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  • Interior: Toyotebaker Seats

    I've had my 56 Power hawk for a few weeks now and have a back ache every time I get home from a drive. So I was looking on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for some better seats. Turns out an acquaintance was parting out a 2002 Toyota Sienna. I gave him 60.00 for two seats and seatbelts. The driver's side is power; fore and aft, recline, and lumbar support. The passenger folds all the way forward.
    He took the seats and belts out, knew what he was doing and didn't take long. But it woulda taken me an hour or so. Then he removed the airbags from the top outside of each seats, that was a job! He removed the plastic panel on the seat back and accessed them from there. They are factory designed to explode out of the seat fabric. Later in the day we went to a buddies place and blew up some stuff... sent a 20lb board with old bike 15' in the air, sounded like shotgun blast... so don't mess around casually with airbags! Depending on what TV shows you watch, they looked like either C4 explosives or a cocaine shipment.
    Removal of stock bench seat is super easy. The Toyota seats were definitely too tall by maybe three inches. So I put them upside down and began cutting the four feet parts down. I cut the rear ones flush with the sliders. The fronts I let a few inches taller to maintain original Toy angle.
    Because on the indent in the Hawk's floor, I left the rear inside foot of both seats untouched . Since I had cut off the mounting brackets, I welded on steel flat stock and drilled holes and bolted the seats in with 5/16ths bolts with big fender washers on the underside of floor pan.
    This sounds easy, but there was a huge amount of test fitting, leveling, squaring, grinding brackets, etc ... to get them in the right place. As it was, perhaps I mounted them a bit too far back. My 5'6" grand daughter had to put the seat all the way forward and still point her foot to get the clutch all the way in. But they work great for me. It would be nice if the seat was an inch lower as its a squeeze to get my 6' 175lb body in. I'm thinking of getting a smaller steering wheel. But without power steering? ... any of you use a smaller wheel without power steering?
    The Toy seats have more technology, electronics, and wiring the the whole rest of the car. There must be a dozen wires connected to the Toy computer. They power the seat, air bag sensors, memory for each seat function, seat belt sensor.... I didn't know what to do with all of them. But it turned out that only two of them are necessary and were heavier gauge than the rest, hot & ground, so easy to identify. The last picture is a box full of the wires that I removed from the seats, pretty crazy unbelievable.
    In spite of removing airbags, wires, cutting brackets, etc.. the two bucket seats still weigh about 5lbs more than the original bench seats.
    But they are soooo very nice and comfortable, and I can't stop fiddling with the power controls. I sit up about an inch higher, and actually like the view out the windows better. I can see more of the beautiful hood, and the sun visor is effectively lower and works better for me.
    Let me know if you are interested in how I adapted the seat belts, and I'll do a write up on their installation.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Thanks for the write up. I've used Acura and Pontiac G6 seats and they are a big improvement.

    Well done, Bob

    Comment


    • #3
      I think I might be on the look out for something in leather.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Rafe Hollister View Post
        I think I might be on the look out for something in leather.
        Realistically, most mid and full size modern car seats are candidates. From the good work you have done above you now know what to look for in seats. Mine are all leather and prices are generally reasonable.

        If you can prowl a local wrecking yard you can see what you like. Otherwise, prowl used car lots for ideas.

        I found my leather Acura seats at an LKQ site in Michigan that dismantles a fair number of factory test vehicles. My Acura seats had 0 miles on them. The Pontiac G6 seats came from a local yard that let me prowl. I took the interior harnesses with them, connected them to my 12 volt system and have heat, power 6 ways and lumbar adjustments.

        Bob

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        • #5
          Wow....that's a lot of work to get the Studebaker assets up to speed . Great job and looks like a fun project with immediate results.

          Yup, I would be interested in the seat belt configuration data.

          It will be interesting to see how my ageing carcass does with a long ride in 63R1089's early thin seats.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by firestoper 25 View Post
            Wow....that's a lot of work to get the Studebaker assets up to speed . Great job and looks like a fun project with immediate results.

            Yup, I would be interested in the seat belt configuration data.

            It will be interesting to see how my ageing carcass does with a long ride in 63R1089's early thin seats.
            My back is good for up to about 20 miles in those early Avanti seats. A large, rolled up, Turkish towel at my lower back helps.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

            Comment


            • #7
              Well thanks for that tip studegary, This week's trip to town IS going to include your TT () solution....of course it will HAVE to be in the correct color of red to match the Regal Red seats.

              Comment


              • #8
                Most people have installed "Other Make" Seats with a LOT less trouble, Fit issues, and a better result, so it sounds like Sienna Seats may NOT be the answer.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi StudeRich, I figure it was a total win for me. I got to play with my car. I like figuring things out. I got very nice seats. I found out that I like to sit an inch higher. I got to do it all myself. It cost half as much as one new tire. It let me practice with my new TIG welder that our beloved father Donald Trump bought me with 1st stimulus check. It defined my next project... making my steering wheel smaller (I already beat off the cracked and disintegrating bakelite, so its just metal. Now trying to figure how to wrap it with Zebra wood, but 3/4" less in diameter.) We had fun blowing up the air bags. I learned about seat electronics. And now I have plenty of time to look for the perfect leather seats. I call that a most successful project.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rafe Hollister View Post
                    He took the seats and belts out, knew what he was doing and didn't take long. But it woulda taken me an hour or so. Then he removed the airbags from the top outside of each seats, that was a job! He removed the plastic panel on the seat back and accessed them from there. They are factory designed to explode out of the seat fabric. Later in the day we went to a buddies place and blew up some stuff... sent a 20lb board with old bike 15' in the air, sounded like shotgun blast... so don't mess around casually with airbags!
                    Good your bud knew his stuff. A couple of local numbnuts were installing wrecking yard seats in an old GMC pickup. Without a wiring diagram, they started touching wires to the hot lead to guess which operated the power adjust. Of course, they got one for the air bag trigger, shredded the seat, blew out the windshield of the truck and sent one of the rocket scientists to the ER.

                    jack vines
                    PackardV8

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, that could happen! Until we blew them up, I had no idea how dangerous they were. My bud is a bit of a 'ham fisted" mechanic, but he handled the airbags like a baby.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Air bag wiring uses a bright yellow connector, just in case you happen to be into a modern wiring harness. We used to blow them up during extrication classes to demonstrate how much force they have when they go off. They can be very dangerous to fire fighters and EMTs if they have not gone off in the initial crash.

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                        • #13
                          Ref post # 12

                          Yup, that's how we trained the extraction team on our FD. We also did a wire code data guide that was carried in the Salvage rig as a reference.

                          I will bet that the only time my guy's referenced the book was AFTER the rescue was done!!

                          It sure was fun 'deting' the AB's. We had a deal with several of the junk yards for surplus AB's as training aids.

                          It was much harder to get the expensive steering wheel AB's for training aids - they seemed to be a higher demand for used replacements, I guess.

                          What could go wrong, firemen & things that go bang......BIG bang.....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am in the process of installing Honda Odyssey second row seats in my Lark, they look like they will fit just nicely... mine came out of an earlier Odyssey, if you can find the 2020 or 2021, they have the sholder belt built into the seat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jackg View Post
                              I am in the process of installing Honda Odyssey second row seats in my Lark, they look like they will fit just nicely... mine came out of an earlier Odyssey, if you can find the 2020 or 2021, they have the sholder belt built into the seat
                              Is your Lark a two door or four door? Are you using these seats in the front? If so, and a two door, how will you get to the rear (I guess at least one folds enough.)? If so, second row seats normally do not have the fore and aft adjustment desired for front seat usage. Do you plan on using the Studebaker tracks on the Honda seats?
                              Gary L.
                              Wappinger, NY

                              SDC member since 1968
                              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                              Comment

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