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Author Topic: They're the same but they are also different  (Read 393 times)
WessexElectricNutter
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« on: July 23, 2014, 09:30:37 pm »

In my search for leather seats, I finally found some which I thought came from a railed vehicle. I contacted an ebay seller thinking "ok, lets buy them" and being in the UK, I thought, "Yeah, they look like what I am after, they work with my car and they don't require any modifications to work on my Espace.."

So, I brought them for £270 + £60 delivery for a set of 7 but only have 6 at the moment (he brought them down in his car, just before I attempted to go to Wales and broke my Clio just outside Chippenham!) and when I saw them, I thought 2 words.

"OH" and "S***!"


I brought the wrong ones. 2 BIG problems, number one, the seats were off a left hand drive vehicle. That only affects the front ones, but as a side effect, one side has a height adjuster! Am I the only British Espace owner with a set of left hand drive seats on a right hand drive vehicle? Anyway, problem number 2... my Espace has Rails, not Rings. The 2 dirty words come out again. So I tried to install one in the silver Espace and didn't fit! And added to that, I have problem number 3 which doesn't really bother me, no side air bags, my clio doesn't have a single air bag (or at the moment, seat pre-tensioner!)


This is what I should of brought, 5 of these!

Then I thought, "Ok, I got a set of 7 white elephants, what the f*** do I do with them?" Considering the rear ones were for a different mounting method, I.e. "Rings" as Renault like to describe it, whereas I have an espace with "Rails" (which I am not a fan of if I am honest! I've always preferred rings!)



Then I thought "Lets see if I can take the bases off the ring seats" and so I took them off. I should of got an authentique Espace though for that, hindsight is wonderful if you stop and think which would of made the situation more easier. I thought, "if worse comes to the worse, I'll buy another Espace, kit it out with the leathers and give that to my mum." as she is looking for a cheap Grand Espace with lifting tailgate glass for her lovely Irish Red and White setters which she wants to breed.

About 4 torx bolts got in my way and were easily dispense of. Simplez! Take the springs off for the base plastics, slide it forward to get the 2 bolts, slide the seat back for the other 2 bolts, done. Lift and you are away. I thought "lets.... oh god! That was a bad idea!" in that I found out the bases were also mounted differently. The ring seats had 4 torx bolts holding them, but the rails have 4 bolts holding them in, 2 of them are under the plastic covers. So off comes the bases then the next thing. If I can't have leathers, lets strip the whole bloody thing down. So I did, I removed the cusions from the frame gently, took one of my original seats, with the aid of some material (thank you to whoever uploaded it, I am truly grateful!), I did some intense research and found actually the seats are not that different and I found out how to strip them down.

The only real difference is that my old bases don't have arm rest supports whereas my new ones do. Not a problem, I won't have any arm rests yet.



I started by stripping down the bases and removing the cushions gently, I didn't thankfully rip and thing (good), then attached them to my old frames and stored the old bases. That worked, half a conversion later (As the head rests are the same) and the seat looks like what I am trying to achieve. Oh yes, I nearly forgot to mention, the headrests are identical, so that helped things immensely. I think if I had the integral headrests, I would of had masses of trouble. So, done that, put it back and thought "This actually will work!". The only problem is, I wanted to swap the back rest cushions with the bases. In other words, don't actually bother! The manual tells you that you can't seperate them, I actually agreed. Why? Its held in by a massive spring!

I then popped 4 rivets and had a good look, thinking "Oh god, cutting necessary" turned into "Oh good, no cutting required", took the tabs off, removed a ring and done in 60 minutes, stripping my old ones were even easier, put the whole lot back together, done!


Heres the result.





Now, what would be interesting to see if someone is as daft as me to try and reverse it all. I don't think its possible with a few modifications, but far from impossible.
Brought the wrong seats? Just swap the cushions over! Now does anyone want 5 frames, 5 cusions, 5 back rests, 5 bases, 5 head rests and 2 drivers seats with 2 left hand drive bases from a right hand drive Espace? If so, I'm willing to give it all away. (One base has a crossthreaded bolt though and I've not finished yet! I've only just started.)
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Renault Espace III 2.2DCi Privilege (2001)
Renault Espace III 3.0 V6 Privilege (2001)
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