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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm never going to use the 3rd row seat so it had to go. I know, I know, 'why didn't you just get an Outback'?
I'm coming from an '11 Outback 3.6 and wanted the extra room and turbo. The turbo in the Outback was an extra 8k where the base Ascent was 2k more.

Removing the seat was easy but I was left with partial carpet and uneven floor.
I cut the carpet just above the holes for the 3rd row seat mounts. When and if I ever sell the car I can simply put the piece back and the seats will cover the cut.
The next step is to add some insulation to level the floor and add a hard floor. I'll need to add some vertical bits to cover some of the holes where the rear cargo thing was. The new floor will be about 1.5" above the sheet metal you see.

I'm thinking of gluing down some felt first, then level the floor with 60psi rigid foam. The felt would be glued down but the foam wouldn't. The finished floor would be made from 1/4" hardboard wrapped with carpet and I'd scribe it to fit the plastic trim panels. It'd be glued to the foam and be removable.
The front of the floor would wrap around where the front seats mount covering the openings in the carpet.

If anyone has suggestions on materials or how to do it I'd be grateful.
I won't make any commitments on when this will be done but I'll continue to take pics and post progress.
Thanks,
davidk
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There is already a thread in Interiors in the Technical section by someone who did this awhile ago. Unfortunately, the photos are missing as they were lost during the forum migration to new software a few months ago. You might message the OP of that thread, however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's right at the top too. Someone already requested the pics but OP's not been online in 5 months.
This project fits either forum so I'll continue unless someone feels it should be moved.
 

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There is already a thread in Interiors in the Technical section by someone who did this awhile ago. Unfortunately, the photos are missing as they were lost during the forum migration to new software a few months ago. You might message the OP of that thread, however.
It's right at the top too. Someone already requested the pics but OP's not been online in 5 months.
This project fits either forum so I'll continue unless someone feels it should be moved.
I think after a while I will move it to the technical section. I don't know if or when they will get the pics issue resolved, so, it will be nice to have a thread with pics.
 

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What are you planning on putting back there?

You’d probably get a lot of good ideas from the Van life crowd.


I’d skip the felt and add sound deadening to it, looking at how irregular the surface is I might even skip rigid foam and go with something soft like 3M Thinsulate and floor joists leveled by shims and washers. This stuff works pretty decent too

LizardSkin 50115 Sound Control Ceramic Insulation - 2 Gallon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CQ53X7Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_KNrDDbAGN9XXV
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the response.
I'd like to do what I can for sound deadening. I believe there are different types of insulation for the sound that you have? Choosing the correct one is where I'm not sure..
I think there's enough vibration damping type stuff. Much of the floor doesn't have it but then you don't actually need to cover the entire thing to reduce vibrations, right?
Driving it this morning I'm hearing road and tire noise. I think that'd be one of the foams or jute type mats?

Looking for information, what I'm finding is lots of 'My brand is the best' or what I consider overpriced for what it is.
I believe in spending money on quality materials but not more because it's from a certain brand.
For instance, some of the wood floor underlayments look promising. There is 1/8" jute like stuff, 100sqft for $45. QuietWalk - https://www.quietwalk.com/
Use some 3M90 to layer it over the floor. Cutting pieces for the lowest parts and building up to full coverage.
It would support the floor when built up enough. I'd planned on using plywood for the floor so it'd be rigid.
I also need to cover the sides as the bottom of the trim panels are uneven leaving openings. They'd be about 5" tall and allow a second floor that would be level with the tailgate. It'd be easier to get things in and out if the floor were level and, if needed, could be removed for extra capacity.

Any other ideas would be appreciated. I'll post a few pics of what I've got so far tonight.
Thanks.
 

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Rather than removing the entire rear cargo section floor which was nicely fitted and functional, why don't you just build up the area where the seat was to make it all even?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"Build it up" as in make the floor the same height as the tail gate but extend it to the second row seats?
The whole idea in removing the third row was to gain the space used by the seats.
The seats already fold somewhat flat and are sort of the height of the tailgate. Making a permanent floor that height defeats the purpose of removing the seats unless I misunderstood your comment.
 

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"Build it up" as in make the floor the same height as the tail gate but extend it to the second row seats?
The whole idea in removing the third row was to gain the space used by the seats.
The seats already fold somewhat flat and are sort of the height of the tailgate. Making a permanent floor that height defeats the purpose of removing the seats unless I misunderstood your comment.
Yes, that's what I meant. My purpose in removing the third-row seats would be to save some weight for towing purposes, but if yours is primarily to gain height for loads, then I can see why you'd wish to remove everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, the 3rd row is relatively heavy.
I won't be towing anything. I want the extra space to load my model airplanes and more room for sleeping.
The biggest expense with my flying trips (other than the planes) is lodging so I have a 20"wide air mattress. I made a platform for my Outback and it worked well. The Ascent is almost minivan like when you remove all the seats(y)(y) but with AWD and more ground clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's a crappy pic of my Outback. I just put the mattress and plane rack in to test the fit. The rear seats were folded and the front passenger seat removed.
I thought I had a pic of the platform I ultimately made. It raised the bed about 6" in the back to make it level and I was able to store long wings under it.
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Yes, that's what I meant. My purpose in removing the third-row seats would be to save some weight for towing purposes, but if yours is primarily to gain height for loads, then I can see why you'd wish to remove everything.
You do know you don't gain any towing weight or tongue weight by removing weight from the car itself?

You do gain internal cargo weight though.

Just wanted to be clear.
 

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Be sure and leave access to the spare tire hoist nut so you can get to in an emergency. I’m sure others will chime in with other points that need easy access.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I picked up some of the QuiteWalk underlayment and cut some shapes for the lower parts to raise them up then a single layer over the whole thing.
The plywood is 3/4" thick and with some 1/4" shims to contact the higher parts of the metal floor it ends up about 1/8" higher than the metal cross brace. I made another piece to go forward and will have a piece of 1/4" hardboard to go from front to back spanning the gap between the two 3/4" pieces. I'll make something to cover the cross brace on each side.
I've got a round plastic cover like you'd find on a desk for cords to go through to cover the spare tire hoist nut.

The sides will be 1" thick and about 5" tall and will be held in place with long bolts going into T-nuts in the plywood.
The top of the sides will have a cap that will be scribed to the plastic panels. They will have a rabbit on the inside to accept the upper floor.

The road noise I'm hearing is from the air vents in the rear wheel wells now exposed because the bottom of the side panels are open. Once the sides are installed and a little insulation installed in the sides it should be nice and quiet.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Everything I'm doing is reversible. I'm saving the seats, cargo tray and cover and original carpet.
Should I decide to sell it 10 years from now it can be returned to stock or the parts will simply go with the car and the buyer can deal with it.
I'd like to remove the black plastic sides and gain a little more space but I don't have the time to build fiberglass replacements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Got the majority of it done today.
Still need to make the piece just behind the second row to close in the space and a floor to sit on top of the sides.
There will be a little cubbyhole on the passengers side that needs a cover and I need to find a place for the jack.
The box covering the coolant pipes is held on with velcro and could be expanded to hide the tools. First I'll see if they can go under the front seat.

This guy has lots of great video of car audio builds and how he puts things together.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4FiN46mPTtkJxzRXJY21lQ
One big takeaway for me was to have a grove in all the corners to tuck the carpet. Really made it come out nice.
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