Fitting Range Rover seats in a discovery

Written by ralph on 03/08/2009. Posted in Vehicle modifications

I always found the discovery seats disappointing.  Although my car was an ES it was originally bought by an animal rights lover who specified cloth, rather than leather seats (presumably they forgot about the leather steering wheelLaughing).

I had heard that it was possible to fit the seats from a Range Rover.  However the seat runners are a different ‘pitch’ so this is how I adapted the car to take the new seats.

I acquired the first set of seats from ebay.  I initially chose cloth, manual seats for simplicity.

Step 1

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Removed the existing seats from the seat base. There are for set screws.  You do need to move the seat fully forward to get to the rear screws and fully back for the front.

Step 2

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Remove the base from the floor using a 10mm socket.  The ‘outboard’ bolts have ‘loose’ nuts and need to be held under the vehicle with another spanner.

The ‘inboard’ bolts fall directly above the chassis and the nuts are captive.

Step 3Disco seats 003

Turn the new seat upside down so that you can measure the 4 bolt holes on the runner.

Step 4

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Cut a plate (5mm minimum) to allow sufficient area to cover the new seat runners and drill the four holes to suit the new runners.

Measure the old seat base and drill four holes to match the original runners securing points.  NB.  The ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ holes should be on the same ‘left-right; centre-line.  the front holes should be roughly in line with each other.

Step 5

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Secure the adapter plate to the seat base first.

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Another view showing how the front edge of the plate needs to line up with the front of the seat base.

Step 6

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Locate the assembly onto the upturned seat and bolt through onto the runners

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The assembled seat ready to fit.

Step 7

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Bolt the entire assembly into the car and ‘Bob’s yer uncle’.

The manual seats come with manual height and tilt adjustment

Step 8

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The rear seats are a direct replacement so no modification is necessary

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Close up of the front assembly

I made the mistake of using 3mm chequer plate and after a while I could see that it was bending out of shape. During a major overhaul period I decided to make the seat based more substantial.  In addition I had acquired, from a friend, a set of electric leather seats.  If you think of doing this make sure you get the ‘non-memory’ seats (unless you’re a NASA electricianFrown).
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I took the seat bases down to a local fab shop who welded two lengths of 50mm angle forward and aft of the existing cross ‘beams.

This gave me just the right ‘area’ to drill through the 4 wider securing holes for the Range Rover seat runners.

I also asked them to reduce the height by 10mm to give me a bit more leeway with the up and down movements.

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Unfortunately my first trial fit encountered a problem.  The motor pack hangs below the seat and fouled the cross bar.  I used and angles grinder to cut out a clearance channel.  shown here.

they were given several coats of hammerite and plasti-cote.

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They fitted in perfectly after that.

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Each of the seats have 3 wires, one black and two red.  The black is a common negative and one red feeds the recline and rear base height motor,s the other red feeds the front base height and back and forth motors.

I wired them to a permanently live circuit (so that I could adjust them without turning the ignition on) using three in-line fuse holders from Vehicle Wiring Products and standard blade fuses.

The leather seats are a bit firmer and the electrics allow you to make slight adjustments as you’re driving along.  Super comfy.

The switches are mounted on the seat and came with the seats

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Once again the rear seats are a straight swap.


Once all the trim was re-installed it became quite a cosy space.

I hope this is of some help to anyone else who wants to try it.  Trust me, you won’t regret itSmile.


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