Another Gen II seat/Back Problem Thread

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by guinaevere, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. guinaevere

    guinaevere Junior Member

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    After my 2005 prius died early in the winter this year (traction battery), and the dealers wanted upwards of $4800 to replace the battery and computers, i waited months considering that during the late summer months, I may find a great deal on a new 2014 car (the non-prius type). But with the car market rebounding, and my personal finances being slim, this wasn't looking too realistic.

    Recently my boss helped me to find better deal on replacing the battery and after all the months of borrowing my brother's car and bumming rides, it was HEAVEN to get the old prius of doom back. It really is a great car.

    Except...

    Except my backpain has returned tenfold. Within two days of driving less than one hour total, I'm in agony again. And a little googling of prius/chiropractic has finally revealed that my gen ii prius seat is the biggest factor. Won't my orthopaedic doctor and chiropractor be happy to know that we now have an answer to what $1000s of dollars of tests, procedures, adjustments, physical therapy, and more tests could not solve?

    To the point. In reading a few of these related threads, can anyone provide simple answers to the following:
    For a financially poor person, what is my best option? (Please don't tell me to go to Relax The Back, because I've tried way too many of their products with no success.) I don't have the resources to pull the driver's seat out of my car to *try* and swap out with a lucky find at a junk yard.

    So is there an aftermarket option which isn't thousands of dollars? Or is there a REALLY good seat in a particular vehicle with those side airbags which would be a *perfect* fit? No tinkering, no welding?


    If the following personal information helps, the seating position is always freakishly high, which can't be adjusted with the stock seats. Scooting the seat back a bit might help the high seating position, but my legs aren't long enough to allow pushing the chair back far at all. No matter what I try with adjusting and added cushions, the pressure on my lower back and tailbone is awful. I thank God my commute is less than half an hour, but the damage done in that half hour lasts the entire day.
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Now that the car is running, you can sell it
     
  3. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    my wife uses a lumbar support cushion. it forces you to roll your pelvis forward which takes pressure off your tailbone.
     
  4. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    What I did to improve the uncomfortable seat, is add washers under the mounting brackets to lift the front of the seat up to add more support under my knees. You need to replace the front two OEM bolts with longer ones. If I remember correctly I used Grade 8, fine-thread M10-1.25 X 50 bolts for the front mounting brackets. I used wide 1/2 inch washers (5 under each bracket.) move the seat all the way forward, then remove the plastic covers on the back of the rails and loosen the rear bolts. Then slide the seat all the way to the back and remove the two front bolts. Lean the seat back and put the washers under the mounting brackets. use the new bolts and be very careful, YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE THE THREADS. Gently start threading the bolts into the mounting surface, you should be able to easily turn them by hand; you may have to shift the seat around so the bolts can thread properly. Tighten the bolts as far as you can by hand, then tighten with the socket. Slide the seat forward and tighten down the rear seat bolts, replace the plastic covers and enjoy your more comfortable seat!
     
    #4 Daves09prius, Aug 24, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The car's safety features might be compromised when you put excessive washers in mounting the seat
     
  6. guinaevere

    guinaevere Junior Member

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    I just put $3800 into it to get it running, and KBB says that for a very good condition 2005/130,000 mile would only sell privately for under $7000. That would still net me a gain, but considering that this vehicle has unusual sentimental value, my preference is to keep it.

    That's a consideration, but I don't believe it would solve the underlying problem of the seat being destructive to my back. And, i already sit so high, I think this is a last resort.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    guin, there are a ton of threads here on back pain. some have had success and some not. some have even been so desperate as to replace the entire seat with the likes of camry. search through and try different things, you might get lucky. all the best!(y)
     
  8. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    I really miss the leather Recaro seats that were in my Mk4 Bora (Jetta for the Americans). They were the most comfortable and best supported seats that I've ever had the pleasure of sitting in
     
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  9. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    I saw where a guy put 2006 Camry seats into a Gen II Prius. If I remember right, they fit fine with no problems.
     
  10. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    It might be a last resort for you, but before going out and buying new seats and going through the trouble of trying to make the rails fit; because I haven't found a direct plug and play / bolt-in seat replacement option yet, so if someone knows please post it here because tons of people would love to find out! Anyway adjusting the seat tilt is a $5 - $7 investment in grade 8 bolts and washers and about 30 minutes of your time to adjust the seat.
     
    #10 Daves09prius, Aug 25, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  11. guinaevere

    guinaevere Junior Member

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    The Recaro seats have been mentioned a bit in the threads and forums I've read. I wish there was somewhere local (Atlanta/North GA) are where I could test one.

    Would you recall if that was posted here or outside of PriusChat?


    A related question to my original post - Is a Side Airbag the same as a Curtain Airbag? Do only the Prius with the side airbags have the airbags in the driver seat

    SEVENTH Position in your VIN -
    CodeDescription
    0Manual Belts w/2 Airbags and Curtain Airbags (WHAT I HAVE)
    1Manual Belt / 1 STD
    2Manual Belts w/Drivers Side Airbag
    3Manual Belts w/2 Airbags
    6Manual Belts w/2 Airbags, Side Airbags, Curtain Shield Airbags, and Knee Airbag (Driver Seat)
    7Manual Belts w/2 Airbags and Knee Airbag (Driver Seat)
    8Manual Belts w/2 Airbags and Side Airbags
    DManual Belts w/2 Airbags, Side Airbags, Three-Row Curtain Shield Airbags, and Knee Airbag
    FManual Belts w/2 Airbags, Side Airbags, and Knee Airbag
     
  12. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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  13. guinaevere

    guinaevere Junior Member

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    Thank you so much!
     
  14. Daves09prius

    Daves09prius Active Member

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    I read the post and it still isn't plug and play / direct bolt in. You have to hack and redesign the rails to fit. Maybe its what you need guinaevere to help your back -- I hope it starts feeling better soon! But I don't want exposed metal brackets protruding into the rear passenger foot / floor area. It's too bad that a Prius Gen-3 seat won't simply bolt onto the existing mounting points and simply plug into the in-seat airbag.

    Here is another post about the painful seats in the Gen-2 Prius: Prius Driver's Seat Misery | PriusChat
     
    #14 Daves09prius, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  15. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    if you're getting pressure on your tailbone, it means you're not sitting correctly. I don't want to bust on you or anything, but its my understanding that you are supposed to actually sit on the backs of your thighs. try moving the seat forward, arch your back and scoot your butt back as far as it will go. it seems unnatural to sit that way, and I am guilty myself of not sitting correctly, but for back health, you do not want to sit on your tailbone at all. a lumbar support cushion forces you to sit correctly. have you tried one?
     
  16. guinaevere

    guinaevere Junior Member

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    Thank you Dave for the link. And thank you Shovlhead for the advice. I've tried different cushions from my physical therapist, orthopaedic, and also my chiropractor since the back pain started. And yes, I've been advised on the correct postures, et cetera. They've done CT scans and x-rays, maybe they need to do an x-ray of me as i sit IN the prius to get it figured out? Ah well, we persevere and keep trying.

    I'll continue to research the options of replacing the driver seat, and save my pennies. With a little providence, the seat will be replaced or restuffed by the end of the year.
     
    Daves09prius likes this.
  17. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    good luck. I hope you find a solution very soon.
     
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