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what is the best way to go about taking out the old seat
changing my 2008 Hybrid Highlander 3rd row hopefully today. I see few junk yards have the 3rd row seat from 2011-13
I hope they have not removed the seats from the car yet so I can get all the bolts and hardware with it.
 

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Make sure you get the steel crossbar that bolts to the chassis under the 3rd row seat. It's slightly different than your 08's

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just got back from the junk yard.
got the seat and had to dig out the cross bar in the salvage car myself and ask for it. got bunch of screws we will see what fits.
one part that I almost forget was a small little plastic part that goes between the 2 seats that covers the belt buckles. had to search around tons of trash to find that part lol in the salvage car.

the cross bar looks like what sweenyp posted in post #22 but this one is not black it was silver and very rusty, no idea how but who cares no one will see this part let it be rusty...

this is out of a 2012 model.
total after some back and forth with the junk yard 200$+tax needs a bit clean up, I ordered the bolts from toyota but I will try to install them with what I got now, if I really need the bolts I will pick them up tomorrow.

now I have to figure out how to pass the seat belts around the new split seats.

will try to post some pics. after install.
 

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does someone have the a diagram showing where does the 2011-13 model 3rd row seat seat belt connect to the body of the car?

the 2008 model seatbelt seats on the cross bar on the inside of the seat and bolts down, in the 2012 model split seats there is no room to install the seatbelt connection on the crossbar...
do I need a different seatbelt or does the seatbelt connect to another place?

that is all I need to close up the car..
Thanks guys
 

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All done!
3 hours junk yard shopping and driving around and 3 hours of installation which honestly now that I know how it could be done in 45min if that.

1) no special bolts are needed.. I have no idea why you had issues with the bolts
there 2 kind of screws
a) 12mm (marked 10) most stuff
b) 14mm (marked 8) the seat belts x4 , the seat x6
I just brought bunch of those from junk yard

2) the cross bar and the split seat is all you need really

3) the seat belts of the 3rd in 2008-10 are different from 2011-13. my old seat belt connected to teh cross bar medial to the seat legs but the new split seat has thicker legs and also slides back lower so there is no way anything can be installed on the crossbar, so 2 way to fix it
a) get the correct seat belt for 2011-13 model for 3rd row and change that
b) the easy way I did it: put the seat belt connection under the front leg of the seat where the 14mm screw bolts down to the body of the car. fits nice and snug and saves a lot of installation time,
install the seat belt before you bolt down other parts of the seat.

4) the flat panel behind the 3rd row seat in the 2008-10 model goes from one end to the other so after install of the whole thing if you pick one seat up that whole panel comes up and defeats the purpose of split seat all together.
I just marked the panel and cut it with hot knife up to the part that it folds, it is some kind of hard styrofoam the problem is there is hard metal rod passing at last bottom part but it is not too bad just cut the styrofoam all the way down and you can have 1/2 up and 1/2 down .


5) the split seat has a center console that houses the seat belts buckles make sure this part is included when you buy the seat, I noticed the missing part before leaving the junk yard and man it was hell to find it.
I believe there is 14mm bolt goes under this plastic part and connects the seat to the body of the car but our 2008-10 models whole is not open under this, it is filled with tar or whatever material it is. I left it out as the seat felt stable enough without it and I had no idea how to get the bolt in those material and what the final product would be... I would say just don't worry about it.

6) DW-40 is your friend lol makes the bolts go down so easy, cleans rust and just is fun to play with lol

I have tons of pictures but I am drained now to post them. perhaps later I will upload them.

Total 217$
6 hours of time
lots of Joy at the end of the day looking at the final product and say.. nice I did all that by myself lol come on kids jump in!

- What am I doing with this big 2008 3rd row seat now? eBay here I come. how much does the shipping cost for this thing
 

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Good to hear it all went well. IMO I would have at least put some kind of primer over that bar, that's rather rusty.

On the bolts, you can get bolts anywhere, just make sure you buy the same or higher grade bolts (the stamped 8.8 & 10.9 numbers).


As for that old one...no idea on shipping, mine is hanging via chains from my garage ceiling :lol:
 

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Good to hear it all went well. IMO I would have at least put some kind of primer over that bar, that's rather rusty.

On the bolts, you can get bolts anywhere, just make sure you buy the same or higher grade bolts (the stamped 8.8 & 10.9 numbers).


As for that old one...no idea on shipping, mine is hanging via chains from my garage ceiling :lol:
Where did you bolt the seat belts?
did you cut the panel behind the 3rd row seats in half?

I had no primer handy, cleaned the cross member as much as I could and covered it with dw-40 :grin:
 

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I have tons of pictures but I am drained now to post them. perhaps later I will upload them.
Any chance you have recovered enough to post those pics?
:wink:

Replacing the 3rd row bench with the split bench of newer models is something I've had in the back of my mind for a good two years, but didn't think of searching for until today.

We've got one child who just started walking, our second-hand '09 Highlander Sport just clicked over 130k miles, and I'm needing to replace/repair some engine splash shields and the left running board. I'm really starting to wonder if it will last long enough and have enough flexibility for 1-2 more kids, or will I have to get a new-to-us '17 Chrysler Pacifica off of the used market (I refuse to admit that the '17 Pacifica is the first minivan that actually makes me want to own a minivan...).
 

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I just did this swap in large part to this thread. A few items to share to help others.

1. My middle two bolts that attach the new seat to the new frame rail were smaller than my previous bolts. The old bolts were an M12 and the new bolts are a M10 x 1.25 bolt. I also installed mine with washers as a extra precaution.

2. The older single-seat models have "mini" seat belt anchors for the shoulder belts to attach to the seat frame. They do not fit with the new seat. The best way to fix this is to buy an entirely new seatbelt assembly for left/right which replaces the "buckle" with a flat plate to gain clearance. Unfortunately each of these are $100+. I was able to solve with the following... Grab the old center lap belts from the previous seat. They are attached with about a 6-9" nylon seat belt material and a flat seat belt anchor (sound familiar). I carefully cut the old seat belt buckle off and then threaded through the loop on the bottom of the old seatbelt and fitted the plate through, creating a firm connection to the shoulder belt. I did not bother to try and cut the set belt attachment from the main shoulder belt and just left the old metal buckle in place. I then was able to buckle the flat plate to the frame. I felt this was the best solution as it kept the intended mounting and used all OEM hardware.

3. I cut the "cover" that goes up/down in half with a razor blade and had to use a hacksaw at the bottom. There is a small metal tube in there. It is not 100% OEM look, but probably 95% close enough and functions perfectly.

All said it was actually pretty easy. Mainly just took care to take photos for bolts. I also used blue lock-tite on most mission critical bolts as an extra safety factor.

Thanks to all who made this an easy update and I hope my extra info is additionally helpful to others.
 

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But is it safe??

I am glad to see some recent activity in this thread. I’ve been tossing this idea around for about a year now, primarily due to the same reasons as others - lack of cargo space when the single bench is up. With three kids in some form of booster/harness car seat - and the laughable center ‘jump seat’ in the second row - I can’t get all three in without leaving something else out - like a stroller, for example. My 08 Limited is gently used at 122,000 miles and I can’t bring myself to upgrade to a newer car just to get the split third row.

So my question to those who have completed this mod - is it actually safe? There is a question about liability earlier in this thread, but that’s not my concern. My concern lies with the integrity of the swap. There are posts here suggesting changing the mounting points of the seat belts, leaving out bolts in the center of the seats, etc. Not to mention the fact that the original seat is installed to precise specs at the factory. I’ve always been of the opinion that once a car comes apart, it never goes back together as well as it did at the factory.

Perhaps I am overthinking this, but if I am going to put my 6 year old in that seat in a booster, then I want it to be safe. I’m not sure I could live with myself if the seat or seat belts failed in an accident, leading to a serious injury (or worse) to my child, because of this mod. Please understand that I am looking for casual conversation here, and that I don’t expect anyone to take a hard stance on this one way or the other. Obviously anything can happen in an accident - even to factory installed components. I just want to make sure that I am not increasing the likelihood an incident by completing this mod.

I’ve already located the seat ($250 from a local yard) and have sourced the part numbers for the necessary hardware, which I will buy new. Now, I am just looking for the reassurance. I appreciate the conversation.
 

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I am glad to see some recent activity in this thread. I’ve been tossing this idea around for about a year now, primarily due to the same reasons as others - lack of cargo space when the single bench is up. With three kids in some form of booster/harness car seat - and the laughable center ‘jump seat’ in the second row - I can’t get all three in without leaving something else out - like a stroller, for example. My 08 Limited is gently used at 122,000 miles and I can’t bring myself to upgrade to a newer car just to get the split third row.

So my question to those who have completed this mod - is it actually safe? There is a question about liability earlier in this thread, but that’s not my concern. My concern lies with the integrity of the swap. There are posts here suggesting changing the mounting points of the seat belts, leaving out bolts in the center of the seats, etc. Not to mention the fact that the original seat is installed to precise specs at the factory. I’ve always been of the opinion that once a car comes apart, it never goes back together as well as it did at the factory.

Perhaps I am overthinking this, but if I am going to put my 6 year old in that seat in a booster, then I want it to be safe. I’m not sure I could live with myself if the seat or seat belts failed in an accident, leading to a serious injury (or worse) to my child, because of this mod. Please understand that I am looking for casual conversation here, and that I don’t expect anyone to take a hard stance on this one way or the other. Obviously anything can happen in an accident - even to factory installed components. I just want to make sure that I am not increasing the likelihood an incident by completing this mod.

I’ve already located the seat ($250 from a local yard) and have sourced the part numbers for the necessary hardware, which I will buy new. Now, I am just looking for the reassurance. I appreciate the conversation.

I did it in our '10 Limited. Be sure to bolt everything down in every hole there is, but yes it is safe. After all completed, I sat back there and buckled in. I threw myself all over the back trying to see if there would be an issue with either the buckles moving or the seat - not even a wiggle. The only thing I noticed is there is a slight gap now right in front and below the cushions- to where you can see the bare floor. I put some dynamat down before bolting everything back in, so at least it's wasn't bare floor anymore for me.
 

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Before I added a 3rd row bench seat to my 10 HL base, I had the same liability and safety concerns.

Liability is always there regardless whether or not seat is installed.


Regarding safety, I would highly recommend sticking to the following:

- Have all oem parts (seat and hardware). Do not substitute, use sub-quality parts or omit installing something like belts. Those will be weak-links and points of failure.
- All bolts tightened to manufacturer specified torques
- Do not exceed the payload (weight of passengers and cargo combined)
- Drive safe.

Hopefully these help.
 

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Are there any instructions out there (or in this forum somewhere) that show how to remove the rear seats?? 2nd and/or 3rd will suffice.
Thanks!
 
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