Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Car: 2013 Outback 2.5 Premium
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I did this today with the exact same stainless connectors you used. Thanks for all the tips.
I have to say it was much more of a knuckle scraper job than I expected. The hardest part - even while pushing down hard on the back to give me more space - was squeezing my fingers in past the knuckles to remove the felt cover (yes, adhesive-backed felt, not foam) over the hooks, and especially getting my fingers in to release the hooks. And there is the sharp-edged stamped steel seat frame pushing right up against it, which could slice you quite badly. Even with needlenose pliers, which didn't help much. I didn't have too bad a time putting the new hooks on, though it was a bit tricky.
At one point I looked at my hand and saw blood dripping all over the back of my hand, then looked at the lining on the foam seat back and I'd unknowingling got blood all over it! It cleaned up very easy thought with just cold water - probably something like a polyester liner.
Wrapping the felt back on was also tricky. I wasn't sure what needed wrapping, and couldn't really reach the new hook - pretty much just wrapped it around where the new hook and the eye hook meet, using some electrical tape to secure it.
I would not call it a 15 minute job - not on my car anyway. If you've ever done a job where you had to struggle manipulating tiny pieces within tiny, hard-to-reach spaces, you'd know that a lot of time can be burned just struggling with that. I'd say it took me about 45 minutes to do one seat. Maybe being a later 2013 model using a newer stronger hook is what made it more of a struggle for me. Also, I think the seats were changed in minor ways, and perhaps the foam is thicker and crowds the access to the connectors more. It does seem from your photos that I had less working room than you did. Mine looked about like yours after I pushed the foam forward very firmly.
Anyway, thanks again! I am glad I did this, knowing my lumber support is not likely to break in the way they commonly do, and it will not cause an injury or accident by breaking suddenly.