Hilux 4x4



Replacing Hilux bench seats with Honda Luxline single seats - By Scotty

This is a lenghty post with lots of pictures! I’ve tried to include the info that would have helped me prior to starting this project. If you the detail gets too much, skip to the end! :wink:

Soon after purchasing our 1987 (import) Hilux we considered replacing the original bench seat with single seats for a number of reasons:
1.Single seats are adjustable back and forward – no need to for the passenger to lose all their leg room if the driver is shorter than them.
2.These seats offer much better support and are much more comfortable than the bench seat.
3.Safety – the bench seat offers no support to the head and neck during an accident which increases the chances of whiplash or spinal injury. Single seats provide a head rest.
4.Single seats provide a gap between them for a centre console.

Finding suitable single seats

This was a challenge. Hilux owners seem to have used all sorts of single/ bucket seats in their Hilux’s. Just about any seat could be modified to fit, but we wanted to find seats that would fit with the least modification to the seats and the vehicle. (Also see how Cookie Monster fitted BMW seats to his Hilux under 'Members Rides')

It made sense to start with Toyota seats. Most people seemed to agree that Toyota Camry seats are incredibly comfortable. However, both Camry and Corolla seats we found did not fit the existing holes or built up bulkhead/rail that the bench brackets were attached to.

So the lengthy search continued…..

Honda Luxline seats
Thanks to two friends we found a suitable option. My friend had taken out his 1993 Honda Luxline seats out to fit racing seats. So we tried these in the Hilux. They fitted!

1.The front brackets fitted perfectly over the bulkhead/rail.
2.The rear brackets would need modification, but the one bracket almost lined up with the existing hole.
3.They are incredibly comfortable seats.
4.They are fully adjustable back and forward, as well as reclining fully. For the really tall manne though, they are not height adjustable.

(Thanks Pixel for the idea, thanks Jono for bringing your seats.)

But then it took months to find my own set of seats! Broken/ damaged/ old Luxline seats are available here and there, but I had to wait for ages for a set that seemed hardly used (must have been accident vehicle). One sponge panel was slightly damaged; I had this repaired at little cost. I bought my seats for R1000 for both, but most others are available for around R800. Most places selling these seats are up for a bit of haggling.

It may be a matter of opinion, but material Luxline seats seemed more comfortable than leather ones I sat in.

Fitting the Honda seats to the Hilux
If I can fit these seats anyone can!!

Firstly, My Hilux has two additional threaded holes, just ready and waiting for single seats.

Take out the bench seat and peel back the carpeting to locate these additional holes. I measured 43cm from the middle of one of these ‘hidden holes’ to the middle of the existing hole used to bolt the bench seat down.( :!: But PLEASE measure to be sure on your own vehicle!)

The front brackets of the Luxline seats required no modification, they bolted right in.

The bench has left the building

Hidden hole

Hidden hole on Passenger side

Luxline seat bolted onto raised rail

The rear brackets needed some work. The rear left bracket on the passenger seat, and the rear right bracket on the drivers seat needed to be modified. Various options were considered. Eventually we decided to do the following:

Because these brackets were straight and did not reach the existing hole, we bent the bracket down to 90 degrees with a clamp.

This then allowed us to use a simple piece of galvanised angle iron to be bolted to the newly-bent bracket and another bolt to secure the whole lot to the existing threaded hole. A picture speaks a thousand words:

Back right bracket on drivers seat

The rear right bracket on the passenger seat and the rear left bracket on the drivers seat also required some work. These brackets were also flat, and just required two new holes be drilled. (I say ‘just’, but I took deep breaths before drilling holes in the Hilux!) Carefully mark and drill the holes and put a bolt through.

So each seat now has one back bracket raised due to the 90 degree bend and the other bracket sitting lower as it is flat and is simply bolted down through the new hole. Left like this both seats tilt inwards towards each other – no good. To remedy this I just spaced the whole lot with some big washers till the seats were both level.

Back left bracket with washers

All that is still left to do now is to take the whole lot off, rust proof and Hammerite (or however you keep the rust away) the brackets and get under the vehicle and treat the bolts and washers with anti-rust muti too.

All done

All the bolts and nuts used were high-tensile – these seats need to stay put in event of an accident. I also used a spring-washer with every nut and bolt.

I couldn’t justify spending thousands on fancy seat covers on seats that only cost R1000, so I bought some of the Stingray 4x4 seat covers from Builders Warehouse for R290. They cover the seats well, have some handy storage pouches and will keep the worst of the dirt and grime off the Luxline seats. Pulling them off and giving them a wash will also be very easy.

Stingray seat covers

I hope I may have helped some of you. Please post questions or comments or your advice on fitting other seats to your Hilux.

Next project is the centre console. Metal bending here we come……..