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Old 12-30-2003, 11:44 AM   #1
ProjectSTI
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Default How to give your new JDM seats height adjustability

After researching and discovering that nobody has posted anything regarding this, we thought a write up might help.

To make your JDM seats height adjustable, you will be working on your USDM driver seat (driver) and the JDM passenger seat (This would be the USDM driver seat when installed in a USDM car):

Remove the plastic side pieces on the sides of the seat and unbolt the back portion of the seat from the bottom portion of the seat. While doing this keep track of what bolt or screws go where.

Take the bottom portion of either seat and remove the entire bottom seat cushion along with the outer seat material (do this all as one piece; this includes the seat padding) from the metal portion of the seat frame.

To do this, locate the tabs that hold the seat padding and seat material to the metal frame on the underside of the seat. (some tabs will be tough so you need to squish the cushion of the seat to create slack for an easier removal). Once you have separated one seat bottom, do this for the other seat bottom.

Now take the USDM bottom seat pad with material and attach it to the JDM metal frame from which you removed the JDM bottom seat pad with material by using the tabs. Reattach all the plastic pieces and then reattach the new USDM seat bottom to the USDM back.

Now do the same for the JDM bottom cushion with the USDM metal frame. The only difference is that two cuts must be make in the JDM material after you have reattached the JDM bottom cushion to the USDM metal frame. On the left side of the seat beneath the JDM seat material, there should be no hole to accomodate the level control of the USDM seat. (you will see the hole for the height adjustor as being empty when the USDM cushion sits on the JDM frame). Since it is a round piece of metal in the shape of a circle, you can expose this metal piece through the JDM seat pad and material by cutting two lines in the shape of an X, essentially cutting the circle into four equal parts. THe lines should be made just to the perimeter of the circle, or the edges of the height adjustor. Once the lines are cut, fold back the JDM materail to expose the metal piece and tuck them under the seat material. Reattach the plastic pieces and then reattach the bottom portions of the seats to their respective top portions and voila, you are done.

If done correctly, the USDM driver seat will no longer have the raise/lower feature, while both JDM seats will have the raise/lower feature. The hole that existed in the USDM seat to accomodate this feature will be covered up by the plastic pieces, so you do not need to worry about filling it with something.

If your USDM seats had airbags, then you will get an airbag light on all the time in your car. We have no idea whether this impairs the functionality of the entire airbag system or just the airbags in the seats. However, we have been told but not yet have confirmed for ourselves that a 3.3 ohm resistor will fool the computer and make the light turn off.
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Last edited by ProjectSTI; 01-30-2004 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:20 PM   #2
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I have a USDM WRX and I want to convert my passenger side seat to be height adjustable. Probelm is that I need the lever/control to be on the right side, so I can't just swap it for a driver's seat which has the lever on the left side.
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:59 PM   #3
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soooooo this only works for cars that have the height adjustabilty already and u just wanna keep it? pictures would be nice. this would only work for the GDB's? or are there GC8's out there that have height adjuster thing stock?
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:57 PM   #4
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Scobaru - We have experience swapping the USDM seats with the JDM seats and cannot say whether this will work with WRX or GC8 seats. However, they probably are not much different because of the economies of scale that these companies take advantage of when they mass produce cars and parts for those cars..

420WRX- The JDM driver seat has the controls on the correct side. The USDM driver seat has the controls but on the wrong side if you were to do the swap. So unless you can find someone with a JDM right side seat with the height adjustability, you will not get a very functional height adjustor on your passenger seat if you use USDM seats.
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:02 PM   #5
Brooke
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I own an BH (2002 Legacy GT wagon) and would like to lower the driver seat by at least 1" and if possible increase the height of my steering wheel. I am 6'-3" and the BH legacy with moon roofs makes for a tight cramped ride. The current Imprezas and last generation of Legacy's have at least 1" more clearance below the steering wheel and the head liner-is this strickly a function of the seat height?
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Old 01-08-2004, 02:42 PM   #6
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Your best option is to buy some aftermarket seats that fit your specific needs; racing or otherwise.
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:03 PM   #7
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argh... any pics to support this? i'm so confused
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to give your new JDM seats height adjustability

Quote:
Originally posted by ProjectSTI

If your USDM seats had ABS, then you will get an ABS light on all the time in your car. We have no idea whether this impairs the functionality of the entire ABS system or just the air bags in the seats. However, we have been told but not yet have confirmed for ourselves that a 3.3 ohm resistor will fool the computer and make the light turn off. [/b]
very confused about this one too... what does the seats have to do with how the abs braking works?
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Old 01-30-2004, 09:42 PM   #9
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Sorry if your USDM seats had airbags, I know the STIs do; I assume the WRX also.

Ignore references to ABS, substitute air bag system
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Old 01-30-2004, 09:49 PM   #10
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u mean "SRS" (supplemental restraint system)?

doh i should have realized that
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:28 PM   #11
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Project STi - when you did the cushion swap, was this on Version 7 or Version 8 seats? On the Version 7's, (both JDM and USDM) the driver's seat base has a "S" spring-supported bottom, and a metal pan for the passengers seat. This makes the foam thickness different. If you swap the cushions, the springs on the USDM seat base will cause the material of the JDM cushion to push upward losing some of the side bolstering and the center of the cushion flattens out. And your USDM cushion on the JDM seat doesn't have the same support and feels very spongy. The new STi seat that you have made will have height adjustment, but the seat cushion will not have the same "bucket" feel to it (you won't sink into it like the passenger side).
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Old 02-02-2004, 10:06 PM   #12
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Done with S202 seats, but should not be much of a difference.

Last edited by ProjectSTI; 02-03-2004 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 02-02-2004, 10:30 PM   #13
Benjamin Tang
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s202... looks like ver.7?




normal sti ver.7:



can someone point out what has to be taken apart?:


Last edited by Benjamin Tang; 02-02-2004 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:42 AM   #14
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Ok, they were S202 seats not version 7 seats, but that should not make much of a difference, or at least I would think. Why would Subaru make seats that much different for 400 cars? That would cost a lot more.

Anyway, basically here is a summary of what to do to see if it works with your version 7 or wrx seats. Take off the side plastic pieces and be gentle because there are a few hidden screws. From what I recall, you will want to remove the seat back from the seat bottom. There are bolts on both sides of the seat right at the hinges. Once you are done removing those bolts and separting the seat back from the seat bottom, pick up the seat bottom. now, carefully, flip the seat bottom upside down so the part that your butt touches is facing the ground and the seat springs will be facing you.

Look at the seat up close where the fabric wraps around to the underside and is hooked on to metal railings (see second to last picture, there is a long black strip that the seat fabric meets; that is really a black clip/hook on a metal bar, which is hidden behind the plastic). Carefully pull those long plastic hooks away from the metal railings. Be very very careful not to rip the seat. I do not recommend doing it if you are weak hearted. After all the plastic hooks are removed, slowly pull the fabric away from the foam of the seat. You will have to improvise as to which side is easiest because I do not recall at this point. Once you have the fabric removed, you need to repeat this process with the other seat on which you want to install the fabric.


This will leave you with two seat fabrics removed from their original seat bottoms. Now install them just as you took them off but install them on the other seat bottom. Once you are done installing the plastic back on, now install the matching seat back. This should effectively have swapped the height adjustor from the JDM passenger seat to the USDM driver seat, leaving you with two height adjustable JDM seats and no USDM height adjustable seats.

Just take your time. Do not rush it. It will probably take you an hour because it is very tedious. But the rewards are great!

Let me know how much this description sucks and I can try it again.
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:43 PM   #15
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Yes, S202 seats are the same as Version 7 seats - just different color Alcantara fabric. But like I said, when you put the JDM passenger cushion on the USDM driver's seat base, you will lose most of the side bolstering because the springs push the cushion up from underneath causing the sides to spread out. Yes, you will have height adjustment on both sides to the seatbacks will be the same height, but the seat bottoms will look different. Also, when you sit on the seat, it will feel very hard because the foam is compressed. Do the swap - then sit in both seats and you will see what I mean.

Look at the Version 7 seats in the above pictures - the seat bases are different. The driver's seat has s-shaped springs and the passenger seat has a metal pan. This is because the cushions are different in thickness. I have to take my Version 7 seat apart next week - I will try to post pics of both cushions.

You can also take the JDM seatbacks and put them on the USDM seat bases (height adjust for driver, non for passenger) but use the JDM driver's cushion and put it on the USDM driver's seatbase (and JDM passenger to USDM passenger) and then the seats will "feel" the same when you sit in them. You will have to fix the upholstery on the insides of the seats because the holes will be there.
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by ProdriveWRC
You can also take the JDM seatbacks and put them on the USDM seat bases (height adjust for driver, non for passenger) but use the JDM driver's cushion and put it on the USDM driver's seatbase (and JDM passenger to USDM passenger) and then the seats will "feel" the same when you sit in them. You will have to fix the upholstery on the insides of the seats because the holes will be there.
Isn't that what the above directions basically say to do??? {now i am confused because I followed these directions and it worked; are you suggesting that these are the wrong way?} I basically did the following:

On the USDM driver seat, remove the seatback from the seat base. Do the same for the JDM passenger seat (which would be the US driver side). Remove the plastic from the sides of the seat bases on both the JDM and USDM bases, then remove the fabric from the seat bases of both the JDM and USDM seat base.

Now reinstall the JDM fabric on the USDM seat base and do the same for the USDM fabric on the JDM seat base. Now here is the part that the instructions above do not illuminate. Cut the "X" in the JDM fabric to accomodate for the USDM's height adjustor and fold the fabric flaps under the seat fabric. Now reinstall the plastic pieces on the seat bases you had removed them from. NOw reinstall the JDM seat back to the USDM seat base that has teh JDM fabric on it and reinstall the USDM seat back to the JDM seat base that has the USDM fabric on it.

Now you can pat yourself on the back. You did a good job. Project STI is right to stress how careful one must be when removing the fabric from the seat base. Also, when cutting the "X" in the JDM fabric, start at the center and cut lines out toward the edge of the height adjustor using something like a utility knife. Try not to screw this up but do not worry if it is not perfect because the plastic siding should cover it up.

Great review. Love'n it!
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:08 PM   #17
Benjamin Tang
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dammit i wish there were step-by-step pics.... a pop-up picture book, anything!
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Old 02-04-2004, 02:57 PM   #18
ProdriveWRC
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Nivek-CA - you are correct, that is how you make both seats have height adjustment. Your seats just will not look the same. Before you take your JDM's apart, both seat cushions are very bolstered and the "bucket feel" of the seat is very pronounced. After you swap the bases for your new driver's seat, the cushion will look more flat like a USDM STi seat, and will not feel the same when you sit in it. If you have already done your seats, run your hand across the cushions. Your JDM driver's seat will be curved and feel like a bucket seat, as where your new driver's seat will feel flat and hard.
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:48 PM   #19
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hmmm, I will have to check. I may have to do this a second round to get some cushioning back.

So how do we do this to get the cushioning off the JDM seat onto the USDM seat, or move the height adjustment from the USDM seat to the JDM seat?
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Old 02-11-2004, 04:55 PM   #20
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so I have a 98 GT Legacy wagon with 02 wrx seats installed. Anyone have any info on how to possible make the wrx seats sit lower, back to a height similar to the stock seats? Anyway to swap the old legacy bracket onto the wrx seat?

Thanks
jared
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Old 02-11-2004, 05:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by gtwagon941
so I have a 98 GT Legacy wagon with 02 wrx seats installed. Anyone have any info on how to possible make the wrx seats sit lower, back to a height similar to the stock seats? Anyway to swap the old legacy bracket onto the wrx seat?

Thanks
jared
Not a clue
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:26 PM   #22
Benjamin Tang
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snatching this thread back from the brink of oblivion

i was slumming in the yahoo.jp auction sites and came across this set of s202 seats:



look at the mounting hardware. the auction lists that the seats have "low position rail of HKS". but i can still see the height adjustment lever on the side. i couldn't find any other info. does ne1 out there have a clue whether this is the solution to all our ills so we don't have to dismember any hapless usdm seats?
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:00 PM   #23
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I Did my swap on the JDM ver.8 seats,it went perfect.The USDM STI seats have the proper frame and springs for the seat cushion. There was no change to the shape of the cushion.I used three 10ohm resistors(radio shack,dont get K ohm) in parallel to get the 3.3 ohms for the air bag light,worked mint. The seats are perfect for daily driving and much better for that track day. The swap was a peice of cake,no college degree needed.
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Old 02-15-2004, 11:01 PM   #24
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Crapola. You mean I got a college degree in this for nothing...?!?

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Old 02-26-2004, 11:06 AM   #25
ProdriveWRC
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So the Version 8 seat bases are the same design for driver's and passenger side? That makes is easy then.

Here are the pics of my Version 7 swap:

http://www.pbase.com/prodrivewrc/inbox

At first, I tried putting the passenger JDM seat cushion on the driver's USDM seatbase, but it didn't look or feel right. So, I tracked down an EDM driver's cushion from Europe (LHD) and it worked perfect.

Note: If anyone needs a JDM passenger seat cushion, PM me - mine is perfect.
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