Stow 'n Go seats
So the generic JDM seats weren't that great, so after seeing an article on the Samba about Stow 'n Go seats, I decided to try it. The seats are pretty easy to find brand new, as they're second row seats in several minivans that are often converted for wheelchair use, and the seats are surplus to requirements.
They're (at the time of writing) available in tan or black cloth, and "silver" and black in leather. We had a discussion about the material, and decided to go for cloth because the big old windscreen means that leather would be cold in the winter and hot in the summer. And they'd probably get dried out pretty quickly, too. Aaanyway...
First you need to strip off all the unnecessary clutter...
The side covers are held on with 2 clips and a little spring to pull them out of the way. Easy enough to just unclip, and take 'em off.
Then there are 4 nuts and 2 bolts to undo. The 2 cables at the back aren't needed, so just cut them, and then lift the stowing mechanism away and you'll see 2 springs tucked underneath - unhook these and you're good to remove the whole gubbins.
Here's the bottom of the seat, with the mechanism removed. My OCD wouldn't let me leave the 2 (cut) cables there, so I pulled those out. I've ringed the spring that's left over from removing the stowing mechanism.
If you look at the stowing mechanism, there's a brace and a spacer on each side that I used as a spacer to lift the seat above the swivel base. Pull these off.
I took the stowing mechanism apart to look at everything, and to use the base as a template. This was pretty much unnecessary.
I found that these braces were just the right size to fit on the bottom of the sliders, they just needed an extra hole drilled in them.
The brace is mounted to the bottom of the slider - there'll be a bolt passed through from under the swivel base through the slotted hole, and a nut put on top (the bolt that's welded on there isn't long enough). There'll be a bolt passed through from under the swivel base and through the slider to the slider.
I drilled 4 (more) holes in the swivel base to line up with the holes in the sliders. The template is good for side to side, but not front to back measurement - you'll be putting bolts through the back of the slotted hole.
Here are the bolts - the front goes through the spacer taken from the braces on the stowing mechanism.
The rear goes through the slotted hole and gets a nut on top.
Here are the finished seats. I'm not totally happy with how they sit - the driver's side went in pretty well, but the passenger side was a struggle. They sit a little lower than I'm used to, and the sliders don't let them travel very far. Still, I was working against a deadline (Vic's taking the van on a trip). I think I'll probably revisit this and try something like Mike and Geneva have done.
Oh, and don't install the driver's seat folded up, as you'll have to take the steering wheel out to unfold it :o)
All the hardware is M8x1.25, and 13mm heads on everything means fewer tools.