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Swap heated seats into 99 OBW


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Rooster2

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:38 PM

I just bought a nice pair of heated leather front seats from a yard. Donor car was a 97 Leggie Limited OBW, into my 99 Standard Leggie OBW w/ simple OEM cloth seats. Sure, it is easy to bolt them in. The hassle is trying to figure out the wire harness to get the "heated" seats to work. I took a large portion of the wire harness with me from the donor car to convert my 99, but it looks like not an easy plug and play to heat the seats. I don't see any simple portion of the wire harness dedicated to the seats. The wiring harness seems to be three separate large connecters, with wiring going back and forth among the three wire bundles. The result is a jumbled mess of confusing wiring.

Has anyone done this swap out, and have advise on how to do this job?

Thanks..Rooster2 (Larry)

#2 ocei77

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:29 PM

Do you have the wiring diagram for the car?

If not, go to 99 section:
http://www.main.expe...u_manual_scans/

Pages 10 and 103 has seat heater.

O.

#3 WoodsWagon

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:21 AM

I looked at the stock wiring in my dad's Brighton for a while, and went a different route because nothing was there in the dash harness to support it. You need the floor harness between the two seats and the switches, then strip out the power and illumination wires that went over to the passenger side rocker wire bundle. Run those up the center console and tap into the cigar lighter wires. Ground it on the stock screw under the passenger seat.

I also cut the plastic trim backer ring for the e-brake boot. That let me put the switches in without having to mess with the boot. You'll see what I mean when you have the two next to each other.

#4 ivans imports

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:12 AM

one step farther i took out the heater elements and put the whole sestem into my 79 wagon seats took a long time but nice wiring was perty simple

#5 grossgary

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:49 AM

i'd first try to test the seats to see if they work as they aren't very robust. they don't last long, begin to fade, quit working, or work sporadically.

i bought a complete set of heated seats for one of my other cars. i happened to buy two Subarus that came with heated seats around the same time and they're so lacking i have not concerns about ever having heated seats again.

anyway, i'd want to know that they worked before going through all the hassle.

#6 johnceggleston

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:01 PM

GENERALLY, if the option was offered on the car when it was new, then the wiring will be there. if it was not offered, then probably no wiring.

i added heated seats to my 97 GT, the wiring was there under each seat, i had to dig for the pig tails under the carpet but they were there, and pigtails under the center console for the switches.

what i did not have was a hot feed / fuse, under the dash. or if it was there i couldn't / didn't find it , so i ran a new feed tapped off the cigarette lighter. it was a short run under the console and i don't use the lighter for cigarettes, just my GPS.

the pigtails for the switches are easy to find if they are there, so i would look there first. one is usually blue and one cream / ivory. if you have those then look for the connectors under the seats.

#7 Rooster2

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:14 PM

Thanks guys for the great advise. It will help a lot, when I pull out the existing seats to do the wiring. Rooster 2 (Larry)

#8 grossgary

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:37 PM

like JCE said - if the options were originally there on that vehicle in that year and trim - the plugs usually exist. So i would expect a 99 OBW to have them...

i have one of the heated seat wiring harnesses Larry...O MY WORD that thing is a mess!!!!

#9 Rooster2

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:19 PM

like JCE said - if the options were originally there on that vehicle in that year and trim - the plugs usually exist. So i would expect a 99 OBW to have them...

i have one of the heated seat wiring harnesses Larry...O MY WORD that thing is a mess!!!!


O........what a messy wiring harness is correct. I have a large hunk of it from the donor car. I think I will follow the advise about tapping into the hot lead to the cig lighter for power, and hopefully find existing hidden wiring terminals to hook wiring into. If I get the seats to heat that is fine, if not, I am okay without it. Just going to be so nice to sit in a seat with some spring/give padding. The current OEM cloth seat is bad.

This will be my upcoming Saturday project.......weather permitting.

#10 Rooster2

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:54 PM

O........what a messy wiring harness is correct. I have a large hunk of it from the donor car. I think I will follow the advise about tapping into the hot lead to the cig lighter for power, and hopefully find existing hidden wiring terminals to hook wiring into. If I get the seats to heat that is fine, if not, I am okay without it. Just going to be so nice to sit in a seat with some spring/give padding. The current OEM cloth seat is bad.

This will be my upcoming Saturday project.......weather permitting.


Update....................such a nice day, with lousy weather forcasted for tomorrow, so I decided to install the leather seats today. Swapping in is the easy part, I knew that. The wiring for the heated seats turned out to be impossible. I could not find any tucked away connectors/terminals that were made for the heated seats. Just nothing available under the carpet, or under around the removed console. So, I gave up, but did tap into the hot lead from the cig lighter, ran a wire back and taped it off, just in case someone is able to tell me a clean and simple way to rewire for the seats. Thanks for any further advise.

BTW, the leather seats from an Outback Limited, are nice. Not as comfortable as I had hoped for, but a mile better then the standard cloth OEMs. It was worth the time and bucks to do the swap in.

#11 WoodsWagon

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:55 PM

The wiring harness you cut out of the donor car is the clean and simple way. If you un-wrap all the tape from it you will have the wires going from the center console switches out to each seat plug, and a long pair of wires going to the passenger side for the power, ground, and illumination. Once you have it all un-wrapped, you get rid off all the extra wires in there and keep just the ones I mentioned. Keep the ground wire on the passenger side, but run the illuminaiton and power wires up to the cig lighter.

#12 Rooster2

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:58 AM

The wiring harness you cut out of the donor car is the clean and simple way. If you un-wrap all the tape from it you will have the wires going from the center console switches out to each seat plug, and a long pair of wires going to the passenger side for the power, ground, and illumination. Once you have it all un-wrapped, you get rid off all the extra wires in there and keep just the ones I mentioned. Keep the ground wire on the passenger side, but run the illuminaiton and power wires up to the cig lighter.


Good idea, I should have thought of that. Thanks!!

#13 johnceggleston

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:12 AM

the seats have elements for both the butt and the back and the switch has a hi and a low setting. so there are going to be at least 4 wires going to the seat, probably 5 or more.

for the switch, i would try to eliminate the wires for the indicator light bulbs and concentrate on the seat elements first.
my gues is that one position is going to connect 2 wires and the other position is going to connect all 4. the center position is off.

Edited by johnceggleston, 05 October 2012 - 07:16 AM.


#14 WoodsWagon

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 09:34 AM

Look, it is just not that complex. You have a plug under each seat. Those wires run directly to the switches in the center console, and then you have power, illumination and ground coming from those switches. Once the harness is unwrapped it becomes very obvious what is necessary and what isn't.

There's 3 wires to each seat if I remember correctly. A common, and a lead for each element. High vs low is running them in parallel or series. That's also why if an element is broken there's no heat on low, but the good element still works on high.




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