Seat-it, access to the backrest of the rear seat and complete removal of the entire rear seat.
**The following text has been translated from italian with ChatGPT.**
The hero of this story is Mr. Francois... Without him, none of this would have been possible.
THANK YOU Mr. Francois
I want to reiterate some concepts:
- It's absurd that a truck with the reputation of the Hilux has a locked rear seat backrest, it's totally senseless and unacceptable...
- It's absurd that in the EU there is no kit available for this modification, which is really disarmingly simple to make and install...
Since I saw that this kit existed in South Africa, I couldn't stop thinking about it. If I had had/found more information on how to remove the rear seats, I probably would have made it myself.
After contacting the Duramat company
which told me that they did not ship internationally, I tried to find a shipping service in South Africa that would do "post forwarding" to the EU, but without success.
Fortunately, after asking for help on a other South African based forum
I was able to find Mr. Francois, who kindly offered to bring the kit to Greece from South Africa by putting it in his suitcase. This was feasible because the kit weighs less than 2kg and has dimensions of approximately 66x22x8cm. Mr. Francois did not want any advance payment, even though I offered to send him all the money needed for the purchase and delivery to his address in SA, and he handled the purchase of the kit, asking me only which model I was interested in.
From the videos I had seen on FB
I was sure that the kit was also compatible with Hilux sold in the EU, but I still had some uncertainty.
With Mr. Francois, we started exchanging emails on March 13th to agree on how to proceed. By March 28th, the kit was already in Mr. Francois's hands in SA, and on April 11th, he arrived in Greece with the kit. On April 18th, I wired him €120, which was the cost of the kit, and on the same day, I organized the shipment from Italy using the @ziosatoshi telegram courier service.
"SERVIZIO DI INTERMEDIAZIONE POSTALE IN BTC"
I paid about 195,000 sats with 300 sats in fees, which is just under €53.
On April 19th, the kit was shipped from Greece, and on April 21st, it was in my hands... thanks to the Telegram tracking bot, I was notified of any changes in the shipment's status.
The kit is really essential, consisting of 2 hinges, an adapter, a pin, a locking hook, and a bracket. It is noticeable that it is artisanal and especially the hinges are "hastily" made. Installation is simple for those who are used to doing manual work and have some basic tools. I lubricate and grease the hinges that already showed signs of rust as soon as I opened the package.
As a first step, I take the instruction sheet, rewrite it in .txt format, and translate the various steps into Italian using chatGPT. My English is not the best, and especially there are some technical terms that I don't understand. The photos are almost useless as they are small and of poor quality, so some imagination is needed to understand the steps.
Below are some photos I took during the installation.
Regarding access to the space behind the backrest, it is certainly not as convenient as the OEM system I had 10 years ago on the Navara, but it does its job. Instead, I find the ability to remove the entire seat with a simple "push and lift" maneuver, of course with the help of another person, spectacular. With the seat removed, many possibilities open up for storing items that are better kept in the cabin.
The kit is missing a panel or a piece of fabric to cover the back of the backrest, which unfortunately remains "raw".
I am very happy with this modification!
Below is the sentence that Mr. Francois wrote to me in the last email:
The world is a big bad place, we try to make a small difference where we can.
I would like to express a big thank you to Mr. Francois.