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Leather seat base swapping sides


 
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Nitram
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Joined: 04 Oct 2018
Posts: 4
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:11    Post subject: Leather seat base swapping sides Reply with quote

Forgive me if this has been asked before but nothing obvious coming up in my searches.
I have a 2003 LC4 with grey leather seats all electric etc.
The drivers side seat base is very worn and split as previous owner was vertically challenged, I intend to attempt repair but I was trying to find out if I can swap the drivers seat base with the passenger side as this would obviously put the repaired section against the transmission tunnel
Any help and advise would be greatly appreciated
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Nitram
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Joined: 04 Oct 2018
Posts: 4
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, decided to give it a go, someone put it together so surely you must be able to take it apart.
My reason to swap was to put the badly worn seat side to the transmission tunnel so that after repair the future wear should be minimised.
Its possible and was reasonably straight forward,disconect batteries,  took both seats out, disconected all the wiring having removed plastic trims. then just unclipped the seat bases and swapped them over.
Needed to trim side of seat leather to fit adjustment control box then just re-assemble.
Leather repair kit off Fleabay to stitch, patch, glue, fill and colour damage and it looks amazing.
Refit seats and it looks so much better, very pleased.
So you can do it
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liongeorge
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Joined: 01 Apr 2015
Posts: 48
Location: Wilts

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Nitram. Was thinking about doing the same. this has given me the confidence to give it a go
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Neilto
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Joined: 22 Jan 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Aboyne

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 23:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too.  Mine isn't bad but for sure the diver outside bolster is more worn than the passenger inside.
I'd like some more detail though.  When you say took seats out do you mean remove the whole seat assembly from the car as I'd imagine that would be a big job.  Can you not do it insitu?  i'd imagined just lifting out the seat (the bit you sit on) on both sides and swapping over.  Obviously unplugging the heated seat connection.
I'd assumed that the adjustments were all part of the frame and the padding and leather was separate.  What plastic trims need to be removed?  Funnily enough I was speaking to a professional upholster about doing this the other day and he was going to look into it too.  Seems an obvious improvement if its not too hard.  I assume you needed to trim for the control box on both sides as they are opposite handed.
Have you got a link for the repair kit too please.
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Nitram
Newbie


Joined: 04 Oct 2018
Posts: 4
Location: Somerset

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took both seats out completely, its only four bolts holdong them in, just prise off the plastic end cap trims to expose the bolts front and back (There is a youtube video showing this on a toyota four runner, its very similar)
Disconnect batteries for safety as you are interfering with airbags
Undo four bolts then tilt seat backwards to get to the wiring, three mutipin connectors and on passenger seat there is an additional pressure switch which activates seat belt warning light when someone is sat in it (This will need extending and running to drivers side when you have swapped seat base for continuity)
Remove seats complete
Flipped them upside down on workbench, looks scary under there but don't panic its fairly straight forward and logical, you can label, photo etc but most of it you don't need to touch.
Remove plastic trim that sits to the front and outside of seat,The buttons just pop off its then only two screws to the front and one to the rear, it comes off as one right angled piece  and an additional trim to the inside seat back base by seat belt.
Having removed trim you can better see how seat base is fixed to frame, along the front there is a plastic fixing strip sown to the leather which presses and clips down to the metal seat frame,
On the sides the inside edge is held down by similar plastic clip which is pressed down over the metal frame, similar to the outside edge but you have to unscrew the control box, three screws to access this clip.
Just carefully prise, pull these off, I made a tool by bending an old flat screw driver at a right angle to make a 'puller'
Nearly there, just two press in studs holding the leather to the frame on the hinge point where seat back joins seat base.
The seat base is now detached from the frame and can be lifted out, go steady with various wires etc just in case you haven't disconnected them.
I did the passenger seat first and it took me about an hour to remove and strip to a point when I removed the seat base, I removed all the clips holding the various wiring to the springs/wires that you will see. This wasn't necessary as the foam is not connected to the frame, it just sits on it, its just the plastic clips over the metal frame.
As I had already repaired the worn leather I simply swapped the bases and reassembled in reverse order but now would be a good time to do repairs as you can do it inside on the kitchen table.
Things to note when reassembling.
As identified the seat control box won't fit until you trim the leather a little so that it can be screwed back to the base, you could make a template but I just carefully offered the box up and trimmed holes in leather until it fitted and I could get the screws to bite and it fitted properly.
Because you now have the passenger side on the drivers seat you need to connect the pressure switch to the passenger side wiring, I just cut the connector off and extended the wiring, running it up through the transmission tunnel for continuity.
Now I am not sure if this pressure switch does more than just activate the seat belt warning light on dash when passenger fails to put their belt on. It may have something to do with air bag deployment, I figured that worst case senario was that in the event of a deployment both sides would activate even if there was no passenger, hey ho
In summary its a fairly straight forward logical job if you take your time, I labelled all the wiring but probably wasn't necessary.
Reassembly is straightforward reversal and was very satisfying to do.
The leather repair kit I used was off fleabay by a company called Furniture Clinic, you specify the colour and you get an assortment of pigments to exactly match, it was 22.90 for next day delivery and came with good instructions. There are plenty of tutorials on youtube.
Hope this helps
Sorry I didnt do a proper 'how to' with photo's but I just got up one morning thought sod it how hard can it be and what could possibly go wrong.
Good luck
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Juddian
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Joined: 31 Jan 2015
Posts: 209
Location: Sunny Northamptonshire

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done and thanks for the in depth instructions.

Hopefully its not something i shall need to do on the current vehicle, because soon as i bought it fitted a good quality comfortable sheepskin cover to the driver's seat which takes all the wear from sliding on and off the seat edge so the seat base is still in very good condition.

I wish sometimes we had the Japanese home market cars here instead of those specified as UK spec, ie where you can still have higher spec vehicles but with much more comfortable velour type material upholstery, which is warm in winter and cool in summer, the very opposite of leather.
My 70 series was the velour type material of the time despite being VX spec, it wore well, was a quiet material warm and comfortable.
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Neilto
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Joined: 22 Jan 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Aboyne

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 18:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nitram
Thats a great description you have provided there and just the sort of thing that I'd be happy doing too.
I will get to it too but I need to finish similar activities on my Alfa which was complete interior rebuild.  Its off to Italy in summer with the owners club as a 40th birthday treat for it - back to where it was built so I have to focus on that for now and the LC will have to wait for a while but thanks for that - it will be invaluable come the time.
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