Second Row Seat Difficulty | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Second Row Seat Difficulty


June 20, 2019
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2020 Ford Explorer ST
I'm having an issue with accessing the third row. Folding down the second row with the latch on the top of the seat works fine; the seat slides forward as designed. However, it's impossible to push the seat back with one hand, or even two hands if you use the seat backrest. The aft slide just binds up and the backrest can only flip up. You have to use pretty significant force with two hands, one underneath the seat, to slide it back. It's not as bad on the passenger side, but still difficult. I'm no athlete, but still a 6'2" man in normal health.

The dealer is giving me the run-around so far, but I hate to say, it's a joke compared to how smoothly the same function works in my 7 year old Honda. Kids can only access the third row from the passenger side without me having to reach under the seat and struggle to put it back for them.

Has anybody else experienced this? I have the middle "bench", but it binds before any leather is far enough back to contact the fixed middle portion.

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This is the case even with the captain's chairs. It does take some force to push the seat back. We usually access the 3rd row via the pass through.

I’ve played with that on my Aviator the past couple of days and have the exact same situation. I can’t make it to the 3rd row from the driver’s side but my wife can, with some twisting, from the passenger side. I have to break down and read the manual. This should be easier than I’m making it.

So after no help from Ford (telling the dealer it's functioning as designed and there's no adjustments that can be made), I decided to muck around with it myself. What I found is that with the rear bolts loose, the seat slides fore and aft quite smoothly. Clearly that's not a great idea to ride around like that, but that tells me the mount is putting the seat rails in some kind of a bind.

There's quite a bit of vertical play with the front bolts loose (they are horizontal from the foot well area). So I tried loosening and tightening with the weight of the seat in different positions, and while not great, it's definitely improved now after trial and error.

Also, there's a fairly heavy spring that pulls the seat forward. Obviously taking it off makes pushing the seat back easier, but then you lose the help going forward, ending up with an opposite problem. I'm wondering if I could find a lighter spring, but still the main issue is the binding.

Maybe shims underneath the back would help?

I'm a little disappointed in the design. I played today, going back and forth in my Aviator manual and the 2nd row captain’s seats on each side. They’re a few too many things to remember to get the seat forward and people in and too much muscle required to get the seat back. I don’t know what the Explorer is like but me thinks the Aviator needs some work in the future. :dunno:

Maybe shims underneath the back would help?

Sounds like a workable idea to try something, I'd think that just some flat washers might work. IIRC, didn't Ford have issues with the mid row seats initially? Maybe that (loosening the rear bolts) was the fix on assembly line and when it went to Detroit for QC, they tightened the bolts up????