One of the common issues with older vehicles is worn out seats.  This is especially common for Toyota trucks which often see heavy use and have thin cushion to start with.  The seats in my 1986 Toyota 4runner had seen better days.  The driver seat had no lumbar support remaining, unless you count the steel support bar which was protruding through the padding.  The back seat was a full bench seat with no head rests.  Overall, the fabric was in excellent condition consider the age but the seat cushion was worn out.

4runner Driver Seat Swap

4runner Driver Seat Swap

There are many types of seats that people have swapped into their Toyotas; common seat choices include Honda Civic, Acura Integra, Subaru Impreza and other unusual ones like Mercedes.  I chose Toyota.  Oringally, I was looking to install some 3rd gen 4runner seats (1996-2002) but I found that extensive modification would be required.

Instead, I chose some 2nd gen 4runner seats (1990-1995).   Why?  Several reasons, including the wrecking yard had blue seats that matched my interior color and they were relatively cheap.  The seats I purchased were out of a 1994 Toyota 4runner SR5.  These are the fancy seats with driver side adjustable lumbar support, side support, bottom adjustments and adjustable headrest.

4runner Passenger Seat Swap

4runner Passenger Seat Swap

The seat installation couldn’t be easier.  The driver seat is an exact bolt in; no modifications whatsoever.  The passenger seat is another story.  My passenger seat had a foot lever to slide the seat forward for passengers to enter and exit the back seat.  The newer 4 door 4runners do not.  To make it work properly you need to swap the seat frames.  While this may sound like a daunting chore, it’s actually quite simple.  It took about 30 minutes to get it done.  The seat bottom comes out with 4 bolts; removing the seat back requires lifting the seat fabric up to access 4 bolts (2 on each side).  Once again, it’s 100% bolt up; no drilling or modifications required.  After the seat frame has been swapped it bolts perfectly into the truck.

4runner Back Seat Swap

4runner Back Seat Swap

The rear seat back bolts in without modifications.  Note:  I replaced my solid bench seat with this split fold bench.  The seat bottom required 4 holes to be drilled and bolts installed.  Your 4runner may or may not need holes drilled depending on the year (1985-1989).

This is one of my favorite modifications.  It makes driving the truck enjoyable especially on long road trips and 4wheeling off road.  Be sure to click over to the forum to post comments and questions.

9 Comments on Toyota 4runner Seat Replacement

  1. [...] Toyota 4runner Seat Replacement « Gitout.com [...]

  2. GDD says:

    Great post – thanks a lot – I’m looking for seat replacement options for my old ’87 – have heard about the bolt-in “upgrade” to SR5 seats (86-89) but had not heard that the rear seats were interchangeable from 2st Gen to 1st Gen – or even the front seats – I’m headin’ to the junkyard! Thx again!

  3. You bet! It’s an incredible upgrade. Let us know how it goes.

  4. ESTEBAN L. GONZALEZ says:

    INEED TWO FRONT SEATS FOR A 1998 4RUNNER LIMITED ELECTRIC FRONT SEAT IN MAUVE BEIGE COLOR. IF YOU HAVE THEM, PLEASE LET ME KNOW THE PRICE. YOU CAN E MAIL ME OR CALL ME AT 787-858-3434.

    THANKS;

    ESTEBAN L.GONZALEZ

  5. Jim Durow says:

    I have a 95 SR5 4Runner with grey fabric seats. Unfortunately, age has claimed the vinyl side panels and they have cracked. I would like to find a pair of grey front seats to replace these with. Any info appreciated. Thanks.

  6. I found my seats on car-part.com. It searches all the wrecking yards for parts. Good Luck!

  7. Matt B says:

    Thanks just the info I was looking for for my 85 4runner. Great looking seats

  8. Drew says:

    I bought a 1990 4Runner as a parts donor for my 1988 4Runner. None of the seats are “bolt-in” as indicated. The ’88 front seat mounts are about an inch wider than the ’90′s. The back seat hole placement is different, too. This is a lot more work than this article led me to believe.

  9. Drew says:

    Oops, sorry. I see that you said the back seat bottom required four holes to be drilled. I need to read more carefully. Please delete my prior post.