Step 2: Playing with Explosives
Having gotten my prize home and found it free of freeloading mice etc., I set about making it safe to use as a piece of home furniture.
Choosing a seat from a high end luxury car presents as many challenges as it does benefits. According to the electrical diagram (and assuming they are still functional), my lovely seat has 8-way adjust-ability (including lumbar support! oooooh, ahhhhh), seat heating, and a passenger restraint and seat mounted airbag! While the adjustment features would be way cool to maintain, the heat and the two small explosive devices (seat belt and airbag systems) had to go. Nothing like fire and an actual explosion going off during a video game! So, I turned the chair over, got out the tools, pulled up the schematic and started digging.
Disassembling the wiring harness (that harness tape is a sticky mess!) and following the diagram, I quickly identified that I could keep the adjustment buttons and functions while ditching the heater control, seat weight sensor, and a myriad of other junk. Removing the seat belt safety restraint (explosive #1 and the belt on the far side) was a simple matter of unbolting the components, while getting the air bag out (explosive #2) was a little more involved. I located it’s lead wire, snipping it at the base of the seat, for safety. Then, I gently (crowbar) pulled the back panel of the seat off, removed some of the upholstery clips, and removed the airbag from the right side of the seat.
After putting the remaining seat back together, I went back to the schematic and looked up the fuses for each of the remaining seat systems. Determining that the seat motors run off of 12V (duh) and pull a maximum of 30A (yowza!) I went to trusty Amazon to find a 360W power supply and a suitable AC chord (Prime membership can be dangerous! and useful ;-)).
So, after much activity, I have an explosive free seat and a power supply en route to get it running. Will it work? Will the magic smoke escape? Can I design a base for it that doesn’t look like the cubist exhibit at the LA County Museum of Art? Stay tuned…
Original photos by Dana P. Howard (www.highlandwolf.com)