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Changing the Angle of the Bench Seat

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Old 08-07-2011, 04:23 PM   #1
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Changing the Angle of the Bench Seat *Making It Recline*

So after about 17,000 miles I had gotten sick of the vertical angle of the regular cab bench seat. I tried stacking washers under the front mounts as some have tried here, but I didn't like the look. I also felt like I was sitting in a giant V with my legs propped up. A bucket seat conversion would be ideal, but there is cost, parts availability, and the whole airbag mess.

Well after reading bjmoose's thread on disassembling and modifying the bench seat I was inspired to take a look at my seat. Here is the link to the thread, a great read BTW http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...mfortable.html

Tools/Items Needed:

14mm Socket and Ratchet
#2 Phillips Screw Driver
Small Round File (Not Shown)
Torque Wrench (Not Shown)
Shop Vac (Not Shown)
4 3/8 Star Washers
Dremel Tool
Tungsten Carbide Cutting Bit http://www.lowes.com/pd_73390-353-99...3D2&facetInfo=



Close up of the bit


The first step is to remove the hinge covers on each side of the seat. They are held on by two phillips screws.





As you can see the upper portion of the seat is held on by two 14mm bolts. The basic idea is to oval out the front hole and use the rear bolt as a pivot. In this picture you can see the two bolts and the near vertical angle of the seat.



Here is the seat with the front bolt removed and pivoted back. A poor illustration of the change in angle.



Mark the area you want to remove.



Unbolt the upper portion of the seat and lean it forward. I had to pull up the backing of the seat unhook the black plastic protectors for the airbag wires. Also be extremely careful not to pull, stretch, or damage the airbag wires. Lastly I used some rags to protect the area from metal shavings.



Grinding almost done. The carbide cutter works very fast, so be careful and take your time. I also reassembled the seat a couple of times during the grinding to ensure I hadn't removed too much metal. NOTE: It only takes a small change to make a big difference on the angle of the seat. When all was said and done I only removed about 3/16 inch of material. lastly, I cleaned up the hole with a small round file.



Repeat the same steps for the other side. I used an extermely specialized tool to clean up the shavings from the seat track



I also added a star washer to the bolts to help lock the seat in place. I don't think it would go anywhere without them, but it can't hurt.



Finally push the upper portion of the seat towards the rear and reinstall the bolts and washers. Torque the bolts to 31ft-lbs and reinstall the covers. You are done.



Enjoy your gangster leaning beach seat



A few final notes:
If you already drive with the seat fully to the rear this modification will not work. There will not be any space for the seat to recline.
I take no responsibility for any damage to your truck or yourself if you perform this modification.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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Well done! I might just remove the seat altogether and put bean bag chairs in it.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:54 PM   #3
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good write up man
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:34 AM   #4
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great idea.... i shall be trying this in my spare time. thanks for the write up
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:24 AM   #5
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Well done.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:12 AM   #6
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the reg cabs seat isnt adjustable?
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:09 AM   #7
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Nicely done
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puckstopper55 View Post
the reg cabs seat isnt adjustable?
No, the bench is a torture device designed in the late 1600's.
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:18 PM   #9
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nice! i will have to try this until i can locate some bucket seats
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:24 AM   #10
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how much does the seat angle back now? pretty drastic?
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueitrgsr View Post
how much does the seat angle back now? pretty drastic?
I only ground away enough for it angle back a few degrees, but it makes a world of difference in comfort. The only limit to how far back it will goes is how far foward you sit.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:01 AM   #12
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Since this is a irreversible mod, is there any liability involved? Will this affect air bag deployment, etc

Motoretro
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoretro View Post
Since this is a irreversible mod, is there any liability involved? Will this affect air bag deployment, etc

Motoretro
I can't imagine it affecting the airbags. The bucket seats have side bolster airbags and they are able to recline. AFAIK the buckets also dont have any angle sensors on the seat backs to relate seat angle to deployment. However, as always YMMV
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:11 PM   #14
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I was just thinking about possibilities of movement in an accident since you've elongated the bolt hole and the only thing keeping the seat back from moving forward quickly is the clamping pressure of the star washer and bolt. It does look like a neat mod, I just wish it was reversible when selling or trading in.

What would be interesting is if you could drill the hole out oversize and use a insert with offset hole you could spin around to get desired seat inclination. Then when you sold the truck you could replace the offset hole insert w/ one drilled dead center to gain original seat inclination.


Motoretro


Quote:
Originally Posted by n8dogg675 View Post
I can't imagine it affecting the airbags. The bucket seats have side bolster airbags and they are able to recline. AFAIK the buckets also dont have any angle sensors on the seat backs to relate seat angle to deployment. However, as always YMMV
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:21 PM   #16
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you had a great idea, i pulled mine apart and decided to mod the rear bolt holes instead of the front. i used a 3/8 reamer and i just reamed downward about 1/4 inch, so stoked on the new angle, thanks for the idea
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:12 PM   #17
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I just did this today, also raised the front cushion with some washers. Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:31 AM   #18
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great info and a great mod to do, i hate my bench seat !
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:59 PM   #19
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Here's another possibility. I just did this today. I removed the seat backto have better access, but it's not necessary. I ground out more metal on thestop that limits how far the seat can recline. Save the comments on my choice of grinding tools. My bit broke and this is all I had onhand. There’s apparently a splinedinternal mechanism that locks in addition to the tab limiting thereclining. As I ground a groove in themetal, I eventually reached a point where the mechanism locked again with theseat further reclined. It wasn’t quiteenough, so I kept grinding. I eventuallyreached a second point where the mechanism locks. So now I have the stock position, one positionmore, then a second even further. Bothsides must be ground.

Of course there is a caveat. I disconnectthe cables that connect the release levers to each other. The mechanism on the opposite side I wasoperating still locked at the stock position, then the first position when I contortedmyself to operate both simultaneously. Otherwiseit is a two-person operation. I rarelyuse the space behind the seat. So I’mleaving it as is for now. It is so muchbetter than the stock torture position. AndI believe this will retain full strength in the event of a crash.

As soon as I figure out how to uploads images, I'll include a photo.

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Old 10-29-2011, 05:08 PM   #20
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a couple photos of the mod.
Attached Thumbnails
Changing the Angle of the Bench Seat-dscn6695.jpg   Changing the Angle of the Bench Seat-dscn6696.jpg  
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