Fixing my Seat Pan / Base
February 15, 2004
What the heck, a totally trashed seat pan;
When I purchased my 89 Honda, the owner made comment on the fact that he had to pop rivet plates on the drivers side seat pan. He commented on it a couple times and looking back on it, I think it was kind of a warning about something that needed to addressed.
The seat sat funny. The left edge of the base "drooped" off to the side as if a really fat guy sat on it. The whole thing seemed to move around a lot.
I looked under the seat with a flashlight and could see one of the plates that he was talking about. It didn't look to good.
My first hope was to locate an ugly seat in a junk yard in order to get a replacement piece. I live in the L.A. area and figured that locating one would be easy. After going by 5 different yards that specialize in Honda, I realized that I was pretty much out of luck. I also learned that damaged seat pans is a common problem with Hondas.
So, I decided on fixing what I had.
I took out the seat and took it apart. That part is easy if you have your factory manual.
These two photos show the pan once I removed it. You can see the plates that the prior owner pop riveted in place.
In order to remove the slider that was on the out-board side (it would be on the left in both photos), I had to grind off the bolt heads due to the nuts just rotating.
In the photo on the right, you can see the in-board support. It just fell off as I was taking everything apart. The spot welds from the factory just let go!
When I removed all the pop rivets, the "tower" at the rear of the seat just fell free. This was a whole corner of the pan!
After bending the pan back into shape (it was quite distorted!), I welded it back together.
I know my welding isn't pretty, but at least at this point it's back to one piece. Now I had to strengthen it as much as possible.
I decided to weld plates where possible. What you want to do is to make up templates out of heavy paper and then cut the metal plates. It's a lot easier to do it this way than to just start cutting metal.
The next four photos show the finished pan. In addition to the plates that cover the "ripped" areas, I welded side plates to the towers so that the load would be transferred more evenly throughout the pan. (you can click on any of the photos to see it better.)
I also made up new base plates where the sliders would bolt, along with nuts welded in place.
It took me about 12 hours from start to finish and you just have to ask if it was worth it!!! Why not just buy new seats.
The only justification that I have is that I'm out to build a "sleeper" and want the car to look stock. The cloth material and foam are in reasonably good condition. Plus, all the seats still match.
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