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Ever since I bought my RAV I've felt slightly cramped when driving(I'm 6'3") and I've been crabbing about it to my son who is an ME in the automotive industry.

Finally, last week he had heard enough so he took the RAV to work and had one of his guys make some mods. Nothing fancy but they gained me 4" of leg room.

The steel bar used measures 1/2 x 2.

According to my son, first they popped the rivets holding the seat track to the floor mounts.

Then they cut and welded in the bar stock.

Then after they set the seat track back 4" on the bar stock, they welded the track to the bar stock

Put the seat back into the RAV and bolted it back into its original mounting location.

With the seat fully back, I've got plenty of leg room, and its like driving a different vehicle.

I can still put the 2nd row seats down if necessary.


And, my daughter-in-law is only 5'2" and she can still move the seat forward enough to comfortably reach the pedals and steering wheel.

Didn't have time to paint the bar stock, so that will be a project for next weekend.

My son said that all in all, the job took them less than 45 minutes start to finish.

Rick

here are some pics.






 

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Thanks for posting your seat track mod -- I have been wondering about something like this myself. Does the seatbelt still fit OK when the seat is at its backmost position?
 
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very nice... im 6'5" and did something very similar in my jeep cherokee... i dunno if i'd ever be able to find leg room like i had in that thing again!
 

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Cool mod, but the welding looks pretty gross and there isn't enough bead, and it looks like the guy didn't even grind off the rust first.

I personally would not trust that welding job. If someone here wants to do this mod, I suggest that they take the seat to a professional welder.

The g forces on the seat are pretty intense in a collision.
 

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John E Davies said:
Cool mod, but the welding looks pretty gross and there isn't enough bead, and it looks like the guy didn't even grind off the rust first.
There is a bead on the underside too and the rust came after the work was done. My fault because I didn't prime and paint it.

I personally would not trust that welding job. If someone here wants to do this mod, I suggest that they take the seat to a professional welder.
Since it was my son overseeing the job, I'm not worried about the welds. And the actual welder is a professional who works in the automotive industry, as a fabricator, for my son.

The g forces on the seat are pretty intense in a collision.
If the collision is that severe , then those welds breaking will more than likely be the least of my worries. :)
 

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Man I hate to be the one who offers a different opinion of what I call a pretty cool mod.

Been thinking about this for sometime, my biggest concern is the side impact airbags, I wonder if moving the seat back further could be a safety issue, one has to think Toyota only let the seat move back so far for a reason...

I'm not sure if this is safe.

Sorry don't mean to be a stick in the mud, I'd like just a little more leg room myself.
 
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Both my wife and I would like both of our Toyota seats to go back further. My dad and I had theorized about moving the floor mounts further back with bar stock rather than the tracks, but since we don't have access to a good welder, we're left wishing that Toyota would use normal sized humans for their interior calibrations of seats and steering wheels. (yeah those aren't right either)
 

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Mnxd9 said:
...my biggest concern is the side impact airbags, I wonder if moving the seat back further could be a safety issue, one has to think Toyota only let the seat move back so far for a reason...

I'm not sure if this is safe.
IMHO... the side airbags are the "curtain" type. With the way the OEM seats recline and slide forward and back... I would think a few more inches of travel would be safe :?
 

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seat mods

i just posted this in another forum, [link] but i can see it really belongs here.

i am also tall and the only solution i've found for not enough leg room is to have the seat moved back a few inches. i take my cars to a company that modifies cars for the handicapped. they not only move the seat back a few inches, but they can shim up the front of the seat for better thigh support. i've been doing this for years and have always been satisfied with the results.
 

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I don't really have problem with leg room. I'm 5'9". I'm not sure if it's my hands that are short or the telescopic steering isn't proportionally designed. coz' I'm not reaching it when i slide the seat back. By the time I slide the seat forward to reach the steering wheel, I hit my knee to the lower dash. I'm talking the safest reach i.e. able to reach the top portion of the steering wheel without hanging my neck incase someone bump me from the rear. Had bad experience about this before and I still messed up my neck, that is why I'm this cautious. Good thing I didn't break my neck. My car wasn't the one who got direct hit and it wasn't that fast either. No i wasn't in this car, it was my other car. Ironically, my bumper just suffered few scratches but my trout felt like pinched by a sword for not being able to let it rested to the head rest.
 

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As a few others have already mentioned, I would be making very sure that the welds used in this modification are up to par.

If you were to be involved in an accident and the welds were to break leading to injury your insurance may not cover you because of the modification. Your insurance only covers a stock vehicle and any modifications that can affect your safety are not covered. Similarly if someone else were injured due to the welds breaking you could be held liable for their injury.

The only way I would perform this mod is if it was done in a way that guarantees it to be stronger then OEM.
 

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i'm 6"2" tall and mostly legs.. but I didn't feel cramped at all when I sat in the Rav 4.. I actually found that I could move the seat up quite a bit and still feel comfortable... I don't understand... is the leg room much different than say a Protege or Civic? Cause i've owned both and they were more than adequate.
 

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Removal of RAV4 Driver-Side Front Seat

I plan to reposition the driver-side front seat backwards a few inches in a 2006 RAV4, as described by Rick B. I would appreciate it very much if any of you can answer a few questions regarding my planned efforts.

1. What are the short, vertical cylindrical rods (about 6 mm diameter ?) that are just behind each of the front steel seat support brackets (i.e.feet)? (These short rods extend upwards from the interior floor to the bottoms of the seat support brackets). Will these rods present a problem regarding seat removal and re-positioning?
2. How do I disconnect the electrical connectors (my front seat is powered and heated). Are they simply "snap apart" type?
3. I must disconnect the seat rails from the seat support brackets by drilling out the connector rivets. I expect that these are "hardened" rivets. Will an ordinary high speed drill (bit) be adequate?

Thanks in advance for any information/advice that you may provide.
Regards,
Michael
 

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Actual Experience on Repositioning 09 RAV4 Driver Seat

For the record, I offer the following comments on my own experience on relocating the front seat of a 2009 RAV4. This project was inspired by RickB's excellent project.

Now, my goal was to relocate the driver's seat 3" rearward with the feature of being able to reposition the seat (at some future date, if required) back to its original position. This required the seat to be bolted onto the "new" attachments, as described below.

Firstly, I separated the four feet from the seat as described by RickB. For each pair of "north-South" feet, I welded a flat bar (5/16" thick, 2" wide and some 22" long). I radiused the front of these bars and made te front ends flush with the front feet for aesthetics.

The seat's two flat-bottomed rails could then "rest" on these two flat bars (and fixed to the bars by 5/16" diameter bolts). Of course, the flat bars were some 3" longer than the seat rails.

In theory, this is a very straightforward and robust approach. However, the project took all day.

This "small" project took so much time due to the need for very, very careful measurements of the various weld attachment points, the time consuming alignment/drilling of the rail attachment holes in the bars - and the unexpected accommodation in the bars of a large 3/8" bolt and nut that protruded from the bottom of each seat rail (and which required a corresponding large hole to be made in each of the flat bars so that the seat rails could rest flat on them).

The end result looks "factory made" and functions perfectly.

If I had simply welded sections of flat bars to the seat rails, the project would have taken much less time. However, for my approach, the seat could be replaced back to its original position at any time - or otherwise repositioned to any point at less than 3" rearward from the original position.

If I were to do this project again, I would still use my approach because, in addition to the advantages stated above, no welding is required to be done on the seat itself (i.e. on the seat rails) or of course in the car itself.

Regards,
Michael
 

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You can now buy a seat extender kit for the RAV4 from extendmyseat.com that will give you 4 more inches of adjustment. They claim it installs in 30 minutes and cost is less than $200. For somebody like me who doesn't weld it looks like the way to go.

Extendmyseat
 
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