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It isn’t clear from the picture, but only the part of the hard stop outside the weld would need to be cut off.
Cutting the "business" portion of the stop off would work too. It looks to me that the stop is attached with a rivet that was then spread and soldered or welded. But it might be more difficult to drill out the rivet than to cut off a portion of the stop. I distinctly remember wearing out a number of drill bits when I drilled out the stops that prevented full recline on those VW seats. That was only 46 years ago!

I think you should do it. Take one for the team!
 

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Cutting the "business" portion of the stop off would work too. It looks to me that the stop is attached with a rivet that was then spread and soldered or welded. But it might be more difficult to drill out the rivet than to cut off a portion of the stop. I distinctly remember wearing out a number of drill bits when I drilled out the stops that prevented full recline on those VW seats. That was only 46 years ago!

I think you should do it. Take one for the team!
With a pioneer like you out in front, how can I say no? 1975- I think that was the year I bought a new VW Dasher, a flimsy little front engine car that had a bike-type cable to the clutch, which wore out pretty quickly. Not a memorable car.

My target for the recliner surgery if I do it would be the large third row seat that I could use as the base for a bed for my wife on the drivers side, while keeping that seat in place for occasional grandkid use. That would leave room across the middle for me to sleep across between the sliding doors. I have to keep the passenger side ottoman seat in place too. I might practice first on the small third row seat that is out already to see if anything unexpected happens. I’ll probably have to tie the seatback down once it’s in the fully reclined position.


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With a pioneer like you out in front, how can I say no? 1975- I think that was the year I bought a new VW Dasher, a flimsy little front engine car that had a bike-type cable to the clutch, which wore out pretty quickly. Not a memorable car.
My condolences for your owning a Dasher. I was completely unprepared for the extraordinarily poor quality of my 1975 VW Rabbit. I didn't realized that I was buying a disposable car that barely functioned as a transportation device. It was trashed by a drunk driver in 1976 while I was looking out my window at it parked on the street while talking on the phone with the woman is now my wife. The driver of the car who hit it was so wasted that he crawled behind bushes across the street and went to sleep. That was one of my most pleasant experiences with that VW. I haven't been able to take VW seriously ever since.

My target for the recliner surgery if I do it would be the large third row seat that I could use as the base for a bed for my wife on the drivers side, while keeping that seat in place for occasional grandkid use. That would leave room across the middle for me to sleep across between the sliding doors. I have to keep the passenger side ottoman seat in place too. I might practice first on the small third row seat that is out already to see if anything unexpected happens. I’ll probably have to tie the seatback down once it’s in the fully reclined position.
Is it wide enough between the sliding doors to sleep crosswise? I'd have to curl up in a fetal position to do it.

Have you considered stowing the 3rd row seats, moving the 2nd row seats all the way forward and then both of you sleeping behind the 2nd row seats on the floor on an inflatable or foam mattress? That area in our gen 3 Sienna is about the size of a double bed.
 

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My condolences for your owning a Dasher. I was completely unprepared for the extraordinarily poor quality of my 1975 VW Rabbit. I didn't realized that I was buying a disposable car that barely functioned as a transportation device. It was trashed by a drunk driver in 1976 while I was looking out my window at it parked on the street while talking on the phone with the woman is now my wife. The driver of the car who hit it was so wasted that he crawled behind bushes across the street and went to sleep. That was one of my most pleasant experiences with that VW. I haven't been able to take VW seriously ever since.



Is it wide enough between the sliding doors to sleep crosswise? I'd have to curl up in a fetal position to do it.

Have you considered stowing the 3rd row seats, moving the 2nd row seats all the way forward and then both of you sleeping behind the 2nd row seats on the floor on an inflatable or foam mattress? That area in our gen 3 Sienna is about the size of a double bed.
The Dasher was just an extended Rabbit. Poorly designed. I liked the VW bug, but their first front engine cars were disappointing. I do like their recent vehicles but haven’t owned one. Since the Dasher it’s been Volvo, Ford, Volvo, Toyota, Ford, Toyota, with an ‘80s Dodge minivan and a Mitsubishi SUV for comic relief. I donated the minivan to nuns, but it broke down on the way to deliver it to them.

Sleeping between the sliding doors would probably require me to sleep on a diagonal. At 5’8” it might work. I haven’t tried it yet with a support and mattress.

My wife uses a wheelchair and that complicates things. A single wide bed would allow her to turn and sit on the side instead of trying to slide to the end. The potty can sit beside it.

FYI, I did cut the hard stop on the large rear seat hinges back by about a half inch and that lets it recline about another 15 degrees or so. That makes it more feasible to use it as a “head end” bed base, with a bolster or wedge pillow to fill the gap where the seat back doesn’t line up with the seat bottom because the hinge is offset.


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I'd be curious to see if anything can be done with a Dremel tool =)
The answer is yes, at least with the third row seats, see later posts in this thread. My guess is the second row seats have the same type of hinge.


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The answer is yes, at least with the third row seats, see later posts in this thread. My guess is the second row seats have the same type of hinge.


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Holler1 after a few hours of searching the internet you appear to be the first person in the history of the Sienna to have completed this modification. If you have time for further documenting it that would be great!

Many people have complained about the lack of recline, some buying other vehicles as a consequence, but I see no sign anyone else has actually addressed it.
 

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Holler1 after a few hours of searching the internet you appear to be the first person in the history of the Sienna to have completed this modification. If you have time for further documenting it that would be great!

Many people have complained about the lack of recline, some buying other vehicles as a consequence, but I see no sign anyone else has actually addressed it.
Sienna fan!
I included several pictures of the side of the third row seat hinge above in this thread, showing the “hard stop” on the hinge that needs to be cut back to extend the extent of recline. Here is a photo of one of the hinges showing where to make the cut, and another showing the resulting recline. You can approximate the degree of additional recline by measuring the height of the cut, dividing by the circumference of the hinge, and multiplying by 360. Keep in mind that the seat bottom is not level; the rear part is 4” or so lower than the front, so if you fill in the lower part with a pillow, you get a level section close to the middle of the seat back. I sleep with my head and shoulders raised anyway. If you remove the entire stop, you can get a full recline, but I didn’t need that.




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Sienna fan!
I included several pictures of the side of the third row seat hinge above in this thread, showing the “hard stop” on the hinge that needs to be cut back to extend the extent of recline. Here is a photo of one of the hinges showing where to make the cut, and another showing the resulting recline. You can approximate the degree of additional recline by measuring the height of the cut, dividing by the circumference of the hinge, and multiplying by 360. Keep in mind that the seat bottom is not level; the rear part is 4” or so lower than the front, so if you fill in the lower part with a pillow, you get a level section close to the middle of the seat back. I sleep with my head and shoulders raised anyway. If you remove the entire stop, you can get a full recline, but I didn’t need that.




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I think it’s a breakthrough. From your picture it appears the chair continues to lock in place at whatever angle you choose? I imagine maybe it springs forward a little harder given a tighter spring. Also I suppose the passenger would need to be forewarned that the chair would recline fully if one did cut the full stop. (And then the safety warnings of not driving with it reclined, etc.)

Could you explain a bit more about how you made the cut?

And could anyone with a 2021 confirm that the hinge appears to be the same as this for second and third rows?

If the second row Captain’s chairs could be modified for full recline sleeping that would make for an amazing camping vehicle. I saw member “Abusouk” said they slept comfortably in the 2021 front seats multiple overnights. I think that was because the front seats recline further.

From Abusou:

“Yes, we slept in the reclined front seats. We were nervous to see how that would work, and it ended up pretty well for two 70 year olds. I'm 6'6", so could not move much, but I could still actually stretch out full length on my back, and could also shift to each side slightly for variety.”

l’d also be interested to hear from anyone else camping in the 2021 front seats. Photos welcome. Where I live there are none in stock to go test drive.
 

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I think it’s a breakthrough. From your picture it appears the chair continues to lock in place at whatever angle you choose? I imagine maybe it springs forward a little harder given a tighter spring. Also I suppose the passenger would need to be forewarned that the chair would recline fully if one did cut the full stop. (And then the safety warnings of not driving with it reclined, etc.)

Could you explain a bit more about how you made the cut?

And could anyone with a 2021 confirm that the hinge appears to be the same as this for second and third rows?

If the second row Captain’s chairs could be modified for full recline sleeping that would make for an amazing camping vehicle. I saw member “Abusouk” said they slept comfortably in the 2021 front seats multiple overnights. I think that was because the front seats recline further.

From Abusou:

“Yes, we slept in the reclined front seats. We were nervous to see how that would work, and it ended up pretty well for two 70 year olds. I'm 6'6", so could not move much, but I could still actually stretch out full length on my back, and could also shift to each side slightly for variety.”

l’d also be interested to hear from anyone else camping in the 2021 front seats. Photos welcome. Where I live there are none in stock to go test drive.
Your first para is correct. The spiral spring does tighten up and probably will keep the recline from going past 180 degrees or so- I haven’t verified that. The seat does appear to lock at any angle. And anyone riding in the seat should be firmly told not to ride that way.

The vertical cut in the picture can be carefully made with a grinder with a metal cutting blade, or presumably with a Drehmel. The horizontal cut goes back very close to the seat, and that part of the seat will need to be held or taped back to avoid damage.


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