DIY-ATNTFIU: R32 Interior Removal Part 1 - Ejecto Seato Cuz!
Okay, so today we'll start a multi-part DIY to help people interested in refurbishing their R32's interior. It's a 25-year old car so almost certainly there'll be something you'll want to tidy up like the seat upholstery, the carpet, or maybe you have the infamous bubbled dash? I'll discuss removing all of that so you can fix them up or just dispose of it all in order to turn your car into a mad stripped-out race car yo.
|Follow this interior removal guide and you'll end up with this - a whole lot of added lightness.|
|And you'll have all of this littering your garage.|
To make it more manageable I'm going to break this up into three parts – first, we'll remove the seats. This part will come in handy later on when I post about refurbishing them. In part two I'll talk about removing the dash and door trim and in part three we'll deal with the carpet, seatbelts, and rear section.
So, the seats. This part is actually fairly easy and just needs a few tools.
- A socket wrench set
- Some plastic panel poppers (if you don't know what these are, here's a link for an example: http://www.harborfreight.com/5-piece-auto-trim-and-molding-tool-set-67021.html)
- An old blanket or a mover's blanket
- Maybe a pry bar or modified flathead screwdriver (more on that later)
- One liter of synthetic elbow grease
Okay, let's start with the front seats. OEM front seats are attached the same way in almost all modern cars whether it's my R35 GT-R or my R32. Generally it's four bolts on each corner attaching the seat rails to the floor pan but some details may differ.
|This helpful diagram from the service manual outlines the bolts and nut plus the tightening torques once you're ready to reinstall. The torque numbers are in N-m, kg-m, and ft-lbs.|
You can start with the driver or the passenger seat but either way you first want to move the seat back all the way on the sliders for easy access to the front bolts. If your seats haven't been messed with the bolts will be covered by little plastic covers. Just pop those off with your panel poppers and set them aside.
Once the covers are off, grab a 14mm socket and go to town on the two front bolts.
After undoing the front bolts, slide the seat forward to get the rear portion. Hit the recline lever to tilt the seatback forward for easier access. In the rear there's one bolt on the outboard rail but the inner rail is attached by a nut to the transmission tunnel. Same process as the front basically - remove the plastic covers, and go to work with your socket wrench.
|Red circles show the three bolts and one nut for the driver side seat. White circle is the seatbelt receptacle plug.|
Now that you've undone the rails don't try to pull out the seats yet. First you want to look under the seat and find the connector for the seatbelt socket. Undo that plug first or you'll do something you'll regret later.
Once the plug is undone there are still a couple of little steps you'll want to do to get ready for seat removal. First, slide the seat into the middle of the sliders so it's easier to maneuver. No need to have the rails sticking out and scratching shit up. And speaking of scratching shit up you'll want to next put the blanket I mentioned earlier on top of the doorsill. This helps prevent accidentally scratching your sills with those nasty metal rails and it keeps your doorsills warm and cozy and shows them you care.
After getting ready, break out some of that synthetic elbow grease and lift the seat through the door while channeling your best Drax the Destroyer impersonation. Keep the seatback tilted forward so that it makes for a more manageable bundle. The stock R32 seats are pretty easy to move since they're light old school manual units. Try removing an R35 OEM seat with all the electric motors and airbags it has that make it weigh more than a slab of depleted uranium and you'll never skip going to the gym ever again. I know my back hurts just remembering that ordeal.
So, congrats, you've just removed your R32's front seats! Now, this next step is VERY important. Get into the car and sit in the back seat. Hold your socket wrench tightly in your right hand and stretch out your legs as far as they'll go. Close your eyes. Feel the awesomeness of all that legroom now that your front seats are gone!
Maybe you should leave the front passenger seat out and hire a driver? Yeah, R32 limo – wouldn't that be the bomdiggidy?
Enough crazy talk, let's move on to defenestrating the rear seats.
Okay, the rear bench is in two parts – the bottom cushion and the seatback. You can remove either one first with some effort but it's easier to do the bottom to start with.
|Another diagram for you from the service manual. You probably won't have the fancy center armrest thingy though.|
The bottom is held on only by two clips on the front edge. Undoing them can range from very easy to wanting-to-light-them-on-fire hard depending on whether someone has removed your seats before or not. If you're lucky like me and someone has taken out your seats before then a good yank up on the front of the cushion should be all you need to get the clips to release. If you're unlucky then you may have to break out a pry bar and carefully nudge the cushion out using more synthetic elbow grease while whispering desperate pleas to it or you may want to get creative and read this suggestion from a Skylines Australia poster:
|I've circled the two clips for the rear seat bottom in this image.|
Once you get those wonderful clips undone then it's just a matter of tugging the cushion forward and chucking it out one of the doors.
The seatback is fairly easy. On both sides of the bottom edge you'll see a metal u-shaped projection that's attached by a 10mm bolt to the rear bulkhead. With the bottom cushion in place the bolts are covered up but they can be reached if you push the cushion down. Just undo those with your socket wrench.
|Here's the location of the left side bolt for my rear seatback. Your bolt will probably look different because my stock ones were missing thanks to the previous owner.|
Besides the two bolts the seatback is attached to the bulkhead by three hooks that grab the seat's metal frame. You'll want to push the seatback up to get it off the hooks and it should then be free for you to chuck out the door in the same manner as the bottom section.
|The circles show where the three hooks for the seatback are. The leftmost one in the picture isn't visible because of the shadow but is located in that area.|
Woohoo, you're done! Now go have some popcorn or something to celebrate. Or once the next part of this guide is up you can proceed to dash removal if that's what floats your boat.
Important disclaimer: Understand that working on your car can be inherently dangerous. This is meant to be a guide only and does not take the place of common sense and proper safety precautions. Only you can ensure your own safety. Know your limits and ask for qualified help if you're unsure of something. Every time you act stupid in the garage...God kills a Miata.