Seat Track Removal in my 2013 - Page 2 - Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 05:06 PM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

Again, if anyone is in fact ignorant it would be...

Guys, come on. You screwed up and want to blame Toyota for your lack of due diligence. They obviously have a reason for designing the van this way. It may not be an acceptable reason for you but that's where due diligence comes into play.

Also, if you believed anything a car salesman tells you without verification, well...
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 03:44 PM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

I'm an idiot and did the same thing. We traded in a 2005 Sienna that we loved, but it had the AWD and we didn't have enough need for it. Plus it had many miles. We always had the 2nd row seats out since it works well that way for biking, skiing, etc. Our dog sits in the 3rd row, and he can get up and walk around a bit w/o the 2nd row. I just figured the 2013 would be the same, since I told the salesman that we always kept the 2nd row out. You'd think he would have told us about the change to the rail system (when did Toyota do that?). Easiest solution to me looks like building a 2" high plywood platform with some carpeting on top. Pain in the ass, but it's my own fault for not asking more questions. I also overlooked the lack of power back vent windows which we had on our 2005 and are not on the 2013.
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 09:27 AM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

As much as this problem might be on the buyer for not checking prior to buying, I do have to say this is a design flaw on Toyota's part. Why even make the seats removable at all, if the stuff left behind makes the space difficult to use or move around in?

I'm about to (finally) take delivery on a used 2011 AWD with 14,000 miles on it that is being rebuilt by a local mechanic (previous owner crunched the front end a bit). My previous 2004 Sienna was the perfect combination of people mover for when I'm hauling my kids and their friends, and cargo hauler for when I needed to haul a few of solar panels to a job. My only gripes with it were problems with the sliding doors (I finally gave up spending money on the powered one on the right side), and the fact that it eats tires (I gave up on the run-flats and just put regular tires on and keep a spare in my garage - no good place to store it in the van).

It sounds as though this 2011 will not be as convenient for my multi-purpose uses. I was aware of this going in, but hoped I'd figure out some simple solution. Maybe a plastic/rubber insert that covers the floor when the seats are out... protecting the carpet from the stuff I haul as well as covering up some of the hazards left behind whe the seats are removed? Though I guess if something like that were available, someone would have mentioned it by now.

I do need the AWD feature, and the SUVs that haul these combinations of Cargo or number of people are just to large for my needs (not to mention they tend to be gas hogs).

John Mc
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 01:48 AM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

I sure agree. Massive design flaw. My 2006 looses its seats to create a totally flat floor- and this stupid seat track mistake is the ONLY reason I haven't bought the newer Sienna. It's a VAN- it shouldn't have track assemblies mounted as if they'd never designed one before.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

Well it's been a bit over a month and try as I can I can't come up with an easy solution except making a false floor to place over the tracks. Some people have replied and blamed us for not checking this first. They must not need the feature or they would be as annoyed as we are. You have to wonder who okayed this one. My dealer didn't even know - now some would say that they knew and didn't tell so that they could make the sale. I bought from a reputable, neighborhood dealer. They even gave my van to the service people to figure it out. I was able to partially dissemble it, but what a pain. As much as I like this van I wish I bought a competitor's. All of the quality in the world doesn't help if the vehicle doesn't fit your needs.
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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 06:16 PM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

Yesterday I brought my new XLE home and promptly removed the 2nd row seats ....... only to find the horrible seat trolleys sticking up. What a bummer. This is my fourth Toyota minivan, my 2nd XLE. If Toyota didn't want you to remove the middle row of seats they should have called it a minibus. I know more about Toyota minivans than most of the salespeople we encountered while shopping for the new XLE and nobody mentioned the hated seat trolleys when we talked. For those who say "you should have used more due diligence when you shopped" and "it's not Toyota's fault", I say baloney. A significant percentage of minivan owners take out the middle row of seats. Why do you suppose Chrysler keeps advertising their crappy minivan with the words "our rear seats fold flat".

Anyway, I removed the 4 seat rail trolleys today. It took about 4 hours and quite a bit of work. I removed the trolleys by sliding them out the rear of the rails.

For our discussion, we will call the driver side trolley #1 and the rider side trolley #4.
1. Take out the dealer installed mats.
2. On the trolleys, remove the covers and all of the hardware you can with a 12mm wrench.
3. Pop up the rider side sliding door sill cover.
4. Remove the AC vent covers between the 2nd and 3rd seat row.
5. Remove the plastic cap covers on the rear end of the trolley tracks.
6. Take up the floor carpet and peel it back to about 1/3 of the way forward on the seat track rails.
7. Remove the both rear rider side seat belt bolts......one just at the rear of the door sill and the one on the rear rider side panel.
8. With the carpet gone, you can pull the side panel out carefully.
9. Reach in and lift up the AC vent that feeds the AC housing which goes from side to side between the 3rd and 2nd row.
10. Carefully pry up the AC duct on the floor(there are 4 plastic body fasteners). Jiggle it around until you can get it out.
11. Now remove the bolts that hold the end caps on all of the tracks (12 mm).
12. Run the trolley on track #4 back until it hits interference.
13. Get a pry bar and lift up on the bracket that used to be held down by the seat belt bolt at the rear of the door sill. That will get you enough clearance to get #4 out.
14. Crawl under the car and remove the shiny cap nuts that hold track #3 down.
15. With your pry bar, you can now elevate track #3 inside the car enough to clear the 3rd row seat hold down lug while you remove trolley #3.
16. You can now remove trolley #2 without any problem.
17. Trolley #1 can be removed by getting a wide blade putty knife to protect the side wall paneling as you push it back out of the way.

That's it, you're finished with the trolleys. Just be careful to put everything back the way it came out.

I took out the spare tire to make things a bit less cluttered when I loosened the rail nuts on #3. Probably not necessary. You must be careful when you remove the side panels and keep all the fasteners intact.

These are just the basic steps. If you've had experience removing side panels before, you shouldn't have a problem. If you don't feel like you want to take this on, just print out the post and take it to your local body shop guy who can probably complete the job faster than I did.
It would be possible to crawl under the car and loosen up the rail bolts which would allow you to take the entire rails out but I wanted to keep the rails in the car. When you remove the trollelys, they will be liberally loaded with grease ..... make sure you find and keep the 4 plastic grease carriers that accompany each trolley. If you're careful you won't break too many panel snaps. However, most auto parts stores and all auto body supply stores sell them.

I am really impressed with the improvement that the 2913 XLE has made over my older 2008 XLE. A really much improved vehicle.
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 11:16 AM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

Thanks for the post, Sunny. I probably won't resort to removing the trolleys in my 2011 AWD Sienna... It sounds like a lot of work, and I need something that can be quickly converted from a people mover to a cargo hauler. For me, that may just be a few 2x4s thrown in to bring the floor level up to the height of the trolleys.

I did know before I bought that the trolleys were there, but I was hoping there was some simple, effective solution to it. If they can't make the trolleys come out with the seats, at the very least, you'd think Toyota would design in some sort of access/removal hatch where you could remove a section of track (or something) from inside the van, and pop the trolleys out.

Before I bought this used 2011 model, I went shopping for new late in 2012. I asked about whether the floor was left flat when the middle row seats were removed. The salesman's answer was "yes". I asked "are you sure, because somewhere between my 2004 Sienna and now, Toyota switched to a system that left the trolleys behind". His answer was "Toyota is constantly improving their products. They did away with that design." I would have checked for myself by removing the seats, if I had actually ended up buying new, but never got that far.

That dealer is where I bought my 2004 Sienna. For this and a number of other issues, I won't buy from them again. Unfortunately, they are 40 minutes away, and the next closest dealers are about twice that distance
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 12:36 PM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

My reason for removing the rails is to have a flat area for my son's wheelchair. I had a 2012 Sienna that was written off after a drunk driver hit me head on so I needed a new van and I decided to keep going with the Sienna simply because it is the best out there. The dealer was able to remove the rails in my 2012 but could not do the same in the 2014. The right side rail behind the front passenger seat came out OK but the middle rail seems to be welded in place. You can't run the trolley out at either end so it stays stuck in the way and makes it almost impossible to load the wheelchair in place. I wish there was an easy fix for this problem but there does not seem to be one. As to those of you who say "put plywood on top" it does not work as it has to sit on top of the trolley's and balances there. Can anyone help me find a solution?
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 10:31 AM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

I think what some people are doing when they put pywood on top is either shimming up the plywood (with 2x4s ?) so it sits above the trolley, or make a cutout for the trolley.

When I need to haul lumber, I put some 2x4s in first, on either side of the trolleys, this makes it easy to slide in other things, such as sheets of plywood or boxes/pallets without catching on the trolley. Not the most elegant solution, but it works.

I do wish Toyota would get a clue and go back to the old design where yu had a flat floor when the middle seats were removed. I bought my 2004 Sienna because it was a good, flexible hauler of either people or cargo. My 2011 is a hassle for cargo because of those damn trolleys. (also a toe-stubber/trip-hazard for people when I've got the middle row out, but pop up the rear seats to haul people.)
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 05:53 PM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

I own a 2005 LE and love the flat floor when I'm not people hauling. I use the flat floor for rolling in my longer recumbent bikes, suitcases, recycling tubs, grocery boxes, etc. I kneel on the space when reaching for things and slide things across the space. So when I took the middle seats out of a 2015 SE dealer model and saw the floor knee killer racks I looked at Grand Caravans and Consumers Reports. I won' buy a Honda due to the side look and the narrow crawl in space. Their floors are however flat. The new Siennas give you long seat movement instead. I didn't need that. I'm saving my $41,000 & waiting. Update: Dec. 29, 2014 After driving, sitting, and crawling into back seats of Siennas, Odessys, Grand Caravans, and Sedonas, I would buy a Sienna if I could at least get the wide 8th passenger seat down from 71 pounds to single seat weight of 50 pounds and a "narrow" remaining floor rack. That would help when we haul six adults and I put seats in.
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 02:24 AM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

I'm in the market for a newer used Sienna. My biggest concern with the current model is the trolley left behind when the middle seats are removed. In addition to hauling material, I also intend to camp back there. Does anyone know the dimension from the back of the trolley to the back hatch when the trolley is pushed as far forward as it will go? I'm thinking that if it's at least 72" I may be willing to live with it.
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 04:04 PM
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Putting in a shimmed piece of plywood would be the quick fix. My issue is why Toyota did not design the trolley to float high enough over third party floor mats . This makes for searching for good all weather (weather tech) mats a pain.
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 07:20 PM
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Angry Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

Just bought a 2015 Sienna and to my dismay discovered he same problem! I drive a minivan because I have 4 dogs and travel to dog shows and need to fill the cargo area with dog crates and equipment. I never use the seats so I remove them. When I took the seats out of my new van I was shocked to see the raised hardware, plastic coveringand large bar still there. I NEED a flat cargo bed. I went back to the dealer and said I WANT THEM removed. Well, they have never had such a request, and thought it could be done, but I would have to pay for it! Another shock. the sales person knew I was buying the van for my dogs , I never use the seats and never have passengers! I have just had the van 5 days. I guess I shouldnt have assumed that the cargo bed would be flat like my 06 Sienna. maybe would have gone with another van but was so happy with my '06 Sienna. Now I am not happy. I will either have to pay to have them removed, build a plywood platform to fit over the damn hardware in the floor, or live with it. I sympathize with everyone who is going through this. For those who asked well if you don't use the seats - qwhy did you buy a Sienna ? Well there are not many minivan options out there! Honda, Kia are about it. I love my new Sienna in every other way so I don't want to sell it. I just want a flat cargo bed.,.... has anyone had their dealer remove them? How much did they charge you? very frustrated customer here Toyota!
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 07:48 PM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

UMM, a pick up truck does not work for someone who shows dogs and needs an enclosed climate controlled vehicle for their dogs. just sayin.
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 08:11 PM
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Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

Umm, I am having the same gripe as dobie guy . A pick up truck is NOT ideal for me as I use my vehicle to transport my show dogs who need enclosed, climate controlled space with a FLAT bed on which to lay their crates. Just sayin.
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