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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:23 AM   #1
AlexJet
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Exclamation 3rd Row Seats - Retrofit Project

As some of members here aware we recently had an addition to our family. Speaking of this I did mention that with family growing I would benefit of larger seating capacity compare to what was offered in originally purchased 4Runner. At the time of buying my truck (over 5 years ago) I didn't had such requirement, but currently do.

I never liked Vans and especially the latest representative of them becoming huge and bulky. Plus they do not provide that ability and flexibility of what my Runner can. Because of that Van is not an option for me, at least for now.

Possible solution for me was "Adding 3rd Row" into my truck.

I've done some prelemenary research and narrowed it down to 3 potential options which were evaluated and comared later to become a final solution.

3 options which were evaluated:

#1 - Little Passengers 3rd row seat.
Website: http://www.littlepassengerseats.com/toyota_4runner.htm

Cost an average of $1'152 + Shipping.
Possible complications - not 1-step removable (need to unscrew at least 6 bolts from floor attachment), not foldable, relatively narrow at shoulder level.
Advantages - can be mounted forward or rear facing, can be ordered in leather to close-match color, can have built-in seat belts.

#2 - Jeep Bench Seat.
Website: http://www.bestop.com/index.php?s=70

This mod was succesfully performed on 3rd Gen 4Runner by Scott:
http://www.yotatech.com/f200/addicte...03/index6.html


Cost an average of $300-350 + Shipping.
Possible complications - not 1-step removable (need to unscrew floor attachment), relatively narrow at shoulder level, no 3-point seat belt, generic colors
Advantages - can be mounted forward or rear facing, can be ordered in vynil, foldable


#3 - OEM 4Runner 3rd Row Seat.


Cost: over $3'000 if parts are bought new at the dealer.
Possible complications - expensive, need allot of customization, required cutting, grinding, welding and custom parts fabrication, not available in leather (unless use of GX seats which may not be a direct fit)
Advantages - factory look, easy foldable and removable, no insurance issues as they are factory Toyota seats.
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'05 4Runner V6 Limited --- Custom 5" LT; 35"; ARB, CBI; Snorkel; etc...
'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
'09 Custom Expedition Trailer --- 35"

Last edited by AlexJet; 11-20-2010 at 06:23 PM.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 10:29 AM   #2
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After taking allot of considerations into the account, I've decided to go with option #3 - Factory-Style 3rd row.
I'm going to transport my family with it and from insurance and safety point the factory option was preferable.

Want to say up front that I made a few assumptions which turn to be incorrect.
I thought that Toyota would provision this option on my and others trucks. I was wrong - there is 0 (zero) provisions for 3rd row on 5-passenger model. Why my assumption were that way? Because I'm always finding unused electrical and mechanical provisions for some options that I don't have. As an example frame has several anchor nuts which are used on Prado, but never on 4Runner. My assumptions seems to be true only partially and unfortunately not in part I was hoping for.
Another finding which was logical, but not expectable is to find out that inner metal structure is spot welded by computer guided robotics and some parts like inner fender well is consist of over 10 different pieces. Toyota does spot welded all brackets to those pieces and then depend on the model use one or another part with different brackets. This means that brackets required for the install were not there and not even marked their location.

This project took me 4 times more time that originally was planned. Partially because I had to rebuild all bracketry without having any samples.

I'm attaching the original invoice of parts required for the install. Want to point out that some parts are not usable for the install, but I found it only during the project. Please also mention that neither seat is on the quote.

NOTE:I got original 3rd row seat from local guy for $200 and seat belts and mounting release mechanism for another $40. If you do buy those parts in the dealer brand new they will run you about $1500'. I also didn't buy the 2nd row seat as it different from 5-passenger model. I can't find any locally or on the forum for sale. Dealer quoted me for around $3'000 for it.

I'll stick with my original for some time and see how would it turn out while I'm looking for proper seat.

NOTE: Please also note that I had to re-do the trunk carpet. I found the issue only at the very end of the project. OEM Toyota carpet for 3rd row option is $1380.

I'm doing myself a custom one which will be described later in the build.

NOTE: The overall bill has to include various additional hardware in terms of matching nuts, washers and bolts which were purchased in local Metric fastener shop throughout the project.



__________________
'05 4Runner V6 Limited --- Custom 5" LT; 35"; ARB, CBI; Snorkel; etc...
'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
'09 Custom Expedition Trailer --- 35"

Last edited by AlexJet; 11-21-2010 at 05:12 PM.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 10:30 AM   #3
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STAGE 1 Disassembling

First was to disassemble of what I have originally installed on my truck by Toyota. This include all trim panels from trunk area, carpet, seat belts, etc.

I started with taking off the carpet, 2nd row seat belts mounts, net clips on the side panels, small screws from boxes on the side panels and panels them selfs.
First discovery was right there in front of my eyes. As I mentioned earlier, there were no provisions. If you look at the floor, you can see 4 deep spots which are provisioned for the 3rd row latches, but no latches or their location were marked. On the inner fender the truck had big brackets. First thought that they are so big to support 3rd row seat. Answer is no. They have nothing to do with the seat. The only purpose of them is to hold the little box in original panel and latch for the double decker shelf. Looking behind the panel reveals that 3rd row seatbelt provisioned very little, to be exact only 1 small anchor nut is present. Side panel has different shape, so need to be modified to fit the seat belt assembly.

For easy manipulation and modification of the trim panels the rear seat and all of its bracketry has to be taken off as well. This reveals that 7-passenger seat is not provisioned in any way either. In case I'd go with different seat I'd have to modify the floor to fit it. This will most likely will involve dropping the fuel tank.

On the image you can see how the interior looks without paneling and seats.






STAGE 2 Seat mounting provisions

As I mentioned before, there were no structural provisions for the 3rd row seat present on the 5-passenger model. To make the seat work, those provisions need be fabricated.
NOTE: This task is virtually impossible without using factory 3rd row option side paneling as you do not have any reference points on the truck. For this task I used plastic side panels to bring the reference point for the mount as it sits in the panel slot.
Prior doing this exercise the factory bracketry for double decker and panel pocket need to be cut off as it interferes with new panels. I used "cut a little - check" method, but at the end of the day they can be taken off completely as they do not have any practical use for the future (I was thinking that I can still use them to reinforce my new brackets, but after performing all the work, this would not be necessary). Therefore you can save time and effort taking them fully out.





Next step would be fabricating the seating/mounting position for the new seat bracket. I choose to cut it to the shape of the inner fender well and welded it through as to have more solid base for the seat. It's possible to make them bolt-on as well, but in my case I decided it will not be beneficial.
NOTE: this is one of the most time consuming procedure on the build as basically you have to install the trim panel, put the seat mount, measure the depth of the mounting holes and mark their location in 3-D; then remove the panel, position the bracket in the virtual 3-D location and take all the measurements (holding the bracket in one hand and measuring tape in another without moving bracket in space is quiet challenging, so 2nd person will be very welcome, I didn't had one and it took me longer). After that the steps are straight forward from the fab point - make cardboard model fit it in, attach with tape, reinstall all the paneling and bracketry and make sure it fits. It took me several iterations to make it right. As you can see, this is way not a 5-minutes job.
As soon as bracketry is verified, I turned it into the metal and re-check again. A few trips back to the grinder made them fit tight.
Cleaning the paint off the future welding on inner fenders is necessary as factory coating is very durable and you'll need a high voltage to burn it through. Its always recommended to prepare the surface for future welding.
NOTE: Battery has to be disconnected prior welding, so no valuable electronics is not getting burned down.
After welding bracketry in place exact mounting holes need to be marked which involved another trim panel installation. I could of skip this step and drill necessary holes prior welding the brackets, but doing it this way insure the proper location. As paneling are covering all access to underside of the bracketry, proper anchor nuts need to be welded.







STAGE 3 Seat belt provisioning

The truck had only 1 anchor nut provisioned for the 3rd row seat belts. Everything else need be custom build.

As a start point I decided to work on the seat belt mechanism location first. After marking the location up, The hole was enlarged enough to fit it through. Because it designed to have seat belt mechanism integrated into the trim panel it has to be "sunken"into inner body of the truck.
For proper mounting the hole was made to accommodate the lower bolt location as well as matching anchor nut to be welded. For safety reason, I've opted to reinforce this point by adding 3/16 plate and fastening it to the surrounding. This will give piece of mind that seat belt has permanent fixing point.

I run to a complication for the upper mount as my truck has JBL sound and at the original mounting point I have JBL speaker. My first iteration was to adopt purchased OEM bracket for it. After some time spend on various designs, I decided to leave this option and build a complete custom bracket as it will take less effort then adapting an OEM one (again, there were no provisions for the bracket on the 5-passenger model). Another benefit was that I was going to retain my JBL speaker in its original location.
The procedure is basically the same to fabrication the seat bracketry and takes several iteration and installing/removing upper trim paneling. It takes allot of time and second person is an asset as well.





The 3rd seat belt mount is pretty straight forward as new trim panels has marked holes for it. The only thing need to be done is install the paneling, marked the location and drill the holes through the floor.

Last edited by AlexJet; 11-21-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 10:31 AM   #4
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STAGE 4 Seat floor latches

The floor latches need to be properly positioned to be able to latch the seat safely. So generally putting them in the middle of the deep provisions is not an option.
To perform this the side latch bracket was installed and then seat was latch to it. No side paneling required for this testing. Now proper floor latch location can be verified and marked. Removed the seat and drill the latching holes.

Everything was primed and the painted with matching Toyota color.






STAGE 5 Floor insulation

As I was removing almost 3/4 of the floor assemblies, I opted to insulate the full floor.
To perform this, front seats need to be removed.
NOTE: Disconnect the battery, so front seats Airbags can be safely disconnected.
I used B-Quiet Ultimate insulation for this task. This is very easy to work with material. Just a little side note - measure and make all the cuts while backing paper still attached as it much more difficult to do it after. Take all precautions and cut all plugs and fasteners location, so access to them will be available after the install. As Chris mentioned in his Soundproofing thread, working with small pieces make the overall work faster and easier.
I start going from firewall and back to the trunk. I used 1 full 50' roll to completely cover the floor and side panels in the trunk area. I did not cover hatch and side doors as I run out of the insulation. I may perform this later if needed.
Fast tracking a bit, this insulation made truck quieter and warmer (winter is outside of my garage now), it worms faster.






STAGE 6 Trim panels modification

Side trim panels need to be modified in my case as I'm staying with my original 2nd row seat for now.
To make the job easier I used old panels as templates. The modification need to be done for the 2nd row seat back mount, seat back latch, floor mount (from double decker as I used it for future provisions) and sub-woofer panel remounting to new trim panel.




STAGE 7 Assembling

This process is kind of reverse to disassembling with the note I used new panels and associated with install parts
NOTE: As I left a few options from my existing setup which are not offered on 3rd row option I had to use fine trimming right on the spot.
I deviated a bit from my original intent of making everything factory looked in terms of bolt-on components. As an example, floor strickers on 3rd row options just bolting from the trunk area. As I'm not planning to take them out, I simplified the install process by not welding the nut on the floor from under the truck, just used threadlocking compound to secure bolt it on and sprayed with rust proofing. I also used epoxy glue to glue the square plugs for the latch panel, as they were pulling out by screws if a tightening them too much. Those plugs will be staying in the floor for the rest of truck life, so I didn't had an issue with epoxing them in.




STAGE 8 Optional provisions

As I mentioned right in the beginning of the story, all this started with us having another child. As family was growing, space requirements changed. This means that those 3rd row seats would have to accommodate children. Be honest, they are not much comfortable for adults who are 6' tall, but children and toddlers up to ~15 years should be fine. Because by law (at least local Canadian), up to 12 years or specific weight/height (need to find exact numbers) should use car sets and restrain systems, such car seats and/or boosters are planned to be installed on 3rd row as well. While 2nd row has ISOFIX provisions, 3rd row luck of them. I looked at this issue and decided to build such provisions. Local child store sells special attachments which you can bolt-on to the floor for the car seat belt. I installed the seat, car seat and verified the location of the hook to be placed. You need take in consideration that the system should prevent moving of the car seat in case of emergency, so using physics of moving objects is required to locate the hook. Basically, one should never add the hook at the seat level, it has to be behind, so in case of emergency the belt works in tension rather in twisting.
Holes were drilled and 4 hooks installed at each seat corner. They are not that big, so it shouldn't affect any loading/unloading. I do also plan on making custom tool box around the seats, and those attachments would not be visible.



Another modification to make a custom anchor point for storing the seats in upper position. 7-passenger version has a handle similar to other located on the ceiling. Unfortunately in some 5-passenger models this is impossible due to the fact that Roll Curtain Airbag installation is located right at the location of 7-passenger handle. So the only option I had is to either modify the plastic hook I have or make myself something I can hook the seats in upper position. After some research I ended with ordering floor anchors from the dealer for $20 each and bolted them into the headliner instead of the hooks.




! CONTINUED IN POST 7 !
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'05 4Runner V6 Limited --- Custom 5" LT; 35"; ARB, CBI; Snorkel; etc...
'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
'09 Custom Expedition Trailer --- 35"

Last edited by AlexJet; 11-21-2010 at 04:16 PM.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 08:15 PM   #5
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That is awesome!!!!
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Unread 11-08-2010, 08:33 PM   #6
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Well, I've had both a 4Runners with 3rd and no 3rd row option. For the looks of it you'll need more than just the seats. Here's an off the top of my head list of the parts that are different between the two:

* 2nd row seats are different
* need the 3rd row seats
* need the hooks that the 3rd row attaches to on the floor of the vehicle (i believe they are welded in, and don't come on the vehicles with only 2 rows)
* need the carpet kit for the rear cargo area floor (if you want it all OEM, I'm sure you can cut the existing carpet)
* need the mechanism that holds the side of the 3rd row to the wheel arch inside the vehicle
* swap out both upper and lower rear interior panels (the ones that cover the wheel arches and the one that surrounds the back side windows)
* need the seat belts that attach where the backup mirrors or jbl speakers are
* need the steps that allows entery to the rear seats (they are the little steps that are the the crevice between the rear door and the back of the 2nd row seat)
* you might also need the hooks for the bottoms of the 2nd row seats that attach to the floor

I think that's it. If I notice anything different I'll post up again. If you need any pictures of the parts so you can see the difference just let me know.
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Unread 11-09-2010, 04:34 AM   #7
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! CONTINUED FROM POST 4 !

STAGE 9 Carpet modification

This step was unexpected, as I initially had different plans at this point. My original plan consist of modifying the carpet for the 3rd row floor latches and reinstalling it back. Making a transition section of the carpet from office grade carpet between 2nd and 3rd row. My truck originally had Double Decker system and this lead to having a short trunk carpet, interior carpet finishing right at the 2nd row seat.
When I approached this stage I found that my original plastic side trays are not compatible with the new trim panels and this lead me to having another pieces of the custom carpet make to fit those "ears".
At the time of cutting proper rectangular holes in my original carpet for the floor latches I also discovered how that carpet was initially built. Overall speaking trunk carpet has limited insulation and this insulation is not traditionally placed. If you image the cross-section of the carpet it should look like this (top to bottom): decorative automotive grade carpet material - wool-type insulation - drapery-type bottom cover. The first and last layers are easily cut by utility knife, you can't say such about the middle layer. I tried different techniques and none of the worked well. I can think of a few in manufacturing process, but at the home level they are not accessible. Meanwhile if take imaginary plan view of the carpet, I discovered another part in the carpet. To reinforce it, Toyota used plastic round discs formed into the middle wool-type layer. As my understanding those disc gives the carpet rigidity and form factor. I had to remove several from mine while cutting it to the shape.
At the end of the exercise my carpet become feel like a dirt bike trail. I didn't like the feel of it (it was still looked flat), plus those missing rear corners and necessity of adding transition section guide me to an idea of completely custom making the trunk carpet.





For this task I used office grade grey carpet from HomeDepot and ordered V-Comp insulation from B-Quiet. I also bought some insulation from HomeDepot to bring the overall thickness of the carpet to desired number. This will also benefit of having much better and full coverage insulation.
First was to cut in shape and lay down some basic insulation.



Then V-Comp was cut to shape and placed down





And finally it was the carpet time.




STAGE 10 Finished view


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'05 4Runner V6 Limited --- Custom 5" LT; 35"; ARB, CBI; Snorkel; etc...
'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
'09 Custom Expedition Trailer --- 35"

Last edited by AlexJet; 11-21-2010 at 04:17 PM.
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Unread 11-17-2010, 07:47 AM   #8
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I'll jump a bit ahead of my planned write-up as I was thinking to cover this in my report.
Yes, you'll need many pieces from 7-passenger model, as they are different.
I have the full list with respective part numbers I was about to post in my report.
This one and probably the biggest reason of this option being so expensive.
I also tried to avoid unnecessary purchases of expensive parts. Be ahead, I'll tell you in some cases it worked out, but in some did not. I have good knowledge and skills in custom fabrication and easy working with metal, so some fabrication was fairly simple for me, while some required allot of planned and design work. This may be difficult for someone with little or no experience and/or fab skills.
As you may noticed from my respond, which way I went from the options listed above... So stay tuned for the updates as I'm over half way through and will be posting details soon.



A little update.
All structural modifications are done. Cosmetic modifications are almost done (a few small panel work need to be done). Basically seats are in.
Had trouble with adopting Double-Decker carpet to a new option. Material it's made of is very bad for modification. After cutting into shape and cut-out holes for seat hangars, carpet become like slalom slope for skier. Don't like the look and feel of it. Plus it's still short in some spots. Will do my own carpet (I hope this weekend).
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'05 4Runner V6 Limited --- Custom 5" LT; 35"; ARB, CBI; Snorkel; etc...
'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
'09 Custom Expedition Trailer --- 35"

Last edited by AlexJet; 11-21-2010 at 04:17 PM.
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Unread 11-19-2010, 12:22 PM   #9
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Excited to see this. Its always nice to see your work.
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Unread 11-19-2010, 07:12 PM   #10
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Start working on the write-up this evening....
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'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
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Unread 11-19-2010, 09:18 PM   #11
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i wish I had the 3rd row option now that I have a kid.... If I had it or my brother did, we would be able to travel together with the kids and when we werent going on a trip, just take em out so the dogs could be back there. Im anxious to see how you pull this off.....

:
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Unread 11-20-2010, 07:40 AM   #12
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I basically finished the write-up this morning. I had a few issues with spacing as system do not allow me to post a post which is over 7'000 characters. Because of that my original post had to be merged and reposted in single 1st post. Others were modified and arranged in order to keep the history. Next time I should reserve more posts from the beginning.

Still need to perform Stage 9 which will do this afternoon and take a few new shots.

By the end of the weekend I hope to upload the images and post them up.
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'05 4Runner V6 Limited --- Custom 5" LT; 35"; ARB, CBI; Snorkel; etc...
'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
'09 Custom Expedition Trailer --- 35"
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Unread 11-20-2010, 06:15 PM   #13
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D O N E
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'05 4Runner V6 Limited --- Custom 5" LT; 35"; ARB, CBI; Snorkel; etc...
'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
'09 Custom Expedition Trailer --- 35"
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Unread 11-21-2010, 12:05 AM   #14
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Very cool, the pix will be good to see.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 10:56 AM   #15
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cant wait to see the pics, ive always liked the idea of adding one in the back.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 11:53 AM   #16
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I have all pictures on my camera, but I'm not home. Will try to download them tonight.

BTW, now I'm looking for a Cargo Liner. So far I found Husky for $125 and Weathertech fo $150. does anyone knows any other option or place to buy them cheaper? I need the version for "3rd Row Option".
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'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
'09 Custom Expedition Trailer --- 35"
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Unread 11-21-2010, 04:19 PM   #17
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PICTURES UPLOADED
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'16 4Runner Limited --- Daily Driver; 3"; 33", Snorkel
'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
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Unread 11-21-2010, 04:35 PM   #18
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Sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 11-21-2010, 10:40 PM   #19
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thanks Alex! i mibht try one side for my daughter!
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Unread 11-22-2010, 04:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by java230 View Post
thanks Alex! i mibht try one side for my daughter!
The point is that adding 1 or both seats doesn't change much. If you plan to modify just one side, you'll have different trim panels on both sides which doesn't look good for me.
It wasn't cheap mod, but it was worth every penny. To be honest with a help of some people I was able to lower by build bill a bit, but I still posted an original invoice as to show what it will run average Joe to do it + all other expenses which may run to total of ~3k for the way I did it.
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'74 FJ40 --- 5"; 35", Snorkel, etc...
'09 Custom Expedition Trailer --- 35"
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