Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Remove 3rd row seats

While I was removing the trim to get the headlining out of Junior, our Discovery 2, I decided to remove the last of my 3rd row of seats.


Many years ago I removed the fold out seat from the drivers side and replaced it with a storage bin. That left me with a 6 seater instead of the 7 it started with. I can't remember the last time we used that remaining seat in the load space. It is possible we have never used it.

Every time I had to shuffle about the stuff that I cart about in my boot to get something in, I would think about the space taken up by that under used seat. Now was a good time to remove it.

It's an easy enough job but to neatly hide the seat belt it's easier if the upper quarter trim is removed. Which I was doing anyway for another job, as detailed in my previous post.


Fold down the seat, lift out the plastic drinks tray shelf and the plastic cover over the spring just about falls off to reveal the bolts. In fact it is two bolts at the top and two studs, with nuts on, at the bottom.


The nuts and bolts are easy enough to remove with a 13mm socket. The spring will slightly uncoil. Of course there will inevitably be at least one stuck stud. A very tight fitting pair of mole grips and short quarter turns eventually did the trick for me but it does ruin the stud. Not that it matters unless you had plans to refit it.


The seat is now out. Just need to tidy it up and make it a useful storage area.


The reason I like to remove the upper quarter panel, as shown in my previous post, is so I can leave the seat belt in place but hide it behind the panel. First job is to remove the belt from the lower load space mounting. Just unbolts.


I also remove the spring washer to leave a convenient securing point in the load space.




I neatly folded and cable tied the seat belt up out of the way and cable tied a bit of spare carpet to cover the hole where the seat belt passes through the upper panel.

To make the space I had now created more useful I decided to fit some lashing rings.



I wanted to use the holes where the fir trees fitted and two of the seat mounting bolt holes. To gain access I removed the screw for the plastic cover over the wheel arch and pulled the cover off the top. It's a bit awkward as there is a lug fitting in a hole so the plastic has to be pushed and pulled out of the way until it pops out.

The other fixing points are a screw in the power socket and a screw in the centre latch. There is also  a clip behind the vent near the door. The vent can be awkward to get out but typically I just pull and the plastic clips bend out of the way. The plastic is flexible enough that the clips bend back on themselves without breaking. I just bend them back in shape afterwards.

The fir trees pull out. With the lower panel free to move I could pull it far enough out to just about get to the plastic clips that the fir trees push in to. I was unable to push them out but instead used a chisel to cut them off.


For the upper two rings, I could reach through the vent for one side and the hole above the wheel arch, on the other to hold a nut in place. I used M6 bolts with the nut behind the metal internal bracket to fix them in to. Encapsulated nuts would have been easier but I could not find any to hand where the U clip was long enough to reach the existing hole. I now have some chimney nuts on order that I hope will fit.


For the lower rings I wanted to use the existing M8 threaded holes. I had to slightly drill out the hole in the ring bracket to fit the 8mm bolt. I used an off-cut of carpet to cover the cutout.


I think it is quite a neat job. The lashing rings are from e-bay, some of which will be used in the load bed of Fender, our Defender 90 pickup.




After a short cat related distraction, I clipped in some bungies and arranged the usual bag of stuff as neatly as I could in the space.


The whole load space is now clear for carrying stuff. Not just cats, although the one in the last picture does like sitting or sleeping in cars.

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