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Seat rail extenders?

Hi folks,

First of all, thanks for all the advice you guys openly give to us regular readers.

I have a friend who is long legged and drives a small car. He, like me, has a Scion xA, but is six foot tall and has long legs. I was wondering: is there a way to change the seat rails to allow more backwards movement of the entire seat?



I think the big problem with just adding longer seat rail is that the seatbelt will not work properly if you are too far back. You need to have the shoulder strap mounting point to be behind you for it to properly restrain you in the case of an accident.

I concur on this and the air bag maybe dangerous also.

Yup! As jsutter and andrew have stated, the safety systems on cars nowadays are designed with many parameters in mind–including the minimum and maximum possible distances of the driver from the air bag contained in the steering wheel. For that reason, the length of the seat rails is something that should not be changed.

The time to consider things like foot room is before buying a car, so if this one is not appropriate for the driver, I think that his only viable options are to tolerate things as they are or to buy another vehicle that fits him properly.

Thank you for your responses. I hadn’t thought about the impact it might have on safety system performance.


I agree, get a car that fits the driver. It reminds me of the time I got a new seat for my tractor.

I have a small Riceburner Gray market tractor and was doing a little work on it to clean it up. The old seat was beyond rotten so I bought one of those seat cover things for $15 that they sell at Tractor Supply. For the next 2 weeks using the thing I kept having to fight with that cover to keep it on there so I decided I’d go ahead and get a whole new seat, they didn’t cost much, $75 or so I think. I looked at the assortment of aftermarket seats at the Tractor Supply store and decided on the one that could move forward or backwards. Since those rice tractors are made for Japaneese people, I’m a little overgrowed on it and thought being able to scoot the seat back would be a good idea. The tractor was sitting on my flatbed and I decided to go ahead and change oil in it and mount the seat before unloading it. I got the set mounted up and adjusted it to the right width to suit me and started to back off the trailer. I reached up to mash the brake in a little about the time the rear wheels started over the ramp when the spring that held the lock deal on the seat broke. Right off the back of the tractor that &*($%& seat went and nearly me with it, I was hanging off the back holding the steering wheel, trying to hold the brakes and trying to ignore the bump on my head from hitting the top link in the process. I decided real quick to put the old rusty metal seat back on it.


Another example of dangerous crapola made of Chinese zero grade metal alloys (?)! And imported by indifferent, greedy, non-regulated, importers.

I wonder if some people have been seriously injured, or killed, by these sub-standard Chinese imports that our government, seemingly, is turning a blind eye to?

Here is an idea. Consider buying a race car seat with its own restraint harness (usually sold separately). The seat can be installed as far back as you want and will have slots for a restraint system that is more sophisticated than your seatbelt. Just make sure you get it installed by a competent mechanic or body specialist.

I have this picture in my mind of your predicament. Glad you made it off of there alive.

I have to agree with this Chinese stuff. We have no idea what we are getting anymore. This morning they were talking about crowns and other dental work coming from China riddled with lead. Not to get political but we really need to get a handle on this.

The sad thing is we wouldn’t have a small tractor if we didn’t import them.

We make no tractors in this country under 30 horsepower to my knowledge. They are all rebranded rice tractors. The small Deere’s are Yanmars. Mitsubiti used to make Cub Cadet although I understand this year Cub has partnered with Yanmar as well. The small Masseys used to be made by Hinomoto which mine is. It is excactly a Massey 210 I think. The only difference is the patty tires on it v’s typical US farm tread or turff tread.

Japan’s government buys their farmers a new tractor every so many years, 7 or 8 I think. Consequently, there’s no market over there for used tractors. Why buy used when the government buys you a new one. Most of those tractors are the same as one or the other of the American brands such as Massey, Allis, Deere, Cub, etc. You pay a substantial premium to have that green and yellow Deere thing v’s the red Yanmar though you get essentially the same product.

Chinese metals are beyond sorry. These days you can’t buy a garden hoe that’ll last longer than 1 or 2 rows. Shovels, tools of any kind are substantially sorrier than they used to be. The Chinese grease guns most places sell these days last less time than the first tube of grease does.


All of the comments are good. However, ref the seat belt shoulder strap topic. In all of the recent cars I have owned including my 2010 Equinox. The drivers seat rails takes the seat further back than the passenger front seat. The safety belts are mounted in the same place for both seats! One would think getting 2 inches more on the passenger side would not impact the safety especially if the passenger is not a size 5. Thoughts folks??