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Passenger seat, removing

I am considering the E to replace my Ford pickup, and I want to know if anyone has removed the front passenger seat to accomodate longer cargo items. If you have removed your seat, how long did it take and how difficult was it? What tools were required? Did the seat go back in easily and fit correctly again? I really like the E, but I will really need to push the limits of the versatility of the interior space. Let me know what your experiences were.

Thanks,
Joel
 

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I have removed the seats to work on my stereo and there is a yellow cable under your seats that works with the SRS system. If you remove or unplug this cable and place your key in the ACC possition, the E will read a failed SRS and the light will appear on the dash. This, from what I understand, will render your airbags out of order until the light is reset. There may be a way around this and I know there is a method to reset the light on your own, but I'd hate for something to happen and not have the airbags working.
 

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Removing Seat from EX

I am installing an aftermarket stereo amplifier and head unit in a 08 EX. I am putting the amplifier under the passenger seat. Does anyone have instructions on removing the front passenger seat?
 

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I would make sure you disconnect the battery and wait 45-60 mins before disconnecting any of the airbag harnesses. If there is any latent charge in the system when you unplug it you have a chance of setting them off.

Yes, there is an airbag in the seat.
 

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So I finally bit the bullet and removed the front passenger seat, along with the rear seats. Just tired of having to exit the car, adjust both front seats, adjust the mattress, etc. before being able to sleep while road-tripping. Hopefully doing another extended trip soon, so need to prep the car for it.

Pictures soon when my mattress is custom-fit and ready.

Removal of the seat was surprisingly easy, even with a cheap socket wrench set. (Threads on here discuss it, and there's a video on youtube.) Just be sure to disconnect the battery first, and wait 10+ minutes, to avoid airbag deployment when you disconnect the electrical connections.

With the passenger seat out, the Element feels much more open, and you have the following advantages:

1. You now have a potential sleeping area nearly 7.5 feet long -- and that still leaves 2+ extra feet in front to store things. The width next to the driver's seat is 32 inches wide, so plenty of room for one person to overlap into. This is much more comfortable for a taller person than the previous sleeping length, which was maybe 6'2".

2. You can now easily access the rear of the Element, and the sleeping area, without having to exit the vehicle. So if tired from driving, you simply slide out of your seat and lay down.

3. You can now easily *exit* the Element from your sleeping area. The passenger-side door is now easily accesible. No need to jury-rig an exit latch on the rear hatch door. Or lean over the passenger seat to reach the handle, and then awkwardly try to open the rear clamshell door after pushing open the front clamshell door.

4. You now have over 9.5 feet of interior length space for packing a surfboard, a paddleboard, lumber, etc.

5. You have more storage space up front, and it's now much easier to access the space under the dashboard. (Good place for a cooler, which is now easier to get to.)

6. You'll presumably get better gas mileage without the weight of the passenger seat, which is fairly heavy.

7. With that seat out, you can have at least half (actually 60% percent) of the mattress set up and ready for sleeping, with no further adjustment or assembly required.

(When you have time, you'll still probably want to move/lean the driver's seat forward -- especially if someone will be sleeping with you. But when just wanting to crash after a long drive, it's nice to have most of the bed ready to go.)

8. Basically, you now have one large open living area when road-tripping/camping. Everything is now acessible and within reach, regardless of where it's located.
 

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Note: There *is* at least a potential safety issue with removing the passenger seat, because it causes the airbag light to activate, and may well prevent the entire airbag system from operating.

You will therefore need a bypass connection to keep the system operating.

I am currently communicating with Airbag Systems, Inc., at http://www.airbagsystems.com, to obtain such a bypass connection. (Email:
su[email protected]) This will simply plug into the connections coming out of the floor, that were formerly connected to the passenger seat.

They have indicated they can provide this. I will note the price, etc., once I know. (They neededed photos of the connections under the seat first.)

You will also need to know the radio code after re-connecting the battery. If you don't have it noted in your manual or in the glovebox, it can be obtained from the following website once you've obtained the radio serial number: https://radio-navicode.honda.com/

Basically, when you turn on the radio, you'll see an error code. Turn off the radio, hold down the 1 and 6 buttons on the radio simultaneously, and then turn the radio back on.

You'll see a set of numbers. (I got 8 in total). This is the radio serial number. Go to the website, and enter in both your VIN# and the Serial# where prompted. It will immediately tell you the Radio Code. Punch that into the radio, and it will work again.
 

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So I ordered what appears to be the necessary dummy connector ("bypass"). Cost was $29 plus shipping. ($7 for priority delivery, 1-3 days.)

I will keep you posted on how it works once I receive it.
 

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Okay, some pics. I have a total of 7+ inches of foam over most of the interior area. A 3-inch Costco tri-fold mat is the base (with one section cut off, and turned vertical to fill up the space where the front passenger seat was). A 2.75-inch Cabela Deluxe Camp Bed is the middle section, with the edges trimmed to fit the sides, and the front cut to allow the front driver's seat to slide back all the way. (I use the cut section to finish off the passenger seat area.) Currently topped with a 1.5 inch twin-size memory-foam topper, which I'm going to replace with a 2-inch Queen-size memory-foam topper, which will cover the entire area, and which I will trim to fit.

Mattresses were trimmed to fit all edges snugly, including the driver's seat. (The console is largely covered by the camp-bed layer, but one cupholder remains exposed, and the remainder can be easily accessed by lifting that section of the mattress.)

The entire bed is covered by a green, stretchy, jersey, comfortable cotton t-shirt-type material purchased at a fabric store. The modular foam sections under the passenger seat area are also now covered in that material. (Will show in later post.)

You can see how open the space is now, how easy it is now to access the passenger doors, and how easy it is to access the bed from the driver's seat.

I have a total of 7+ inches of foam over most of the interior area. A 3-inch Costco tri-fold mat is the base (with one section cut off, and turned vertical to fill up the space where the front passenger seat was). A 2.75-inch Cabela Deluxe Camp Bed is the middle section, with the edges trimmed to fit the sides, and the front cut to allow the front driver's seat to slide back all the way. (I use the cut section to finish off the passenger seat area.) Currently topped with a 1.5 inch twin-size memory-foam topper, which I'm going to replace with a 2-inch Queen-size memory-foam topper, which will cover the entire area, and which I will trim to fit.

Mattresses were trimmed to fit all edges snugly, including the driver's seat. (The console is largely covered by the camp-bed layer, but one cupholder remains exposed, and the remainder can be easily accessed by lifting that section of the mattress.)

You can see how open the space is now, how easy it is now to access the passenger doors, and how easy it is to access the bed from the driver's seat.









 

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Mechanical notes: To address the airbag issue, I ended up just taking the seatbelt buckle off the Passenger seat. (The electrical plugs are connected to the buckle, and not to anything else on the seat.) This is basically just connected to the seat by one bolt, which is the same size as the bolts which secure the seat to the floor. So not that hard to remove, although you have to pull out the seat plastic a little if you're using a socket wrench.

(You can also buy an extra used buckle assembly for about $50, and just use that, but I didn't see the need.)

Once the buckle was removed, I re-attached the plugs (after first disconnecting the battery and waiting 10 minutes), and tucked the buckle underneath the foam in the front. (The dips in the floor there provide space for the buckle, and I tucked the connectors themselves underneath the plastic on the floor.

I'll have the airbelt light cleared, and see if it stays off. I assume it will, because there's no apparent way for the car now to know the seat is no longer there. (Again, there are no other electrical connections between the buckle and the chair.) This may be different with Elements that have side airbags in the seats.

(The connector/resistor I was sent by the airbag company would've required cutting the wires between the car and the connnector, or between the connector and the seat, and I didn't really want to do that, given the importance of the airbag system, the risk of shorts/sparking/unwanted airbag deployment, and the fact I'll probably be putting the passenger seat back in at some point.)

Below are pics of the seatbelt buckle assembly that I removed from the chair. (You just need to loosen that large bolt in the upper left-hand corner of the assembly until it comes free from the chair frame.):






Let me know if you have Q's.
 

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Some other benefits of the open floorplan I've noticed:

1. The sound system sounds better without the passenger seat blocking the speakers.

2. Because you can move further down from the back of the SUV, you can have your head directly underneath the skylight, as opposed to slightly in front of it. Better view out the skylight. You also of course have more room for your arms around your head when you're not backed up against the back of the SUV.

3. You can put stuff (like snacks) right next to you on the end of the mattress, and reach them more easily while driving.

4. Not only can you easily reach the passenger doors now, and exit the vehicle easily from the back, but you can also now open both passenger clamshell doors, and have a huge exterior view while lounging near the front of the bed. With a rainfly draped over the two opened doors, you'd also have a nice covered porch for shade or rain protection. Would be great when overlooking the ocean on a cliffside pull-off.

5. While you're obviously absent a second seat, people can easily sit on the front of the bed area, which comes right up to the edge of the elevated floor area. They can also just lounge in the back. Fine for shorter trips, and, depending on state laws and personal safety preferences, even fine for extended roadtrips. (Definitely more comfortable than sitting in a chair.) I know I spent a couple weeks laying on a futon in the back of a minivan on a past roadtrip.
 

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Some photos below of the front passenger seat area, showing the how the bottom foam is flush with the end of the seat area, and how much storage space remains in front of there.

I also show how the seat buckle is tucked under the foam to bypass the airbag light issue.



 

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And these photos show the modular nature of the foam cushions/sections over the front passenger area. They can be easily moved to allow for more storage space, or a different sleeping configuration. (Can be used as pillows, to fill in the open space behind the driver's seat when pushed forward, etc.)

Currently just have the fabric attached with safety pins, but will probably have it sewn up eventually like pillowcases.







 

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Finally, some photos from camping last night -- just put a cloth sleeping bag over the mattress, with two pillows, and put my bug netting over the open hatch in back -- which creates a nice little porch area there. You could also slide the bottom cushion out over the hatch area, and put the pillows on that, so that your head(s) is/are in the porch area, getting more breeze, but still protected from rain and most insects.

Either way, this basically gives you nearly a dozen feet (lengthwise) of open "living space" when the hatch is open. Two additional covered porch areas could be created by opening the clamshells and draping rainflys over the open doors.

Finally -- you can also lean back against the inclined driver's seat if you want a more upright seated position while lounging/reading.











Notice that I was able to easily toss a good-sized duffelbag over the front seat, with room against the windshield for another one. Obviously, some may prefer more organized storage. But I'm fine with having my clothes and toiletries in the duffelbag(s), using large ziplocks to separate the toiletries. Normally, they'll stay in the back on the bed, and I can then move them over the front driver's seat to completely free up that space.

A good option for those who want maximum sleeping space, with as much headroom and privacy as possible, and don't need everything completely organized.
 
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