DIY: Gen 4 Lumbar Suppport Fix - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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DIY: Gen 4 Lumbar Suppport Fix

Several pics and vids are posted around here and on a Legacy site, but I couldn't view the vid and the pics were not real clear so I am posting these.

The fix is easy if your lumbar comfort feature snapped on you and won't cost you the $500 that dealers are asking. The cost for fixing both wire hooks with upgraded stainless steel is aroung $4 dollars plus the run to the hardware store and a 15 minute install. Easier than pie.

First, unhook the elastic band that holds the carpet on the seatback to the bottom of the seat. (Just feel around it is simple). Then remove the two screws holding the plastic seatback in place.




Next, remove the broken hook. You'll want to replace both to avoid the certain failure of the other cheapo wire connection hook.





The broken hook and the still viable hook below should both be replaced.





The replacement hardware was $4 at Home Depot.



One.



Two.



Test it at max.


Test it at Min.



Button it up.



Done.

Money and time saved.

Thanks for the link and the information even though I couldn't see the vids on the DIY posted a couple years ago. This is the easiest fix that costs 1/100th of what a dealer would charge.

ultane, soigne and Cheekyhomie like this.

2011 3.6R Limited Curt 2" Hitch, Garmin ecoRoute HD OBDII, Weathertechs, Fumoto Valve, 19mm RSB I-pod controller, Exhaust Tips, RSBP, F&RCBM
2013 Cmax e=nergi phev


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 01:58 PM
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OEM clips look pretty flimsy. Those clips you bought should do the trick.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 12:46 AM
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Today I took the seat back off to take a look and see how a repair might go. The hooks are hard to see, but I think I can partly see them around to the side of the seat bolster cushion, pretty deep in where it looks hard to access them.

Any hints particularly on getting at the clips and doing the changeout more easily? Also, it seems to be wrapped in foam. Does that just slide back and out of the way?

I'm planning on doing this swap pro-actively. I'd hate for that stupid little clip to give way suddenly when I'm not in a good position for that to happen, or while driving. One poor fellow here seems to have gotten a herniated disc when it gave way on him.

Last edited by J Delman; 05-16-2013 at 12:53 AM. Reason: Edited some after further examining photos.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 12:47 AM
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PS - I have the Premium model without lumbar for the passenger. Is there a similar clip supporting the lumbar area on the passenger seat?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Delman View Post
Today I took the seat back off to take a look and see how a repair might go. The hooks are hard to see, but I think I can partly see them around to the side of the seat bolster cushion, pretty deep in where it looks hard to access them.

Any hints particularly on getting at the clips and doing the changeout more easily? Also, it seems to be wrapped in foam. Does that just slide back and out of the way?

I'm planning on doing this swap pro-actively. I'd hate for that stupid little clip to give way suddenly when I'm not in a good position for that to happen, or while driving. One poor fellow here seems to have gotten a herniated disc when it gave way on him.

The foam sticker peels off the hooks. Place it to the side and wrap it around the quick connect or whatever you use to replace the broken hook. You can manually push the seatback bolster cushion forward with the hand you aren't using to fish the quick connect through the little posthole on the seatframe. Turning the hardware as in the picture and pulling downward was how I got the quickconnect through the hole. That was the only part in the process which required a bit of effort.

2011 3.6R Limited Curt 2" Hitch, Garmin ecoRoute HD OBDII, Weathertechs, Fumoto Valve, 19mm RSB I-pod controller, Exhaust Tips, RSBP, F&RCBM
2013 Cmax e=nergi phev


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 02:25 AM
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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.

Cheers,
Jefferson
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 10:38 AM
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Ah...interesting. I don't think my seat frame had the tab yours does that the hook connects to. It simplly had a hole in the frame I believe. This WOULD make it much more recessed and difficult to access.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaBrig View Post
Several pics and vids are posted around here and on a Legacy site, but I couldn't view the vid and the pics were not real clear so I am posting these...
Quote:
Originally Posted by J Delman View Post
Ah...interesting. I don't think my seat frame had the tab yours does that the hook connects to. It simplly had a hole in the frame I believe. This WOULD make it much more recessed and difficult to access.
A very small but solidly built key ring might work for those. I have the same setup, and though I didn't try my suggestion, it looks like it might work.

I just fixed mine with the revised part (since the hooks wouldn't fit).

AltaBrig, thanks for the tips and pictures! I did mine in about 22 minutes - and it only took that long because my back seats were down and my car was full (bike and tools).
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-03-2013, 11:35 AM
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A note on my experience with the repair: I tried the method of replacing both hooks with Quick Links (my local HomeDepot only had the steel ones and stainless would have been a special $10 order).

The fix was quick, but my wife, who has a bad back, said it didn't feel right (she always cranks the lumbar to the max setting). Comparing the links to the original hooks, I could see that they were each about 1/8" longer, so using them added 1/4" of length to the cable pull. This led to not as much "push" to the lumbar.

I ended up ordering the OEM hooks on-line ($20 w/shipping; Subaru Part # 64133AJ04A comes as a set of 4 hooks: 2 long ones for the top of the support mat and the two short ones for the cable). My wife's back is much happier with this set-up..

A couple of tips:

1) Once the seat back screws are out, it takes a firm tug on each side edge to disengage a couple of spring clips; then slide the cover down to release plastic hooks at the top.

2) Note on how the original hooks go in since one end will fit the hole more easily.

Last edited by David I; 11-03-2013 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Fix grammar
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 09:45 PM
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After three trips to dealer, I finally fixed it myself...

The hack in the quote below is perfect. I just did it. Cost me $4 and 45 minutes in time, and I feel like the lumbar support is now stronger than factory spec. Thanks!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaBrig View Post
Several pics and vids are posted around here and on a Legacy site, but I couldn't view the vid and the pics were not real clear so I am posting these.

The fix is easy if your lumbar comfort feature snapped on you and won't cost you the $500 that dealers are asking. The cost for fixing both wire hooks with upgraded stainless steel is aroung $4 dollars plus the run to the hardware store and a 15 minute install. Easier than pie.

First, unhook the elastic band that holds the carpet on the seatback to the bottom of the seat. (Just feel around it is simple). Then remove the two screws holding the plastic seatback in place.




Next, remove the broken hook. You'll want to replace both to avoid the certain failure of the other cheapo wire connection hook.





The broken hook and the still viable hook below should both be replaced.





The replacement hardware was $4 at Home Depot.



One.



Two.



Test it at max.


Test it at Min.



Button it up.



Done.

Money and time saved.

Thanks for the link and the information even though I couldn't see the vids on the DIY posted a couple years ago. This is the easiest fix that costs 1/100th of what a dealer would charge.


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