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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I haven't posted for a long while, but mostly like to add stuff if I think people will REALLY get a kick out of it. My GT seats have been bothering me for a while since they seem to have been made for people with inhumanly curved backs (that is, NO curved spine) and rather short people.

Since I have neither of those cases, the seats were just HORRIBLE on long trips. After a couple of hours, my back and butt were so stiff, I had to stop. It's irritating.

So, I went and pulled a set of seats from a 9-3. Not only are they very nice, but they have PPD sensors, seat warmers and a side airbag with almost identical tech specs to the elantra. Even were that not the case, adding a few resistors here and there to adjust the resistance is not a big deal.

I will take some pics of the seats later and post them tomorrow. I will also try to give a good step by step of what has to be done (since the tracks are 1/2 inch narrower).

If the airbag deploys in my face, well, then you can expect NOT to have a full DIY write-up. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok,so a weekend of work complete and the passenger seat is in! Everything works, including the pressure sensor though I sadly discovered that my airbags are actually missing! They are supposed to be standard in the GT Premium but there seems to have been a mixup. I guess I needn't worry about it for now but a real bummer. I took photos but they are a bit on the large side, so will downsample to load here.

Here is the skinny:

You NEED a welder. You cannot do without. A 70amp output arc is sufficient but I suggest a full mask or slap on the sunscreen my friends!
Grinder
Torx bits of various sizes but you will find 40 and 50 are the most used for the seats.
Needle-nose pliers
Various C clamps (metal only, obviously)
14-12-10mm bits for the elantra seats

Step 1
Get your crying out of the way now; you won't have time later.

It is important to take exact measurements. They are (for the passenger side)

front left to rear left: 13 3/4"
Front right to rear right 14 1/2"
left to right: 17"

The driver's side is the inverse of this but I will update with exact measurements if they differ this weekend.

Remove the elantra seats and grind off the 3 plates that are riveted in place. The rear left has two grade 8 bolts, 1 of which you will re-use for the saab. Be careful here because you need to use these as they are quite specific. Be slow, take your time, be careful and cut straight.

Now, the real fun begins! Once you have all four in hand, start by bolting the furthest bolt hole into the rear left Saab seat hole. I used the torx bolt that came with it and the bolt from the Elantra seat. Perfect match and both grade 8. It saved me the hassle of going to get a bunch of them, though I have many in stock anyway.

Now, straighten it as the true-ness of this is important. Next, measure up from the back of the hole to the back of the front adapter. Use the C clamp to position it. You will find that the rear of the adapter will line up with the top of the first slot on the Saab rails. If it doesn't, measure it again. Trust me, it should. Also, this is important because any further back and you won't be able to get the Elantra's bolts in (I used them, of course, to bolt the seats back into the car).

This plate should be straight with the Saab rails. This makes it so that the Saab seats sit in the exact same position from the console as the elantra seats. (In case you were wondering, you are working on the left side rails).

Now, start up your welder. Clamp the ground to the c clamp and be careful when welding. You can disintegrate the rails! The metal is tough but 3000 degrees will still melt it to $h!t in a hurry. If your eyes start to see a big flash, change your visor type or pause for a moment in between. You HAVE to see straight at this part because you do not want to bend or mess up the rails in any way.

Weld around the plate and especially get up on top of it (where you would normally put the bolt in to the seat; there's a bit of a gap that is asking for some weld) Let cool before you move it around too much as the metal will be weakest at its warmest. Once it cools, though, it's rock hard.

Now you can weld the rear that is bolted on. You don't really have to as the 1 grade 8 bolt is so friggen strong, you could balance king kong off of it. Still, better safe that through the windshield; unless you make it the mother-in-law seat special. :) If you are worried, though, upgrade to aeronautic bolts (grade 10) but you will never again be able to grind through them without multiple diamond blades. *insert manly grunt here*

Okay, now that's done. Next step it to attach the other side. This one is a little trickier as you will need some 1/8" metal to add stability since you need to move it by a full 1/2 inch outwardly. I know, you are thinking I should have done 1/4 and 1/4 on both sides, and you can do that, but it was a lot less work to do it this way. Still, that choice is up to you. You could also build a metal grid out of 1/4 inch metal and simply attach the plates to that and your seats to the grid. I just prefer the "it was always like this" look. Welding the brackets makes it just look like a part of the seat.

Once that is all done and you have test-fitted (just letting you know, I got it to line up perfectly the first time to where I could hand-tighten the bolts like they were originally; just sayin') it's time to move onto the electronics.

Here, I found it best to cut the harnesses from the original seat and also the one from the Saab. This made it more user-friendly and also provides some opportunities for expansion at a later time (say for an amp).

Just so you know, yellow and black are the seat-heaters, the green saab harness gets cut to splice the pressure sensor from the elantra (not that you use it anyway) and for the elantra buckle harness splices to the driver seat harness of the Saab (which you will also cut. Alternatively, you can just bipass that and plug the seatbelt straight into the original elantra harness. I spliced it because I'm a bit of a dummy. :) This all presumes you are usuing the manual seats, which I suggest. The electronics for the electric seats are very simple, but I prefer manual seats in general, having had much of both. Now, I used the buckles straight from the elantra. I plan on modifying them because their strange shape rubs against my center console, which I don't like. I like thing clean. I am also exploring taking the top off and switching with the Saab shaft (yes, I said shaft; so what Beavis?) but I am not sure if I can. I will update as it would be wayyy nicer. But you should use the original buckle at least (since Saabs of that era did not have a buckle sensor in the passenger seat).

One of the more annoying parts is taking the pressure sensor from the elantra seat and moving it over. You have to strip the entire seat from the elantra down. It has little round hooks that hold the leather in place (really unecessarily as the wrap is more than tight enough but, there is it). You have to remove the leather from the bottom and then, one-by-one, unhook the little loops. This is accomplished with the needle-nose pliers. There are 10 or 11 of them if I remember correctly. Once done, peel up the seat warmer, and there she is!

NOTE: I plan on reusing the seat warmers for the rear seats as they are in fine condition and I have extra switches. I iwll wire two switches into the rear of the center console (like Saab does actually). That's for another DIY write-up coming soon.

You then need to unwrap the bottom of the Saab seat. I suggest detaching it from the back to make it easier to maneuver. Once you get it unwrapped, you will meet your first problem (well, of this project anyway); the seat is divided into sectors. What I did was carefully cut the white webbing (you will know what I mean when you are there) that separates the front section to the middle/rear square. If you just rip it like a gorilla, you risk tearing the seam in the leather. So don't do that. Again, carefully do this part.

Then, you can slip the pressure sensor right over the seat warmer (it won't burn) in the same was as it was in the elantra. Bring the two wires (white and blue that will splice to the orange/white and green/white of the green harness) Wrap the leather and reconnect the seat back.

Now, you should be in a position to put everything back in, assuming you are done with the wiring. If you have to wire the airbags, you can do that as well. Just make sure to have the car negative unplugged for about 30mins. Wire it correctly as a signal sent to it will deploy the airbags. Thankfully, SRS makes all airbags, therefor their modules use the same format. Also, the dual stage side-airbags are done through a check-valve inside the airbags, thus it is not a special electrical signal; no extra swapping.

Finally, the active head restraints are a mechanical feature of the seat and require no wiring. Very cool upgrade for safety.

And that's it! If you have specific questions, email me and I'll gladly answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Found out from Hyundai that I was supposed to have side airbags... They were apparently as surprised as I was (I somehow doubt that). I found the wiring was intact though no harness so I will be wiring it to the SAAB harness that is all setup for it. It's just a high/low plug anyway, and it's the satellite sensors that provide the information, not the airbags themselves; they are only input with no output so I should be good to go!

Took a drive with the gal who said her back thanks me, as does her bum (since the seat heaters work better than the originals). I can't wait to experience the feeling on the driver's seat! Coming this weekend and I'll take pictures of every step, now that I know that I won't embarrass myself. :)

P.S. A great way to hide some of the welding (if you want) is to use JB weld. At 4000psi, it also adds a little structural rigidity, though you likely shouldn't rely on it. Seats should be rated at around 5000psi anyway, for worst case scenario crashes at high speed. Although, to be fair, the seatbelt will likely break and your arse will be through your head before the seat gives out in a 100kph crash...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Will take a picture of both seats in as well. I am now thinking about doing the rear bench as well... Will be going to the pick and pull this weekend to get some panels for the paint job so we'll see!

I will also be posting a DIY for garage exhaust setups. It will likely be a combination massive overhead (1500cfm) unit with an inline centrifugal for pulling an extra 700cfm from slightly below the chest. That ensures my garage will exchange every 1.5 minutes and will be able to pull heavier particulates from the air (for painting).

Will keep you updated as I do my other projects!
 

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I'm pretty sure Canadian XD/XD2s didn't have seat-mounted side air bags, regardless of trim level. I might still have the Hyundai Canada sales brochure somewhere, if I have time to dig it out I'll look.

EDIT

In Canada, they started adding them to GT trim in 2003 (mainly for the 2004 model year). So early 2003 model year GTs probably do not have side airbag seats, even though the wiring is present. It's like the CVVT thing... hell, my 2004 has the old style airbag system (single plug). So a bunch of 2003/2004 were XD1.5s.
 
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