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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know if the captains chairs are easily removed? It is only my wife and myself using the Ascent and I feel it would greatly increase cargo area to go camping. The weight reduction would help on fuel consumption. We would still have a vehicle that seats five. As I have not seen the vehicle in person, how is it finished under these seats? In my previous Jeep Wrangler the second seat was very easy to remove. Any idea of weight of the chairs? By removing them I would have a little more cushion on towing GCVWR.
 

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Thanks for the info. Removing the seats sounds easy by removing the tracks with four bolts. The sensors being unplugged hopefully is not an issue. I am hoping to cover and protect them with a large floormat. Now the Ascent will become a 5 person limo with tons of legroom and easy access. The room for dog crates or camping gear would be wonderful. If one captains chair was left in place it would allow for great access to the 3rd row and still be a 6 passenger vehicle. Love the flexability with removable captains chairs.
 

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Thanks for the info. Removing the seats sounds easy by removing the tracks with four bolts. The sensors being unplugged hopefully is not an issue. I am hoping to cover and protect them with a large floormat. Now the Ascent will become a 5 person limo with tons of legroom and easy access. The room for dog crates or camping gear would be wonderful. If one captains chair was left in place it would allow for great access to the 3rd row and still be a 6 passenger vehicle. Love the flexability with removable captains chairs.
You may have to fool the seat belt sensors with some mod or cheat. I have a built 2006 Outback XT and nobody ever road in the passenger seat except my laptop. I removed the passenger seat for a while. However, even in a super modified car with all kinds of noises and other alerts from gauges and sensors. It drove me nuts ... ding ... ding.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It should be simple to make a seat belt sensor bypass. The sensors will think the seatbelts for the captains chairs are always fastened and the car will remain quiet. It is just a closed circuit versus open.
 

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Now the Ascent will become a 5 person limo with tons of legroom and easy access.
Keep in mind the head room in the third row is limited. 5'10" to 6'1" with a little bit of an recline on the seat isn't too bad. Anyone taller would require a bit more recline.

If one captains chair was left in place it would allow for great access to the 3rd row and still be a 6 passenger vehicle.
That sounds like a pretty cool configuration, actually. :smile:
 

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It should be simple to make a seat belt sensor bypass. The sensors will think the seatbelts for the captains chairs are always fastened and the car will remain quiet. It is just a closed circuit versus open.
That does mean tapping into the wiring harness. I know it's all just 000s and 111s, you just need to know where to find the right ones.
 

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That does mean tapping into the wiring harness. I know it's all just 000s and 111s, you just need to know where to find the right ones.
It's just a mechanical switch once you get to the very end, right? Should be able to rig a bypass switch from that wiring... maybe right off the wiring to the contacts at the buckle (or in the spool)? I'm guessing there's no electronics on the seat end beyond the sensor and switch.

I'm also wondering, with no weight reported, it shouldn't care if the seat belt contact switch is closed. Hmmm...
 

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It's just a mechanical switch once you get to the very end, right? Should be able to rig a bypass switch from that wiring... maybe right off the wiring to the contacts at the buckle (or in the spool)? I'm guessing there's no electronics on the seat end beyond the sensor and switch.

I'm also wondering, with no weight reported, it shouldn't care if the seat belt contact switch is closed. Hmmm...
I agree. I think. I try to stay away from wiring, though I have soldered in my engine-bay before using camping matches.

I attempted to remove the receiver (latch) in my case with the Outback. I even isolated the connector from the set to the floor and plugged that one in. The car was still not happy without all of the connectors ... connected. It wasn't worth is for me to continue. But I did never try tapping the harness.

It should be simple to make a seat belt sensor bypass. The sensors will think the seatbelts for the captains chairs are always fastened and the car will remain quiet. It is just a closed circuit versus open.
The car still may not be happy without several of the other under seat connectors - connected. This was what I ran into with the OB. But I'm no "electrics" guy. I'm a chassis guy, wrenches and such. I can wire gauges and things like that.
 

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I'm VERY curious to hear of the outcome - or anything that anyone gleans. Removing the chairs sounds like a very cool configuration for certain trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Remember that these are not front seats that have several sensors for weight,air bag deployment etc. Second row seats probably have only the seat belt sensors unless you have more seat options. How you bypass the sensors is to remove the seat and locate the seat mounted sensor plug in end. Cut off maybe 2 inches of the female or male end and solder these wires together to have a closed circuit. It would be simple to reattach the plug in end to the seat in the future if desired. The seats and tracks bolt on and the sensor ends are plug in on an assembly line. Especially with two types of seats available. Hopefully the floor is fairily flat under the seats.
 

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Remember that these are not front seats that have several sensors for weight,air bag deployment etc. Second row seats probably have only the seat belt sensors unless you have more seat options.
There's side airbags that cover the 2nd row. IF their deployment is dependent on a certain passenger weight, then, I suspect there'll be similar sensors. One of my insurance reps called a Subaru "airbags on wheels" and "airbags with a car built around them"

If the rear and rear side airbag deployment is irrelevant to 2nd/3rd row passenger occupancy, then, it should be pretty simple, like we're hoping.

The Ascent has even more airbags than the 2018 Outback... and as you can see from this video, they're everywhere.
 

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Would plugging in a seat belt extender into the seat belt "trick" the sensor into thinking the seat belt is engaged and stop the dinging? If so, that seems like a cheap, easy fix that wouldn't involve wiring.
 

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Would plugging in a seat belt extender into the seat belt "trick" the sensor into thinking the seat belt is engaged and stop the dinging? If so, that seems like a cheap, easy fix that wouldn't involve wiring.
There are a combination of things going on there... The seatbelt latch is one part of that circuit, the other is the pressure sensor that indicates there is a passenger in the seat. It is conditional logic.. meaning that you do not get a seatbelt alert when the belt is unlatched but nobody is in the seat. Once the seat is occupied and the seatbelt sensor picks up on it then the seatbelt latch becomes relevant. Also there will be a child safety seat detector that may control airbag activation for those rear seats and on some of the Ascent trims there are rear seat heaters.

It would not be an impossible task to satisfy the BIU and airbag controllers, just something that you really would need to work through to understand exactly what the car is looking for.
 

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Cheat

The OP could, of course, CHEAT, by getting the 8 passenger, and then keeping the third row seat down. Sounds like he would have been a candidate for the rare, elusive, (ahem,) Tribeca 5-passenger (which has been our favorite Subaru so far).
 

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I'm betting once you unplug that seat wiring harness you are going to get an error, the system wont know if there is a passenger or not - you may cause the entire air bag system to not work?. The error may need to be resolved at the dealership.
 

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I'd like to revive this thread and see if anybody has actually gone forward with removing the second row seats.

I ordered a limited with a second row bench (haven't received it yet) and I am toying with the idea of removing the second row. I have three big dogs. Without the second row, it would be much easier for them to get in and out, they would have plenty of room, and, if we needed to haul some people, we could just flip up the third row. This sounds like a perfect setup for our dogs.

Heck, maybe we would leave the 3rd row up and cover it with a blanket. Then our luggage could rest behind that and be prevented from falling forward onto the dogs.
 

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The dimensional area to the 2nd row is about 4'x4'. What's would be the area that the 3 dogs would occupy (effectively or comfortably)?
 

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The dimensional area to the 2nd row is about 4'x4'. What's would be the area that the 3 dogs would occupy (effectively or comfortably)?
I just measured my 4runner and, with our luggage, they currently have about 4'x4'. That should be plenty of room. They aren't HUGE dogs, just big Golden Retrievers. I'm most concerned about our older dog getting in and out. She is beginning to struggle to get in and out of the 4runner.
 
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