How To: Rear Seat Removal (Image Heavy) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How To: Rear Seat Removal (Image Heavy)


Well-Known Member
July 8, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Wasatch, Utah
Year, Model & Trim Level
Forester; 08 ST sold :(
Hello all,

I was needing some more cargo room that was not exposed to the elements and unfortunately my ST did not come with a hard tonneau cover (at the moment I'm too cheap to buy one, so that's that). Given that 90+% of the time I'm only one in my ST, I figured I'd remove the rear seats.
So, here we go!

Approximate Work Time: 3-4hrs

To begin, bit of a disclaimer, the instructions I'm giving are not in the same order that I did the project in because my method wasn't really planned. Also, some tasks were accomplished by just jiggling parts about. I did all this in 80+% humidity with 90+ degree heat, so ended up using quite a lot of expletives and getting a few cuts and fair amount of bruises. You have better luck, but fair warning.
I'd recommend storing all the removed nuts/bolts in one place, and orient them so you remember which bolts are from where.


I used a medium socket with 10mm, 15mm, 19mm, T50 Torx and long 5/8 and a simple adjustable spanner. An additional person (but only for 10min or so) is also pretty much required.

Optional Stuff:
Bandaids and/or a pair of those padded type gloves (I didn't use them, but they could have saved the nice lil chunk of flesh missing from my index knuckle).

First thing to do, besides getting the tools, is to make your truck is in an area where you can fully open both doors, and I'd recommend having 4+ft of open space on either side of the vehicle with the rear doors fully open. Also, if you haven't already, slide your interior light slider (under the headlight panel) all the way to the left to the point where you get an extra click. This will keep your interior lights off for when you're working with the doors opens so you don't drain the battery.

So, in the pictures below, I numbered all the bolts in the order in which one should remove them and included the bolt's size.
Driver side:

Passenger side:

1/2 - First thing I recommend doing is flipping down the bench seat. Then, remove the pin holding the jacking tools in its holder and remove all the jacking tools. Next, use the socket with a 10mm attachment to remove the bolts holding the tool holder in.


I'd recommend just leaving the bench seat folded down for now and move around to the driver side rear door.

3/4/5/6 - Switch the socket to the 15mm attachment and just go at those bolts.

7 - Now switch to the 5/8 Long attachment and remove the nut/spacer combo. FYI - This is the anchor for the seat belt receiver for the single chair.

8 - To make access for bolt 8 easy, pull the seat folder release, but instead of the seat flipping forward like normal, use your arm and pull the bottom of the seat up towards the seat back. Make sure to keep the seat belt receiver down so it doesn't get crammed into the plastic molding on the chair and break something.

Now, I'd recommend taking out the single seat. This can easily be done alone. Just open your doors all the way, make sure the stands/brackets on the bottom are fully collapsed and take it easy.

9/10 - Now, go back around to the passenger side and put the Torx T50 attachment on the socket. Now, the bolts are actually slightly under the vinyl floor, so just spread it to the side a bit and loosen the bolts. They will separate from the floor after while, but they shouldn't separate from the seat belt bracket (one of my bolts did, while the other didn't, but they both have spacers between the bracket and floor that should keep the bolts attached to the bracket).


You can see the spacer on the bolt on the right.

11 - Switch to the 5/8 Long attachment and remove the nut/spacer in the corner near the door.

Now put the bench seat back in the upright position to access the remaining bolts.

12/13 - Switch back to the 15mm attachment and remove those last two bolts.

14/15 - Go back around to the driver side rear door to remove bolts 14/15.
At this point, you should be able to fold the bench seat back down without much trouble.

16 - Now, use the adjustable spanner to remove bolt 16. I found that 19mm fit the nut, but I didn't have a long 19mm, so I used the adjustable spanner.

Now, this is the part where you'll need two people - one where the single seat used to be and the other in the passenger rear doorway. Again, make sure the stands/brackets are collapsed, and you should be able to remove the bench seat. One person can hold the weight of the bench seat, but it's so bulky that you need two people to remove the bench without harming your ST.

And there you have it - approximately 58 cu ft of cargo space (~36 if you only load up to the bottom of the rear window).

Now, I'd recommend tightening all nuts/bolts back in their holes (except the seat belt brackets and you can leave the 10mm bolts and jacking tool holder out if you like) because some bolts go right through the body, so if you drove over say, a big puddle, with all those bolts removed, you'd end up with water in the cab.

Hope this helps somebody out.

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Thanks for the pics.
I do not understand why Ford designed these seats. I like the rear seats in my wife's Escape better. Bottom cushion folds forward, back folds down. That was the way it was in my suburban. The floor is available that way for large boxes.

nice how-to! Thanks for the good write up!


Rear seats are sooo overrated. :p

Nicely done with the covering. And it's good to see another Club user as well.

Right now - I actually do have a rear seat... sort of... I have an office chair in my rear area. So, recently, I jokingly remarked that I turned my Sport Trac into a limousine. The chair can actually rotate about to a certain extent, but it's a tight fit. Well, now the chair is surrounded by other stuff like a refrigerator, etc. so one wouldn't be able to sit in it anymore.

BTW - what kind of seat covers are those?

Thanks. That's too bad they don't have neoprene ones.

Hey FLOffroad I wanna see a pic of your Rig!! :p:

Inside or Out?
I don't have many good inside shots because the rear seat removal's the only "mod" I've made and my driver seat looks like poo (see the "seat foam" thread), but here's the outside from last fall (nothing's changed though, except I've cleaned it and ditched the front plate).


Nothing special - just 255 AT2s on the Limited, Chrome Package 18" wheels (came stock for me, not my favorite, but I've got too much other stuff eating my money).

Looks good!! Love the MUD. I'm working on removing the roof rack. Wish me luck. :p

Good deal. Looking forward to it. Last year my roof rack tried to remove itself, and successfully did a little bit (I lost the rear driver curved panel). I ultimately ordered a new piece. Now it and all 4 corners are nicely bonded to the rubber gasket base with sealant.