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How to Fit Alfa Romeo 156 Front Seats into a 240

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Old Feb 1st, 2017, 23:55   #1
Bugjam1999
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Last Online: Yesterday 23:57
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: London and Cambridge
Default How to Fit Alfa Romeo 156 Front Seats into a 240

Hi all,

So it's fairly common knowledge now that Alfa Romeo 156 seats are a pretty easy fit into the front of a 240. I fitted some into mine and although it is fairly straight forwards I decided to write this mini-guide up in case someone was thinking of doing it or wasn't quite sure. If nothing else I might as well save you the thinking time

So firstly some notes - the 156 seats fit so easily because the seat rails are the same distance apart as 240 ones. 147 seat rails are not the same distance apart, so don't buy a set of those and think you can fit them or you'll end up selling that set and buying 156 ones. Like I did.

Alfa 156 seats come in black, blue, red and tan - some are heated, some aren't. Some have an Alfa Romeo emblem embossed into the leather, some don't. Mine aren't heated and don't have the emblem.

The Alfa tan leather colour is a good match for Volvo 240 beige. I can't vouch for any of the other colour matches.

Once in the car the seats are much more supportive and comfortable to sit in than the original seats (especially a worn out pair of seats) with proper side bolsters and have front/back slide, tilt and height adjustment (drivers seat only). They're also a good fit width-wise - ie they don't hit the centre console or drivers pocket and look perfect in the car, like they could have been factory fitted in fact.

Approach:

There are two ways of approaching this; one way is to retain the captive nuts on the seats and knock out the captive studs on the rails, the other way is to retain the captive studs on the rails and knock out the captive nuts on the seats. I took the later approach as the fittings on the rails have to fit in pretty small spaces with not much tolerance - I'm aware that others had trouble with the seats binding on the rails after taking the first approach.

Fitting:

So, put the kettle on then...

1.) Remove the seats from the car - four fittings, two nuts at the front of the rails and two bolts at the back. You'll need to move the seat back on it's rails to reach the front nuts and forwards to reach the rear bolts.

Remember to undo the electrical connector for the heated seats before you lift the seat out on the drivers side and both the connectors under the passenger seat (one is for the seat belt alarm). You may find that cranking the seat up into a very upright position makes it easier to remove.

2.) Place each Volvo seat lying on it's back on a table/bench if possible, then unbolt the seat rail - four nuts. This is the same for both seats, but the seat rails are not identical as the fittings for the bolts at the back (that hold it to the floor of the car) are slightly different - so take note which is which.

3.) Lie the drivers side Alfa seat down on it's back on your table/bench and unbolt it's seat rail - six Torx bolts. You'll need to move the seat rail backwards and forwards to expose all of the heads.

Also remove the seatbelt fittings, the belt one side and the buckle the other. These are held in place with one bolt per side and easy to remove. The seatbelt passes through a plastic trim piece on the outer edge of each seat (obvious when looking at it, I forgot to take a photo) it is possible to slide the seatbelt fitting through this, or alternatively just cut the seatbelt to release it.

Here's the bottom of the Alfa seat with the rail and seatbelt removed. You can see the six bolt holes, I've put a loose bolt in the bottom left one as i'm in the process of removing it and the top left one looks bigger as i've already removed the captive nut.



Before you go further, you only need to remove four of the captive nuts from the Alfa seat. It has six bolts holding it to the seat rail as the seatbelts are attached to the seat itself, we're retaining the Volvo seatbelt system with the belts attached to the car body, so four bolts is the same as the Volvo seat had.

NOTE - remove the front two nuts and the two furthest forwards of the remaining four. In my picture above I'm actually removing one of wrong nuts. If you remove the rear two nuts and mount the rails there, when you come to fit the seat in the car it will be too close to the steering wheel and there won't be anywhere enough backwards travel.

4.) Now, how to remove the captive nuts from the Alfa seat - these are tack welded in place and fairly easy to remove if you can apply enough force. One approach I used is to put a bolt in and smack the bolt head with a hammer, the other approach I used is to put a ring spanner on the captive nut and smack the ring spanner round to twist the nut off. I found the ring spanner approach worked well but I didn't have enough clearance for each captive nut to get a ring spanner onto it.

Alternatively you might want to try putting a bolt that isn't threaded the whole way down into the captive nut and tightening it with a breaker bar or an impact driver, that might work... or some other approach I haven't thought of. I had success with the 'smack it mk1' and 'smack it mk2' approaches above.

Here's a closer picture of me using the 'smack it mk1' approach - although as noted above this is actually the wrong nut to remove. The correct one to remove that side is visible just slightly further up the seat.



5.) The rear captive bolt on the Volvo rail will go into the hole vacated by the captive nut and that's it, but the front fitting needs a tiny bit more work. gently tap out the Volvo seatrail front fitting from it's square hole. Here's a picture - the front square hole is the original Volvo one, the next one down I made.



6.) Once the strangely shaped Volvo front fitting is removed, lightly bolt up the rear captive bolt of the Volvo rail to the correct hole at the back of the seat where you removed the captive nut, then mark on the rail where the square hole should now be to allow the refitting of the Volvo front fitting. There's also a corresponding small bore circular hole for a locating dimple to keep the fitting straight, mark that too.

In the picture above, I've marked and cut a new square hole, but it's not actually in the correct place - the new square hole should be further down than this (that square hole was when I incorrectly chose the furthest rear two holes on the seat)

7.) Cutting a square hole isn't actually very hard... just drill a round hole in the correct place, when use a needle file to enlarge the hole to the square you need. Doesn't take long at all.

8.) Press the strange fitting into place in your new square hole and offer the rail up to the seat, if all the marking and drilling etc was accurate then all that's left to do is put nuts on the captive studs front and rear and that's it - I'd recommend using sprung washers to stop the nuts coming undone. If it doesn't quite fit then some filing of the sides of the square hole might be required.

9.) Here's a picture of the front fitting bolted in place - note the extra square hole I made in the wrong place first.



And a closer picture



And a picture of the rear fitting bolted in place



10.) The passenger side is even easier as four of the captive nuts correspond exactly with the dimensions of the four captive studs in the Volvo rail, so all that's needed is those 4 captive nuts need to be removed and the rail bolted on - no marking or cutting new holes.

Here's the end result! As you can see - an excellent match for the beige interior.




Hope that made sense - let me know if not and I'll edit the post to make it clearer where needed.

Cheers

Last edited by Bugjam1999; Feb 2nd, 2017 at 00:01. Reason: typo
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