Can I enlarge my Voyager's seating capacity with a "new" seat from the junkyard?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jul 01, 1999

Dear Tom and Ray:

My family has just been enlarged by three boys under the age of 5 (Grandma got custody). My question is, is it possible to enlarge the seating capacity of my '93 Plymouth Voyager from a five-passenger van to a seven-passenger? We don't have a lot of money right now, so I'm thinking of going to the junkyard and buying the smaller central seat and all of the seat belts. Will that work? -- Connie

TOM: Sure it will. All of the Voyagers are built to handle seating for seven. If you don't order the extra seat, they simply don't install it.

RAY: Or, if they're eager to move a car they already have on the lot, they may even just remove it.

TOM: So you can go to a junkyard and buy the smaller middle bench if that's the one you're missing. And -- at least on the earlier Caravans and Voyagers -- the seat
belts used to come as part of the seat assembly itself. So you didn't have to buy anything else.

RAY: I'm not sure if that's true for the '93s -- especially with shoulder harnesses -- so you'll have to ask at the junkyard. Obviously, you'll need to make sure that every
passenger has both a lap belt and a properly secured shoulder belt. And if worst comes to worst, you may have to get some of that equipment installed at a dealer.

TOM: But the answer is "absolutely," Connie. And while you're at the junkyard, you may even want to pick up some of that fake wood paneling that I'm sure you
regretted not ordering back in 1993. And good luck with the kids -- you're a saint to take them in!

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