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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It may sound a silly question, but is there a way to change the back seat from 2 passengers to three passengers seat? We love our Honda Element 2004 and it has a lot of life left in it. But we always run short of passenger seats in the back.
I am not even sure the safety laws about changing seats from 2 to 3.

Is it possible? This is my first post. So please excuse me if this is not the reasonable question.
Thank you.
 

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As far as I know, not with factory seats. Anything is possible with lots of frame fabrication and upholstering.
Getting two used rear seats, joining the frame and reupholstering may work.
Used rear seats redone without the hard plastic center may work.

The liability in the event of a crash is not one I would want to accept. The liability could cost you your house or worse.
 

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There are JDM seats out there with no cup holders and extra seatbelt buckles so you can squeeze an extra person in the middle. They are a rare find.
I had no idea!!! If I could find one, I would put them in mine.
 

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2004 Fiji LX Ecamper “Ellie,” 2008 Atomic EX “Otherment,” 2003 Eternal EX Chop Top “Chop_E”
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There are JDM seats out there with no cup holders and extra seatbelt buckles so you can squeeze an extra person in the middle. They are a rare find.

View attachment 215402
I had no idea these existed! Is the center seat belt just a lap belt? The Japanese know how to maximize occupancy. Just like the rear seats in the CR-Z and CR-X.
 

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These world-wide variations are fascinating.

Were the JDM Elements manufactured in the US?

Besides Marysville, OH (East Liberty), where else were Elements manufactured/assembled?
 

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There are JDM seats out there with no cup holders and extra seatbelt buckles so you can squeeze an extra person in the middle. They are a rare find.

View attachment 215402
wow I had no idea that they even sold the Element in Japan and that they had different options. Where else besides Canada and the USA and Japan was the Element sold?

Also I guess there is no center head rest for the third seat passenger
 

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2004 Fiji LX Ecamper “Ellie,” 2008 Atomic EX “Otherment,” 2003 Eternal EX Chop Top “Chop_E”
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Elements are based on the CRV. I wonder if 2000s CRV seats could be adapted with minimal effort?
Elements have radically different interior design compared to the CRV. The CRV seat is designed to sit on a hump in the floor that the Es don’t have.
 

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No, that’s why they’re JDM…Japanese domestic market. USDM=the US market.
I believe all Elements were manufactured in the US. There is even a badge for the ones sent to Japan that said Made in the USA.
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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There are JDM seats out there with no cup holders and extra seatbelt buckles so you can squeeze an extra person in the middle. They are a rare find.

View attachment 215402
Might be usable in a pinch for small children; but I know my aging gluteus maximus wouldn't survive for long in that middle seat!

Also, is there a shoulder belt for the middle person on those JDM rear seats?

If not, any child (or adult) above the size of an infant facing backwards in a car seat wouldn't be truly safe.

In fact, I remember maybe 30 years ago a study proved that a rear seat passenger was actually safer with no seat belt at all, versus with only a lap belt. This was due possible back and spine injuries because of no shoulder restraint with only a lap belt.
 

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Might be usable in a pinch for small children; but I know my aging gluteus maximus wouldn't survive for long in that middle seat!

Also, is there a shoulder belt for the middle person on those JDM rear seats?

If not, any child (or adult) above the size of an infant facing backwards in a car seat wouldn't be truly safe.

In fact, I remember maybe 30 years ago a study proved that a rear seat passenger was actually safer with no seat belt at all, versus with only a lap belt. This was due possible back and spine injuries because of no shoulder restraint with only a lap belt.
Lap belt
 

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I'm a little unsure about the JDM seats shown above; as far as I understand it the Element was only sold in North America, so how can there be JDM seats? Obviously the seats in the photo exist, but there must be more to it, maybe out of some other Japanese vehicle with a similar seating system?

Or are these N. American Element seats that had upholstery patched in to replace the cupholders? With seatbelts added for the middle position? The lack of a center headrest makes me think this is the case.
 

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2004 Fiji LX Ecamper “Ellie,” 2008 Atomic EX “Otherment,” 2003 Eternal EX Chop Top “Chop_E”
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I'm a little unsure about the JDM seats shown above; as far as I understand it the Element was only sold in North America, so how can there be JDM seats? Obviously the seats in the photo exist, but there must be more to it, maybe out of some other Japanese vehicle with a similar seating system?

Or are these N. American Element seats that had upholstery patched in to replace the cupholders? With seatbelts added for the middle position? The lack of a center headrest makes me think this is the case.
They were made in the US but they were also sold in Japan. Check out the ones for sale on Goo Net Exchange: https://www.goo-net-exchange.com/usedcars/HONDA/ELEMENT/

Pretty cool! In a few more years they’ll be importable
 

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They were made in the US but they were also sold in Japan. Check out the ones for sale on Goo Net Exchange: https://www.goo-net-exchange.com/usedcars/HONDA/ELEMENT/

Pretty cool! In a few more years they’ll be importable
It looks like I stand corrected.

So they exported some right hand drive ones to Japan? I had no idea. Do you know the story behind how Elements came to be sold in Japan? I.E. were they a limited production, special order type of vehicle?
 

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It looks like I stand corrected.

So they exported some right hand drive ones to Japan? I had no idea. Do you know the story behind how Elements came to be sold in Japan? I.E. were they a limited production, special order type of vehicle?
I really have no further history on them but I hope someone here does. I just happened to see them while scrolling Goo Net once. This thread was the first time the third rear seat belt was brought to my attention.
 

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I really have no further history on them but I hope someone here does. I just happened to see them while scrolling Goo Net once. This thread was the first time the third rear seat belt was brought to my attention.
These seats are OEM. Elements have been sold all over the world. We have quite the international community on this forum.
 
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