How to Add Height to Auto Seatsby Matt Gerrard
Automobile seats generally have several degrees of adjustment to allow the driver to find a comfortable position. While forward and back motion are essential to ensure the driver can reach the controls, many vehicles have little or no vertical adjustment. As this effectively dictates whether or not smaller drivers will be able to see clearly, it's definitely a valid consideration. A low seat height impairs visibility from your vehicle and may lead to spinal problems due to poor ergonomics. These issues may be resolved with the use of a riser kit.
Park the car on a flat, level surface. Engage the parking brake. Slide the seat forward toward the pedals as far as it will go. This will make it easier to access the rear bolts.
Place the flashlight in the footwell, pointing beneath the seat, illuminating the existing bracket and bolts. Remove the bolts on the underside of the seat using the crescent wrench. It may take some time to remove them as there is little room to turn the wrench under the seat. Using a socket wrench can help here, provided it will fit between the seat and the floor.
Lift the seat out of the car. The current seat mounting bracket will be mounted on rails bolted directly to the floor of the car. Do not disassemble the upper portion of the seat bracket. Remove only the bolts holding the rails to the floor of the car. With the seat removed, it should be possible to use the socket wrench to remove the mounting bolts from the floor.
Remove the current seat bracket from the car. Set the riser brackets in position on the floor. The riser consists of a base rail that mounts to the floor of the car, an adjustable middle section with a locking bolt or pin, and a top rail, designed to receive the base rail of the old bracket.
Bolt the base rail of the riser bracket to the floor of the car using the bolts included with the kit. Bolt the old seat bracket to the riser using the original bolts that were removed from the floor earlier. Tighten all these bolts with the socket wrench, ensuring they are tightly seated, leaving no play or movement in the riser bracket.
Replace the seat and the original bolts from the underside. Again, ensure all bolts are properly tightened, and check for any loose movement. Loosen the bolts on the riser bracket slightly, so they are still lightly gripping the plates of the bracket. Slide the seat up to the appropriate position for your height and tighten the bolts.
Adjust the newly installed riser using trial and error to set the seat height correctly. Loosen the bolts and place a stack of phone books between the underside of the seat and the floor to find the appropriate height. Tighten the bolts and remove the books.
Things You'll Need
- Crescent wrench
- Adjustable seat riser brackets, one pair for each seat
- Socket wrench
- Stack of phone books
Matt Gerrard began writing in 2002, initially contributing articles about college student culture to "The Gateway" magazine, many of which were republished on the now-defunct Plinth blog. Since then, Gerrard has worked as a technician for musicians, educators, chemists and engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music technology from DeMontfort University.