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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:32 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Virginia
Swapping Subaru WRX Seats into Suzuki Swift GT

I love my GT, but I’m a big guy, and the seats have always seemed a little small. Also, I could never get truly comfortable because I could not push the seat back just that extra inch or two. After riding in a friend’s WRX, I decided to try and swap the seats from a WRX into the Swift. At the same time, I would try to move the seat further back, to give me more legroom.

I bought a pair of front seats from a 2003 WRX in nice condition on a Subaru forum for $160. With less than $50 in hardware and materials, some imagination, time, and sweat, I managed to fit the Subie seats into the Suzie.

Attachment:
driver's seat outside 1.jpg
driver's seat outside 1.jpg [ 47.63 KIB | Viewed 2373 times ]


Attachment:
driver's seat inside.jpg
driver's seat inside.jpg [ 123.5 KIB | Viewed 2373 times ]


Pluses:
I find the WRX seats to be much more comfortable than the stock GT seats.
The new driver’s seat is mounted lower than the GT seats, so I can use my side mirror without ducking my head.
The seat pushes further back than stock, so I have legroom.
The adjustable headrest comes up all the way behind my head, instead of just touching the base of my skull.
The bolsters on the seat bottom and back really hold me in place.
Presumably front/rear weight distribution is a little bit better, because the driver’s weight is moved back.

Minuses:
I haven’t weighed them, but I am sure the WRX seats with mounts weigh more than the Suzuki seats.
The driver’s door rubs against the side of the seat back.
The lever for adjusting the angle of the driver’s seat back cannot be reached with the door closed. I need to develop some kind of linkage to connect to the lever so I can adjust the angle when the door is shut.
There are no storage pockets on the seat backs.
The OEM trim panel on the left side of the driver’s seat won’t fit. I will have to figure out some way to make it look “pretty.”

If I had to do it all over again, I would have:
slid the driver’s seat a little closer to the center of the car, so the door panel wouldn’t touch the seat.
lowered the passenger seat and moved it a little further back.
tried to use the seat height adjustment linkage (rods and arms) to mount the driver’s seat.

The rest of this post describes how I did it.
ANYONE THAT DUPLICATES MY EFFORTS DOES SO AT THEIR OWN RISK.
Please forgive my shouting.

With materials and tools in hand, this project could be done in 2 days.

Tools:
yardstick/meter stick/some kinda measuring device
metric socket set
Philips head screwdriver
rattail file (for elongating holes where needed)
flat file (for cleaning up holes drilled in metal)
¼" electric drill with ¼" and 5/16" bits
level
angle grinder (well worth the investment for the time and effort saved) or hacksaw
eye protection
ear muffs (that angle grinder got noisy after awhile)

Note 1: “Inside” refers to the side of the seat closest to the center of the car, “outside” refers to the side of the seat closest to the door.
Note 2: Do one seat at a time and start with the passenger side, so you can still drive to the store for materials, hardware, beer, etc.
Note 3: All hardware should be high tensile, 10.9 or higher.
Note 4: It is probably cheaper to use English hardware where possible, that is, where bolts/screws don’t have to thread into existing fittings. However, I used metric all the way through so I didn’t have to worry about using English wrenches/sockets.
Note 5: The passenger seat sits about 1" higher and 1" further forward than stock as a result of how I mounted it. The Mrs. is on the short side and favors the position of the new seat. I think with a little more work the passenger seat could be lowered and moved back.
Note 6: Photos of each step would have been helpful. However, I was too impatient to spin wrenches AND push shutter buttons, so the procedure is described in excruciating detail.

Passenger Seat

Required materials:
18" length of 1½ x 1½ x ⅛ mild steel angle iron
5 8x1.25x15mm bolts
5 8mm lockwashers (or, 5/16" lockwashers)
3 8x1.25mm hex nuts
5 6x1.25x15mm bolts
5 6x1.25x15mm nuts
5 6mm lockwashers (or, ¼" lockwashers)

1. Unbolt Suzuki Swift GT seat on mounts from car - two bolts for outside mounts, three bolts for inside mounts.
2. Disconnect seat belt warning switch connector.
3. Remove seat to workbench.
4. Unbolt seat from mounts and put seat aside. Save the wire connecting the front-to-rear adjusters.
5. Remove vertical tab from front of outside slider. (If the tab is removed entirely, both horizontal and vertical sections, then use flat washers to fill the gap between the slider and the bottom of the seat.)
6. Drill out rivet hole in what remains of the vertical mount to 5/16" to fit an 8mm bolt.
7. Clean, paint, and lube slider.
8. Remove WRX passenger seat from its sliders.
9. Cut the plastic conduit and wires controlling the air bag system from the seat back.
10. Remove the seatback recliner lever cover, then the trim panel covering the seat base on the outside.
11. On the outside face of the seat base, measure the distance from the front of the seat base flange to the front crossbar center on the outside seat base (A).
12. Measure the distance between the fixed crossbar centers on the outside seat base (B).
13. Measure the distance from the bottom of the flange to the crossbar centers (C).
14. Put a bolt through the hole at the rear of the outside slider and thread it into the captured nut at the rear of the outside flange of the WRX seat.
15. Mark where the captured nut at the front of the outside flange meets the slider. This should be where the tab removed from the slider in step 3 was.
16. The existing hole at the front of the slider may not line up with the captured nut on the seat flange. Drill a ¼" hole in the slider so that the 8x1.25mm bolt can be inserted and threaded into the captured nut.
17. Mark where the holes in, and the stud on, the outside slider meet the angle iron bolted to the outside of the seat base.
18. Mark a hole in the flange for the stud sticking up from the outside slider strikes the flange. Be sure the flange is centered on the slider.
19. Drill a 5/16" hole through the flange for the stud.
20. Bolt the outside slider to the flange with two 8 x 1.25 x 15mm bolts with lockwashers, which thread into the captured nuts, and a hex nut and lockwasher onto the stud.
21. Remove the inside seat base and seatback hinge from the WRX seat. Remove two screws secure the crossbars, then the two hexhead bolts, then the inside hinge trim, then the Philips head screw and plastic washer. Unhook this piece from the seat back.
22. Drill out the 5 rivets in the piece removed in the previous step and separate the two pieces. The inner piece can be discarded, save the “hinge piece.”
23. Using distances A, B, and C measured above, mark the center points for the crossbars on the angle iron. Draw a line extending through the two center points.
24. Remove the angle iron and hinge piece from the seat base.
25. Drill holes for the crossbars in the angle iron. (I think they were ½”/13mm.)
26. Lay the angle iron over the crossbar ends.
27. Lay the hinge piece over the angle iron, with the hinge piece over the rearmost crossbar and the bottom edge of the hinge piece flush with the bend in the angle iron. Clamp the two together, then remove from the seat base.
28. Mark the center points for the five rivets closer to the front on the side of the angle iron and for the bolt between the crossbar ends. (The center of the hole for this bolt should the same distance from the flange as the crossbar centers, on the line marked in step 21 above.)
29. Drill ¼" holes corresponding to the rivets and a 5/16" hole for the 8mm bolt as marked on the angle iron in the step above.
30. Bolt the angle iron to the hinge piece using 6x1.25x20mm bolts, lockwashers, and nuts.
31. Measure, mark, and notch the angle iron to fit around the raised land for the rear 8mm bolt.
32. Hook the hinge piece around the pivot of the seat back, then bolt the angle iron and hinge piece to the seat base with the 8mm bolts and lockwashers and secure with the screws for the crossbars.
33. Bolt the sliders back in the car.
34. Measure the distance between the 4 holes to which the seat will be mounted - side to side, front to back, and diagonally. (In the case of my seat, the holes measured 14" front to back, 17" side to side, and 22" diagonally.)
35. Using the holes in the flange of the outside face of the seat base as reference, and the measurements from above, mark and drill two 5/16" holes in the angle iron to fit the 8mm bolts used to mount the seat to the sliders.
36. Notch the angle iron to fit around the tab on the seat adjuster.
37. Remove the seat and outside slider assembly.
38. Remove the inside slider assembly from the car.
39. Connect the two slider assemblies with the wire that connects the adjustment assemblies, removed in step 1.
40. Bolt the inside slider to the angle iron using 8x1.25x20mm bolts, lockwashers, and nuts. Use flat washers as spacers between the slider and the angle iron as necessary to raise the iron over rivet heads, flanges, etc.
41. Reconnect seat belt warning connector. Or not.
42. Bolt the seat to the floor.
43. Mark any excess of angle iron, remove seat, and cut off any excess.
44. Replace the trim panel, then the seatback recliner lever handle.
45. Bolt the seat to the floor.

Driver’s Seat

Required hardware:
36" length of 2 x 2 x ⅛ mild steel angle iron
5 8x1.25x15mm bolts
5 8mm lockwashers (or, 5/16" lockwashers)
3 8x1.25mm hex nuts
5 6x1.25x15mm bolts
5 6x1.25x15mm nuts
5 6mm lockwashers (or, ¼" lockwashers)
2 10x1.25x30mm bolts

1. Unnbolt Suzuki Swift GT seat on sliders from car - two bolts for outside mounts, three bolts for inside mounts.
2. Disconnect seat belt warning connector.
3. Remove seat to workbench.
4. Unbolt seat from sliders and put seat aside. Save the wire connecting the front-to-rear adjusters.
5. Remove vertical tab from front of outside slider. (If the tab is removed entirely, both horizontal and vertical sections, then use flat washers to fill the gap between the slider and the bottom of the seat.)
6. Drill out rivet hole in what remains of the vertical mount to 5/16".
7. Clean, paint, and lube both sliders.
8. Remove WRX seat from its sliders.
9. Cut the plastic conduit and wires controlling the air bag system from the seat back.
10. Remove the lever cover for the seat height adjuster. (I cut it off.)
11. Remove the seatback recliner lever cover, then the trim panel covering the seat base on the outside.
12. Remove and discard that part of the seat height adjustment assembly that can be unbolted/unscrewed. Be careful removing spiral-wound spring (“clock mainspring”) so it doesn’t put out an eye.
13. Cut off the shaft sticking out from the outside seat face, leaving the low round section that resembles a short can.
14. Remove the trim from the inside seat back hinge, held in place with a Philips head screw, then the Philips head screw and plastic washer from the hinge pin.
15. Remove the seat back by removing the two 10mm bolts on the left side and unhooking the right side of the seat back from the pin.
16. Remove the upholstery from the seat base by lifting the plastic clips away from the flanges.
17. Cut and remove the rods and linkages connecting both sides of the seat. Save the tube connecting the two sides.
18. Level the seat side-to-side using the horizontal flanges at the front and rear of the seat base.
19. Cut angle iron into 2 18" lengths.
20. Clamp an angle iron to the outside face, horizontal flange under the seat, with the rear end even with the rear edge of the seat base. Be certain that the vertical plane of the angle iron covers both holes where the seat back hinge is bolted in place. The rear-most hole will determine how low the seat can be mounted. The lower the hole is on the vertical flange of the angle, the lower the seat.
21. Cut down the side of the seat base so that the front bolt hole is about ½" above the horizontal flange. Don’t cut away more than necessary, in order to maintain strength.
22. Cut a spacer to fit between the angle and the inset at the front of the face from the leftover tube. The angle should rest on the short “can.”
23. Mark the location of the two holes for the bolts for the seat back hinge.
24. Drill a 5/16" hole through the angle iron at the front mark and drill 7/16" holes at the marks for the seat back hinge.
25. Bolt the angle to the base with an 8x1.25mm bolt at the front and the two original 10x1.25mm bolts at the rear.
26. Clamp an angle on the inside face, level with the angle bolted to the outside face and with its end even with the front of the seat base. Cut down the vertical tab at the rear of the side of the seat base so that the angle can be leveled. (The rod for the height adjustment mechanism used to pass through this tab.)
27. Cut away at the vertical plane of the angle at the rear so that the angle will fit flush on the seat base.
28. Mark the centerpoint of the front bolt hole on the angle iron.
29. Cut a spacer to fit the gap between the angle iron and the inset at the front of the seat base face from the leftover tube.
30. Drill three or four ¼" holes in the angle iron and face, roughly in the center.
31. Drill a 5/16" hole for the front bolt corresponding to the nut in the seat base.
32. Bolt angle to seat base with 6mm bolts, fender washers, lockwashers, and nuts through the three or four holes and an 8x1.25x30mm bolt at the front.
33. Bolt the sliders back into the car and push them all the way back.
34. Place the seat bottom with angles bolted on in the car and determine how far back you want the seat to go. (I wanted it to go back further than stock.) Make certain the angle irons at the front of the seat extend over the holes in the sliders.
35. Mark where the holes in, and the stud on, the outside slider meet the angle iron bolted to the outside of the seat base.
36. Mark where the holes in the inside slider meet the angle iron bolted to the inside of the seat base.
37. Mark the inside angle iron where it must be notched to clear the fore-and-aft adjuster. (This will be obvious.)
38. Center the seat on the sliders and mark.
39. Remove the seat from the car and remove the angle irons from the seat base.
40. Drill 5/16" holes at the three marks made on the horizontal flange of the outside angle iron.
41. Drill 5/16" holes at the two marks made on the horizontal flange of the inside angle iron.
42. Notch the inside angle iron to give clearance for the seat adjuster.
43. Bolt the angle irons back on the seat base, then test fit 8x1.25 x 30mm bolts through the holes in the mounts. Grind/cut the seat base as necessary so that you can fit lockwashers and nuts on the bolts and stud.
44. Remove the angle irons.
45. Replace the upholstery.
46. Bolt the inside angle iron onto the seat. Make holes in the upholstery for the three/four 6mm bolts on the inside face.
47. Bolt the outside angle iron onto the seat using only the front bolt - 8x1.25x30mm.
48. Replace the seat back, with the seat hinge lying on top of the angle iron.
49. Fasten the hinge in place with 2 10x1.25x30mm bolts through the hinge, then thru the angle, into captured nuts in outside face. These are longer than stock, and should be of high tensile strength.
50. Bolt the inside slider onto the seat base. Flat washers can be used under the angle to match the existing irregularities on the slider.
51. Connect the two slider assemblies with the wire that connects the adjustment assemblies, removed in step 1.
52. Bolt the outside slider onto the seat base.
53. Put the seat back in the car and bolt in place using 4 8mmx1.25x20mm bolts inserted from below and flange nuts and the nut and washer on the stud.
54. Cut excess length from angle irons if necessary and round corners.
55. Reconnect seat belt warning connector. Or not.
56. Go for a drive. If all feels right,
57. Take it all apart, clean, prime, paint, reassemble, and reinstall.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:13 pm
Posts: 219
Location: SEATTLE,WA
The seats look great, but the center armrest doesn't really match anymore, you should sell it, to me..............

Nice Job on the write up also.......


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:27 am
Posts: 3053
Location: Aruba
Yeah those seats look great!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

_________________
1991-GTi: JE 75mm 11:1 pistons,Ported head, Single UD pulley (OCC),Sandros chip,Aluminium flywheel,3tech 222/365 cams, Cultus headers,Cultus IM,50mm tb,Crane cams adjustable cam gears,Apex suspension, 4.39fd GB.
1989-GTi: 3Tech 210/340 Cams,Cultus IM, B&G springs, TD04L turbo, Apexi SAFC, Suzukird UD pulley, Circuitse7en dual boost controller, AEM wideband, AEM water / meth injection kit, HKS bov.
2001-Altezza AS200: Stock.-sold
2003-EVO7 GT-A
Aruba "one happy island".


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:14 am
Posts: 1897
Location: Prince George B.C. Canada
Thank you kindly for the info


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:32 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Virginia
Should anyone have an interest in doing this, seats are always available at http://forums.nasioc.com/.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 10:08 pm
Posts: 625
Location: texas houston
Well i am not a big fan of those seats. but sense you took the swift seats out put them on the market you will never have a problem finding a buyer sense they are so hard to find and so sought after . believe me gti gt seats hard to find!!!! :yeahyeah


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:32 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Virginia
I understand they're sought after, but they weren't very comfortable for me. I had several calls when I offered the GTi seats for sale. They went to a good home and will spend the rest of their lives in a 'Vert.


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