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Discussion Starter #1
3rd seat removed

4 bolts and 5 minutes, two people and the third seats were easily removed.
We built a custom aluminum diamond plate box to fit in the space (7"x36"x41"), and Rhino coated it black. We threw a black nogahyde (sic?) tarp over the 2nd row of seats to keep them clean while not in use. We created 3 segments in the box: a front "drawer", and two compartments for "stuff".
We put an electric solenoid actuated switch to open box; and gas struts to hold the lid open.
It makes a fantastic trunk to store stuff in for those off road jaunts. Pictures don't do it justice, but have attached a couple to give the idea. It makes the Jeep soooo much nicer in storage space.
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

Do you have a picture of the area under the 3rd row seat? It seems to me that this is the only space that I would gain, which may translate to two duffle bags? I do not want to reduce the current loading hight, as I am often filled up all the way to the top as it is :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Re: 3rd seat removed

Sorry it took so long to respond had to download and reduce some more pix.

I have included pix of with the 3rd seat in (you should recognize these), with the third seat removed, and with the box installed (unpainted).

To take the third seat out, first remove the reversible carrier to expose the jack. Pop out the ribbed casing over the hatchback latch... you will have to tug at it, it is secured by plastic clips which click into place. With those two plastic moldings out of the way, you will see 4 10mm bolts to remove the jack carrier. Next there are 3 nuts (18mm) and 1 bolt (18mm) holding the seats in place. The seats are pretty heavy and are better moved with 2 people. I have included a pix of the seats removed.

The box itself is rivetted together. We used the better part of a box of 250 rivets to assemble with thin angle aluminum and a piano hinge.

BTW, the box is 7" deep, so depending on the size of the duffle bags, may or may not fit. We use it to store tools on one side (inch winch, jumper cables, rope, chain, first aid kit, snatch em up strap...) and camping gear on the other (fold up chairs, table, paper towels, baggies, flashlight, lighter, leatherman, shovel, clippers...). When the top is closed it still allows us the broad space to put things on top of.
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

The space in there would be huge if you take out the 3rd row and put in a normal floor. Then, if only that center seat on the 2nd row would tumble forward.
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

The center seat definitely tumbles forward if you find the right strap to pull.. it took me a while.

Commo
Dearborn, MI
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

Rocket,

any chance you could upload the photo of the rear seats removed in a bigger file? Those are really tiny files -- you could go a couple hundred K and not be too big a download...

I'd like to see what we're dealing with a bit better as I plan for 3rd row seat removal! Thanks for being the first!

Commo
Dearborn, MI
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

Thats pretty cool. I am thinking of, in addition to a Commander, I may buy an older Cherokee (already have a 2001 that is my daily driver) to use for off-roading. This idea would work great if I could find a two-door Cherokee and pull the rear seat out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Re: 3rd seat removed

Commo,
Attached is the biggest file I could get within the site's 39Kb limit. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. The seats were really very simple to take out. We took them out a couple times back and forth before we permanently removed them. The hardest part was getting the ribbed plastic molding off for fear of breaking it.. but it just pops off (with a little force).
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

Do the 2nd row seats fold flat so you have one long flat expanse? I have only seen the Commander at my dealer and didn't take the time to let him show me how they all fold down and such. If I had one, I am sure I would remove the 3rd row as I would have no need for them.
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

Hey, thanks for the bigger pic -- the mounting points are less obtrusive than I thought they might be. I doubt I can construct such a kewl box, but I bet I could make a floor of some kind to clean up the look a bit.

Commo
Dearborn, MI
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

Yes, all the seats folf flat quite nicely. I am planning to take a 3rd seat out as well. A word of warning: small gas tank - out of gas in 200 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: 3rd seat removed

Commo,
If you get inspired let me know... we could probably draw up some sketches on constructing the box. With the seats removed there is a kind of molded pad with carpet on top. I didn't take mine out (wanting to keep as original as possible and for noise deadening), but you could remove and gain another inch or two. You could throw a rubber mat in the space to clean up the look. Note though that you will still want to have access to the tire carrier release (unless you move the tire somewhere else). Happy to help if you have any other questions.
Good luck, and keep us informed.
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

My third seat took the better part of the morning to get it out. S'easy once I figured out the right bolts (nuts) and the order. Kind of heavy for one person. Spent about an hour making wood covers for the now exposed bolts. Then topped with two rug samples. Neat. (Storing the seat on the "living" room between the trains and the wall. Very understanding wife.... The empty tool chest is still in the garage.)
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

Rocket - Great posts. I would love to see some sketches! I am interested in building one, and am definitely going to remove the third row, which I have only used once.
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

ROCKET,
I noticed that the back of the second row seat has a scuff mark. Did you do that while removing the third row seat, or was that already their when you purchased the Jeep? Reason I ask is because when I bought mine, it had the exact same scuff mark on the exact same seat. I took the jeep back and the dealership replaced the back of the seat.
 

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Re: 3rd seat removed

My Commander has the same scuff marks. It is caused by the headrest supports of the 3rd row seats when the 2nd row seats are reclined as you fold the rear seats down.
 
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