Mk2 front seats upgrade

I hadn’t thought of changing the front seats in my Mk 2, until I did one of my regular searches on e-Bay. Up popped some XJ8 seats, advertised as an upgrade. Having put in a low bid, I won them. I only bid on them as they were local to me, and when I turned up to collect them, it turned out that the vendor was Bryan from our club.

Having got the seats home I checked that all the motors worked, taking care not to put any power on the air bag connector. The next task was to remove the seats from the subframes, having first motored the seats to their highest position.

The assisting spring was disconnected by dot punching and drilling the staked pip on the fixing rivet, making sure to hold the spring with a hook made from stiff wire. The mountings were then removed by centre punching and carefully drilling out the rivets.

A small countersunk head screw and nut was then used to attach the assist spring, thus ensuring the runners had no projections below, so the seat can sit as low as possible. The hole at the end of the runner was used to secure the front of the seat to the car’s original mounting point, there being no more than 4mm difference in the runner spacings. The length was also just right to fit a bolt in the rear mounting, having accurately measured and drilled the runner. 
I had to fit a spacer so that the electronics would clear the crossmember of the car, but it was not necessary on the passenger side, I assume mainly due to variations in the car’s front seat mountings. It is also worthwhile removing any carpet and soundproofing from the top of the crossmembers where the runners cross.

The electrics are surprisingly easy to wire up, with two positive connections, and one negative. My car is positive earth, and they will work fine on either polarity. I haven’t wired in the heaters yet, although that might be a good idea in the Mk 2.
The end result is shown below.

I shall probably recolour them to the original suede green, unless I decide to fit matching rear seats from the XJ. I have found the seats to be very comfortable, with no tendency to slide about, as on the originals. Being a skinny individual, the driver’s seat is fine for me on its lowest setting, but with a smaller steering wheel and power steering, more muscular people would probably find it OK.

A few words of caution. It is probably worth removing the side airbags, although the plugs fitted have a shorting link to prevent accidental detonation. I also left off the XJ seat belt fixing, as the floor fixings are not strong enough to hold the seat and occupant in the event of a serious collision (I’ve actually fitted a seat belt for the driver at long last).

Peter Shaw