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#4559436 - 10/30/17 04:57 PM Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea?
Blue_Goose Offline


Registered: 07/13/05
Posts: 2064
Loc: New Hampsha
Love my Crosstrek..everything I want for practicality and fun in a car.

That being said..it has become a pita......literally

The seat frame has 2 metal humps/bumps that sit just below the surface of the leather seating surface covered only by what I consider a too thin layer of padding. After a bit of time in the saddle the bumps start to bother my thigh/lower hip bone. I want to keep the full functionality of the heated seats so a cushion is not a solution.

I recently inquired on a local FB forum for auto upholstery shops seeing if perhaps an extra layer of foam etc could be added. One of the replies was from someone who said they could do it and also said they could relocated the rod that is jabbing into my leg. I said it doesn't seem like a movable rod, more like the solid end of a seat frame/pan. He said if it is metal it can either be ground off or shaped into a form where it no long will be an issue.

This sounds great to me although I'm having thoughts on how feasible it is to alter the seat frame of a car's front seat? Does does create a safety issue or anything along those lines?


Thoughts or has anyone been in a similar situation where they have altered their driver's seat?

He quoted 200-250 to do the job which is a heck of a lot cheaper then trading the car away which will probably happen unless I resolve this issue. The new 2018 Crosstrek seats are a lot more comfortable but unfortunately they can not be swapped with a 16 due to being a different size.

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#4559441 - 10/30/17 05:09 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
LoneRanger Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 4099
Loc: Midwest USA
Greetings fellow HHR refugee. grin

I say give it a go, I wouldn't think it a safety compromise if it is reshaped instead of removed.
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#4559444 - 10/30/17 05:13 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
Silverado12 Offline


Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 3148
Loc: Central Virginia
It sounds like you need a cushion w/extra bolstering on the sides.
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#4559551 - 10/30/17 06:54 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1639
Loc: 'murica
Yes, that's a gigantic safety issue. All of the components of your vehicle's safety systems need to be intact as designed so they can work together in concert and protect you in an accident. I'd hate to see what would happen in a side airbag deployment after the seat has been modified crzy

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#4559569 - 10/30/17 07:12 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32774
Loc: ME
Do it. If your butt fits the seat well that's safer than if it doesn't.

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#4559585 - 10/30/17 07:24 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10289
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Go for it, life's too short to be uncomfortable, especially in such a new car.
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#4559708 - 10/30/17 09:27 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10653
Loc: Buffalo, NY
I think I would focus more on a different type of padding with some different type of support, but if a shop is savvy with modding seat frames on today's air bag equipped cars, have at it.

I know what you mean about those two pressure points in the seat pan area. My 2014 XV Crosstrek had it too. I find the front seats to fit me better in my 2016 Forester base model.
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#4559712 - 10/30/17 09:35 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 13722
Loc: Illinois
I bought a new 1990 Ford Tempo, but the seat was a little too high for me when I wore a cap. Two weeks after buying the car I took the seat out, cut 5/8 in. off all four of the steel legs, and re-connected the legs together, and welded them. Worked great for me for the seven years I owned the car.
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#4559760 - 10/30/17 11:59 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
Reggaemon Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 324
Loc: Pennsylvania
I reworked the seat pan in a 2003 Sonata.
It really improve the seat comfort for me.
I'd say go for it.

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#4559842 - 10/31/17 06:25 AM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
Blue_Goose Offline


Registered: 07/13/05
Posts: 2064
Loc: New Hampsha
This place is is actually an audio shop but was told that he had 100% confidence he could shape the seat so it will provide more comfort.

Seeing that the airbags are in the top half off the seat, I'm curious on how reworking the bottom pan could come into play in an air bag deployment? I ask that as a sincere question, not being flippant.

I'm almost certain that it would need to involve some cutting. It is like 2 mini mesa's poking into your legs.(JTK can attest, thank you for confirming...nobody on the Crosstrek forums will admit lol) Cutting them down and adding layers of memory foam or gel would be ideal but I guess you would have to take into account of how much room is under there and if the seat cover will fit back on. Plus I'd imagine the heating element of the seat comes into play as well.


Lone Ranger------I miss that HHR! I loved that car.....
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#4561638 - 11/01/17 09:39 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1639
Loc: 'murica
Maybe the airbag is fine if you don't fiddle with the seat back. The seat cushion is just the part that weighs you, measures your location relative to the steering wheel, and attaches you to the car. Maybe the car stereo guy knows what he's doing. I'm a bit of a libertarian when it comes to car mods that literally only affect you shrug

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#4562079 - 11/02/17 01:25 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3985
Loc: California
The driver's side seat won't have the sensing mat that disables the airbag if a non-human object or someone less than 55lbs is in the passenger's seat. There is a seat position sensor in the sliding rails or the buckle's bracket that will tell the SRS controller how far you are from the steering wheel and that's about it.

You should be fine.

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#4565089 - 11/05/17 04:37 PM Re: Reshaping a Subaru Seat frame...good/bad idea? [Re: Blue_Goose]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15838
Loc: OH
Yet another reason to be glad that we bought a Forester I guess, which does have comfortable seats on long drives.
If the Crosstrek is really that bad, then I'd have no qualms about having someone reshape the seat pan or grind off any protuberances that poke you.
Nothing you do to the cushion is going to affect the airbags, since the side bags are located in the backrest so won't be involved.
IOW, ignore the chicken littles and get your seats fixed so that you can stand to drive the car.
Another thought is that this seat probably has a lot of adjustments available.
Could these things that are poking you be lowered merely by adjusting the rake of the seat cushion?
Many cars have this adjustment and it may be that you've got things to a point where you've reached an extreme and you could reduce or eliminate the poking by changing the adjustment of the cushion.
I know that someone messed with the driver's seat on one of our fleet Fushions and turned this normally very comfortable seat into a torture device and it took me a while to figure out how to correct this.
Just a thought.
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