New Head Rest, Part II

6 06 2014

Project “Getting head rests into Taiga Lily” is causing some frustration. When we came home from Australia in mid-May, we went via Marburg and picked up the driver’s seat of our old bus from my parent’s attic. Together with the passenger seat I got last year on Ebay, I thought I had everything in place for a quick swap of both front seats, from head rest-less to head rest-full. Not the same color, but at least matching colors and original Volkswagen T2b seats, and a quick fix until I will find the correct black “L” seats with head rests.

The old seats from our 1976 VW L bus...

The old seats from our 1976 VW L bus…

... and the new pair, from a 1978 VW panel van.

… and the new pair, from a 1978 VW panel van.

The passenger seat clicked in no problem, but after 30 mins of wrestling with the driver’s seat I gave up. Turns out the driver’s seats from a 1978 bus and a 1976 bus have slightly different attachment rails (different shape and 3 mm further apart) and a different locking mechanism. Googling for the problem confirmed that there was a design change somewhere in 1976. The rails in the front cabin of later buses are compatible with seats from T3s and early T4s, but do not fit pre-1976 seats and vice versa. The metal base plate of both seats looks almost identical, just the rails on them, their attachment to the base plate and said locking mechanism differ. I gave up for the moment and will try to swap the rails between of the seats on one of the next weekends. Has anyone out there tried that already? Anything one should pay particular attention to? Plan B would be to swap the rails welded into the car (still have the 1978 rails somewhere). Or wait for a matching pre-1976 brown driver’s seat with a head rest on Ebay or somewhere else. I guess for the moment I live with a mixed brown and black pair of seats. Does not look great, but at least one seat is now a bit safer.



... and after the partial operation.

… and after the partial operation.



5 responses

7 06 2014
Tony Bezzina


You can bus special spray paint for these seats – not 100% but 95% until you sort out the problem

Cheers tony

10 06 2014

Hi Tony,

Thanks for this advice. Wasn’t aware there is paint for the head rests. But will probably try to keep the brown seats brown for the time being. The brown driver’s seat is the original one from my second bus (currently with campervan pilot seats), so would like to keep the option to re-built her to a more original state some time in the far future.

Best wishes, Roman

9 06 2014
Dan The Man

What do you need ? Black head rests ? I have green ones from a 76 camper — is that what you need ? Like Tony said, you can use vinyl paint and paint them black ? — Good luck… I drove my 78 camper to work today and twice last week…

10 06 2014

Thanks for offering to help! But I do have enough head rests. Just the original black seats do not have the tubes within the back rest to attach them. They must still be from a time when the standard seats were without head rests, at least in Germany. So would like to swap the rails/sliders under the brown driver’s seat against the sliders from the original black seats, to slide the brown seat onto the rails welded into the driver’s cabin… Was wondering whether people have done such a swap already. Looks as if one has to cut some new openings into the 1978 base plate to attach the 1978 adjustment mechanism…

Cheers, Roman

31 12 2015
Head Rests, Part III: Finally Sorted! | Campervan Crazy

[…] but at least original VW kombi seats and both with the basket weaves patterns. This all went to pot when I wanted to install them and learnt that the driver’s seat (from an 1978 late bay) did not fit into the seat rails in […]

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