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Next Gen Seats - DIY Retrofit

Discussion in 'Model S' started by drewfaulk, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    I'm really not qualified to weigh in on this. I imagine the timing of the airbags is different in the new seats, which could cause them to deploy too slowly or too quickly in an accident if the RCM wasn't programmed. Also, I suspect the door panel tethers prevent the panels from coming off when the seat airbags deploy (likely striking the door in the process), without which, you could have the panel strike a passenger. The resulting injury could vary from minor to deadly, depending on a bunch of factors. I could't possibly contemplate the number of ways these panels could cause injury, but it seems like cheap insurance. Finally, I would think you would have the matter of future resale value and liability to a subsequent owner to consider. At the least, I'd think you'd want to have a buyer acknowledge that they are aware that you have not performed all the safety upgrades when you retrofitted the seats, which would likely affect the resale value. I'm not an attorney, and wouldn't presume to offer legal advice, but it seems like you'd want to disclose something like that to a buyer. For the minimal effort and your own safety, I'd take the extra steps to do the safety upgrades. Good luck!
     
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  2. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight No Roads

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    Excellent point I had not considered. Thank you.
     
  3. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    My pleasure. Good luck!
     
  4. demundus

    demundus Active Member

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    This thread has given me the confidence to start hunting for seats to retrofit. Thanks for the great write up.
     
  5. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    So glad you found it useful. Good luck!
     
  6. Electric Joe

    Electric Joe Member

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    It seems that there is a market for seat replacements if someone were to offer this as a one-stop service. My P85 has the original black and red, leather and suede seats, which are as uncomfortable as they are beautiful. I'd consider swapping them with black Next-Gen seats if I could have a competent person or shop do the work at a reasonable price. I like a good DIY project, but not one that involves tinkering with airbags! Something tells me I'm not alone in this.
     
  7. GJ79

    GJ79 Member

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    I am still wondering who would buy the old seats ? Was it easy for you to sell yours and where did you sell them ?
     
  8. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight No Roads

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    I agree, but I'm not worried about messing with airbags... it's the addition of the extra securing strap in the door panels, as well as the re-programming of the airbag module for the new seats.
     
  9. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    The project doesn't involve messing with the airbags. It does involve having the airbag control unit professionally reprogrammed (just like repair shops do after a collision - on all makes of cars). It's a pretty mature industry, and a routine process. I don't think it's as involved as you're thinking, but I tried to address your point in the original post; I'm not encouraging anyone to undertake this retrofit, only saying how I did it. As far as the door straps go, I had a Tesla-approved body shop do that, but I actually thought that should be the easiest part (the service bulliten only calls for one hour of labor to complete both door straps, I believe). I only had the shop do the work because they were going to update the build configuration as well (which I was told Tesla prevented). In any case, I agree that anyone uncomfortable with the process should not do it. For that matter, even those who are not uncomfortable with it shouldn't do it: I just wanted to share my experience, not encourage anyone to do the same.
     
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  10. Jhall118

    Jhall118 Member

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    If I already have next gen seats and wanted to replace them due to excessive wear in the future, is it as easy as just unbolting the old ones and bolting in the new ones?
     
  11. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    It's a simple process. How simple depends on if you got the new seats "from the rails up," or if you had to attach the old rails and seat memory module to the new seats.
     
  12. TMobe

    TMobe I have forgotten more than I remember

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    What site did you buy your NG seats and sell your old seats?
     
  13. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    Used the TMC section on Panjo for both.
     
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  14. AlfredoA

    AlfredoA Member

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    I am attemting to complete the retrofit however the connectors are diffrent from my old seats (Bitron) to the Nexgen seats. My vehicle is a 10/2014 build. Did you have to change the complete seat harness to make this happen? BITRON SEAT.jpg NEXTGEN SEAT.jpg
     
  15. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    My build date was about the same as yours (11/14, I believe). My seats were a direct swap out with the next gens. I imagine the build date of the seat donor car could be an issue if the connectors were changed at some point. Can you swap the MSM (memory seat module) from your old seats to the new ones? It's been awhile since I did the retrofit, but at the time there was a Tesla Next Gen retrofit service bulliten floating around that outlined the process. It might be worth seeing if there is a newer one that addresses the issue of mismatched connectors; there might be an adapter they now use for retrofits.... Good luck!
     
  16. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    Also, some pics of the complete bottom of seats (old and new) showing where the connectors lead to might help us brainstorm some workarounds.
     
  17. AlfredoA

    AlfredoA Member

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    It appears I can change one of the harnesses (big connector) directly over. All the modules have the same part #'s. The only issue is the Nextgen big connector has 12 wires and the Bitron big connector has 13 wires. I amgoing to have to dig into more. I would have to change/splice on my old connector to on the small one as this 3 wire harness runs up the back of the seat. Don't think i want to dig into it that far.

    I have looked at the service bulletin and they only reference the strap in detail. It tells you to follow procedure "XXXX" but all its only an R&R. Nothing to do with retrofit.

    For Reference

    The is the passenger side seat (RF)

    All back connector = Nextgen seat
    back and yellow connector = Bitron seat

    NEXTGEN SEAT 2.jpg BITRON SEAT 2.jpg
     
  18. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    Silly question, but are the seats (old vs. new) optioned the same? Does one have heat and not the other (for example)?
     
  19. AlfredoA

    AlfredoA Member

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    They are optioned the same, however the Nextgen seats came out of a vehicle that had a cold weather package. Other then the rear heated seats and heated steering wheel I was unaware of anything different with the front seats
     
  20. drewfaulk

    drewfaulk Member

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    I can't imagine this being an insurmountable issue; I'd reach out to @Ingineer and ask if he has any ideas. He's rebuilt several of these cars and has seen nearly every part on the car. I imagine he will know if there's a difference in the seats based in how the car is optioned, and I suspect he would have an idea as to how to make it work. Don't give up on it.
     

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