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Old 10-10-2019, 03:14 AM #1
poikilotrm poikilotrm is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: California
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poikilotrm poikilotrm is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: California
Posts: 15
poikilotrm is on a distinguished road
I replaced the driver's seat in my 2001 SR5.

Hi guys. I just replaced the cloth driver's seat in my 2001 SR5 with a vastly more comfortable factory leather seat.

Somehow, the original seat back's metal uprights had sheared through, like they had been chopped on with tin snips. I am not obese or otherwise huge, so I don't understand why this happened, but it did, so I got a new seat, and changed it out.

The steps were:

1. Write down all pre-programmed radio stations.

2. Disconnect the negative pole on the battery. This is done to prevent the airbag from deploying.

3. Pop loose the plastic bolt covers over the seat bolts.

4. Loosen and remove the seat bolts. You will have to slide the seat backwards to get to the front bolts, and forwards to get at the rear bolts. The bolts are 10mm threaded flange bolts, and require a 14mm socket.

5. Gently lift the front of the seat and disconnect the seat's airbag sensor.

6. Remove the old seat.

Seems pretty straight forward, eh? Yeah, well, installation wasn't that easy.

Firstly, the left front bolt was supposed to go into a captive nut that should have been welded in place inside a little raised blister. It turns out that it had never been there. There was a defect from the factory, and the bolt was barely held in by a single thread pressed up against a part of the blister.

Next, when I attempted to install the bolts, the seat frame refused to line up. It turns out that the seat frame flexes, depending on whether it is slid forward or back.

The last problem was in the right rear bolt. I thought I had stripped something. It refused to line up and start threading, no matter what I did.

Here was how re-installation went:

1. Place the new seat on the floor.

2. Re-attach the airbag sensor line.

3. Don't bother trying to line up the left front bolt, because that ain't happening. The front right bolt, going into the transmission tunnel, went right in and threaded easily. The right rear bolt lined up, but would not thread. The left rear bolt would not line up no matter what, until I started adjusting the seat using the forward-back lever, and even then, it would not start to thread.

4. Go to the hardware store and get several lengths of 10mm flange bolts, several washers, a nut, and a can of polymer sealant.

5. Get a drill, some bits, and a socket driver.

6. Drill a 7/16ths hole straight down through the floor using the left front hole centered on the hole in the blister as a guide.

7. Secure the left front bolt by using a 50mm long 10mm flange bolt, a washer, and a nut. Tighten securely, then liberally apply sealant to the undercarriage around the nut and washer.

8. Using the drill and a socket driver, apply waaay to much force to the rear of the drill with your left hand, and watch in frustration as the right rear bolt instantly zips right in and snugs down.

9. Using the drill again, do the same for the left rear bolt.

10. Replace the plastic covers.

11. Re-attach the battery.

12. Re-program the radio.

This experience was far more drama than I had counted on. I figured it would be about 15 minutes, tops. Nope. Easily an hour and a half, mainly because I kept trying to force the holes to line up prior to inserting the bolts, and because I was using hand tools instead of a drill. Also, time was taken up by having to deal with the factory defect by going to the store.

It was educational, at least. If I have any advice, it would be to keep your drill and socket driver handy, and to remember that the frame flexes when you slide the seat back and forth.
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