Adventures in rear seat removal: - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-06-2021, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
Dust Devil
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Adventures in rear seat removal (and bed platform/cargo drawer design):

I want to do a cargo drawer/bed platform in my Jeep and a while ago I saw the YouTube videos with modified hinges to allow quick removal. All of them said the 4 pins cost about $10.

A while after that I saw a $10 hitch pin assortment at Harbor Freight which has 20 pins total and 5 of them sized right for WJ seats. So the same price, I get a spare and I get 15 different pins that might be useful later.

I've been waiting to modify my hinges because I have been making a want list for the Pick-A-Part yard and I was thinking of getting a spare pair.

Tonight I decided that I had no reason to wait so I pulled my seat bottoms, removed the hinges and started sawing.

One or two of the videos show grinding off the peened rivet head and making a mess. I used one of the hacksaw blade holders you can find (not a full frame hacksaw) and sawed the rivet inside the hinge on the side of the peened rivet head.

Short story, they took about five minutes each and the hinge was actually sprung, when I broke through the rivet, the two pieces popped apart. With the rivet cut the two pieces pulled out easily. My hinges are 1999 Limited as far as I know.

Happy with my progress, I pulled out my pins and my drill bits.

Expecting about 1/4", I measured my pin and got 0.311" it's 5/16". Of course all of my larger drill bits are in storage.

I would have known that if I had read the package of the hitch pin assortment...

Now I have to buy a drill.

It was going so well.


Last edited by Dust Devil; 06-07-2021 at 11:41 AM. Reason: Updated title
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-07-2021, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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So I want a bed platform for car camping, I want it to fold and fit under the OEM cargo cover, I want a nice drawer and I want a storage spot that can potentially hold an SKB 4909 case.

I also want it as low as possible and 60/40 so 4 usable configurations, also pretty cheap but with locking ball bearing drawer slides, some surfaces upholstered, hinges that won't squeak...

I'm going to try to incorporate storage for basic "overlanding" gear and make sure that I can pack some good plastic bins on top when folded with the rear seats up.

I may end up hacking my center console arm rest to allow a longer bed platform.

I'm also thinking about getting that spare set of seat hinges so I can cut them and attach the floor halves to the sides of my roof rack so I can pin the seat bottoms there when the bed platform is deployed.

I think I have the bold strokes of the platform design in my head. The drawer details are there, the hinge details are there (7 hinges!), I'm pretty sure there is enough room for structure. I'll figure out a way to securely attach it to the floor but also remove it easily (I hope).

I'm planning to do a bumper/chassis mount swing out tire carrier eventually so this might be a pain in the *** to get to a stock spare but that just kind of goes with the territory.

The rear seat backs will be slightly modified but hopefully reversibly.

Adding it up, its two sheets of plywood (maybe 7/16"), drawer slides, hinge material, upholstery, screws and latch hardware, I'm thinking maybe $150-200.

Tools I'll probably use: a table saw, a jigsaw, a hacksaw,, a drill, a router with round over bit, sand paper, scissors and a Kreg jig.

This is going to be phase 1 of a budget "overlanding" setup.

Phase 2 is going to be a small overlanding trailer with storage and a more comfortable sleeping arrangement so that longer term or 4 person expeditions could be possible.

Phase 3 is a suspension upgrade so I can go pretty much anywhere.

Phase 4 is a very long term plan to do an OM617 swap for more torque and fuel economy so it's cheap to take it anywhere.

When I was shopping for a car, I wanted utility and some offroad ability so I can go on BLM land without getting stuck. Car camping was always part of the plan. My first target was a GM SUV but that got sold out from under me. At that point I started looking at Jeeps and the WJ leapt out as good on the road, practical, fully depreciated, well supported in the aftermarket and even good looking. After I'm done with mine, that GM is going to look kind of silly by comparison.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-07-2021, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'm going to try to find a whole cloth covered rear seat bottom instead of just the hinges. I don't think I want my leather limited seat bottoms out in the weather when I pin them to the rack (especially if I drive with them on there). Having beater seats to swap in seems like a good idea.

It would be even better if I could find some waterproof seat covers for the bottoms so that rain wouldn't soak the cushions.

Just one more little thing.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-07-2021, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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So I bought a cheapo drill index with a 5/16" bit.

It's undersized.

Now I have a choice of buy a slightly bigger drill bit, buy a cheap reamer on ebay or drill it out to 3/8" which is the next size up in my cheapo drill set.

I could also do something like wrap sand paper around a 1/4" bit to try to open it up...

So I'm almost done with my QD seat bottom hinges.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-07-2021, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'm going to buy an "O" size reamer or maybe 8mm.

It's just going to give me a much nicer finish and just enough slop to get the pins installed easily.
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-08-2021, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, while cleaning my center console I noticed a few things.

First, the rear cup holder pretty much has to stay where it is but the back of the console is a separate piece from the sides and the cup holder.

If I can separate the back from the sides, I can trim the top portion of the rear sides so that the rear can slide forward. At that point, I just need something to cover the top of the rear cup holder and to section the arm rest and the storage tray underneath.

It looks promising enough that if it looks like my bed platform needs some clearance, I'll see if the console is made of a weldable plastic and buy a cheapo plastic welder to try it out on a junkyard console.

Another option is to try to backdate to a 1998 or earlier mini console and shifters. That will be more difficult if only because the parking brake handle has to be moved to the other side and it's not made to match up with the WJ dash.

I prefer a driver side parking brake so backdating could be pretty trick but if I can just leave everything alone, thats probably the way to go.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-19-2021, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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I ended up not buying an "O" or 8mm reamer, it's just only good for this one job. Instead I ordered a metric step drill set.

It's cheaper, it has other uses and it will even give me a nice chamfer to get rid of the burrs.

Hopefully at least one of the three 8mm steps will be true to size, that will give me about 0.004" of clearance and the chamfer will get things started.

The set was about $6.50 shipped, not too bad.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-22-2021, 07:40 AM
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I look forward to updates.

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post #9 of 12 Old 06-22-2021, 10:43 AM
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Yes, I want to see pics of this completed project. Sounds very cool!

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-22-2021, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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I just went in to Lowes and plywood was about $80 a sheet.

I won't pay that purely out of principle.

I'll see what I can figure out but I'm going to delay the platform build until I can find reasonably priced plywood or another material to build with. One thing I'm looking for is a steel drawer just so I'm not wasting the thickness of plywood inside the drawer.
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-23-2021, 06:43 AM
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Y
our headline "Adventures in rear seat" takes me back
and gives me a chuckle each time I read it
thanks DD
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-23-2021, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Making more room for my platform:

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