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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Parts Purchased:

Recaro Sportster CS with Universal Side Airbags



0.70.9NT - 105$ Recaro Seat Sliders Inside Bar with No Tabs



1 Small Zip Tie

Heat Shrink Tubing

Grade 8 - 7/16-20 Lock Nut - 4$ (Dorman 005770BP - O'Reilly Auto Parts) for the Seat Belt Bolt



(4) M8-1.25 Flange Nuts - 2$ (Home Depot) Class 8.8, if you want to make sure you get Class 10.9 rated Flange Nuts, get Dorman #878-708. The OEM seat only has Class 8.8 hardware.



(4) M8-1.25x35mm Socket Cap Screw - 4$ (Home Depot - marked as Class 12.9)



(4) M8 Flat Washer - 1$ (Home Depot - marked as Class 10.9)



Zip Tie Mounting Base - 4$ (Home Depot)



SB020DR - 140$ Planted Seat Bracket (for GR Driver Side)



PSP.25 - 50$ per pair Planted 1/4 Inch Seat Spacers

Note: It may be more cost effective to get the proper 6061 Aluminum Flat Bar from DiscountSteel.com to get the exact height you are looking for.

For a GR STI - this may help

5 foot 11 inch in height and up? Might want to use a 3/8 inch (height) X 1 and 1/2 inch (width) X 15 and 1/2 inch (length)
5 foot 5 inch (up to 5 foot 11)? Might want to use a 3/4 inch (height X 1 and 1/2 inch (width) X 15 and 1/2 inch (length)
Less than that - you too short bro, but an inch to inch and a quarter height should be good!




PL1824M (ZRTL-646-8 for an 8 pack) or 784207 - 5$ Posi-Products Posi-Lock Butt-Connector for 18-24 Gauge, or 20-26 Gauge (Your local NAPA may have something similar #784207)



98201FG010 or 98201FG011 or 253-50370 - ???$ (Subaru Seat Side Air Bag)



8D0972586 - 8$ (Volkswagen Seat AirBag Car Side Connector)



000979010FA - 15$ (Volkswagen Galvanized Copper Repair Wire which already comes with two leads) Note: functionally equivalent to 000979010EA (which is more expensive)



1/8" ID Split Wire Loom - 5$ (EBay)



Background:

I recently purchased a Recaro Sporster CS w/ Heat and Side Airbags. I'm trying to figure out how to wire up the Airbags and build a PnP harness for the AirBag.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

How-To-Wire

Synopsis:

The two MIDDLE pins in the SUBARU connector hooks up to the "white w/ black stripe", and "brown w/ yellow stripe" on the RECARO AirBag connector. The Brown Wire on the RECARO AirBag connector is just ground and isn't used.

Tools Needed

14 mm Deep Socket (for Seat Bolts)
13 mm Socket (for Flange Nuts)
17 mm Wrench (for 7/16-20 lock nut)
6 mm Allen Socket (for cap screws)
10mm Wrench (for Battery)
T50 Torx Socket (for Seat Belt Carrier bolt)
Torque Wrench

Let's get Started

Step 1: Examine Airbag Connector on Recaro

Notes: The Recaro seat's side airbag connector has a Volkswagen Connector (housing is 8D0972576) and has 3 wires (brown, white with black stripe, brown w/ yellow stripe). You only need to connect to the pins on the right side (of the pic). The brown wire which is connected to the 3RD pin (on the left) is ground and can be ignored (not connected).





Step 2: Assembling the Volkswagen Plug

Notes: Cut the VW Repair wire that you bought in the middle, remove the purple plastic stay from the VW conector, insert the two halves of the wire terminal, then re-install the purple clip.



Step 3: Twist the Wires and apply some shrink tubing - Cut some of the Split Wire Loom to length, cover the wires with it, then apply some more shrink tubing on the end for that OEM look.





Step 4: Fully Assemble the Harness - cut the pigtail off the Side AirBag and assemble the harness.





Step 5: Bolt on the Recaro Sliders to the Seat, make sure you attach bar to the sliders latches. The Recaro Slider should have come with (4) M8-1.25x22mm bolts, along with (4) M8 washers. The bolts should be torqued to 16 ft/lbs.



Step 6: Install the spacers, and bolt the seat / sliders to the bracket - Use the M8-1.25x35mm bolts, M8 washers, M8 Flange Nuts to secure the sliders to the seat bracket. The spacers should be installed between the sliders, and the seat bracket, additionally - make sure seat belt attachment point is on the right side. It may be a good idea to a put a bit of blue loctite on the threads, additionally M8-1.25 bolts are usually torqued to around 16 ft/lbs.





Step 7: Zip Tie the Seat Air Bag and Heater Pig Tails to the planted bracket - The Zip Tie mounting base has double side tape on it, stick it onto the Planted Base then Zip Tie the pigtails to it. Make sure you position the zip tie mounting as pictured, you want to move the sliders back and forth to make sure the wiring harness is not binding.



Step 8: Disconnect Car Battery



Step 9: Remove Front Seat Bolts



Step 10: Remove Rear Seat Bolts Note: you have to remove the plastic covers first.



Step 11: Disconnect Seat Wires Note: on the GR Hatch, there are 3 plugs to disconnect, the AirBag (Yellow), Heater (White), and Seat Belt Detection (White). The Air Bag connector is easy to remove, just press down on the black sliding release tab and it'll disconnect.



Step 12: Remove Seat from the Car



Step 13: Remove Seat Belt Receiver from Seat - Note: using a T50 TORX bit, remove the Seat Belt receiver from the seat, and completely fish out the wiring harness from the OEM seat.



Step 14: Bolt on Seat Belt Receiver to Recaro Seat - Note: you need to use the 7/16-20 Lock Nut, and it needs to be torqued to 28 ft/lbs.



Step 15: Secure the Seat Belt Receiver Harness



Step 16: Route the Seat inside the car and connect the wiring harnesses - Note: make sure you connect the AirBag connectors with the PNP harness, along with the Seat Belt detection harness. Secure the chassis-side harness using a Zip-Tie to make sure it doesn't flop around.



Step 17: Bolt Front and Rear Seat Bolts Note: Torque the bracket bolts to 39 FT/LBS. Move the slider back and forth and make sure no wires are in the way.





Step 18: Re-attach Battery - FIN!

 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

I went to a scrapyard and found a few in two 2008 bora's
I live in Holland and finding a vag scrapyard might prove a difficult task
 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

The Recaro pigtail can unplug from the airbag. Cut it up and install the Subaru leads on it. The more plug in connectors you have the more problematic things will become. Besides the airbag system self test is VERY specific. You DO NOT want to mess with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

The Recaro pigtail can unplug from the airbag. Cut it up and install the Subaru leads on it. The more plug in connectors you have the more problematic things will become. Besides the airbag system self test is VERY specific. You DO NOT want to mess with that.
I personally don't want to cut-up either harness, I contacted SC-TUNING and they routinely sell these adapters for Recaro's to people over in Europe without issues. They don't have one for SUBARU though. I'll double check the resistance on the PNP harness just to make sure it's negligible.

 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

Updated with more INFO.. Waiting for the Recaro Sliders (VividRacing sent me somebody else's order, booo!), and the Subaru Test Harness :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

I'm Six Foot tall, the seat looks like it's pretty low to me so far (haven't installed it yet, waiting for the pigtail from SPX) even with the 1/2 inch spacers.

Too bad I don't have access to a CNC machine, I think if somebody made a spacer block / bracket that mounts / can be bolted to the planted seat bracket ( 3/4 inch width, 1 and 1/4 inch tall, not sure what the length between two tabs are - should have measure it) - then has M8 1.25 holes on both ends, the 0.70.9 Seat Brackets would have been much better (the one that comes with the tabs that allows for three height positions).



Would be cool if BLOX, or Boomba Racing would offer customized CNC service that would allow a person to upload schematics, share it on their website, and allow other people to buy it. That way, enthusiasts would have much better solutions.
 

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Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

Seems like a good idea but found out it wasn't
Even with the planted bracket the seats are still quite high
I went with flat recaro sliders
If you want to tilt the seats a few washers would do te trick.
It's a simple job to cut the tabs and turn them into flat sliders but don't forget to get some 10.9 or better m8 bolts/nuts
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

I think it depends on the seat, I'll post feedback as to how the Sportster CS fits, Recaro also sell powered seats that can be raised ( eq - sports top line ) but those don't come with airbags.

I think the Sportster CS is the only one that comes with the airbag as an option, then again BMW and Nissan uses the exact same seat on their cars ( eq. Nissan Juke, and the BMW performance seat )
 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

I can at least mention five other brands that factory mount the sportster.
There are more recaro models than can be raised and can be ordered with airbags (ergomed for example)
I went with the sportster but had recaro trim it with quality black leather that i delivered since the stock leather recaro does is pretty poor quality
 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

BMW Performance doesn't use airbag seats. Not unlike VW they move their airbags into the doors or get rid of them all together.

Keep in mind side airbags are only useful when seat bolstering is low or non existent. This is why all the Black series Mercedes and any other car with fixed back race seats don't get side airbags. They don't need them.

I also found the seats are quite high so i'm making my own seat bases. Similar to planted but lighter and they should lower the seats ~3/4" (19mm) in the front and ~1" (25.4mm) in the rear.

For the record there are job shops all around the world looking for small machining projects like you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

Nigel - how tall are you? I added 1/2 inch spacers from planted (I'm six foot), I guess I can remove them if the seats are too tall (and I can't fit a helmet).

SPX finally shipped the test harness (it was 50$ shipped each - ouch). Purchasing a SEAT airbag from eBay was cheaper - lol (49$ shipped). I'm gonna cut off the pig tail from the seat airbag I bought from eBay and use that instead.

I'll make two extra of these PNP harnesses, if any of you guys are interested - hit me up. Will sell it for how much it costs to make.

I've added a whole bunch of pictures, just waiting for SPX or the side Airbag I purchased from eBay to get here.

As for the Allen Head Bolts I bought from Home Depot - they are Grade 12.9, and the washers are Grade 10.9. The flange nuts however are only Grade 8.8.

The stock seat hardware is only Grade 8.8.
 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

I'm also around 6 foot mark but my torso is comically short. Ideally I'd like my shoulders below the window and right now they're maybe 1/4" above with some custom laser cut spacers that are 1/8" (JUST clearing the Recaros)...
 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

I just received a Sportster CS with side airbag that I purchased from a shop in Holland. I'm going to install it in my 11 LGT so great timing to stumble across this thread.

This is all helpful info with the airbag wiring. I purchased the airbag connector from Recaro. It's a combination of VW airbag harnesses to allow you to disable the airbag light or connect the Recaro airbag to your factory wiring.

To funks and Nigel...did you get the Recaro heater as an option? The heater wiring is simple. Power with an inline fuse and a ground wire. Just wondering where you tapped into power and where you grounded it?
 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

No, I did not the OEM heater works just as well if not better than the Recaro unit so I just kept that.
 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

SPX finally shipped the test harness (it was 60$ shipped each - ouch). Purchasing a SEAT airbag from eBay was cheaper - lol (49$ shipped). I'm gonna cut off the pig tail from the seat airbag I bought from eBay and use that instead.

I'll make two extra of these PNP harnesses, if any of you guys are interested - hit me up. Will sell it for how much it costs to make.

I've added a whole bunch of pictures, just waiting for SPX or the side Airbag I purchased from eBay to get here.
funks, looks like a couple pics on your first two posts are not available. Do you mind to update the links? Kudos to you, great info in this thread!

No, I did not the OEM heater works just as well if not better than the Recaro unit so I just kept that.
Thanks Nigel. Looks like funks has the heater so we'll see what he does.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

This is all helpful info with the airbag wiring. I purchased the airbag connector from Recaro. It's a combination of VW airbag harnesses to allow you to disable the airbag light or connect the Recaro airbag to your factory wiring.
Yep, I saw that - it doesn't have the plug that needs to hook up to the Subaru Chassis Side Airbag Connector though :( It's specific to VAG cars pretty much. For the pigtail I'm making, it's cheaper to buy the wire and the plug from the Volkswagen dealer. But it's still a pain in the ass to get the plug that will hook up to the Subaru Chassis (I'm getting it from side airbags that I bought from eBay, and the test harnesses which are $$$ - uggh).



Here's what I made looks like so far



To funks and Nigel...did you get the Recaro heater as an option? The heater wiring is simple. Power with an inline fuse and a ground wire. Just wondering where you tapped into power and where you grounded it?
I got the Recaro Heated Option, I live in California though, and don't really need it - lol. I don't want to cut or mess with the stock seats, nor mess up the connectors on the recaro. I plan on re-using these seats for the next car I buy - lol. The heater pigtail looks like it only comes with a female connector, not sure where to buy the male connector, as for hookup - I'd probably use a posi-tap to the Cigarette Lighter / Accessory port wiring.
 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

I just bought a passenger side airbag from a 2011 Legacy on ebay. I'll take the wiring from it and I should be good to go.

funks, I'm slightly confused. What is the white wire you connected to the VW connector? I thought you just cut the VW repair wire in half to make two wires but it was all yellow.
 

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Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

I got the Recaro Heated Option, I live in California though, and don't really need it - lol. I don't want to cut or mess with the stock seats, nor mess up the connectors on the recaro. I plan on re-using these seats for the next car I buy - lol. The heater pigtail looks like it only comes with a female connector, not sure where to buy the male connector, as for hookup - I'd probably use a posi-tap to the Cigarette Lighter / Accessory port wiring.
My seat came with the male connector, wiring, fuse & holder, and some button head socket cap screws.

Out of curiosity, where did you order your seat?
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Re: Aftermarket Seat with Side Airbag (Recaro) - installation notes..

See below - got it from Autopolsterei | Gebrauchte Recaro Sitze, Landrover, Mercedes Defender for 1430$ USD shipped (from Germany). The shop re-skins a bunch of Recaro seats (the expensive ones too, Orthoped / Ergomed) to make em look OEM on their clients cars. How much did you get your seat for?

Talk to Beste Grüße of Autopolsterie ([email protected]) - they are a fancy shmancy shop in Germany that customizes Recaro seats. He told me, for an extra price - you can make it look just like the STI seats (Leather on the side, w/ alcantara Inserts) before shipping it to you (90$ shipping per seat).

I'm basically documenting my install on another thread, trying to make it plug and play. I'm only interested in doing the driver side (and don't care about the fancy / schmancy STI look - lol). The passenger side will definitely be a bit more complicated as there's a "bladder" in there for passenger occupancy detection.
 
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