This information was originally posted by ProblemChild on our dedicated Forfour website,
The lounge concept was a gimmicky thing that Smart included in the ForFour to enable you to lay out in the car – ahem! Anyway, to make money from it they sold it as an option which meant that a “restrictor plate” had to be added to all seats that didn't have the lounge concept (only Smart eh?).
So the aim is to remove this restrictor plate on each seat!
1. Blunt knife or plastic trim removal tool
2. Torx screw bits – T20 and T40
3. A socket for the Torx bits – I use a ¼ inch socket to hold the Torx
4. Long reach extension
First, I checked I didn't have the lounge concept (factory or mod) before doing any work.
So I started on the passenger seat just in case I broke something – then I could still drive the car!
Instructions are for a RHD car but it will apply to LHD/Passenger/Driver/Leather/Cloth seats.
Firstly, contrary to other guides, you don't have to touch the backrest adjuster. This just wastes time and effort that could be spent drinking tea and eating bourbon biscuits!
Unscrew the screw (T20) below (just the door side – another minute saved)
If you have seat height adjusters then you now have to remove this. Prise off the plastic
cover in the centre and undo the T40 in the centre and the handle will just fall off.
Which reveals the adjustment handle mounting plate.
Now prise off the plastic shroud. The easiest way is to pull towards the door from
the area you just unscrewed, then the front most section and then lift up towards
the roof, noting the “lips” that keep it in place.
Tilt the seat forward so you can access the area where the seat material/leather joins.
This can then be pulled apart, as shown here...
As you can see, the 2 parts just push lock together and pull apart quite easily.
Lift up the material/leather as far as it goes (about 4 inches) to allow access
to the inside of the “door side” seat hinge where the restrictor plate lives.
There is only 1 restrictor plate per seat on the door side of the seat and
it is attached from the inside but the seat hinge bolt also goes through it.
The easiest way to remove the restrictor plate is to unscrew it from the inside first
(seat hinge bolt in place – makes it easier as the seat back doesn't flop around)
Locate the T40 that needs removing (its the only one in there) and, depending on
the tools you have available, work out the best way of getting some leverage on it.
As I was using a ratchets and sockets and an extension, I found this to be the best angle to
go for it (just be careful as there is a spring, airbag cable, heated seats cable etc all in there).
Once you have got the T40 moving, I found it easier to get my fingers
in there but you may have to stick with quarter turns on the ratchet.
Once you have removed this, you now need to remove the central seat hinge bolt (again T40).
With this removed, the seat back is now no longer attached to the seat base on that side
but don't worry. With this removed (don't lose the plastic sheath off it) you can now
locate the restrictor plate and remove it.
This bit was the only difficult bit as there isn't much manoeuvrability there!
I found wiggling it, then rotating it around the seat hinge and then prising seat back
away from hinge gave just enough room. When you are doing it, you will be able to see
where it gets stuck so just apply a bit of brute force where required. Then it just slides out.
When I took mine out, it looked different to other pictures I had seen
(the curved bar bit) so not sure why the addition was made.
Replace the seat hinge T40 bolt and plastic sheath.
(you may have to move the back rest up and down until it lines up properly).
Once tightened up, you can see the gap left where the restrictor plate used to be.
You should only have the following parts left.
Probably a good idea now the plate is removed to check your seat does what
you set out to do and that it doesn't do anything you don't want it to do.
So pull the seat back lever and see if your seat now goes all the way forward – "The Lounge Concept". (There should still be spring resistance.)
Also, turn the ignition on and check the airbag light goes out after a few seconds.
Fit everything back that you took apart (seat cloth/leather, plastic
shroud, seat height adjuster) Then do the other side in half the time.
Lounge Concept in full:
Told you it was easy – oh yeah !! its also free.