JDM Forester STI Seats

I picked up a set of JDM Forester STI seats for my girlfriends 08 Forester XT Sport. They are a black alcantara and more comfortable than the US ones. They hug you a little and provide more support in corners. The front seats are real easy to swap in. I had to swap the passenger seat sensor pad from the US seat over to the JDM seat. This is what triggers the passenger airbag on/off depending if a passenger is in the car or not.

When you do the swap the passenger seat will have height adjustability but the drivers seat will not. This causes it to always sit higher than normal. It is possible to swap over your US seat rail to end up with height adjustability on each side. When you do this you'll essentially remove the foam pad from the JDM seat and put it on the US frame. If you compare the frames side by side you will see that they are almost identical. The only differences are the US frame has the height adjustability mechanism/knob (obviously), and the JDM frame has side bolster supports. The side bolster supports are just metal rods welded to the front sides. You could swap the foam and not worry about it. It would look fine... but you'd be able to place your hand on the bottom side bolster and squish it all the way down. So I cut off the rods from the JDM frame and welded them onto the US frame. Now I get the height adjustability as well as the JDM bolster support. When you re-assemble the seat you'll also have to cut a small hole on the side of the JDM cover for the adjustment knob mechanism to poke through. If you didn't want to cut a hole in your JDM cover, I think another alternative would be to use a US 04-07 STI seat rail as the height adjustability would be a lever vs knob.

Regardless the rear seats is more or less what this page is about. The JDM rear forester seats actually recline. They do not recline like a front seat would. Instead the bottom of the seat can slide forward a few inches to help you slouch a little more. In order to run the rear seats properly you need to mount the rear sliders. Unfortunately you can't just bolt them into a US car. 6 of the 8 mounting points required are not present. So I had to fab up some mounting plates to get them to work. I'll include some pics below of the end result, but I also made a YouTube Video that shows how I did it.

Here are a few install pics of the final installation. I think this project turned out really well. It took about 3-4 evenings to complete.