atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4227: Fix will take one of two forms.

So I spent about an hour taking out the Jeep's driver seat and having a gander at the scope of the problem, and I see now that I can proceed one of two ways.

Once the thing was out (yes, I had to break that stupid rear outboard bolt to get it out) I realized that I had nothing to lose by disassembling the seat. If I couldn't put it back together, well, I had to get a new one anyway, and I might figure out how to fix this one without having to go to a boneyard.

As it turns out, I do believe I did just that.

It took me a little while to figure out how the seat back was bolted to the seat, but once the light went on I was able to get it apart and the upholstery off in pretty short order. My inspection revealed that the seat frame had indeed broken in two places.

The outside front part of the seat gave away due to metal fatigue, and I have the fragment that pulled out. What I could do is take it to someone who can weld and get a washer welded to the backside of that piece, then trim the part that came out to fit and weld it back in. Reinforcement FTW.

The other part that broke was at the back, and it's a couple of welds that hold the right inboard bracket to a crossbar that came apart. They broke right at the welds, too. Anyway, it shouldn't be too hard to get that welded back into place.

I spent a little time with a hammer and dolly getting the parts back into some semblance of their original shape, then cleaned up and came inside. The Jeep doesn't have a driver's seat--and won't until I get it put back together--which means we're confined to using Mrs. Fungus' car for a little while, but that's okay.

All told, then, this is rather encouraging. Instead of having to shell out $40-$80 for a seat from a boneyard, it looks as if I can have about $10-$15 worth of welding done and fix it that way. (Assuming, of course, that I could find a good seat at a boneyard. *sigh*)

The downside? Well, the Jeep is out of commission for a few days. I'll either be using Mrs. Fungus' car or riding the motorcycle. (Oh, damn, what a pity.) The welding shop here in town will be open on Monday morning and I can take it over there, and that ought to do just fine. It doesn't even need to be particularly pretty; it just needs to be a good weld, which is why I'm not trying my hand at it myself.

Also, when it's done, I need to find a way to replace the bolt at the outboard rear. I'm still thinking of making a hole in the appropriate spot and using a bolt from the hardware store. Actually, right now I'm just thinking I'll try my hand at drilling out the broken bolt; but instead of putting in a new one, I'll get a bolt in the appropriate size that's longer than stock and put it in from the bottom, Loctite that bitch in solid, and then use it as a stud. (And slather the inside portion of the thing with anti-seize for good measure.)

The other option is to grab the propane torch and heat the shit out of that mother (from the outside) first. I might be able to unscrew it out the bottom with a pair of vise grips that way.

Regardless, I'll fix it, and then take care of the bolt, and the driver's seat will be good for another 114,000 miles.

...and then I just have to fix the headliner, which started sagging this past week. *whimper*

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