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dobie-guy 04-17-2013 08:32 PM

Seat Track Removal in my 2013
I can't figure out how to remove the seat track assembly in my new 13 Sienna. The entire reason I bought the van was because I need a flat interior behind the front seats. I was going to buy the Chrysler but was swayed by the higher quality of the Sienna. I had seen older ones and the seats remove to a flat floor. I never would have dreamed that upon removing the seats I'd be left with an entire rail assembly protruding from the floor. Seems like a big mistake by Toyota. I figure there must be a way to unbolt the assy and simply replace it if or when I want the middle seats in. This will be a deal killer and I will end up selling/trading a brand new van for the Chrysler. Wouldn't that drive the Toyota brass nuts. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks in advance.

kowell 04-19-2013 11:53 AM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
The track assembly is not meant to be removed. There has been some discussion on the forum about this and one person said that in order to remove them, you'd need to remove a few parts under the floor to access the bolt securing them in place. Sorry.

luvmysienna 04-19-2013 03:46 PM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
Check out the last post in this thread

It isn't plug-n-play. The poster claims that that trained tech took 3 hours to remove it. So if you are willing to shell out for 3-4 hours of labor it can be done. Seems like once its out, it stays out.

dobie-guy 04-19-2013 10:34 PM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
I went back to the dealer today after owning the van for a week. I discussed that I wanted the service dept to show me how to remove the carrier assy. I specifically told the salesman that I needed a flat floor and was considering the Chrysler, but that removing the seats was not that much of an inconvenience. He agreed that I could do what I wanted. He, and others, did not seem to be aware that the lower piece was left. I told them that I wanted to sell back or trade in the van if we couldn't solve this. They are having a service rep come to the dealer to help figure this out. It's not life and death, but I shouldn't have to go through modifications after shelling out money for a new van. Somebody at Toyota goofed on this one.

skeptic25 04-20-2013 10:00 AM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
I see how this is an issue for you. However, I would say the salesman/dealer goofed not Toyota. This is how they were designed. Right or wrong for your particular situation is going to vary.

luvmysienna 04-20-2013 11:01 AM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013

Originally Posted by dobie-guy (Post 109634)
It's not life and death, but I shouldn't have to go through modifications after shelling out money for a new van. Somebody at Toyota goofed on this one.

Not sure why this one is on Toyota. It seems this (track removal) was the critical reason for your purchase. You should have verified this with the dealer prior to your purchase and/or done research. Having a certain feature on a certain generation (or even year) for that vehicle does not guarantee it forever. Since the track is removable, I am sure the dealer would have included (removing tracks) that as part of the package deal when selling it to you.
Besides I don't see a whole lot of people running the vans with seats removed ALL the time. Thats not what these are meant for or marketed on. I think a truck (Ford/GMC) with a covered rear deck would have been more suited your needs.

Another option would be to build a plywood cover for the entire rear deck on the van, just tall enough to cover the seat tracks. That way you have a flat deck and can remove it when you need to plug in the seats

mowmow 04-20-2013 02:27 PM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
This is no fault of Toyota instead this is all your salesman's fault, he should have talked to service if this was feasible in the first place then schedule you right away after you signed the paperwork and you also need to be persistence about when your dealership will hold up to their end of the bargain. I thought the seat rails aren't really that high to begin with, you probably could get away from putting a couple of piece of tape over the track to cover dirt and then use moving blanket that professional movers use to protect the objects you want to move from scratches, bumps.

dobie-guy 04-20-2013 10:06 PM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
Thanks for the comments and suggestions everyone. It doesn't matter who it is on. The situation is what it is and now I need to figure a solution. I'm betting this design dies with the next redesign. The whole design is flawed. For whatever readon a person has to remove the seats in their van, they should be able to expect that removing the seats will expose a useable floor. As it is these carriages leave an unusable area and a potential tripping hazard. Many run without the middle seats and only use the rear seat to allow for addl legroom besides cargo needs. Where this goes is anyone's guess. Toyota is generally good about these things. The worse case scenario is trading it in for a Honda or T&C, which is a real possibiity. I'll send a note to Toyota with a suggestion to fix this as well. It is rare that Toyota loses to the competition.

qest t. silverclaw 04-23-2013 10:43 AM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
Welcome to America!

Put a sheet of plywood over it. It's a lot cheaper than selling your new van and buying a new one just because you bought yourself the wrong vehicle.

dobie-guy 04-23-2013 05:15 PM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
I may end up doing just that. What a strange quirk though. I've owned Chryslers, my brother has an older Sienna, and a friend has an Odyssey. All have flat floors. Even if the weight of the seat is the issue, the carriages (trolleys) could be made to remove separately using the previous style mounting system. People buy vans for a variety of uses - one is hauling things. Toyota made a high quality vehicle with some strange quirks - run flats, seat anchors etc. I wonder if this costs them any sales?

janward12 05-02-2013 08:58 PM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
I was having the same problem, hating the carriage assembly under the seat. I found that by simply removing the black bar between the two trolleys cleared up the main part of the problem. Lift the trolley covers and unbolt the bar, 5 minutes, floor flat from the back forward. The trolleys then can be positioned separately depending on your load. I only removed the driver side seat, but I imagine the other side would be as easy.

dobie-guy 05-03-2013 10:03 PM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
I realize that is an option as well. I got as far as opening up the track ends and sliding them backward. That is definitely the way they were assembled. But there is not enough clearance to slide them completely out. It's just a silly design and I should have tried it before I signed on the dotted line. Who'd have thought.... Otherwise it's a great van.

eefudd 05-04-2013 03:38 PM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
I agree!!!. I too purchased for (and was assured) a permanent flat floor. I even tried to buy my 2013 Sienna without ANY middle or back seats but it was a "take it or leave it deal". MY mistake for settling for the Toyota. I have come to expect to put all the back seats in storage when I buy a new minivan (this is my 3d) but this system defies all logic.

Apparently many of the commenters here have no clue what an obstacle course remains after the seats are removed. The "plywood overlay" is absurd and totally impractical if you have ever looked at the mess of ducts and hardware remaining.

I will get out my tools and rip out all the useless hardware. When I trade it the new owner can deal with the pile of useless hardware and "brand new" seats he will find after I clean out my storage.

We are all victims of some ignorant Asian that thought he was an engineer and his ninny marketeer that "thought" they had a good idea…. but......... never checked with the customer(us).

More to follow...soon I hope

assc 05-05-2013 02:21 AM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
I have to ask - why are you buying a Sienna if you don't need the seats in the back? There are so many other cheaper options.

dobie-guy 05-07-2013 11:15 AM

Re: Seat Track Removal in my 2013
Interesting question - why buy a Sienna? First - overall quality. Second - only van with AWD. Third - previous versions, and every other van do not have this as an issue. Fourth - ocassional use of rear seats is nice to have - just like ocassional folding of rear seats can come in handy as well. I dislike the semi - antagonistic Asian comment (distasteful), but the posting is accurate - when you remove the seats you are left with hardware on the floor that prevents any semblance of flat and is also a tripping hazard. I have yet to figure it out, but I will and when I do I will post my solution. If anyone has an idea that prevents permanent damage I'd like to hear.

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