I've experienced something in my Bolt this weekend that I've never experienced before.... Feeling comfortable in the driver's seat.
I kicked off my seat swap project by mocking up the most likely donor seat at this point from a 2015 VW Jetta Trendline. These are seats that I know I can spend literally days in, have similar layout and features to the OEM Bolt seats, and are readily available.
I started by pulling the seats out of both cars, measuring up the mounting patterns for each, and then blasting together a couple VERY quick and dirty adapter plates out of 3/4" plywood. Combined that with some longer bolts, I was able to physically test the fitment of the Jetta seat in the Bolt. All in all it went pretty smoothly with the only physical issue being the inboard seatbelt mounting point just
interfering with the center console. By shifting the belt inboard of the bracket and tweaking the bracket just a touch I will be able to get the clearance i need there. Plenty of room on the outboard side. One other minor issue that I ran into was the inboard seat bottom cushion squishing up a bit against the center console when the seat is moved all the way forward. Not concerned there as there is plenty of give in the seat foam to allow full travel. AND it does the same thing in the Jetta the way it came from the factory. If I decide to recover the new seats in leather there is a possibility of the seat squeaking against the console, but that'll only happen if a shorty drives the car
Cloth won't be a problem at all.
Once the seat was bolted in and I adjusted it to my liking I instantly felt like this is how the car was supposed to feel. The seat was the correct scale for me, AND it was more centered between the armrest in the door and the center arm rest which improved ergonomics. As a bonus the seat bottom was angled a little more which put a bit more bend in my legs and allowed me to sit a little closer to the steering wheel to improve the reach comfort. Because I was aware that the center of the seat had shifted slightly outboard I could see that I was now slightly off-center of the instrument cluster, but it didn't bother me in the least and I don't believe that the average person would even notice unless it was pointed out to them. Long story short, it felt amazing and really encouraged me to get this project rolling.
My next goals will be to find a good automotive upholstery shop and find out what it would cost to have the two new VW seats and the Bolt's rear bench reupholstered in matching fabric / leatherette (haven't decided yet), and to source a good set of front seats. Then my last major bridge to cross will be the fitment of the Bolt's airbag module into the VW seat. Unfortunately I don't know how I'm going to really check that out before I commit to the donor seats as the airbag is inside the seat fabric on the Jetta, so I kinda need to take the covering apart to see what I'm dealing with. I expect to have to do a little modification to the new seatback frame in the new seat to make the Bolt's airbags fit. Seat heaters will be no issue at all, and I expect the passenger side seat occupancy sensor to swap in without much difficulty. Physical mounting will be done via a proper set of steel brackets, fabricated and powder coated to adapt the two bolt patterns.
I will continue to update as I get into it, but in the meantime here are a few of the key pics from the test fit. Enjoy!
Electronics under the driver seat:
Driver side floor area with the seat removed
Quick and dirty adapter plates:
Seat in the car:
Closer view of temporary mounting
P.S. Sorry for the links, I'm unable to have the photos show up properly.