DIY How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

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Thread: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

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    The M.F.I.C. PoPo's Avatar
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    Default How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    This thread will show you how I removed the front center "bench" seat from my CrewMax, and added the floor-console instead to now have "bucket" seats. This is how I did it - I'm not responsible if you try this and damage anything

    --------------

    Okay, long-story-short, I had the Buckets in my '07. When I was looking to upgrade to the 2010, I thought I'd give the Bench-seats a try. Well, after 7 months, I missed my floor-console so much that I finally decided to take on this MOD. Personally, I like the Gear-shifter up on the Column MUCH better than the floor, so this worked out perfectly for me, and allowed an additional spot for storage. (It may be possible for you to move the shifter from the column and down to the console, but I didn't want to, didn't look into it, and don't know anything about it so don't ask me how!!!).

    First thing you'll need is the floor-console itself. I found mine on ebay, through seller "LKQonline" - I was unable to find a Tundra console (used) so I had to settle for an '08 Sequoia console. Typically you can find these for approx $210 with shipping, although he had one with a "Make Offer" listing, and I ended up getting it for around $150 total. These include the silver "bezel" that goes curves up to the gauge-cluster, and also includes "Compartment Type-B" which has the tow-haul switch. I'm probably going to swap in "Compartment Type-A" later, which is just a big, empty compartment found on trucks without the tow-package, since my "tow-haul" button is up on the column-shifter.

    Anyhow, the fit is perfect, although if you're installing this into a Crewmax (like I did) you'll have to make a compromise and do either 1 of 2 things:
    1) Lose the rear-vents for the back-seat passengers (I'll get into why later)... OR
    2) Spend approx $300 extra on the following parts: Tundra Rear-Panel, Tundra Air-Duct, Tundra Air-Vents (2).

    (The parts can be found through Partznet.com; in fact, the entire console can be found there new, but the price tag is astronomical so it's best to do it this way.)

    Here's the issue: Our trucks have a plastic "tube" that sits under the carpeting, providing air to the rear-seat vents. I'm assuming that the Sequoia has roof-vents for the rear or something, because their console doesn't have vents; it has "controls" for their climate zone. The INTERIOR of the Console is built the same for all trucks, and has passages built-in for the vents, but the "tube" is shaped differently for Bench/Bucket setups, and the rear-panel and vents would have to be swapped into the Sequoia console.

    I chose option 1, since those rear-vents weren't very powerful anyhow, and I can always add them later if I want. Yes, I left the "controls" and the rest of the Sequoia rear-panel on the console, which also includes a bottom "pull-out" cup holder similar to the Double Cab console. The only people that usually sit back there are my kids, and they won't care if there's buttons there that don't work... they'll probably like it instead!

    --------------

    You'll also have to purchase the "Finish Panel" which sits below the the Climate Controls on the dash - it contains a small middle pocket, a lighter, and a 12v outlet. This "panel" replaces the pull-out Cup-Holders that were in the dash if you have bench-seats. This piece doesn't come with the Console, and can be found at Partznet for around $57 plus shipping. It's under "Instrument Panel / Instrument Panel Components / Finish Panel (black or brown).

    --------------

    Removal: (always unplug the 12- terminal of your battery b4 working )

    Step 1: Remove the front seats (4 bolts [14mm] each, and unplug the wiring harnesses).
    Step 2: Remove the center seat/console. There are 2 more 14mm bolts on the sides, as well as some Torx bit bolts/screws in the inside/bottom that have to be removed. Don't forget to unplug the harness for the 12v outlet. Pull it out & set it aside.
    Step 3: Remove the bottom valance/trim piece under the center console - just 2 plastic phillips screws.
    Step 4: Remove the Cup-Holders - I think it's 2-screws & a bolt.
    Step 5: Remove the Silver trim-piece that contains the ash-tray, 12v & cig outlet - I think it's 2 more screws... You'll have to unplug the cig & 12v harnesses. (By the way, most of these interior bolts are 10mm.)
    Step 6: Remove the Driv & Pass side Kick-Panels AND the bottom plastic "door-sils" on each side.
    Step 7: Remove the front-half carpet insert - It "pops" into the plastic clips on the sides (door sils) and also has some velcro at the very front on each side.

    Okay, now you've exposed the floor area and all the vent tubes & wiring. You'll notice that the vent-tube is a long, flat tube that comes out from under the center of the dash. This will pull out easily from the front duct --- I think there were some plastic tabs holding it in but they pop out easily.

    Once you pull this out, you either have to re-install the new Tundra-specific console tube, or just close it off like I did. I used a Door & Window sealant tape that has a tar-like adhesive, and is about 4" wide. This stuff is very pliable, and seals like glue. I'm sure duct-tape would work fine, but this stuff is better... just make sure you seal off that duct so you don't lose any airflow.

    ---------------

    Okay, I took this opportunity to re-wire my aftermarket seat-heaters. From the pics, you can see I gave-up on using the OEM Seat-heater switches for my aftermarket heaters. I tried several different wiring methods, but it just won't work. Instead, drilled into 2 of my blank switches and installed the aftermarket switches there; truth is, they look pretty good. My wife thinks they look stock... they're close enough. As with anything, make sure you center them properly; the finish is key! They wire-up easily, just hook up a 12v source, a ground, and the harnesses are idiot-proof.

    ---------------

    To deal with the empty space where the floor-shifter was, I made a 4x6 (4"deep) pocket to fit the spot. In retrospect, the fit ended up being way too tight (measured the top piece, but not the console itself. I used 3/8" plywood... if I was doing it again, I'd try 1/4, and only make it 2" deep... even still it may be tight. I had to cut some of the plastic supports & framing of the console base to make it fit, but now that it's all put-together it looks fine. I carpeted it too and it looks stock.

    Remove the silver piece from the rest of the console - just plastic pins locking it in. Turn it upside down and you'll see a bunch of plastic tabs that hold the center-trim piece (lines the hole around where the shifter would be) onto the main section. You'll have to break them off to remove the trim piece. Then cut/sand them down so they're flush with the holes they insert into --- basically, to attach my storage-pocket to the silver piece, I did the following: Using a brad-nailer and 3/4" nails, I glued & nailed the center-trim insert to the pocket. I then re-inserted the center piece (attached to the pocket now) and glued that to the bottom of the main piece. I forgot to take more pics during this process, as I was brainstorming different ways to do it, so I'm sorry if my description is confusing at all.

    ----------------

    WIRING CONCERNS:

    Since the front 12v plug & cig lighter are being moved to the right (the "Finish Panel") you'll have to extend the wires and move the plugs themselves into the new finish panel. Removing the plugs is a PAIN IN THE A$$... Basically, trial-and-error and some cussing will get them out of the old trim piece. You'll figure it out. I extended the left one about 4-5" and the right plut about 8"so it would reach the new panel.

    You'll also have to cut the wiring harness that went under the carpet to the center seat... in my truck, it only had 2 wires; presumably a 12v+ & a Ground for the power-outlet on the back of the center seat. Cut it right at the harness and it'll be long enough to reach the wires in the new console. Basically, you'll just have to isolate the 2 wires for the 12v plugs in the console... there's one inside the console, and one at the rear. (The console has a bunch of wires for the rear climate-control, and also the little light by the cup-holders --- I just ignored those wires and concentrated only on the 12v plugs). Connect the wires and you'll have those plugs working.

    -----------------

    Re-Install:

    Put the carpet back in, followed by the kick-panels and the door-sils. If you removed the silver-trim piece to make a pocket, install that back into the console before you put the console in the truck. There are 4 bolts that hold the interior/bottom of the console to the truck frame (oh yeah, you may have to cut little holes into the carpet to expose the 4 bolt holes --- you'll see where they go). Connect the wiring to the 12v wires for the plugs in the console. After you attach the console, install the "finish-panel" and connect the wires you extended to the 12v plug & cig plug. Put the top pieces back on the console & put the seats back in.... That's it!

    ---------------

    I'm sure there are many different ways to make use of the existing hole where the shifter would be... Personally, I like pocket & storage space, so the 4x6 pocket worked best for me. Later on I may add the ventilation pieces for the rear, but in truth I may not even need it. Those rear-vents weren't that strong to begin with, and there are still the rear floor-vents under the driv & pass seats to bring air/heat back there.

    I'm also planning on addressing the color-difference between the '08 silver panel & the '10 darker silver panel... I've been wanting to add the woodgrain applique around the gauges (like Barney's Carbon Fiber pieces) -- so this will finally give me a good excuse to buy it.

    Oh - One thing I noticed about the Sequoia console compared to the Tundra... It has a stitched "leather" arm rest, compared to the 1-pc vinyl arm rest from the Tundra console... It matches the look of my Clazzio's nicely

    ~PoPo



































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    275/65/17 Hankook I-Pike RW11, Brush guard, 27w LED Aux lights, Ebay Nav, Husky Liners

    Also have 2008 Prius, 2006 Honda Cr-V
    Previous: 2010 Tundra CM 4x4 & 2007 Tundra DC 4x4


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    Veteran Member peteyp5.7's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Amazing write up , great mod pop.
    More Power!!!!!
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Nicely done and great writeup!

    When you pulled out the seats, would you say it would be worth it to clean 'em and such while they're out? I don't really see much benefit to doing this, unless you were cleaning underneath the seat... I guess i have an urge to pull my seats. Other than the squeaking that is constantly coming from them, I have no other reason.

    -rockstate

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    The M.F.I.C. PoPo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    ^^ Well, mine are only 7 months old, plus I had them out a few months ago to install the Clazzio's, so I didn't need to clean them. Maybe yours could use a good cleaning tho?
    2004 Sequoia 4.7L 4x4
    275/65/17 Hankook I-Pike RW11, Brush guard, 27w LED Aux lights, Ebay Nav, Husky Liners

    Also have 2008 Prius, 2006 Honda Cr-V
    Previous: 2010 Tundra CM 4x4 & 2007 Tundra DC 4x4


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    Mark it eight, Dude... MaylonTRD's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Another good write up. Points sent
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    Veteran Member JMSinMD's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Very nice, I was actually thinking about doing the opposite and adding a bench to the front and middle row of my Sequoia (Platinum only has seating for 2 in middle row). With all 3 rows I'd have seating for 9 but the logistics of moving the shifter to the steering column seems like it would get expensive.
    2008 Sequoia Platinum (8 passenger) 4x4 5.7 V8; Debadged/30% tint over factory with 20% front/LED rear foglights/White Knight RLS/V-LEDs LPF/Silverstar Ultra/Lexus LS460 bi-xenon HID projectors with 5000k Osram CBI/Philips DRL8/Lockpic navigation override/Locking gas cap/TRD intake flow accelerator/K&N panel filter/K&N filter minder/5000k LED license plate bulbs/Big Daddy horns/SET exhaust tip/Factory color matched (B&I SEQUOIA emblem insert, brake calipers, side-view mirrors, b-pillars, c-pillars)/summer 22 Giovanna Caracas w/Yokohama Parada 305/45/22/winter 18" OEM steel wheels powder-coated black w/Bridgestone Dueler A/T "Revo 2" 255/70/18

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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Very Nice DIY. Great job!
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    I like it and that's a great writeup!!
    Sure a lot of work though!
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    Meep Meep! ThirdHorseman's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Looks great!

    Much easier than the Ford I did (required custom fab to match up to the dash) and much more OEM I still recommend perhaps painting the lower cubbyhole silver. I think the uncovered areas of the 4x4 switch and HVAC knob are going to be obviously different compared to that cubby (gray vs. silver) because they are so close in proximity. But I am very particular and want everything to look relatively stock, so if you don't mind, cest la vie!

    The stitched armrest cover comes in the Limited and Platinum Sequoias. I've been looking for one for my Tundra, but do not want to buy the entire console to get it.
    Some euro stuff...

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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    great job. I wanted the bucket seats but had to settle for the bench, I might try this when I have some extra time.
    "Skin grows back - paint doesn't" - Chip Foose


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    Junior Member knepp1bj's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Popo. just a curious question, when you were buying ur crew max didnt you want the bench in the front for more storage reasons? I thought i rememberd reading that b4 and you were having a hard time finding a crew max with a bench seat in the front...

    if yes just curious why you switched?

    I have the buckets and love them
    2010 Crew Max, Radiant Red, Grey Leather, 5.7L

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    Junior Member knepp1bj's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    oh nvm i didnt read the first part, just skimmed it...sorry
    2010 Crew Max, Radiant Red, Grey Leather, 5.7L

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    The M.F.I.C. PoPo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdHorseman View Post
    ... I still recommend perhaps painting the lower cubbyhole silver. I think the uncovered areas of the 4x4 switch and HVAC knob are going to be obviously different compared to that cubby (gray vs. silver) because they are so close in proximity.....
    Yeah, that's why I'm planning on swapping the compartments, from Compartment Type-B (with the switches) to Compartment Type-A, which is all black & to my knowledge doesn't have any silver on it... besides, if it does I can just order a 2010 M.Y. Compartment and it should be the right color.
    2004 Sequoia 4.7L 4x4
    275/65/17 Hankook I-Pike RW11, Brush guard, 27w LED Aux lights, Ebay Nav, Husky Liners

    Also have 2008 Prius, 2006 Honda Cr-V
    Previous: 2010 Tundra CM 4x4 & 2007 Tundra DC 4x4


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    Meep Meep! ThirdHorseman's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Sounds great! I like those appliques, can't wait to see the final product
    Some euro stuff...

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    Default Re: How to: Turn your "Bench-Seats" into "Buckets"

    Was this uneventful? Did anything break?
    2009 DC 4x4 5.7L

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