town sadly.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:17 PM #12
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I need a new cable for my passenger side seat. The old one is hammered. I guess a trip to the local Bike Shop is in order for some Cable Knarps.....
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Old 08-30-2014, 03:20 AM #13
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WoodsRunner, thanks so much for posting this! My'86 totally has a busted passenger seat. Good to know it's a common problem with a simple fix. Fortunately, I volunteer at a bike co-op so this will be an easy and super cheap fix.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:05 AM #14
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I just called the dealership I have been working with and ordered the passenger cable that lets the seat up for rear passengers to enter and exit. 38 dollars.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:45 PM #15
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I went to another dealership and it was easy to order. Just need to stay away from my local stealership in Salem, OR. The dealer in Albany rocks.
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