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2,711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey vortex,
So I just picked up an 04.5 GLI. Some of you may recognize this car. It used to belong to Billburt. He sold it to a guy in Atlanta a couple of years ago and I was just able to buy it back. Billburt is my cousin and if you followed him at all you have probably seen pictures of me working on this car.
[/url]883BBE4F-BD1D-4BB6-BD61-AB0AAA1CC074 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Like most GLI's and GTI's with these seats, the drivers side outside bolster was trashed. In this case the foam was just broken and the cloth for the seat was still in good shape. So I just needed to replace the foam. I was not able to find a good DIY for this here on vortex (I suck at using the search button so that could be why). I did find two threads that had some good details but they weren't very pic heavy. I like pics ;) So I decided to create this thread. As usually no warranties are expressed here. You are on your own if something doesn't go right.

First, here are the links to the other two threads I mention above. The more info you have the better.

Tools required:
13mm deep socket (a regular socket actually reached on mine but deeper is better TWSS)
T20 driver
T25 driver
needle nose pliers
Phillips head screwdriver
Flat head screw driver
sharp knife or razor blade

Step 1:
Disconnect the battery. There are airbags in the seats. you don't want to accidentally set one off.

Step 2: Push the seat all the way forward and remove the two plastic covers over the seat rails. You can access these from the back seat area. There is a small plastic cap over the T20 screws. One on each plastic cover.
[/url]B1B404FB-A50D-401C-8C10-1800FE1111D7 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Step 3:
Push the seat all the way back and remove the two 13mm nuts at the bottom near the floor. Now tilt the top of the seat back far enough to remove the head rest. then tilt the seat back all the way forward to make it easier to take the seat out of the car. Once the two 13mm's are removed you should be able to slide the seat all the way back and out of the track. Once its out of the track you can tilt it back so you can get to the two plugs that you have to unplug. Unplug both wires and unsnap the white connector that holds the plastic piece on.
[/url]75EF525E-C3E9-428A-8279-A10389C817D7 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Step 4:
Now you can remove the seat from the car and place it on a clean workbench.
First remove the seat height adjuster. There are two T25 screws that hold it on. Remove the two caps for these screws first (duhh)
[/url]D0ED3B4F-C09F-49FB-BEE3-8DC414A83C8A by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Next you will need to begin to take the plastic trim parts off the seat. Start with the philips screw at the front of the seat.
[/url]DC5CF3A0-58C6-4932-B76A-95E34D1F2683 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Then remove the handle that allows you to adjust the seat position. Its a T25 if I remember correctly.
[/url]D6C026C7-5A0A-4ED1-946F-87BD4B393EDF by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Then remove the plastic piece on the right side of the seat. You will notice that it just has a plastic edge that is sandwiched up into the metal seat rail with the actual seat cover too. Its just pressure that holds this plastic piece and the cover in the rail area. There are also a couple of tabs that hold this piece to the seat towards the back (bottom pic).
[/url]F152C918-F5FF-4048-915E-0F2317ACD8EB by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]9E5BC261-F8AC-4AE8-9889-A6828101462C by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Now that you have the right side piece off you can remove the left side piece. There is another philips screw holding this piece on and it is sandwiched in there the same way.
[/url]1589C0CB-46AA-4BED-BAFB-FE1B401CA3EE by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

There is also a small tab that holds this piece on near the back of the seat on the underside. You have to pull a plunger piece out so that the tab can be pushed out.
[/url]B0EB922E-00AD-4E2F-ABCE-17F2194F27A8 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]4C84E7D3-0749-422C-90C4-F646B5F94600 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

I didn't completely remove the plastic trim from this side of the seat because its just not necessary. I just left it attached where the seat back adjustment knob holds it on.

You can now start taking the seat cover off

Start at the front and work your way evenly from side to side then just roll or pull the cover back. You don't need to take it completely off the seat. Just push down on the seat foam a little bit and pull the seat cover out of the channel at the bottom of the seat. You will see that there is a plastic piece that is part of the seat cover and it is just folded over and sandwiched up into the rail.
[/url]7182E576-391D-4350-B50A-0B16D465EBD1 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

You Should be able to pull the whole seat cover up and back and the foam will go with it.
[/url]0465D467-083E-4CF8-921F-E1175EF89E34 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Now you need to un-attach the foam from the seat cover. There are pieces of metal built into the foam. Look at your new piece of foam and you will see them. the seat cover has small plastic clips that attach to these metal rods. Just start at the front and use a flat head screw driver to unclip the plastic clips. I actually just ended up cutting the metal rods out of the old foam to make this step easier.
[/url]14983719-2CEC-4AF9-87F2-1ECC0D9240C6 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Step 5:
Fixing what caused the problem to begin with. If you look closely you will see that the old foam and the new foam has a small plastic piece molded into it where the seat frame for the bolster sits. This small piece of plastic is intended to keep the metal rod from digging into the soft foam. After years of use the plastic piece either degrades or just gets pushed out of the way so that the metal rod is now allowed to rub through the foam. In this pic you can actually see the metal rod has worn through the foam.
[/url]8997B8CA-35A1-462D-99AD-0037ACFC5CF7 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]
To fix this I cut up a plastic bottle and shaped it into a U shape. I sprayed a little 3M adhesive on the inside of the new foam and the plastic piece and wedged it into the new foam.
[/url]3673C7AB-98A9-4D85-A412-81366A2070C5 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]76E6BC57-DAA6-45D9-81B2-434E19507595 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Step 6:
Installing the new foam. First put the new foam onto the metal seat bottom. You will need to make sure you foam is seated correctly. You kind of have to force it towards the back of the seat. Just pay attention to the shape of the bottom of the foam and you can pretty easily tell where its supposed to sit. Then, starting from the back of the seat start reattaching the plastic clips that are part of the seat cover back onto the seat foam. Just start from the back and work your way forward. They can be a bit of a pain to clip back on but you will hear them click.

Once you have the clips all reattached you will need to get the seat cover shoved back up into the metal rail area. I found that its best to kind of roll the plastic piece up a little into the cover then just shove it in place and have the plastic trim ready to shove in at the same time. Surprisingly, it will hold itself in place until you can get all of the plastic trim reattached.

Last thing to do is put all the plastic trim back on in the opposite order you took it off and re-install the seat.
[/url]C93691FC-FC26-459E-AA4A-604037FBEFA9 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

Here is the part number for the foam.
[/url]306B9D39-200C-4102-A560-DD3987333485 by Al Gagne, on Flickr[/IMG]

2,711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Hi Oldschool. Looks like photobucket is being stupid. Would you be able to get your pics up and working again? Was looking to do this project in the next couple weeks.

So I haven't been on photobucket in a long time..... Holy Fu*king pop up adds batman! They are now charging you $40 per month to host photos!!!!! WTF!!!:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

**** that **** man! I will work on finding another hosting service that doesn't charge and try to get the pics back up.

2,711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Agreed. Photobucket's new policy has ruined many helpful threads and posts. I've started going back through my old threads and changing pics over to imgur. It's annoying to say the least. :facepalm::facepalm:
Hopefully this weekend I will have the time to do just that. Not sure if I am going to use imur or maybe flickr....

2,711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Well, I was able to get most of the pics back up. There is one left that I can't figure out so I am just leaving the photobucket image there just in case I remember later..

I hope I got all the pics in the right places, but it has been a long time since I did this project so it was kinda hard for me to remember what went where...


2,711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Sorry to bring back a semi old thread, just curious if you noticed and still notice good butt bone support with the new coushin. I bought an 04.5 back in April. It was a 1 owner 73k on the clock and seats are mint, but they are still 14ish years old and was thinking about doing the driver seat as my wife doesn't complain about the passenger side. My ass starts to get sore from a long drive and I have to shift forward on the coushin, so I was curious if your swap had helped.

The new pad did make a noticeable difference in the overall confront of the seat. I could tell that the original one had deteriorated on the bottom as well as the obvious issue with the side bolster.
As far as still notice, I don't since I don't own the car anymore... :) But the new piece I put in was OEM and appeared to be of good quality.
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