HOW TO: Add Leather (or power) seats to a KJ

Discussion in 'How To' started by BluPhant, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. BluPhant

    BluPhant Full Access Member

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    As some of you know, I've recently acuquired a set of leather seats for my Liberty Sport

    Back Seat
    30-Aug-2004
    Was able to get the back seat in over the weekend, though I made it more difficult than it needed to be. The middle seatbelt has a cable in it that is linked to the latch. That way the seatbelt can only pull out if the seat back is in the proper position. Had I realized this before pulling the seat apart, the job would have gone a lot quicker. I was under the assumption that the seatbelt was busted up, or something. Turns out, it's perfect.

    Anyway, I had to invest in a deep 19mm socket to get the seat off, but other than that it was a pretty plug-and-play operation - everything matched up without issue. It looks great... now all I gotta do is get on the front ones... those will be more fun, due to the power aspect.

    Front Seats
    27-Sep-2004
    There are two connectors underneath the power seat, while my sport has but one. The smaller of the two connectors, I've identified as C313 (see 8Wa 80-44 in the service manual). This has connecor has 4 wires, searchign thru the wiring diagrams, I've ascertained that they are, 12v+, seat belt sensor and seat belt sensor ground, and another ground. The 12v+and ground go to the power seats (see 8W-63 in the service manual)

    On the bench, I hooked up a 30 amp regulated power supply (being a ham radio operator and having this available is a godsend) to the two wires above, allowed me to verify the function of the seats. They move appropriately, etc.

    So the good news, is that this connector DOES exist on my sport. I tested this out, and found that it does not have power going to it. So I backtracked a little bit, and found out that this wire is controlled by a non-existant circuit breaker. I figured this out on Sunday, and unfortunately there arent any Jeep parts departments open on Sunday. Autozone was no help either. So I had to wait until this AM. So close, but yet so far. So I got the circuit breaker (a self-resetting 25amp deally, pn 56021543). In the service manual it is labeled "Circuit Breaker #1". It is installed in a junction box way up in the drivers side. If all goes well, once I install this circuit breaker, there will be voltage to that wire. I have every confidence that this will work, but wont know until I try it tonight.

    The other good news, after a conversation with the parts guy @ Jeep, it looks like there is only one harness for the seats - with or without heating. So the connectors for the heated seats (which will become necessary as the new england winter approacheth) is likely under the carpet somewhere. Wont know until I get the old seats out and do some looking, but the chances of them being there are well in my favor now, just a matter of finding them. Damn fortunate thing too, because if I wanted to buy the harness, it would be on the order of $1.7k (big harness)

    So it looks like this might actually be a pretty straightforward install - I'll likely have to get a fuse and pop it in somewhere for the heated seat part, but I think I'm getting close.

    I'll keep y'all posted if anyone is interested (and probably even if not )

    The other good news, after a conversation with the parts guy @ Jeep, it looks like there is only one harness for the seats - with or without heating. So the connectors for the heated seats (which will become necessary as the new england winter approacheth) is likely under the carpet somewhere. Wont know until I get the old seats out and do some looking, but the chances of them being there are well in my favor now, just a matter of finding them. Damn fortunate thing too, because if I wanted to buy the harness, it would be on the order of $1.7k (big harness)

    So it looks like this might actually be a pretty straightforward install - I'll likely have to get a fuse and pop it in somewhere for the heated seat part, but I think I'm getting close.

    -----------

    02-Oct-2004

    Wellp, its done! I pulled apart the jeep last night. Took out the center console, and then did driver seat first. It installed cleanly, no problems. the power worked nicely. Unfortunately, the wires for the heated seats are not there, as far as I can tell. Removing the seats was actually very simple - 3 bolts to the chassis, one bolt for the seatbelt, and one nut on the chassis. Re-used the deep socket I bought for doing the back seats.

    I ran into another SNAFU. When installing the pasenger seat, I went to test the power function in the vehicle, and nothing. Nadda. zip. I quickly realized that, since I had tested the seat on the bench, that the problem had to be with getting power to the seat. Upon inspection, I found that the passenger side connector for the power seats + seat belt thing only had 2 wires, (the seat belt connected indicator). Apparently mine was setup for drivers side power seat only.

    So, at 9:40pm last night, a buddy of mine and I raced to Home Depot to get a soldering iron (they close at 10) since I cant find any of the 400 soldering irons I already own (seems like every time I need one, I end up buying a new one). The seats I got came with one pigtail, so I clipped the existing connector, connected it up to the new one, and ran power under the carpet, under the center console, to the drivers side connector. (oh, and had to remove the drivers side seat to accomplish this). Half a roll of black electrical tape later, you'd hardly know I did anything. Electrical tape hides things well :)

    Put everything back together, and the center console fought me tooth and nail, but it's back in. I had no leftover screws. :)

    Spent about half an hour cleaning up the seats after install, and at around 1:30am I was finished. Murphys law still applies. As many of you, who have followed my progress on this know, I did a fair amount of research before beginning this, but apparently had one miss.

    The comfort level is amazing... these seats dont compare to the standard seats at all. The seats I removed (I think the color is called Dark Slate) are available for sale if anyone is interested, if not, I'll throw them on ebay.

    ----

    I'm going to get the heated part working, largely because I dont think Mrs Blu will be truly happy with the install unless and until it's perfect. I spent a good chunk of time on Sunday (along with my brother and father) detailing the seats. Clorox wipes and Macguires leather cleaner, along with some Oxy somethin or other cleaner -- read on.

    The cheap part of the seats is that the inside panel sides (the parts next to the center console) are fabric, not leather... thus "Leather Seating Surfaces". So this part, from the scrapyard most likely, was still pretty dirty. The oxy stuff worked pretty well, and Macguires, is of course, kickbutt for the leather parts. The clorox wipes got off a lot of the dirt that was embedded in the seats prior to using the leather cleaner. So net result, they look pretty good now, it's pretty clear that they're not factory new, but I think they're damn close to as good as they're going to be.

    The one thing I do need help on is how to get off the scrapyard writing on the rails - like a yellow pen or something. I'm thinkin turpentine, but I'm not sure. Someone must have some insight for that.... pls let me know what has worked for you.

    The heated part is another story. The way I figure it, I need but one wire - will be 12v +, switched by a relay (ignition switched) and fused (probably inline). If I'm reading the wiring diagrams right, the connector has 12+ and 12-, and then a bunch of connectors to go over to the passengers side. Ground wont be a probelem either, as theres a big honkin ground right near where I'd have to work (under the carpet). I do have one pigtail, for the drivers side, that came with the seats. This will let me get power to the drivers seat to test it out. I then need to run somethign on the order of 10 wires (not sure the actual number, but it's a 10-wire connector) over to the passengers side.

    The brain for the heated seats (controls power, checks temperature, etc), as I've said, is under the drivers seat, so all the connections are to control that. What I'll need on the passenger side is either a stock 10-wire connector, or I'll have to hack something together. I'd prefer, obviously, to do it right, the less hacking the better. If I do have to hack it, it would mean cutting the connector on the bottom of the passenger seat (yuck) and putting on a different connector so that I can have a male and a female that match.

    So, what I need now to proceed properly, is a 10-wire pigtail from the passengers side. Hopefully one of the scrapyards around here can hook me up... if anyone has any other suggestions, I'm open.

    -----
    08-Oct-2004

    Sorry for the delay in getting the pix posted, been swamped here at work. Here are some detailed pictures from the installation. I'll turn this into a how-to at some point (once I get all the details for the heated seat bit down) but here are the basics for now.

    Here is the circuit breaker that I had to get from Jeep. As I said, it's a 25 amp self resetting deally.
    [​IMG]

    And heres where it goes. The location is indicated in red. Its a tight fit to get your hand in there, given that big bundle of wires, but it's not too big of a deal. This junction box is located on the drivers side, way up there. Basically I had to remove the panel under the drivers side (3 screws in front) and install the breaker.
    [​IMG]

    Next, I moved on to getting the center console loose. There were a couple of steps missing from the factory service manual - regarding unplugging the connectors for the power windows. They are attached to the console with metal clips, so the whole assembly pops out. I had to pop the back-seat deal out entirely before I had enough room to disconnect the connector.
    [​IMG]

    Next, I moved on to the drivers seat. Removing the old seat was a matter of 3 bolts, one nut, removing the plastic cover on the side to remove the seat belt bolt, and disconnecting the wiring from underneath the seat.
    [​IMG]

    At this point in the install, I installed the Leather seat on the drivers side (basically just reversing the removal) and tested the power aspects. Everything worked great, so I thought I was home free. I then moved on to the passengers seat, same idea.
    [​IMG]

    I then put the passenger seat in, and connected up the power. Got the front two bolts in, and then tried to use the power option to move the seat forward so I could gain access to the back bolts. This is about the point I realized that there was no power to the passenger seat. So out it came

    [​IMG]

    Soldered up a connector to go from the drivers side to the passengers side, clipped the existing connector and replaced it with one with 4 wires. Then re-installed the drivers seat, and the passengers seat, and all is well.

    I took these pictures late at night; I hadn't yet gotten a chance to clean them up in earnest; they look a lot better now that I've spent some time detailing them, but you'll get the general idea.

    [​IMG]

    And one last one
    [​IMG]

    Having used the seats for a few weeks now, I'm really very happy with the install. There is a small squeak in the drivers seat which I'm planning on looking into this weekend as time permits, but I think it will just be a matter of some WD40 or graphite powder depending on where it's actually coming from. The comfort level is astounding. I've yet to do a long (2+hr) trip with them, but I'm astounded really at how nice they are. At some point, if I can find some cheap enough, I might look into getting matching door panels... but frankly, I dont think it looks bad.

    Comments appreciated!

    -Blu
     
  2. 2003KJ

    2003KJ Member

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    WOW! Has to probably be one of the most detailed How To's on here!

    Awesome Job!

    Looks like a lot of work, but if the outcome is what you expected (or better) then it's ALL worth it.
     
  3. dotcentral

    dotcentral New Member

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    I plan on swapping in some leather/heated/power seats soon. My seats are due to come in next week.

    How likely is it that my sport will have some, none, or all of the existing harnesses needed for the swap? Its a 2004, with some electrical equipment on it from the factory (I think its package 28B, has power windows, locks, cruise). Are certain options more likely to be prewired?
     
  4. BluPhant

    BluPhant Full Access Member

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    You can find out very easily, for the power seat part. For the heated part, I cant help ya much, kuz mine didnt have the wires (or I couldn't find them) - for those, you might have to pull the thing apart and do some searching before you have an answer.

    Anyway, from the back seat, look under the drivers seat first. You'll see a group of wires going to each. If there are 4 wires on both sides, you're home free for power sets.

    As for specifics, based on model, I dont know what to tell you. I have an 02 sport with cruise, power windows, etc. Mine had 4 wires on the drivers side (GOOD!), and 2 on the passengers side (BAD!). This wasn't much of a setback, I just ran power over from the drivers side, under the carpet/console to the passengers side. I cut the 2-wire connector and replaced it with a 4-wire connector that came with the seat.

    -Blu
     
  5. dotcentral

    dotcentral New Member

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    No Heat, just power

    I was wrong on my seats, no heat just power. My Girlfriend is disappointed. I can add an aftermarket heated seat kit latter I guess. That might be easier than trying to graft into the harness if the connectors aren't there.

    I might take out the driver's seat this weekend and see what my wiring harness looks like. Sounds like I have the same options as you, so hopefully I have at least one of the 4 wire connectors.

    I sent you a reply to your PM.

    Thanks for the post.
     
  6. cameoex

    cameoex New Member

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    I am looking to upgrade my seats to leather....I am not concerned about having power seats/heat....are there any leather seats that are manual seats?
     
  7. BluPhant

    BluPhant Full Access Member

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    You should be able to use your existing rails, remove your seats from the rails, and attach the leather seats to them. The only other person who I knew of who did this prior to my install ended up taking this route. The seats you get may/may not have heating in them, but you dont have to hook it up :)

    If you end up doing that, you could likely recoup some of your cost for the seats by selling the power rails, provided they're in good condition.

    -Blu
     
  8. cameoex

    cameoex New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion about the rails. Out of curiosity I checked the connectors on my passenger seat and it has 3 wires. I am guessing that this 3rd wire would be power(can anyone confirm this?). I am going to check out some of the KJs at the dealer this weekend to see what the connector on the 05 leather seats looks like. If this is the case I'll just go with the power rails.
     
  9. BluPhant

    BluPhant Full Access Member

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    I dont know about the '05s but in my install, it was either 2 or 4 wires for the seats. 2 wires are for the "is the seatbelt attached" and 2 for power/ground for the seat motors. Three wires would be a difference, if thats what you're seeing, I'm going to guess that something changed between the 02-04 model years and the 05 model year, so you may be on your own for figuring it out. I dont have a service manual for 05 (yet) so I cant really help ya figure that part out, sorry.

    If you're inclined, unhook the connector under the seat and snap a pic of it - I should be able to identify if its the same one.

    -Blu
     
  10. imanass

    imanass New Member

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    Power seat issues - Circuit breaker needed?

    #-o Blu, Are you saying the power won't work until the circuit breaker is in? I've got the things installed but couldn't get the power to work --- I don't want to install manual seats --- if i can get power -- but I didn't install a circuit breaker at any point. Will you e-mail me at [email protected] if you get this and will respond! Many thanks! ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
     
  11. BluPhant

    BluPhant Full Access Member

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    If you didnt have power seats to start, you'll need to add the circuit breaker to get power to the seats. And you'll need to verify that you have 4 wires to each seat... mine only had 4 on the drivers side.

    Best of luck!

    -Blu
     
  12. Dean46304

    Dean46304 New Member

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    2004/5 Liberty Seats

    The 3 wire connector is for the seatbelt and air bag on the passenger side. Sometime in 2004 they went to the reduced force airbag and there is a bladder under the seat that is connected to a electronic module along with the seatbelt. If you don't have this the passenger side airbag off light will stay on. When I installed my heated power seats I removed all the stuff from the old seat and installed it into the one I bought. Took about 2 hours of thinking(this included figuring out the heated part of it) and about 2 hours of actual work to switch it all over.

    Dean.
     
  13. ffejsch

    ffejsch New Member

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    UPDATE

    THANK YOU!
    I have been trying to wire my seats for a week to no avail.. no one has been any help except you. I plan on buying the fuse tomorrow and hooking it up.

    Couple questions:
    - Have you any success with thet heater portion? I need ot get that working.
    - Any idea what the 13 pin harness is for?
    - Did you need to ground the passenger seat as well?

    I actually changed the whole interor to the factory taupe and am about to do the painted fenders & bumper if I can find them cheap enough.

    Thanks!
    -jeff
     
  14. ibny

    ibny New Member

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    QUESTION: HAVE POWER LEATHER, BOUGHT POWER LEATHER HEATED

    Well....This is my first post to this wonderful forum and I;m hoping someone out there can help me out. I took ownership of a 2003 Liberty Renegade a few weeks ago and love the vehicle. I have the factory power leather interior but no heated front seats. I bought a mint set of leather seats WITH HEAT in the front and want to swap out the two front seats to have HEATED ones. Will this be simple plug and play, or will I need to get additional power for the heating elements?

    The sooner someone helps me out the sooner my MINT non heated leather seats will be up for sale !!! My Jeep has 25K miles on it so the seats I will sell are in like new condition.

    Thanks in advance.....
     
  15. BluPhant

    BluPhant Full Access Member

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    It really depends on what you find. If you have the connectors for the heated seats there, it will be plug and play. If not you'll end up having to do a bit of work. The seats are actually pretty easy to take out, you might pull one out and see if you can find the connector under the carpet there.

    Mine, an 02 sport with manual seats, did not have the connector.

    Best of luck, and post to let us know what you find!

    -Blu
     
  16. BluPhant

    BluPhant Full Access Member

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    Re: UPDATE

    I've not attempted the heated seat part. At some point I may sit down with this again, but truthfully, I'm thinking it's not going to happen this season. The 13 pin harness is likely the heated seat wiring, my memory is not so great right now, but I know it had a buttload of wires.

    As for grounding the passenger seat, I believe that one of the wires within the harness going from drivers->passengers is ground. So the passenger seat shouldnt need to be independently grounded.

    I'm curious about how you found the interior panels, and what you paid... thats the one thing I really would like to do.... pick up some taupe door panels.

    -Blu
     
  17. Timberty

    Timberty New Member

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    Anyone convert a 2005 to leather?

    I recently completed an upgrade to 2005 CRD from the sub standard cloth seats to Leather with heat. I have not hooked up the heated portion yet. I did get the power to work on both sides. The issue I have run into is the airbag warning light now illuminates when starting and the seat bely chime, chimes everytime I start it until it get's it 15 chimes in and then the faasten seatbelt warning stays i8lluminated. It appears that the OCM module may not be compatible with the ACM. I am going to attempt to remove the OCM from the old seat and plug it in on the passenger side to see if I can stop the Airbag warning. I will then try to bypass the OCM on the Drivers side as and just hook up the seat belt hall effect switch on the drivers side. Anyone run into this?
     
  18. ChrisUCF99

    ChrisUCF99 New Member

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    Thanks for the "How-To"; very informative! I bought 2005 Jeep Liberty Leather Heated/Powered Seats to go in my 2005 Jeep Liberty Sport. Turns out, I have 2 wires on the drive's side (Seat Belt Sensor) and three wires on the Passanger side (Seat Belt/Air Bag Sensor). I took a chance and bought the 25amp Circuit Breaker to see if power was running to any of the wires... no luck. I ended up removing the power tracks from the Leather Seats and moving over my manual seat tracks and the plastics around the seats. So, I lost the power/heat functionality but no big deal, looks perfect and the seats are a lot more comfortable! Just need to do the back bench later today and it'll be complete. That'll be the easiest part of the whole process, unbolt cloth, bolt in leather :) I'll add pictures later once everything is done! [​IMG]
     
  19. ChrisUCF99

    ChrisUCF99 New Member

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    Here are the pictures!

    Leather Interior:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Still Need to Install the Middle Seat Belt - But I'll do that later)
    [​IMG]
     
  20. BluPhant

    BluPhant Full Access Member

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    Chris-

    Looks good!

    If you're not going to use them, you could probably sell the power rails on ebay and recoup some of your cost. I'm totally sure that theres gotta be some peeps out there that could use them.

    Glad the info here at jeepkj was able to help ya out!

    -Blu