Installed 1st Gen Mazdaspeed seats in 1st Gen Mazda5

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08 Mazda5 Sport, 10 CX9 Touring
First off the obligatory but important safety warnings when dealing with the air bag system on any vehicle:

Before disconnecting an air bag connector, always turn the ignition switch to the LOCK position, disconnect the negative battery cable, and then wait for 1 min or more to allow the backup power supply of the SAS control module to deplete its stored power.​

If any of the following work is performed, seat weight calibration should be inspected and re-calibrated if necessary:

Removal of the passenger-side seat

Loosening and retightening of passenger’s seat fixing bolts

Alright, now the pay off (cabpatch):




After some time looking, I found Mazdaspeed 3 front bucket seats at an auto salvage yard in South Bend, Indiana. I picked them up during a recent trip to Chicago for work training. They weren't quite as mint condition as the pics indicated but they ended up cleaning up really well.

Seat back has been cleaned, bottom next at bat.

Inspiration:
http:// http://www.caranddriver.com/photo-gallery/return-of-the-boss-wagon-mazdaspeed-5

As I found out while the seat tracks between the speed3 and mz5 are 99% the same, its that 1% that makes them unrealistic direct swaps. The feet where the tracks bolt to the car on the mz5 are raised up approximately 2 inches for, I believe, two reasons. One, the heater floor duct outlet under the front seats and two, the raised dash height between speed3/mz3 and the mz5.

I think the seating position would be way too low for the average height driver/passenger. The driver's seat has height adjustability but the pass side does not. For this reason I did not attempt to just swap the whole seat assembly into the mz5. If I would have had more time to play around I would have test fitted the speed3 seat track but unfortunately time did not allow. First I'll cover disassembly of the seat assemblies, the two being very similar.



The seat bottom comes off first with the four 12mm bolts as seen in above picture. On the drivers' side the fabric flap at the bottom has to be disconnected for the bottom to clear supporting structure. Both drivers and pass will have to be removed later anyway. Also at this point the yellow air bag connector for the side air bag can be removed from the big black multi-connector by prying up on the retaining tab (removal can be made easier by removing large connector from bracket, see pic below) Also mark the location on the mz5 connector for installation of the speed3 connector and yes, they are direct swaps, although location in the multi-connector may be different between the two.



Next access to the 14mm seat back bolts/nuts is necessary, so the j-strip at the bottom of the back is undone revealing 2 zippers on the speed3 seats and 1 zipper on the mz5 seats. I found it necessary to remove the lumbar support lever on the speed3 seat but it was unnecessary on the mz5. There are two bolts per side to remove with the exception that the speed3 seats had studs/nuts on one side instead of bolts.


Now reassembly was fairly straightforward with 2 exceptions. One, the seat pan from the mz5 has to be switched to the seat pad/cover of the speed3 seat bottom due to bolt spacing in the pan. It seems that the seat track assembly and even the seat back are slightly narrower on the speed3. Removal of the pad/cover are fairly easy but man is that pressed metal sharp! Two, because the difference in width, tightening the seat back with the bolts/nuts you can see the the mount brackets/ears are pulled inward. This does not seem to have effected seat operation, at least in the short term. I really don't think it will have any long term effects either.


speed 3 on the left, mz5 on the right

Reassembly starts with the seat back, making sure the side air bag wiring is routed and tied as it was before disassembly. After switching seat pans the bottom can then be bolted on, again being careful of the wiring routing.


Ok, now here is the deal with the pass seat weight sensor. I reused the original mz5 that is mounted to the bottom of the pass seat pan.

If this or any seat swap is done, the vehicle should be taken to the dealer to have the seat weight sensor recalibrated. The air bag warning light will not be on, but codes will be set in the system and the seat weight sensor will be relying on a base program for pass air bag activation that will no longer be accurate because the base seat weight is not the same. The dealer will be able to calibrate an accurate zero baseline after clearing the codes for proper operation of pass side air bag. Again, if everything is reinstalled correctly the air bag warning lamp will not be on. This does not mean everything is accurate. Approx cost should be $100 or even less depending on dealer's labor rate/hour. It's a fairly straightforward process to re-calibrate the weight sensors using test weights, and having this done ensures proper operation of the air bag system.


This swap has been extremely gratifying due to the side bolsters of the speed3 seats. After driving it for a few days now, I can officially say that the mz5 front seats shouldn't be called bucket seats, but individual bench seats. The support of the speed3 seats is phenomenal. I will in no way miss the armrests because now I don't have to use it to hold me in place during sharp turns.

I like the look of the black seats on the tan bases because it matches the color scheme of the interior around the dash and the door panels, but the seat track covers, i believe, could be swapped, leaving just the tan lower covers in place.

Now just some random pics during the process:


 
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08 Mazda5 Sport, 10 CX9 Touring
The speed3 seats were 08 going into an 08 mz5. I would think that second gen seats would be more likely to be a direct swap for your 14 because when mazda makes changes to connectors and such, they tend to do it across lines that share many features, such as the speed3/mz3 and the mz5. I wish you luck.
 
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08 Mazda5 Sport, 10 CX9 Touring
Thank you, sac02, I hope it is useful and encourages others to actually try this. At first I was unsure if this was something that I would find value in spending my money and time in doing, but I'm very glad I did.
 
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2010 Mazda5 Touring
Excellent write up and pics!!! Did you swap over your mz5 airbags as well? Also, how is the thigh support compared to the mz5 which seems to feel a bit short. Also do you think these seats are more comfortable for long stretches (some of us like to travel in our 5's). Thanks for posting this!
 
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08 Mazda5 Sport, 10 CX9 Touring
The speed3 side air bags are a direct swap to the mz5, connector and all, for this application. This fact makes this a fairly simple swap. As for the seat bottom bolsters, I find that they may be a touch narrow for me but I may be a bit wider in the posterior than most folks. I actually like this though as I prefer to feel held in place versus the pick-up truck bench seat feel. I will have to report back after taking some longer trips but I find comfort levels to be subjective.
 
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2008 Mazda5 GT
How about beige and red?? That would be cool for red owners. I am a fan of uniform color scheme so black seats won't work. Great for black interior folks.

I wonder if RX8 seats can be made to fit. My gut says yes (like any other seat assuming it is not too wide) but need some mod also (possible a bracket to reuse the Mz5 base. It boils down to cost:gain ratio.
 
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08 Mazda5 Sport, 10 CX9 Touring
It would be an easy addition, I believe. The seat covers would need removed, they are just held to the foam cushion/pad with hog rings. The wiring would be ran alongside the factory harness. Everything is easily accessible with the seats disassembled in this fashion.
 
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08 Mazda5 Sport, 10 CX9 Touring
Thank you, njaremka. Looking back I really enjoyed doing the conversion and I'm completely happy with the seats.
 
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2010 Mazda5 Touring
Hey Loosenut, question.

Is their a techincal term or service code on the receipt for this procedure? I tried to explain it to the service manager and he had no clue of what I was talking about, and then he said it SHOULD reset on its own. SHOULD!!! There's only one way to find out right!!??? I hate service managers who know nothing about cars. I'm supposed to be calling him back today.
 
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njaremka

Wiggity-Wack-O-Tack
Contributor
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2011 MX5 GT
Hey Loosenut, question.

Is their a techinical term or service code on the receipt for this procedure? I tried to explain it to the service manager and he had no clue of what I was talking about, and then he said it SHOULD reset on its own. SHOULD!!! There's only one way to find out right!!??? I hate service managers who know nothing about cars. I'm supposed to be calling him back today.

just tell him that you had an airbag replaced, and you need the system recalibrated. if he has no clue, find another dealer.
 
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08 Mazda5 Sport, 10 CX9 Touring
Did he ask his lead technician? If not he needs to. Most service managers don't know technical details like this, but he should have said I don't know let me ask. This is a process they should be doing when removing the pass side seat. Like I said, when the control module is disconnected it loses programming and will set internal codes, then rely on a basic program for seat weight. To ensure proper operation, the module should be programmed with the above pictured calibration weights. If they don't know about this procedure, unfortunately you'll have to find one that does.

Edit: Like I stated in the how-to, the air bag light will not be on. A pass seat weight calibration error code will be set in system that needs to be cleared and then the above procedure done. Note: procedure will not work if they don't first do a code clear.
 
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