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Can I swap out the driver's seat for from a different manufacturer?

I am a tad over 6 feet and a tad or two or three overweight. While used car shopping, I realized there are a lot of cars that I like to drive, but only a few with comfortable seats. So, can I buy a car I like to drive and swap out the driver’s seat? Without paying $thousands, that is. I realize a seat with an air-bag won’t work, but there may be other electrical issues as well.

Finding one that even looks like it belongs in the vehicle will be almost impossible and lower the value . The cost of recovering to match will not be cheap .

You may be able to relocate the seat with custom seat brackets;

https://extendmyseat.com/

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Figured I would buy a car with a black interior so it wouldn’t look that bad. Might get two front seats if possible. I can always swap them back when I go to sell it. But I usually keep cars until they are well over 200K, so not worth all that much.

Thank you, I will check them out!

Of course comfort means something different to each person . But power seats , tilt wheels and lumbar support should cover a good percentage of people . I have driven a large variety of vehicles and fortunately I am not now 50 pounds over weight and have not really found that many that were uncomfortable .

I think you should concentrate on something you can stand to drive the way the vehicle is rather then trying to change seats and risk no improvement.

Used to be the answer was “yes, with effort.” You’d swap the seat rails on the old seat for the ones on the new one, maybe do some custom bracket-making (hopefully with safe results in case of a crash). But then airbags came along, and awhile later they started putting airbags into the actual seats. So now if you swap your seat you might well be messing with safety equipment that you absolutely should not mess with.

So at minimum, look at your seats for an “airbag” tag, which is often somewhere at a seam on the seatback. If you find one, don’t swap the seat.

What kind of cars are you looking at? Models from the 1990s to early 2000’s? Recent models? Anything from 2004 and newer is likely to have, at a minimum, occupant weight sensors in the front seats, tied into the airbag system. Replacing the seats will mean losing these sensors, which means that the airbags won’t work, and the SRS warning light will always be on.

If you like to drive older cars, as I do, this will not be a problem. Models from 2003 and older are unlikely to have any sensors or airbag modules in the seats, and models from 1999 and older definitely won’t have them.

Good point. I had thought of this problem as something to be researched. If the replacement seat came from the same company, would it have the same electrical hookup? One would think that it would be overkill to design different electrical elements for each model, but one never knows.

Thanks, Steve

| bcohen2010
August 14 |

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What kind of cars are you looking at? Models from the 1990s to early 2000’s? Recent models? Anything from 2004 and newer is likely to have, at a minimum, occupant weight sensors in the front seats, tied into the airbag system. Replacing the seats will mean losing these sensors, which means that the airbags won’t work, and the SRS warning light will always be on.

If you like to drive older cars, as I do, this will not be a problem. Models from 2003 and older are unlikely to have any sensors or airbag modules in the seats, and models from 1999 and older definitely won’t have them.

There could be some commonality in hookups from the same company. Far more likely from the same car model.

Keep in mind the airbags are designed for a specific seat in a specific car. Even if a Cadillac seat from one model plugs into the harness of another, it may not perform the same.

Same for seat belt modifications. The anchor points for seatbelts these days are the seat itself in the middle and the B pillar to the outside. That inner mounting point depends on the structure of the seat to take the loads. If you are a big boy, that puts a LOT of load on that point in an accident. I would not trust that modification to just any knuckle dragger with a welder.

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Excellent point regarding the seat/seatbelt hookup. Thank you.

Steve

Mustangman
August 14

There could be some commonality in hookups from the same company. Far more likely from the same car model.

Keep in mind the airbags are designed for a specific seat in a specific car. Even if a Cadillac seat from one model plugs into the harness of another, it may not perform the same.

Same for seat belt modifications. The anchor points for seatbelts these days are the seat itself in the middle and the B pillar to the outside. That inner mounting point depends on the structure of the seat to take the loads. If you are a big boy, that puts a LOT of load on that point in an accident. I would not trust that modification to just any knuckle dragger with a welder.

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