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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have a 2007 RAV4 Limited V6 with towing package. We didn't get the 3rd row option when we purchased the car and now would like to retrofit one in.

Sorry for resurrecting a previously discussed post. I researched throughly and didn't find anyone who successfully retrofitted a 3rd row seat into one that didn't have one originally.

Question - has anyone successfully retrofitted one? and if so, please offer guidance.

Assumptions - assuming that I can get my hands on a set of used/cheap 3rd row seat, the seat belts, and the rear trim panels with the seat belt slots. Already have V6 and towing package. Not concerned about springs since kids will be in 3rd row (only for a short duration when in-laws are in town).

Will there be other parts I will need?

I am also considering Little Passenger Seats but would like a factory look with retractable seats so that we can still have trunk space when not in use.

Thanks for any guidance. Much appreciated in advance!
 

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I don't know specifically buy can't believe Toyota would make anything peculiar in the third row bodies. When you find a donor park beside it when you remove the seat and compare.
 

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I/m no expert regarding installing third row seats in RAVs where they aren't OEM, but it may be that some sort to reinforcing of the floor would be needed and any such installation should comply with government safety specs.
 

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I share the cautions others have mentioned, and add that rear suspension might also have to be changed. Personally, I would not put anyone in the third row.
.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the feedback and always appreciate the vast knowledge on this forum.

A couple of questions:

1. Does anyone know if the factory 4.3 RAV have the seatbelt welded bolts for the 3rd row seatbelt assembly if 3rd row was not added as the option? Reason I ask is to determine if it's going to be a simple install/retrofit or would more modifications be needed. I believe I will need to get the rear panel with seat belt slots but wasn't sure if I had the anchor there or not. I am hoping its there and currently just covered by the rear panel??
2. Does anyone have a service manual with exploded diagrams / views of the 4.3 2007 RAV4 V6 with 3rd rows. Wanted to see what parts I will need and to help answer question 1 above.

Thanks all!
 

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I researched this quite a bit when I was buying our RAV as i was trying to buy used and the 3rd row option seldomly came up. My conclusion was that this was not something that was worth my time/money. That said I think it is possible to do however it might take a bit of effort. Forget the warnings from lawyer ninny types, you'll always hear from the "you'd better not" crowd first and loudest.

To make this possible you need a donor car. At the very least the 3rd row seats. I asked our local Toyota dealer parts guy about it, and he said the Toyota does not offer the 3rd seats as a whole unit. There are 3K parts and if you bought all of them (separate and you need to put together) it will run you over $10K. I checked with usedparts.com (can't remember if that was the exact name but a nation wide used [junk yard] parts search) and concluded that I can obtain a set of seats relatively easily for about $300. There are so many of them out there that you can pick your interior color too.

The part that I do not know is if the mounting bosses and seat belt bosses are there. Some fabrication might be in order to get the seats properly installed. If you had a 3rd row RAV at a local yard that you were able to cut bit off of it would be ideal.

As for the usefulness of the 3rd row seats they are AWESOME!!!! I personally ride in the 3rd row often. I am 5'11" as is my wife who is also rides in the back. Granted we are not overweight. My son who is 6 now is generally the first person we send back there. One 4th of July I, my 6'1" friend and his 6' wife all sat in the third row. Yes we were drunk and the driver (my wife) was sober and we were all heading out to see the fireworks. Leaving we got stuck in traffic and the 3 of us sat back there for almost 2 hours. As for safety, there is a fairly large "crush" zone between the back of the seat and the back hatch. About the same distance as a sub compact car (Honda fit, Chevy spark...).

Finally there are quite a few things that I have found to be different between the 3rd row and non third row RAVs that are not deal breakers but worth mentioning.
-Higher load springs. This is not a big deal as you can simple purchase new springs and install them. EASY. The suspension is actually identical other than the spring.
-Larger rear brakes.
-No one touch 2nd row fold down. I believe this is a safety feature so my 6 year old son will not flip down grandma's seat.
-Longer track on the 2nd row. Foot space for the 3rd row is created by the 2nd row moving forward. The only way I learned of this is that the longer track makes the carpet different, and if you order an aftermarket fit carpet cover like weathertech, they have a 3rd row version.

Good luck keep us posted.

Here is a link to some diagrams. I did not look through ti long enough to find the 3rd row schematic.
http://toyotaparts.lagrangetoyota.com/Toyota_2012_RAV-42500CC-16-VALVE-DOHC-EFI--AUTOMATIC-4-SPEEDSTANDARD/Body-and-Trim.html
 

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To make this possible you need a donor car. At the very least the 3rd row seats.
In other words, to have a third-row RAV4, first you have to find one.
Brilliant.
 

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Just did a search on car-parts.com, about 20 came up on the first page. Looks like you can get a pair for under $200.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for the replies, comments, suggestions and tips.

I stopped by an auto salvage yard today to compare the two vehicles. A couple of observations:

1. My RAV4 did have the upper seat belt mounting nut on both sides - see pic. This was the good news.
2. Here comes the bad news - My RAV4 did not have the floor latch system as illustrated on the second and third pictures and this was the deal breaker for me because of safety. Structurally, without the extra crossmember beam there was no way for me to mount it to nor did I want to spend the time in cutting and fabricating it to fit my vehicle. I didn't even look further at this point and I would assume there may be further differences on the actual 3rd row seat mounting location and bracket, etc.

I can now see why this was an often discussed upon topic but never accomplished...perhaps due to these structural differences. I wanted to close the loop and offer my observations.

Many Thanks again to this forum...you all rock and hopefully, at least this one time - I contributed to the richness of this discussion topic as I have often read and applied others suggestions but haven't contributed yet. Thanks again and keep up the great work!
 

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