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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure that by now most of our first gen Rav4’s are suffering from worn out driver side seat bolster. When I was looking for a Rav4 for my wife, I noticed that EVERY car had this problem! And seats are one of Rav4’s better attributes!





By contrast, most passenger seats are used much less frequently and therefore they are in much better shape, so they give us a healthy supply of good donor parts. At my local “pick and pull” junk yard, I found a Rav4 with faded/stained seats and took out the cushion (I didn’t want to ruin a good seat). To my surprise, the foam was in very good shape! It cost me only $10!

Taking apart the junk yard seat, also taught me how to take apart Rav4 seat (I am handy, but I never did any upholstery work in the past).

Once home, it only took me 15 minutes to replace the cushion! I do not have proper hog ring pliers, so I used two pairs of regular round jaw priers. You start by removing three rings in the bottom of the seat.







Pull up the cover half way, that where you have to remove three more hog rings.



Then, you have to remove the headrest supports, those need to be squeezed from the inside and pop right out! The only tricky part about this, is that they are not the same, one support has to be squeezed side to side, the other one has to be squeezed front to back.







The cushion then slips right off, exposing the bare frame:



The worn DS cushion vs junk yard PS cushion. You can see some wear the left of PS cushion, but I am not concerned about it, since from now on no one will be getting in from that side anymore.



Reassembly is pretty straightforward, just reverse the assembly steps.

 

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Thanks for this! I have a set of donor seats, and I have been meaning to get to it. I have been saving it for winter, since I can't get out and work much, but this looks so simple I will give it a go.
 

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What i've done for years is simply take all the hardware off the driver and passenger seats, without removing the covers, or foams and swap them, As you mentioned in your post, the "250,000" Miles are usually on the drivers seat, not the passenger side, after swapping them to each-others floor rails (takes about two hours) you'll see a very noticeable difference. the passengers rarely do though, which is good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sure, that would work, but... You are still subjecting your passenger to an inferior seat! ;)

Buying an entire passenger seat (or just the back support) is also an option, but is has two problems:

1. You need to find a seat fabric that matches your interior (as there were several variations)

2. Most junk yards charge $100-$200 for a complete seat!

My solution is much simpler and cheaper! :)
 

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I wont lie, I tried to do what you've done here, gave up, and bought new seats at the wreckers. some things are just beyond my patience threshold.

Currently I am looking for a set of Used TRD Racing seats from the 7th Generation Celica, apparently they will bolt right into the same seat holes as the Rav4.

Just incase that's not true, I'm prepared to let some one with welding experience hook em up.

They are made by BRIDE, specifically for Toyota Racing Develoment.

Rav4world needs a Drool Emoticon.

here they are:

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How much are those Bride seats?

RAV4 seats are much taller than Celica seats. Even if the bolt pattern happens to match, you will ~6" lower.

But why couldn't you finish this job? I could see having some difficulties putting hog rings back together, but it should be pretty easy if you get someone to help you.
 

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Great write-up, thanks! The current RAV4 has this issue, next chance we'll pick up the pax seat, and swap over the top material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Zip ties are a good alternative to hog rings, and much easier to work with.


Good point! Though I wonder how well they will last after 4-5 years, especially if the are exposed to sun.
 
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