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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is how I installed seat warmers in my factory seats. I used a kit from Sports Imports LTD that I found here- Universal 11" x 19" Carbon Fiber Heating Element Heated Seat Heater Kit - I saw where several other folks had used this kit with excellent results and I've also seen this kit used by dealers for "factory" upgrades. The kit is well put together and very simple to figure out.

Most people seem to be worried about the airbags when doing this mod. Don't be. Follow the normal wiring rules and you'll be fine. (disco the batts and let it set for a few) This mod doesn't get close to the airbags in the seats or disturb them in any way.

Believe it or not, this is a rather easy mod that anyone should be able to do. It can be kinda nerve-racking at times, but nothing that is overly difficult.

**NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO DISCONNECT THE BATTERY** Let the truck set for a while after disconnecting the battery or batteries to dissipate the power out of the SRS system.

Here is the kit just out of the box:



and here are all the tools I used to do the mod:





I started off by building a tent over my open doors because apparently December is monsoon season in Indiana...:flame:



Removing in the seats is just 4 bolts each and some wire clips:

Slide the seat forward



Pop off the covers



All four bolts are 14 mm



-CAREFULLY- remove the wire clips. Mine all came off really easily




Both seats are put together the same way just mirrored obviously. The only difference was the wiring for the passenger SRS system. The driver's side has the knobs for the front and back height adjustments. The front knob is held on by a "C" clip that just pushes off from the side and the large lever has two screws behind the cover plate.

First up, pop off the cover for the arm rest and remove the 14 mm bolt holding it on



Release the straps that hold down the lower flap to get access to back of the trim panels



Remove the two screws that hold on the side panels

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Pull here assertively to pop out a hidden clip. Just pop it loose then pull the back side around the screw mount and then the panel comes off



The outer panel comes off the same way except there is another clip under the front of the panel. Slide the loose panel forward to free it from the clip.



Next, release all of the cover tension clips from around the edges. start at the back and release the four clips holding the cover to the cushion spring. Next, release the two side straps from the buttons and then the two side tension bars. Last, release the front edge by starting on the sides and pulling the long clip free from one side, around the front, to the other side.

This will allow the entire lower cushion and cover to be pulled off the frame.



Pull the cover up to reveal the hog rings holding the cover down into the listing of the cushion. Don't hesitate to bend the foam around so you can see the hog rings and cut them with wire cutters.



There are 12 hog rings holding the cover down to the lower foam.




Now, it's time to add in a warming pad. Lay the pad down on the foam and decide where you want the pad to set. I placed mine so the thermostat box was towards the rear of the seat so I wouldn't feel it when I sat down. Stuff the pad down into the groove and mark where to cut for the hog rings. Use the tape to cover the cut edges of the pad and set the pad -tape side down- onto the foam. Next, place the cover back onto the foam and replace the 2 hog rings locking the pad in between.



Peel away the tape backing and stick down the pad flat on the foam. Make sure there are no wrinkles or creases. The black lines are where the hog rings go back into the grooves



The back half of the pad is the same process, but I cut out a groove in the foam to allow the thermostat to set down flush with the foam. This way I won't feel the box when I sit down.



Peel the tape and stick the pad down then replace the rest of the hog rings working from the center out



Pull the cover over the foam edges and set the cushion aside

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Moving to the back of the seat remove the three hog rings holding the front to the back under the lower flap you freed up earlier



Release the straps from the buttons and the zippers from the hog rings. Also, go ahead and cut the hog rings holding the black listing wires from the front side



Unzip both sides of the back cover and pull the cover out of the way



Flip the seat over and pull the cover up to the groove and cut the three hog rings holding the cover down. This is as far as you will need to go to remove the cover. The rest is all assembly



Follow the same process as before to align and place the pad, mark for your holes, and cover the cut edges. Make sure to peel and stick the top part of the pad



Set the three hog rings, cut the groove for the thermostat and wire, peel the tape and stick down the bottom half of the pad



Push the cover back down the front of the seat and stuff the pad wire and cover through to the back.



Pull and hog ring the listing wires back to the frame



Zip the back of the cover back up, tuck the zippers in, and pull the straps back over the buttons



Pull the pad wire through the access hole in the flap and hog ring the front and back panel together

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Set the bottom cushion back onto the frame and, starting at the front edge, re-attach all of the clips to hold the cushion down. Start at the front edge and work to the sides, then set both of the long side tension clips and last pull the four black clips on the back and clip them on the spring. Don't forget to pull the straps back over the buttons on each side.





Replacement of the trim panels in the reverse of the tear down. Don't forget about sliding the outside panel on from the front first then work to the back



Once the panel are back in place, screw them back down and re-attach the straps for the lower panel to the bottom of the seat.

I decided to do all of my under dash wiring before I put the seats back in so I had room to lay down and get under the dash. I assembled the wiring harnesses in some wire loom just in case it was ever seen it would look factory. Everything will go under the seat except the wires for the switch and the power leads. (these were placed in the loom)



...and zip tied the harness neatly and securely to the bottom of each seat.



There is enough play in the lower half of the console to just stuff the wire harness under it, but I don't work that way. I chose to drill through the console where it would be hidden by the seat



Hooked all of the factory wires back up to the seat, stuffed the loom from the warmers into the hole in the console and bolted the seat down



I have a Blue Sea fuse block under the dash that is connected to switched power and it just happened to have two open fuse slots. I pulled two power leads and a ground wire from the fuse panel to the console to join with the power leads to the seat warmers. I now have power and ground to each seat but no switches yet.

I decided to place my switches on the console between the two cup holders. If you have an automatic, you may want to move the switches somewhere else. Bandi has a nice write up on how to put them in the radio panel in the dash here- http://http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/member-build-ups/5935-bandi-build-49.html -.

So, I lay'd out where I wanted to switches, drilled the holes, and pushed in the switches





Connect the switches to the harnesses pulled from under the seats and snap the console back down. The driver's side is on high and indicating red and the pass side is on low indicating green.



The pads get noticeably warm in just a couple of minutes. I'll give them a better test on the way to work monday morning but, so far, they seem pretty good.

The whole process took me most of the day (say about 9 to 6-ish), but I had no idea what I was getting into with the upholstery. The second seat went way faster than the first one. Once I got over the idea of taking apart the seat with all the airbags, clips, wires, rings, etc and just started working away, it went really smooth.

I did have to buy a set of hog ring pliers and some hog rings before I started ($35 from amazon). Everything else was done with simple hand tools.
 

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G'day Zack,
Excellent write up, very articulate and precise. With lots of pictures....
Good stuff mate. :clap::clap::clap:
Cheers
Baz
:cheers:
:blueblob::blueblob::blueblob:
 

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Great write-up!! That covers virtually everything I did on mine, except that I used nylon zip ties instead of hog rings to replace the original ones and I had my switches on the dash. I'd say you have to have some mechanical ability to do this, but overall I'd rate it a 3 out of 10 on the difficulty scale. It's the best mod I've done on my FJ for under $100, I'll tell you that much. Again, great write-up! This should be a sticky, or at the very least copied to the technical articles section.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cool, thanks.

I agree on the difficulty. It's more intimidating than difficult...just very involved. I was going to put the switches in the dash as well, but it was getting dark and I didn't want to mess with extending the wires. If I find they keep getting bumped on the console, then I may have to move them up.

:cheers:
 

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Dam* good job:bigthumb: Wish I'd have had your pics available when I did mine. I used what was here previously, lol

You may want to note in the beginning steps that you should have the battery disconnected for some time (I've seen at least 3 minutes recommended) before you disconnect the airbag (yellow) connectors from under the seats to prevent accidental discharge when disconnecting.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
ah, good point. the yellow wire on mine wasn't connected and just had a cap over the clip, but yes, disconnect the battery or batteries if you have duals and let it set for a while. I would give it plenty of time to dissipate any leftover power.

change made to first post...

thx

:cheers:
 

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That is a great write-up! Glad you got all those pics and good explanation.
:cheers:
 

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Cool, thanks.

I agree on the difficulty. It's more intimidating than difficult...just very involved. I was going to put the switches in the dash as well, but it was getting dark and I didn't want to mess with extending the wires. If I find they keep getting bumped on the console, then I may have to move them up.

:cheers:
Thankfully my wiring was long enough, even though it looks like the same kit. My CB is mounted where your heated seat switches are (6MT also) and I have no problem with any of the controls being bumped, so you should be fine.
 

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Whats the verdict on this kit? Seems like a really good buy and relatively easy instructions. It's sad I worry more about the airbags than I do the wiring portion of this install. Even then its more about the potential injury than it is the airbag deploying. I've wanted more comfort like this in the FJ and this seems like an easy no-brainer. I'm sure the zip ties worked fine as long as you use quality ties. Might have to do this so we can stop taking the Mini everywhere when its cold due to the heated seats. I wonder if these could be hooked to an accessory on a remote start?
 

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The kit I used had the same pads but a slightly different wiring/switch combination, irregardless all is good. The only hard part is dealing with the fabric and hog rings but it's worth it. Where and how you source your power for the heaters is always up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Update time...

I'm very happy with this set up. They heat up pretty quickly and stay noticeably warm. I use the high setting to get them up to temp and then kick them down to low for comfort. By that time the truck has warmed up and the heater has kicked in. Now that I've done it and used them for a bit, I would definitely do this again.

As far as being wired to come on with the remote start, just leave the switch on low when you get out and they will come on when you start the truck. (just like leaving your heat on high when you get out)

Don't let the hog rings deter you. It is just as easy to stuff the pliers in there and squeeze as it is to thread a zip tie through the cover and the foam without ruffling something in the process.

Regarding the airbags, disconnect the battery (ies) and let it set for a few. (10-20 mins) This will give the SRS system enough time to dissipate any leftover power. It will take you a while to get to the point of removing the wire clips anyway. Once you have the clips pulled and the seat separated from the harness, they won't blow anyway and you really won't be near the air bags during the actual install to cause any issues. I didn't even completely remove the back cover.

Go for it. It's a good useful mod that you will be glad you tackled.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Also, I took about 120 pictures during my install. So if anyone needs more pics or info feel free to ask and I can send you what you need.
 

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Great write up !!! I just got a set of these for Xmas and will be installing soon. I have 2 questions maybe you could help clarify...

1. Passenger side - when you mention airbags, where exactly did you place the heater ? Is the airbag actually in the seat it's self ?

2. Wiring - I just have the stock FJ setup so where do I connect the power too ? I've read a few posts where people soldered the hot onto a fuse. Is that the best way to go ? If so what about passenger side do you use same fuse ?

For me the wiring seems the most complicated as far as how to attach it to the FJ power source.

Any further insight on this would be most welcomed.

Thanks


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Great write up !!! I just got a set of these for Xmas and will be installing soon. I have 2 questions maybe you could help clarify...

1. Passenger side - when you mention airbags, where exactly did you place the heater ? Is the airbag actually in the seat it's self ?

2. Wiring - I just have the stock FJ setup so where do I connect the power too ? I've read a few posts where people soldered the hot onto a fuse. Is that the best way to go ? If so what about passenger side do you use same fuse ?

For me the wiring seems the most complicated as far as how to attach it to the FJ power source.

Any further insight on this would be most welcomed.

Thanks


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
1. yes, the airbags are built into the outer sides of the seats under the fabric.
2. I wired my main power to my aux fuse box (blue sea) under the hood and then ran the switch power to an accessory spot in the factory fuse box under the drivers dash.
 

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Great write up !!! I just got a set of these for Xmas and will be installing soon. I have 2 questions maybe you could help clarify...

1. Passenger side - when you mention airbags, where exactly did you place the heater ? Is the airbag actually in the seat it's self ?

2. Wiring - I just have the stock FJ setup so where do I connect the power too ? I've read a few posts where people soldered the hot onto a fuse. Is that the best way to go ? If so what about passenger side do you use same fuse ?

For me the wiring seems the most complicated as far as how to attach it to the FJ power source.

Any further insight on this would be most welcomed.

Thanks


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
The air bags aren't very close to the heated seat elements, so there's no worry about that. The main concern is when you're connecting and disconnecting the yellow plug under the seat that powers the air bag. Just disconnect the battery as suggested. Some people recommend turning the key on, just to drain any extra juice in the system, but I think it's fine without doing so.

If you aren't good with wiring, don't worry. There are only two wires to connect. Ground and power. The easiest way (not the cleanest, but it works) is to run the power to an Add-a-Fuse in the fuse box at your knees. Connect the ground wire to a bolt in that area as well and you're done. Make sure you scrape the paint off around the bolt to get a good ground.

Use this diagram to figure out where to put the Add-a-Fuse:
Ignore the writing and focus on the blue and black marks on the fuses and the little legend to the left. Make sure you connect your power to a "Key" circuit, otherwise you'll forget to turn the seats off and kill your battery.



Here's an Add-a-Fuse that can be found in the wiring/electrical section at most any auto parts store for cheap:
 
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