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Discussion Starter #1
Hi -

Has anyone successfully installed Recaro seats in a 2nd gen RAV?

I can't find a source for adapter brackets; I have an extra Recaro Sport I would like to put in the driver seat position of the RAV.

I placed an order with Wedge Engineering - their website indicates that ALL RAV4's use the same seat bolt pattern, which I find hard to believe.

When I asked them to confirm the bolt pattern, the measurements they gave me sounded way off from mine. They said they couldn't do it and cancelled my order.

Thanks.
 

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Several years ago I had the idea of getting a Recaro driver's seat for my RAV 4.3, and ran into that same problem. Also the seat I was thinking of was quite expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mmm. Not exactly rocket science. If I could weld, I am pretty sure that I could modify the P/S bracket I have in my RSX to fit the RAV4.

A friend once modified a Wedge bracket to swap it from one floorpan to another in about 20 minutes.

Sigh.
 

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Took longer than 20 minutes this time, but finally...............!
Great job! - what did you have to do to install that Recaro? Which seat did you buy, and what was the total cost for the project? Now you have me mentally drooling . . . :wink
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A friend who has a shop finally hooked me up - I used a Wedge bracket from the passenger side of my RSX that he spent about 4 hours modifying to fit the RAV4 platform. I had 2 Recaro Sports previously installed in my RSX about 10 years ago and since the RSX is semi-retired, I decided to install one of the Recaros in my RAV4.

He charged me $150 for the bracket modification. I paid $100 for the bracket 10 years ago.

I'm not quite sure if I like it or not as is; the seat position, especially the rear, seems too low. It makes the RAV4 feel almost like a sports car on winding roads, but makes it a little more difficult for daily in and out, around town driving. Recaro sliders give about an extra much-needed 2" of legroom, much, much needed in the RAV4, and one of the main reasons I wanted this seat installed.

I'm 6' 1", 55 years of age. This is a nice seat, but I would prefer less aggressive thigh bolsters for easier ingress/egress, and a bit higher seating position. I will drive it for a couple of weeks before I go asking for the bracket to be modified again for a higher seating position.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I bought a cheap lumbar cushion to put under my butt to raise it up a little bit - I don't know if the butt cushion is worn from 10 years of usage (probably so, it's the part of the seat that takes the most weight and abuse) but I am not in a financial position right now to buy a new seat. Once my back heals from the installation, I will at least swap it out for the other Recaro Sport of the same vintage - it might be less worn, although I periodically rotated them in the old RSX.
 

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I checked on prices for Recaro seats and they are quite pricey - beyond what I would want to or be able to spend! Perhaps a less expensive car sports-type of seat from another maker would do just as well but I need to check airbag compatibility And I found that universal adapters for RAV4s are available via Ebay and other sources.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, they start at just over $900, but I was fortunate enough (I scrounged the Internet) to find a pair for that price 10 years ago. One was a floor model that a tuner shop was selling for $600, the other was left over from a wealthy person's upholstery project - $300, for a new Sport that had been unupholstered and reupholstered (somewhat poorly; the fabric wasn't as taught as it was originally ).

I became very interested in the Recaro seats after my first and hopefully last back surgery 35 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am ambivalent about airbags - they can be very dangerous and I thought about removing them completely.

I did lose side airbags in the OEM RSX seats when I installed the airbag - less Recaros in it.

My RAV4 has only the two front airbags.

I placed an online order for adapter brackets with Wedge Engineering, one of the largest makers of adapter brackets, but they cancelled the order, saying that they could only make a bracket for a 1st gen RAV4.
 

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I remember that airbags first were installed because people supposedly weren't using their seat belts and the then-padded dash supposedly didn't provide enough protection when people were thrust forward in crashes. Then lobby organizations like Consumers Union lobbied that airbags be continued even after seatbelt laws came into force, and then they still lobbied for more airbags. Next they'll want us to wear inflatable suits - at least until autonomous cars are mandated! Even though these sorts of things are being shoved down our throats, so to speak, I'd want to keep airbag protection so if, for example, a dealer service tech takes a test ride and is involved in a crash I wouldn't be sued because of the removed airbag situation.

I've seen ready made universal seat brackets for generation 3 RAVs such as mine available and for reasonable prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Frontal airbags only work when front seat occupants wear their seat/shoulder belt restraints. Front airbags become a danger if the belts aren't worn. The belt/bag combination is probably marginally better in a frontal collision - I've often worried what airbags would persuade my eyeglasses to do to my face and eyes in the event of a frontal collision.

Side airbags - I am much, much more enamored with them - side impacts are far more dangerous than frontal impacts, given the far smaller amount of protection offered by the side of a vehicle compared to the huge mass in the front of the vehicle.

And - side impacts will toss the cranium around unprotected, unlike rear or front impacts, which offer protection from the seat/shoulder belt and head restraint.

Looks like the 2nd generation RAV4 is the loser in the seat bracket department!
 
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