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removing third row seating


Active Member
January 21, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Coventry Ct
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 xlt
removing third row seating, start to finish

The first thing I'm thinking about doing to my 02 explorer xlt is third row seat removal. I'm assuming I can completely remove the third row seating, what i'm wondering is, is there any room underneath it for sub/amp installation? The truck will be used for fishing expeditions and I need AS MUCH ROOM AS POSSIBLE. The other question I had, does the entire back lay down COMPLETELY flat or is there a rise where the back seats are?

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Well seeing as ice fishing was put on hold today DUE TO THE MONSOON.....I decided to start on the important end of the vehicle by removing the third row seat to see what I was working with. This is NOT going to be an offroad truck but I will be trying to build everything with that kind of durability. I need to be able to haul TONS of carp gear for weekend excursions (5 gallon buckets, 8ft surf rod bags) and for the winter I need to be able to pack 1-2 shantys, full size sleds, bait cooler, and drybags for clothes. Should be an interesting project. So far the plan is to fill in all the bolt holes with some kind of mix and make epoxy, rhino line the metal floor, fill in with some sort of foam, cut and fit a 3/4" piece of marine grade plywood covered in carpet to act as a floor. Now, where to put the sub box and amp.......

Seats were easy to take out.








wow, that's quite a bit of room under there. Anyone know what's in that area on a 2nd gen?

third row seat removal day 2

So after ice fishing until 2am, Today was a "sleep in" day. I hit the parts store for acetone, jb weldstik, and generic rubberized undercoating. Prepped the area with a sander and paint removing wheel, as well as a wire brush for the bolt spots. I've used the jb weldstik on my aluminum fishing boats before and love the stuff, bonds to ALMOST ANYTHING and is sandable, drillable, paintable and if it seals the hull of a an aluminum boat, gets a :thumbsup: from me. I didn't need to sand or cut any excess away because it doesn't need to look good so I eliminated those few steps. start to finish less than 5 hours for seat removal to undercoating. Still trying to figure out what to do with the unused space that will be under the plywood floor, possible amp location?










Plywood floor is cut and ready for some undercoating, still unsure what to do with the void, floor won't be permanent or fixed to the truck.

yep, I fish like people do crack......basket will be a spring thing. I'm hoping to be done with all the audio by then so I can build everything around it. It would be really nice to be able to sleep back there.

Yeah i had my boat out 4or5 times every week last summer.

Can I have your 3rd row seat? :p:
It's looking good so far, there are a few plans and pics of people putting storage + sleeping compartments in their explorers, latest I remember seeing is jenren

floor prepped and rhino lined

Jad, you sure can, come get it :D Not really sure how you would ship something like that, I have all the hardware and everything, going on craigslist and then to the garbage if it doesn't move.

so I hit the depot last night, grabbed a sheet of 3/4" plywood, cut to fit, sanded and rhino lined it tonight. Picked up a roll of rubberized matting at pepboys today to cover the top and bottom for the abuse I'm going to put it through. One more coat on the bottom and then matting.......presto, no third row, and a pretty tough floor. Im sure come spring I'll have a better idea of what I really want to do which may include pulling the second row seating as well.







well the hatch of the truck is almost done.......for now. Floor is installed with mat etc etc. I have a feeling the middle second row seat will be coming out in the spring and be replaced with a custom built banpass box complete with cupholders and everything.



If you are going to remove the middle 2nd row seat, why not just replace the middle row with bucket seats?

wow, that's quite a bit of room under there. Anyone know what's in that area on a 2nd gen?

1st and 2nd gens have a flat floor under the carpet - no storage

the idea behind removing the middle seat was to have a spot for a bandpass box, so as to not lose any space in the back when I load it with gear. Im not sure the bench seat would work with the mounts that are under the second row. Passenger and drivers side both pop all the way up behind the front seats, but the middle is fixed.