Split the seat back, or not

Hi Folks,

There have been many discussions on doing this mod, and quite a few have done it. It would be a definite improvement over the one piece back, allowing a bit more access to the storage space underneath. But, it is expensive to have it done and a lot of work as a DIY project.

So here is what we did, and it costs nothing. Since our [email protected] is in bed mode most all the time, we just removed the hinges all together. 

The bench back can now just slide forward or tilt back allowing full access to the storage areas. The back and seat cushions can be reversed if desired with the addition of a couple of short 2 by 2 boards screwed in underneath in the rear driver's side compartment.

If for some reason we want to tilt the back forward, we just roll up the two mattress pads and place them behind the back.

We did this a year ago and have no regrets. Give it some thought.

Here are some pics.
















2016 [email protected] Max S  "[email protected]"
2009 Subaru Outback R 3.0

Comments

  • TabberJohnTabberJohn Posts: 539Member
    Okay, that's pretty funny -- and brilliant! :)
    2015 [email protected] Max S (White/Silver) -> 2014 Ford Escape 2.0L (turbo, AWD, factory tow)
  • ChanWChanW Posts: 2,556Member
    I have to agree with @TabberJohn!
    Seems we sometimes forget that simpler is often better!

    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl
     
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • DalehelmanDalehelman Posts: 1,890Member
    I like it. We also leave cushions in the down position. I am going to give it a try. Thanks for posting.
    1. Hash  [email protected] Fun
  • TerryV6TerryV6 Posts: 1,062Member
    What is the board in front with the two boards making a slot for?
    Terry & Jody...  2016 Dodge Ram 1500
    2016 NuCamp 320 [email protected] Max S
    [email protected]  Road   
    Appleton,  WI





  • JanandDaveJanandDave Posts: 103Member
    @TerryV6 

    Hi. It's sort of a prototype, but so far it's my zero dollar bike rack.

    With a couple of bunge cords and a little padding, it holds the front tires of two 10 speeds quite nicely. Have to be careful putting them through the door, but once inside and tied down, they stay put. Keeps most of the weight over the axle, too.

    No room in the TV because of the kayaks.
    2016 [email protected] Max S  "[email protected]"
    2009 Subaru Outback R 3.0

  • jgram2jgram2 Posts: 1,466Member
    @JanandDave And here I thought those were wheel chocks for your airplane. 😀
    John, Judi, Guinness & OD in PDX
    [email protected]@t 2015 S Max Outback, ‘18 V6 4Runner 


  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 1,038Member
    Interesting idea, @JanandDave.
    I was recently thinking about the split seat idea, because sometimes one of us is ready to sleep (me), while the other wants to read.
    So, what exactly is the function of the two boards?

    -Brian in Chester, Virginia
    TV: 2005 Toyota Sienna LE (3.3L V6)
    RV: 2018 [email protected] 320S, >70 mods 
  • JanandDaveJanandDave Posts: 103Member
    @BrianZ

    Hi.  In the fourth pic you can see a piece 2x2 just to the right of center, and a shorter one all the way right toward the back. Their only purpose is to provide more support for when we put the split cushions in the back and the back cushion forward of them, like in the second pic. Otherwise the one on the right wanted to sort of fall in the hole a bit. The outside one is only shorter because we needed an opening there for a different yet-to-be-finished mod.
    2016 [email protected] Max S  "[email protected]"
    2009 Subaru Outback R 3.0

  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 1,038Member
    Ok, I  see now.  Thanks, @JanandDave.  I was fooled by looking at the more forward compartment which has wider support on the sides.

    I'll have to see how/if this could work with our wire shelves covering the back compartments.  Maybe we wouldn't even need the extra wood supports, since we've already got some holding up the two wire shelves covering our back compartments.  I'm also thinking that since our shelves are hinged at the rear, it might be possible to use them as supports to swing up into small hooks on the back frame of the cushions, similar to how the back of an outdoor lounge chair is supported.

    Amazing that nobody has thought of this before, but glad you did, and thanks for sharing.  I may have to explore this idea further.
    -Brian in Chester, Virginia
    TV: 2005 Toyota Sienna LE (3.3L V6)
    RV: 2018 [email protected] 320S, >70 mods 
  • CrabTabCrabTab Posts: 30Member
    edited January 21
    Haven't gone outside to look at framing details under the full bench (yet). How about ordering a second set of the hinges for the bench back? I'm visualizing the split bench backs having the ratcheting stops that the full bench currently posseses. Just a thought...
    2019 320 Boondock Edge
  • BrianZBrianZ Posts: 1,038Member
    edited January 21
    Good question, @CrabTab.
    My wife would love that idea, as she was not at all enthusiastic about the idea of a seatback without any means of support.  I guess someone will need to first remove their current hinges & install them on the small seat bottom to see if it could work. 

    A hinged back would not provide the easy front access to rear storage like being unhinged; however, by dropping/raising just one of the seatbacks, you could get easier access to the back storage area from the side than the current situation of having to dive in over the top.  And I expect that would be preferable to use the rear storage area whenever bedding is in place, than trying to raise the full-width cushion to get into the more forward storage.

    How would one even order a set of hinges these days? 
    -Brian in Chester, Virginia
    TV: 2005 Toyota Sienna LE (3.3L V6)
    RV: 2018 [email protected] 320S, >70 mods 
  • JanandDaveJanandDave Posts: 103Member
    @CrabTab & @BrianZ 

    Don’t think it’s going to work without a lot of cost and effort. 

    If you want to split the seat back and use another set of hinges, you would still need a split bench to have some room in the middle for the hinges. The back cushions also need modifying in the lower corners just to install the hinge. 

    I don’t know what NuCamp charges for another pair, as with no markings on them I have been unable to locate them elsewhere. I did find these better ones, but at $375+ a pair, wow. 


    https://www.tacomarine.com/hinges-latches-ratchet-hinges-h25-0016-2

    Would still have to do the modifications and/or rebuild the one piece back/seat. Plus the cost of upholstery and labor.

    We never put the back up anyway, and love the easy access the loose cushions provide. 

    Good luck


    2016 [email protected] Max S  "[email protected]"
    2009 Subaru Outback R 3.0

  • TabberJohnTabberJohn Posts: 539Member
    I'm with @JanandDave on this. KIS.
    This mod is now risen to the top of my never ending to-do list. :|
    If the need arises to support the bench back, or one cushion in split mode, there are simpler ways to do that without reverting to hinges.
    In practice I think we'll roll up the bed covering behind the bench. With this mod that step will now be easy to do. 👍
    2015 [email protected] Max S (White/Silver) -> 2014 Ford Escape 2.0L (turbo, AWD, factory tow)
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