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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is the prototype process to gain 3" of extra leg room for the driver. Materials used: 2' of 2"x2"x1/8" angle iron. 2' of 1.5"x1.5"x1/8" angle iron. 2' of 3/16"x1"(or 1.25") flat steel stock. Home Depot has all of this. 20 1/4" fine thread 1" grade 5 bolts with matching nuts and lock washers. 2 5/16" fine thread 3/4" grade 5 bolts, lock washers, nuts. Primer and glossy black rattle cans.

EDIT: See post #63....Bob

The 11 photos are in sequence start to finish. The last 5 photos are finished product shots, and in the last three the seat all the way back....you would not use it in that position...I'm just demonstrating the extra travel.



Precautions:
You will loose the 3" in forward travel. If anyone short needs to get really close they are out of luck.
Watch where the drilling chips go. You do not want them stuck in the grease in your seat track. They are tough to vac from the carpet. Cover the floor to make cleanup easy if any drilling occurs in the car.
This mod will raise the seat by 5/16". Unavoidable.
Don't plan on driving your car for 2 days.
Disregard the extra sets of holes in my photo #6. My goof up!


Instructions:

Remove seat. Drill out rivits that fasten the legs and the slide tracks from the bottom using a center punch and really sharp 1/4" drill. You will also need a 5/16" drill for the right rear mount. 2' angle iron is needed on the right, 1.5" on the left. On both, the vertical part of the iron is on the left. See photos. The flat stock is used to make spacers so the track can clear the top of the bolt heads fastening the angle irons to the seat legs.

The 5/16" bolts are used on the right rear which needs additional strength as this is where the seat belt is anchored. In my estimation, two grade 5 fine thread bolts are equivalent to the combo of spot welds and rivets used by Subaru originally. The spot welds were likely to locate the legs, and the rivets provide the strong bond.

Drill out the spot welds. Don't saw or pry.

You should be able to place the new mount holes exactly 3' back from the originals. Keep in mind that the distance between the drilled out rivets and drilled out spot welds may not be perfect and equal on all corners. Measuring and care needed to be sure it all lines up.

Bolt down the angle irons in rough unpainted form. Trim it up and paint later, after everything fits.

Good luck....


This would be perfect for lounging back and watching a drive-in movie, but they are hard to find any more!!!!!!!

Safety: Oh....And you have to realize, and respect the fact, that we are modifying an engineered and safety tested design. Although I have used materials and techniques that I personally "feel" provide equivalent strength, those choices are NOT the result of engineering computations or crash testing, and do not knowingly meet any code or standard. Steel structural materials are not certified. And since the driver's body can be positioned outside of the perameters that Subaru intended, we cannot be sure what effect this has on safety systems such as restraints or air bags. So, in a crash situation, you or another driver may be killed or seriously injured as a result of substandard modifications. Be your own judge as to the final choice or materials and fastenings. I have no recommendation as to what personal certifications or education an individual need have to correctly advise on these safety matters.

Bobiam
 

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did you think of what happen to the air bags in a crash or what your insurance company would say if they found out you modified a safety system??????? just a thought, otherwise i know some ppl have been having problems so good job???? i guess
 

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Discussion Starter #3
did you think of what happen to the air bags in a crash or what your insurance company would say if they found out you modified a safety system??????? just a thought, otherwise i know some ppl have been having problems so good job???? i guess
Think of it this way.......Let's say that with this mod that you move the seat back 1-2" for normal driving. Subaru does nothing to prevent you from leaning your seat back that far without any mods made. Same thing...

Besides, the further that you are from that steering wheel during a crash the better. I estimate that all safety systems will operate as intended. As for the bolts, I believe this likely a stronger system than original. As I said, those spot welds cannot be contributing much of a bond. The bolts are better.

Bob
 

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Think of it this way.......Let's say that with this mod that you move the seat back 1-2" for normal driving. Subaru does nothing to prevent you from leaning your seat back that far without any mods made. Same thing...

Besides, the further that you are from that steering wheel during a crash the better. I estimate that all safety systems will operate as intended. As for the bolts, I believe this likely a stronger system than original. As I said, those spot welds cannot be contributing much of a bond. The bolts are better.

Bob
yes but leaning your seat back far is all that safe either............just thoughts
plus how does moving you away from something built to save your life help......
 

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2009 2.5X EJ253 Manual
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As FPT pointed out, insurance companies and lawyers take a dim view of modifications like this whether or not they effect the safety systems, when they find out about the mod during the course of an accident investigation.

If you sell or trade the car make sure to disclose the modification and probably get a liability waiver signed as part of the sale or trade.

I recommend against any mods that alter the engineering features of equipment on the vehicle that has to interact with the occupant safety devices.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As FPT pointed out, insurance companies and lawyers take a dim view of modifications like this whether or not they effect the safety systems, when they find out about the mod during the course of an accident investigation.

If you sell or trade the car make sure to disclose the modification and probably get a liability waiver signed as part of the sale or trade.

I recommend against any mods that alter the engineering features of equipment on the vehicle that has to interact with the occupant safety devices.
When a car is in a frontal crash (worst kind), the occupant does not hit the other car....they impact the dash, steering wheel, windshield, etc. That's why they invented padded dashes, air bags, collapsing steering columns. I'm saying that being an inch or two further away from all that stuff is not a bad thing. If you are belted in, your body is less likely to meet the crushing frontal parts of your car. The air bag and harness are still there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As FPT pointed out, insurance companies and lawyers take a dim view of modifications like this whether or not they effect the safety systems, when they find out about the mod during the course of an accident investigation.

If you sell or trade the car make sure to disclose the modification and probably get a liability waiver signed as part of the sale or trade.

I recommend against any mods that alter the engineering features of equipment on the vehicle that has to interact with the occupant safety devices.
The liability insurance that you buy does not protect the driver. Besides, have you ever heard of a $ judgement being reduced because someone did not wear their safety belt? That doesn't happen.

As for selling the car, it would probably be a good idea to remove the track extensions when selling the car, or at least disclosing it in writing. You only need to point out hidden "defects". For instance, if you sell as car with bald tires, that's OK. If you sell a car with a home made patch on a hidden brake line, that's another matter.

It also matters if you are an "expert" and in the auto biz and do such a mod for a fee on a customer's car. That is called "completed operation's liability", and insurers don't want to knowingly insure a biz that does this sort of thing. I've spent 35 yrs in the commercial insurance business. The comfort that I've gained far outweighs the risks.
 

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Come on guys, what's with the attitude?
OP had a problem and fixed it. Well done!
Not only that, he shared what he did so that other people, and there have been complaints on this subject, can consider whether or not they want to do this also. That's commendable.
If you take issue, fine. State it but don't start a pissin war over it.
The board is FULL of people doing things that void warranties, alter vehicle dynamics, modify safety systems and generally customize their cars.
 

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Wow. that is amazing work. I don't know about the insurance issue. Can you reach the steering wheel?

I have long wanted an extra 2 inches of leg room and thought about doing the same thing. But, I would need a telescoping steering wheel to make it work. I have done a lot of mods to my front seat, but nothing I can't put back quickly.

I am still glad I sawed 8 inches out of the plastic consolte where my right leg hits. I have an extrra 3 inches of knee room for the acclerator leg. Much better. The piece only costs $116 if I want to sell it someday.

BTW. I have been test driving other small crossovers for comfort. So far my 2010 Forester easily beats the Honda crv, even with it's arm rests (which are tiny) It also beats the Mazda tribute. I am shocked how much more uncomforable they are.

The Foz is a close tie with the Toyota Rav4. Toyota's have a nice dent in the plastic where the right leg rests. It's plastic better than the Forester's plastic there. The new Venza is much better (will that be considered a crossover? will it do off road stuff?)

I still plan to check out Jeeps, Chevys and Fords in the same price range. However, so far the Forester is doing much better than I thought. So many of these newer cars have taken away all their padding and comfort features. Damn near every crossover has comfort limitations that seem obvious to fix.

I will post an update of my mods page and new photos in a few days. Meanwhile Bob, let us know how your new system works. You have taken my place as most extreme new Subaru owner. I salute you!

SBS
 

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Did you use grade 9 hardware (fasteners)? :confused:

Bobby...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did you use grade 9 hardware (fasteners)? :confused:

Bobby...

Grade 5. The rivets that I drilled out are quite soft and very easy drilling compared to the grade 5 bolts (I stripped one and had to drill it out. Not an intentional comparison). Using fine threads adds to the meat of the bolt. Keep in mind that 3 of 4 legs use a SINGLE 1/4" rivet plus a resistance spot weld which I contend doesn't count for more than locating the parts prior to riveting. That spot weld doesn't provide any real bond worth measuring. I replaced the spot welds with a bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
All that other stuff aside... how friggin' tall are you?!?
Only 6'3", but more legs than torso. Never had a headroom issue! Trouble with modern cars seems to be the need to curl your toe back to use the accelerator. That tightens muscles on the outboard of the calf where it may rest on the excessive plastic counsole.

Interestingly, Consumer Reports gives front leg room dimensions for every production car in the world (sold in the US), but that dimension is to the FLOOR, rather than the pedals. It's hard to drive with one's feet flat on the floor....yes? I've written them twice on this issue over the years without response. I'd love to use this data to select cars, but it's a useless number.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow. that is amazing work. I don't know about the insurance issue. Can you reach the steering wheel?

I have long wanted an extra 2 inches of leg room and thought about doing the same thing. But, I would need a telescoping steering wheel to make it work. I have done a lot of mods to my front seat, but nothing I can't put back quickly.

I am still glad I sawed 8 inches out of the plastic consolte where my right leg hits. I have an extrra 3 inches of knee room for the acclerator leg. Much better. The piece only costs $116 if I want to sell it someday.

BTW. I have been test driving other small crossovers for comfort. So far my 2010 Forester easily beats the Honda crv, even with it's arm rests (which are tiny) It also beats the Mazda tribute. I am shocked how much more uncomforable they are.

The Foz is a close tie with the Toyota Rav4. Toyota's have a nice dent in the plastic where the right leg rests. It's plastic better than the Forester's plastic there. The new Venza is much better (will that be considered a crossover? will it do off road stuff?)

I still plan to check out Jeeps, Chevys and Fords in the same price range. However, so far the Forester is doing much better than I thought. So many of these newer cars have taken away all their padding and comfort features. Damn near every crossover has comfort limitations that seem obvious to fix.

I will post an update of my mods page and new photos in a few days. Meanwhile Bob, let us know how your new system works. You have taken my place as most extreme new Subaru owner. I salute you!

SBS
Regarding the NEED for a telescopic steering wheel, I really do not know where the non-tele wheel sits. You would have to bring a tape measure to a Subaru dealer and do some checking (perhaps measure from the hub of the wheel to the center ceiling courtesy light or something. The non-tele wheel may be installed at max or mid or anywhere???? I once thought that new cars with adjustible pedals were the best thing since sliced bread, but then found that they were only designed to accomodate short drivers, and not tall drivers!
 

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Interesting idea - perhaps the steering wheel can be set to be longer? A couple of more inches in the legs and a tele steering wheel and I would be a happy off roader!

Give us an update on how your FOz drivers with the new seat position.
 

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Assuming the driver is wearing their seatbelt being farther away from the steering/wheel airbag is a good thing. It gives the seatbelt added time to slow the driver's body down in the event of a serious frontal impact. That airbag is NOT a fluffy soft pillow. It is filled with burning hot gas and I imagine is quite firm at the time of impact.
 

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Grade 5. The rivets that I drilled out are quite soft and very easy drilling compared to the grade 5 bolts (I stripped one and had to drill it out. Not an intentional comparison). Using fine threads adds to the meat of the bolt. Keep in mind that 3 of 4 legs use a SINGLE 1/4" rivet plus a resistance spot weld which I contend doesn't count for more than locating the parts prior to riveting. That spot weld doesn't provide any real bond worth measuring. I replaced the spot welds with a bolt.
I just wanted to make sure you stay safe. :wink:

Bobby...
 

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Safety should always be #1!

Anyway... Did you feel cramped in the driver's seat? I think it's just men but I love being up close to the steering wheel. Not 80yr-old-woman close, but close enough where my arms are bent and I have more control over the car.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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I'm 6-7" with a 36" inseam, and I find the legroom in my '09 Forester to be adequate, although my seat is all the way back. Perhaps the OP is "short waisted" with long legs. :confused:

Bobiam: What's your inseam measurement?

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 
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