another legroom mod for A-4 and other tripod seats (seat track redrill mod)


Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2006
Alexandria, VA
2002 golf
Extending VW A-4 Seat Range (seat track redrill mod)

This is for the chairs of tripod VW seats; not long range fuel tanks for VW SEAT cars.

There are 3 ways to do this:

a) Remove the seat and re-weld the carrier to the seat frame. That of course gives the maximum legroom.

b) Octavian's front spacer mod, at

c) THE SEAT TRACK REDRILL MOD - Cut the front retainer bolt and re-drill the hole. This gives about 2-3 cm additional range. Since typical seat movement is about 15 cm, that extra 2 cm makes a major difference.



The seattrack on the A-4 VW is a tripod arrangement. The rear is two rollers which move along 2 side tracks. The front is a center rail which passes a pair of guide slots on a single guide assembly. The center rail is part of the seat carrier. The seat carrier is an integral part of the seat bottom, with the only part that disassembles being height adjustment.

At the front of the center rail is a long rivet. Behind the rivet are a series of holes on both sides of the rail. A seat position pin in the front guide fits into these holes, on one side of the rail, to hold the seat position. A cable extends from the seat position pin to the seat adjust handle. The long rivit prevents the seat from sliding aft of the front guide.

The project is to cut the long rivet, use the rope as an aft safety stop, and extend an existing hole in the front of the rail to accept the seat adjust pin in a forward position. The forward position allows the seat to move aft by about 2-3 cm.

Caution: The airbags on the seats can go off if the cable is unplugged and sufficient static electricity is picked up at the connector. You probably don't want to do that.

What you need:

Go to a marine supply store and find a small diameter rope and u-bolt clamp (2 clamps; 1 for each side). You'll need about 2 ft. per side; maybe 3, so buy about 6 ft (2m). This rope is about the 2 or 3 mm thick, about the thickness of a bolo tie. It will be tied around the seat track as an aft travel stop.

A drill

A ream attachment for the drill, or an appropriate dremel tool

A cutting tool, e.g, dremel cutting wheel.

A block of wood to lift the seat while drilling.

Phillips #2.

Vacuum (for shavings)

1. Unscrew the front of the seat skirt. One screw is on the surface near the joint of the 2 half sections, and a second screw is behind the joint.

2. Cut the end rivet.

Move the seat forward. The end rivet consists of the rivet, visible at each side of the rail, and a sleeve, extending transversely between the sides of the rail. Unless you live in the tropics, the rivet should be bare metal silver. If you cut through the rivet at the center by partially cutting through the sleeve, the rivet will come out each side. The sleeve will then drop out. Now the seat is physically capable of sliding aft of the front guide. Place a piece paper towel on the bottom of the guiderail to keep metal shavings out of the greased part of the rail.
3. Secure the seat with the rope.

The rope should wrap around the aft tube which is part of the seat height adjustment, and thread under the two horizontal bolts on the front seat guide. Guide it on the side opposite the airbag cable. Use the u-bolt clamp to secure the rope from slipping (i.e., to "tie" the rope together). The rope should be just tight enough to prevent the seat rail from sliding aft of the guide. (This step need not be completed because the rope needs to be loosened for the next steps.)

At this point the seat is secured from sliding aft out of the front guide by the rope. The seat can rest against the plastic behind the side carriers, but is not yet capable of latching in the aft position.

4. Remove the plastic covers for the siderails to allow the seat to freely move aft.

5. Move the seat aft until the center rails clear the front guide. Prop the front of the seat up with a block of wood. Be careful not to pull on the airbag cable.

6. Elongate the large hole on the pin side of the guiderail to accept the pin.

The front of the guiderails have 2 pairs of holes -- one for the rivet and the other for decoration. Aft of these 2 holes are a series of holes in a row, which (on one side) serve as latch positions to receive the latchpin. The larger of the 2 holes in front is large enough for the latchpin, but too low; hence it is necessary to elongate the large hole. The hole is elongated upward (in the vertical direction). Use a piece of paper towel on the rail again to keep the metal shavings out of the grease.
7. Secure the rope so as to prevent aft movement of the seat beyond the guide. The rope should stop the seat at or just beyond the new latch position.

8. Trim the plastic siderail covers if necessary.

9. Dispose of the leg cramp medication in a place inaccessible to children.
Next step.. I'll look at the Front Spacer Mod using the diagram at
because it looks like a short spacer will work well in cooperation with the new seat adjustment.

- stan
'00 Golf (Rocketchip II, 520, TT 17 wheels, Valeo E-codes 63mm TT turbo-back exhaust (w/cat), mufflerectomy.)
'81 W123 240D/300Dt 5 sp
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