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91 Ls 400 Front Seats Hurt My Butt!


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I have had my 91 LS 400 for about one year now. I find the front seats very hard on my butt. My pasangers have complained also. After about an 1 1/2 to 2 hours man, my butt hurts. I talked to a guy that recovered my truck seats for me. He told me he could put new foam in, but it would not realy help. It is the way the seat is made. Any ideas???? How do your seats feel????

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I think it is how they are made on all of the older LS. The seats in my LS400 were a bit firm as well, but I would not say they were that bad. I would have occasional lower back aches while driving for more than 2-3 hours. I was not satisified with the seats. My old Toyota Camry's in comparison had much better (and very comfortable) seating.

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I think it is how they are made on all of the older LS.  The seats in my LS400 were a bit firm as well, but I would not say they were that bad.  I would have occasional lower back aches while driving for more than 2-3 hours.  I was not satisified with the seats.  My old Toyota Camry's in comparison had much better (and very comfortable) seating.

My 92 LS400 seat is also a pain in my a_ _ :censored: I took a 1 1/2 hour drive, and I was very uncomfortable, :cries: Tried taking my wallet out of my left rear pocket , it help alittle. Went to sharper image and got a seat cushion, only problem is when getting into the vehicle, have to adjust cushion, and make sure it doesn't slip out. slippery leather seats. I had also read some one else regarding seat comfort, he did not inflate lumbar support to it 's fulness, and was able to sit back into the lower part of the seat. I tried it, and it does help a little. so you might give that a try also. My 02 tacoma has comfortable seat, drove 8 hrs with no problems. Its funny, I had a 93 ES300, and I had no problems with the seat, very comfortable, I guess 1 year makes a different. :unsure:

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Nice to know I'm not alone on this. Everyone that is in the front seat for more then an 1 1/2 hours complains. I do not get it. Every other car I have been in has better seat bottoms. For what this car cost new... The seats should have been great. I have treid playing with all the ajustments. No help. The bottom of the seats are just plan hard. The seat backs are good, but my poor butt...As for the wallet I always carry it in the front pocket. Much harder for Pick Pockets to get it. I'm thinling about sheep skin covers for the front, to add some padding.

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It's not that it's a bad design, it's that the seats wear out over time. Come on guys this is a Lexus, do you really think they would design seats that were uncomfortable?

Most of the time I think the leather is not properly cared for so it gets hard, uncomfortable, and cracks. What can you do? Recondition it a ton, but that may not help. The best would be to replace it.

The foam wears out, simple. You can replace it or add more foam to restore it.

Seats wear out over time, you don't notice it as much with cloth seats but they wear out too.

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The rear seats are really good but the front feels like im sitting on a hard piece of plywood and it looks like its sagged. I wanna know if it is spose to be like this or it has sagged might get a pic later. One day i might get the leather redone but i mean if the seat has sagged then whats the point.

Problem is i dunno if my seat is a fault or if its spose to be like that but i would like to know.

THE REAR SEATS ROCK BUT!

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Just remember who made the seats together with the rest of the car. The average Japanese does surely not weight over 150 pounds, right? So the seats were designed for the "average" local human which is a bit on the low side for most, even for me. The seats have a very complicated construction as they were indeed designed to be the best on the market. Cushioning was designed to be between the american "too soft" and the european "too sporty" settings. You can still feel this in the backseats and on the vertical part of the front seat.

Now what happens if an average a bit over the top american or european with careful acquired 250 pounds of muscle (sic.) drives day-in day-out in a seat that's made for a hondred pounds less? The padding and springs (although not real springs in this case) gives up and you end up on the hard supports and completely out of position for the backrest. No wonder the bum and lower back hurts. I bet those with no problems have a car that has been driven by lightweight people, right?

So what to do? If you know a real good interior shop they can upholster the seats. The leather, if needed is still available as genuine part. New appropriate foam will help a lot. For the desperate cases or ultimate comfort you can fit gel cushions inside the foam. A costly operation but those cushions adapt to your bum like a bag of feathers. But generally simple foam will do.

Hope this helps.

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Bouncy - a lot like the Mercedes of the 80s.

Agreed, very much so...that's the "euro sporty" feel mentioned by LL.

Just remember who made the seats together with the rest of the car. The average Japanese does surely not weight over 150 pounds, right? So the seats were designed for the "average" local human which is a bit on the low side for most, even for me.

LL, I don't buy your person-size argument. If the target market for Lexus was the U.S., why would they use an average Janapese person to model the size after? That makes no sense. A smart company would have used an average person from the target market. The last time I checked, Toyota/Lexus was a smart company. Did they start off "not-so-smart"? <_<

I had the same problems with my 91 LS400 front seats as others have noted here. In my case, I'm rather certain it was largely due to the size of the previous owner. He was a monster, and he seemingly crushed the bucket and broke part of the back support. The bottom sagged and I could feel springs (or something like that) digging into me arss. After hearing how common this problem is, it seems as though perhaps the construction was meant for that supreme feel of the best of both worlds, luxury + sporty, and not for extreme longevity.

I resorted to replacing with some I found in a great wreck deal at a scrapyard. For $125 each I replaced both fronts. Though they were just as old, the leather reconditioned to like-new status though and they are MUCH more comfortable.

I haven't spent more than 2.5 non-stop hours in them since then, but at 2.5 hours I don't get numb or sore cheeks. No more discomfortable than sitting anywhere else for that length of time.

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I resorted to replacing with some I found in a great wreck deal at a scrapyard. For $125 each I replaced both fronts. Though they were just as old, the leather reconditioned to like-new status though and they are MUCH more comfortable.

What did you use to recondition the leather? The seats in my '90 LS are ripped and hard as granite. I'm near a junkyard( TAP Recycling), and I might try that route. I'll bet they're not as cheap as $125 each, though.

John

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Bouncy - a lot like the Mercedes of the 80s.

LL, I don't buy your person-size argument. If the target market for Lexus was the U.S., why would they use an average Janapese person to model the size after? That makes no sense. A smart company would have used an average person from the target market. The last time I checked, Toyota/Lexus was a smart company. Did they start off "not-so-smart"? <_<

Hm, probably didn't express myself clear. So let's try again. No, Toyota is smart. They surely did take into account the 95% human model. This means you have to design a car the way 95% of all the people will find a good position in it. This ranges from the 5-feet woman to the 6feet 8 man. It does however NOT take into account variations out of this selection. You must stop somewhere, right?

Problem now is that you take, like in Toyotas case, a worldwide average. And fact is that this average is a bit on the low side considering a lot of middle-age and older american white middle-class males. Europe males are still not as heavy but trying to catch up. So you design a seat with a load index ranging approximatively from 100 pounds to 180 pounds. You make your calculations and try those seats, even for long periods and they work out fine. They are in fact but all engineers employed in the project F1 were of japanese origins.

This prevents problem from arising. Long time testers at the factory did not find it uncomfortable as they weren't heavy. The seat cushions only degrade after long periods of compression under heavy weights. Occasional other test drivers did not find them uncomfy as the seats were still new.

So all this creeps up slowly and around 95' Toyota reckons it has a problem with the seats. So a change is made and - voila - from that time on the problem almost vanishes. Oh, you still got it. Imagine what a 300pounds-plus, built-like-a-brick-wall man does to a poor seat. I have seen Porsche seats crushed, BMWs seats torn open and most european manufacturers products completely broken. Strngely light truck and full size freight trucks seem not to suffer from that phenomen.

Also cheap seats age better. Look at my old Land Rovers. They are still as uncomfortable as they were when new. :D

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Hmm...sounds like you may have some experience in the process, or just a lot of time on your hands ;) either way, I commend you on your thoroughness and must assume you know what you're talking about. So thanks for the lesson :cheers:

As for reconditioning mine, I actually had them done at a detail shop located in the garage of my office building. They have a leather repair guy that comes in every so often to fix tears and such and he repaired a tear for me and then cleaned and actually painted the leather. I know that sounds crazy and I was skeptical myself at first, but I had nothing to lose so he did the fronts and the center console. I had a few small tears and there were age cracks everywhere, but other than that the leather was structurally in good shape. I must say, it was well worth the money. It's been over a year now and they look absolutely beautiful and I've had no problems with them. I condition them regularly to keep them looking and feeling good. As for the "feel", it feels and looks like top quality leather that's in perfect condition. I get compliments on it all the time :D

I'm getting the rear seats done soon as well. There's a growing tear back there that I've pretty had enough of. I don't remember the total cost for both fronts, but I think it was like $175 to repair the couple of small tears, clean and then paint the leather on both front seats and the center console. An added benefit was the disappearance of the rubbed out area of the center console, it looked like new again!

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You're right about the design of the seats based on "avg" Asian people... that's also why the seat bottoms are so short. I heard this from Lexus firsthand. The early Gen I's are exactly the same (except for US regulatory changes) as they were driving and selling to the Japanese market. Lexus didn't make any design changes like that until Gen II although the '94's are a little better. I has additional foam added at a seat place for $175 and it saved me from selling the car. If that didn't work it was gone because it was so uncomfortable on long trips. It's 100% better now. If you could get seats from a '95, that would be a huge upgrade as well.

Bob

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It is not due to the leather on mine. It is in good shape. The foam also seems ok. If you push on it with your hand it pushes back and retains it shape. For comparison I have an 84 Saab with over 300,000 miles ( the Lexus only has 100,000 miles). And I care for the leather with "Mothers" Leather cleaner and conditioner "Gold". One of the best products I have found. The guy that redid my truck seats told me the foam is in good shape. Just real thin. Talked to a guy that makes custom sheep skins at about 400.00 each. He tells me he has always had complaints on the early LS400's. So, I say it is a bad seat design. My friend has an old supra the one that first came out with the little bulb you squeeze to inflate the lumbar support. His seats are still comfy. Old and used, but comfy.... Also the pasanger seat on my car has barly been used, and has the same feel as the drivers seat.

I would like to know more about those "gel" inserts. Like where can I get one.

P.S.

Is there an icone for a sore butt...... :lol:

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I would love to find some newer seats, but that sounds like it might be pricey. Does anyone know if the bolt locations of newer seats are compatible with 91?

The only other potential problem (aside from memory system compatibility) with getting newer seats might be how well the color would match up with the rest of the interior. For example, I would imagine the tan color may have changed slightly over the years.

I would like to know more about the "adding foam" option. Can I just go to an upholstery place and tell them I want some foam added to my seats? This might be a great solution, as my seats are excellent on the exterior but not as comfy as they should be, due to age. Additional foam would be heavenly. :D

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yes, that's exactly what I did. I was bottoming out on the left side of the drivers seat and they added foam all around. I don't think they touched the back of the seat but that wasn't my problem. Like night and day and not to be too dramatic, but if that didn't work I was selling the car so I'm much happier.

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I would like to know more about the "adding foam" option. Can I just go to an upholstery place and tell them I want some foam added to my seats? This might be a great solution, as my seats are excellent on the exterior but not as comfy as they should be, due to age. Additional foam would be heavenly.  :D

Gel inserts are well known in Europe among motorcyclists. The older they grow, the worse the butt hurts on long trips. Either that or my seat also ages on the bike. You must search a bit, I'm quite sure they exist in the US too. Here (in ole' Europe) a common option is to combine a gel insert with a heated mat. Gel itself does not cushion but it makes for covering any hard spots. It's abit like a water bed. So gel must always be covered with foam.

Foam for seats is available in a wide variety of specific softness. Often 2 or more layers are combined to form an increasing resistant padding. The best would be to junk out the old foam completely and have it refiteted with new one. Foam ages with years, ever noticed foam padding on old carpets that just desintegrates into a powdery mess? Increasing thickness might be possible if your leather is still flexible enough. This can only be judged by a good upholstery shop when they disassemble the seat. The job itself isn't complicated, just a question of know-how.

And, to Shaggz, didn't want to give you a lesson. Sorry if that came over a bit harsh. And you may be right. Probably I have way too much free time. I used to fiddle on my cars just to keep them running. Now my daily driver is a LS and suddenly I don't know what to do in the evenings. :rolleyes:

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Guys!! :)

I realize I'm digging up an 'old topic' - but I only found this thread by doing a search for 'seat comfort'.

[not sure how I missed it - first time around]

It's nice to know that I'm not alone. The seat in my 1993 LS is not just uncomfortable - it has actually caused a 'pain' down 'there' that lasts long AFTER I get out of the car AND 'hurts' within minutes of getting IN the car. [and I'm mean 'pain'] I have often had to stop the car and get out - to stop the pain. At one time - I never made the connection between the 'pain' and 'car' seat - but now I'm certain of it. My LS really IS a P.I.T.A. lol I thought about adding or replacing the foam [at one time] but my head is already pressed against the roof. [which is probably partly responsible for why I'm so uncomfortable - because I have to lean the seat back so far just to clear the top of my head] If I added foam - I thought - I'd just have to lean back even further. Then again - I suppose that by merely replacing the foam that's there [can you hear my brain working?!] with new, firmer foam and/or that foam that takes on the impression of things [you know that special foam that retains the image of your hand for a few seconds after you have pressed on it?!] maybe that would work. Hmm....

Does anyone know just how thick the foam is supposed to be?!

Would the seat still LOOK like a Lexus seat after an upholstery shop got their hands on it?!

I haven't really mentioned any of this before because I just assumed that there was nothing that could be done. And being the big 6'3" - 260 lbs guy that I am - it was hardly the seats fault. [when your a big guy - you put up with a lot of 'things' in life that aren't made with YOU in mind!!]

Thanks,

Craig!! :)

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I had mine done about 2 years ago (foam "blocks" is what the shop said they installed) and that did the trick for me. It don't think that it will change the height at all and there was no change in appearance.

On the left hand side of my seat I could push it down with my hand until it bottomed out. That's what hurt but it has enough padding to be comfortable now.

Bob

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  • 2 weeks later...
I had mine done about 2 years ago (foam "blocks" is what the shop said they installed) and that did the trick for me. It don't think that it will change the height at all and there was no change in appearance.

On the left hand side of my seat I could push it down with my hand until it bottomed out. That's what hurt but it has enough padding to be comfortable now.

Bob

I guess I'm going to add this to my to-do list as well! I don't what the technical term is (lateral support?), but the lack of support under my hamstrings near my knees is what does me in. I've driven with a little pillow under my right leg, and it helped, but then, my head was rubbing on the roof. You just can't win with these little cars.

i was wondering how much would cost 2 brand new front seats ? anyone have any idea? mine are pretty worn and they do not work really well too.
Several thousand dollars for two new Lexus seats. The leather covers alone cost in the thousands.
I haven't really mentioned any of this before because I just assumed that there was nothing that could be done. And being the big 6'3" - 260 lbs guy that I am - it was hardly the seats fault. [when your a big guy - you put up with a lot of 'things' in life that aren't made with YOU in mind!!]
I feel you pain, Craig! When I get out of the car, it feels like someone secretly replaced my legs with 2x4's when I wasn't looking. I look like a damn idiot when I get out the car--hobbling and limping while waiting to regain feeling in my legs (and it isn't a health issue because I've driven other cars for longer durations with no pain at all.).

I'm still hoping that Lexus will one day build us a car that will accomidate guys up to 6'5 like the folks at Mercedes or Lincoln. I can appreciate that they don't want to spend the extra $20 in steel to extend the seat tracks and lower the seating position because most drivers are under 6' tall, but make it a special option package or something and charge through the roof for it because people would pay for it.

I think the worst thing other than cars that aren't designed for tall people are airliners. It's just aweful no matter where you sit--I find first class just as uncomfrotable as coach, but at least you are taken care of in first. LOL

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I guess I'm going to add this to my to-do list as well! I don't what the technical term is (lateral support?), but the lack of support under my hamstrings near my knees is what does me in. I've driven with a little pillow under my right leg, and it helped, but then, my head was rubbing on the roof. You just can't win with these little cars.

LOL, you are the only person that I've ever heard call a 200" long 4,000 lb LS a "little car" LOL.

Face it, you're a little atypically tall ;)

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LOL, you are the only person that I've ever heard call a 200" long 4,000 lb LS a "little car" LOL.

Face it, you're a little atypically tall ;)

I was referring more to the interior than exterior. You slide your seat forward 4" or 5" from where you like it, and your car will become little as well! LOL

Oh no, I am well aware that most cars are not built to accomidate someone who is as tall as I am. However, it just pis#es me off that a little tiny car like a Jetta or Saab 9-3 has dramatically more head and legroom (enough for me to be very comfortable) than a car that is 2x its size, like, ohhh, let's say a LS. The seats in the S classes (and E's too) go all the way back, so Lexus, it's about time you do the same. I should write them a letter one day just to see what they say about this! LOL

The Germans have a completely different philosophy as far as seat placement is concerned. They bolt the seat tracks to the side (not to the floor), and let the driver's seat slide 1/2 centimeter off of the back seat so that you can get a wide range of drivers behind the wheel. With the seat all the way back in my LS, there is still plenty of room back there which you'd never find in a S class.

I was driving my uncle's E320 CDI the other day, and it was just bizarre to not be sitting on top of the dash while getting 30mpg! B)

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I was referring more to the interior than exterior. You slide your seat forward 4" or 5" from where you like it, and your car will become little as well! LOL

This is true LOL

I should write them a letter one day just to see what they say about this! LOL

Really and truly, you should. It'll be interesting to see if you have issues in the LS460L

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