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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I got tired of reading the posts on the forum that said variations of "you can't swap the seats out because the bolts don't match." Today I busted out my tools and went at it with determination.

DISCLAIMER: The safety harnesses and seats are an integral part of the cars safety system. This post is the details of what *I did to my car*. Should you choose to attempt to do the same thing I did, you are at your own risk.

Difficulty: low
Time required: 1 hour
Modification required: minimal to none

What's needed:
- 12mm socket
- 14mm socket
- Phillips #2 screw driver
- Pliers (needle nose and regular)
- Red loctite
- Socket wrench (either 3/8" or 1/2" drive)
- Breaker bar
- Torque wrench
- Cordless drill
- small drill bit for a guide hole (1/16" or 1/8" will do)
- 15/16" or 1" drill bit (door hole bits work well here)
- Ice cold beverage and tunes optional

Step 1: Remove seatbelt bolts
On the outside of each seat you will find a 14mm bolt attaching the seatbelt to the seat behind a sheath. Slide the sheath up and remove the bolt. It will likely require the use of the breaker bar. Once the bolt is loose set the end of the seat belt on top of the shelf behind the seat. Repeat with both seats.

Step 2: Remove the seat bolts
Sliding the seat forward and back you will find four bolts holding each seat to the floor of the vehicle. Using the 12mm socket, undo all four bolts. Repeat for both seats.

NOTE: On the drivers seat you need to unclip the seat belt indicator wire BEFORE removing the seat.

Once your bolts are removed, pull both seats out of the vehicle.

OPTIONAL STEP: Wash seat covers
The seat covers zip and come off. It wouldn't be a bad idea here to take them off and throw them in the washer. Do a search on the forum for instructions.

Step 3: Remove seat belt hardware
On the drivers side seat you will need to undo a few clips and fish the seat belt indicator wire out the side. It's pretty self explanatory. Then using your 14mm socket undo the bolt holding the seat belt receiver. Again, a breaker bar might be necessary here.

NOTE: The seat belt receiver needs to stay on the side that it came from. This is because the seat belt indicator is going to always be on the drivers side seat.

Step 4: Remove the plastic from the seats
On both sides of each seat there will be two phillips screws holding on a piece of plastic. Undo these screws. Set the screws and the plastic for the inside parts aside (that's the parts that go next to the seat belt receivers). With this modification those won't fit anymore without cutting up the plastic severely. This really isn't a big deal because it will be on the inside and you can't actually see it anyway.

Step 5: Mount the seat belt receivers
OK, for the seat belt receiver that was on the left of the passenger seat you need to just bolt it straight up to the left of the formerly-known-as driver side seat. You will need to break off a small metal tab on the receiver near the bolt but it's quite easy to do since the metal is strong but not malleable. Use the pliers for that.

Now on the seat that used to be the passenger seat you need to bolt on the drivers seat belt receiver to the right side. You should fish the wiring through the seat in the opposite fashion that you pulled it out of the other one. THESE SEATS ARE IDENTICAL, so if you didn't break the clips when you removed the seat belt indicator wire then you can actually clip them in the exact same place on your new drivers seat.

IMPORTANT DEALER TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS: 24ft.lbs for seat belt receiver bolt and don't forget the red loctite

Step 6: Mount and prep outside plastic covers
OK, this is the only real modification that needs to be done, but it looks OEM so don't worry about it. Take the outside plastic from the former drivers seat and screw the two phillips screws into the seat. There is one screw that will use the hole that you had plastic on before and the other screw uses a pre-drilled hole (presumably for the Japanese version) but you may have to slowly self-tap the screw as you screw it in. Once you have the plastic in place you'll notice that the hole for your seat belt bolt is not in the right place.

Using your drill and small bit take your finger and feel out where the center of the hole needs to be then drill your pilot hole. If it's not quite in the right position then drill another pilot hole until you get it exactly center to the bolt hole. Don't worry if you have to drill a couple holes since your larger bit will drill those out anyway.

Once you have your pilot hole, take your drill and 15/16" or 1" bit and use the pilot to drill the correct size hole at high speed (don't push down hard while your drilling it but let the bit do the work). You'll end up with a hole in the right place with some frays on the edge of the hole, but don't worry because this won't be visible when you put the seat belt bolt in

Step 7: Attach the seatbelt
Just as it says, use the torque wrench to install the seat belt to the seat.

IMPORTANT DEALER TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS: 24ft.lbs for seat belt bolt and don't forget the red loctite

Step 8: Install the seats
The seat rails slide independently of each other so when you set the seats in their place if they don't line up just lift the lever and manually push each rail to where it needs to go.

Tighten down the two front bolts first and then the two rear bolts. Repeat for passenger side seat.

IMPORTANT DEALER TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS: 16ft.lbs for seat bolts and don't forget the red loctite

Now you have the seat levers where they should go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice write up, thanks.
Were your front seat anchor holes rusty?
Any more pictures?
Nope, I didn't take any more pictures because it was mostly self explanatory. If there are any parts of my writeup that are fuzzy, just let me know and I'll clarify them for you.

My seat anchor holes weren't rusty. They shouldn't be because the bar they screw into is above the floor so unless you have water soaking into your floor from below or spilled beverages you shouldn't have any rust. If you're concerned about stripping stuff out just squirt a little bolt loosening grease into the area around the bolt and let it do it's work... but that wasn't necessary for me.
 

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Just what I needed. Ever since adding a center console I cant get to the levers anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just what I needed. Ever since adding a center console I cant get to the levers anymore.
Yeah, I have the center console as well and it does help considerably.

After driving around a little with the seats swapped it seems to me that the seats are ever so slightly further outside, which means there is even a little more space between the seats. I really do like this mod and for just having to sacrifice not being able to attach the plastic to the inside of the seats it's well worth it... you can't see that plastic anyway.
 

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Honda must have felt they had a good reason to put the levers on the inboard side. Can you fit your hand between the seat and the door to work the lever easily? Any other thoughts on why they put the levers where they did? Is the S2000 the same way?

Hmm... maybe I'll have to do this mod just to have an excuse for removing that overweight plastic molding from my car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Honda must have felt they had a good reason to put the levers on the inboard side. Can you fit your hand between the seat and the door to work the lever easily? Any other thoughts on why they put the levers where they did? Is the S2000 the same way?

Hmm... maybe I'll have to do this mod just to have an excuse for removing that overweight plastic molding from my car.
My guess is cutting costs. I don't know this for sure, but for models in countries with the steering wheel on the opposite side, I'd bet that the seats are swapped (levers on the outside) just with different plastic. This way it only costs Honda the money for the plastic between the different models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How well does your hand fit between the seat and the door?
It's a little tighter than before but really isn't that bad. The point where you reach back to adjust the seat lever is narrower so there isn't any problem there. When you reach for the seatbelt if you grab it up near the top you won't really notice anything different although reaching your hand back to grab it lower by the buckle is a little tighter but not horrible. IMO well worth having the levers be so much easier to access.
 

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I took the seats out of my car today (unrelated) and thought I'd see about moving the levers to the outboard sides.

The seats are not symmetrical. After the mod, your seat belt recievers would be a little lower. Also, you can either lose the driver's side seat belt sensor, or break off the metal tabs that keep the reciever from rotating through more than 50° of motion (e.g. falling over and ending up on the floor).

I'll put it back together tonight, but I'm not sure in what configuration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I took the seats out of my car today (unrelated) and thought I'd see about moving the levers to the outboard sides.

The seats are not symmetrical. After the mod, your seat belt recievers would be a little lower. Also, you can either lose the driver's side seat belt sensor, or break off the metal tabs that keep the reciever from rotating through more than 50° of motion (e.g. falling over and ending up on the floor).

I'll put it back together tonight, but I'm not sure in what configuration.
This is why you need to keep the seatbelt, buckle and mounting hardware on it's respective side. I was able to unclip and fish the sensor through the drivers seat and then refish it through the passenger seat (after swapping) without any modification to the seat belt sensor. In that right they are exactly symmetrical.

when you swap the seats the outside bolt (where the belt attaches to the seat) is a little bit lower, but I didn't find the inside (receiver side) to be lower... or at least if it was, it wasn't noticeable.

As for the metal tab, I did break that off (read my writeup), but I have yet to have the receiver fall on the floor because of it.

As for symmetry the only thing I noticed is that the seat is facing slightly more toward the middle of the car, but we're talking a degree or two... not enough to affect driving or leg comfort. The seats are also slightly closer to the doors (about 1-2"). I actually like this though because it leaves more space between the two seats.
 

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I did the seat swap and was disappointed in that there does not seem to be any more space between the seats. Was nice to get the seat levers on the outside, but the outside of the original seats seems to be thicker and longer and did not seem to make any more room for a console. Looks like the original config actually came in a little by the shifter console and swapping them makes them tighter.

Has anyone done anything to actually move the seats farther out? Looks like there is still close to an inch available.
 

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Great writeup! I've taken the seats out and washed the covers before. The seat 'ear' foam on the driver side was half torn off, I taped it back up and reinstalled the seats. Now with all the getting in and out, the 'ear' feels as if it is totally broken off, so I'm going to change the driver for the passenger.

I also find that the seat belt buckle, on the inside, since it is a solid bracket, tends to bother me on long trips (my wide ***...), so I've gotten some soft belt attachments that I'm going to substitute.
 

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I didn't like the fact that after swapping the seats they were angled in towards the center of the car. I also wanted more room between the seats. I made up a piece of metal to offset the front of the seats. I used a piece of metal from a garage door opener arm. Used a carriage bolt for the new fastener. I spaced the holes 1 1/2 inch apart. The seats are straight now, but offset to the left of the steering wheel. The front is also about a quarter inch higher than before. A side benefit is that the drivers door arm rest now is usable, was too far away before.







As a side note I ended up messing up the threads on both rear bolts just enough to keep them from going in, and also messed up the threads in one of the rear holes. One I messed up just finger tight. Had to order a metric tap and die from grainger.
 

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My interest in this mod was not to position the levers on the outside, however,I do think it would be a good idea tho....My reason was I have many miles on the left side and the seat foam is worn out- almost no one has sat in the right. I thought swapping would provide me with a more confortable seat .

Anyway, I did the mod, sat in the seat and was unhappy right off the bat. Yes, the seat padding was good but the seat was too far off the driver centerline to be confortable. If I were to square myself to the steering wheel the seat bolster would be poking me in the back.

Centering myself in the seat, and holding the steering wheel at 10 and 2 , my right arm was extended and the left slightly less.

Swapped it back to original, maybe I'll get a seat cushion.

One good thing, I was able to clean the carpet under the seats!

Jon
 

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When I changed the seats, the difference was noticeable right away also. I felt as if I was facing the middle of the car and when I put my head back it wasn't centered on the upright. It was also pushed more towards the outside so getting the seat belt was harder.

I changed it back and it is much more comfortable. I also changed out the seat belt connector for a strap instead of the hard metal one. The metal one kept on hitting me in a hip and the strap is soft and easier on my hip. Just don't have the seat belt switch.

But I still have the broken 'ear' on the seat.
 

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As you can see from my previous post above I also made brackets to center up the seat so it points forward. Being off center from the wheel was not an issue, my 1989 Chevy full size truck with the bench seat had the wheel off center from the driver.

Even making the seat straight there was still something. Very small, I couldn't notice but my back could. All that I can think is that the seat bottom no longer was flat, might have a twist in it when the seats were swapped. They looked good even putting a straight edge between the driver and passenger seats. Maybe it is even in the cushion shape and thickness.

Now I need to make more brackets and see if I can just move the seats an inch or two closer to each door. I need more room for a console/arm rest between the seats.
 

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They is another way, its in thread " for all cvt .mpg&mod" and you can uses any new junk yard buckets seats, as long s you measure it right. About 100 bucks, its uses your stock rails and frame, 3 hour, job, I use to have a sore lower back after a few hours sitting sometimes. Never again , in fact I now feel refreshed after the same, I have used ford excape seats, and its so comfortable and has that perfect bounce and meaty seats. Car feel like a solid quality feel now. ;)
 
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