Progress ? Anyway, I bought hog ring pliers and some rings because although I'm also intimidated by taking apart these seats, it doesn't mean I won't try. I really want to retain seat heating, so that is my motivation. Found a good YT vid that shows the take-apart process for a Recaro Sportster, so I'm feeling optimistic. I won't get to work on them this weekend as still waiting on other pieces, so maybe next weekend?
Well, I learned some stuff. #1, if you're smart and disconnect the harness from the car (under the carpet, there's a little access door held shut by a plug), you don't need to mangle the harness trying to disconnect it from the seat. I was not smart, and so I popped the harness off of the seat, though I wasn't able to disconnect everything. Oh well, it's still functional should I desire to go back to it.
I was back and forth and decided I didn't need heated seats so I folded the heating pad up on itself to make it fit nicely between the wiggly spring guys and the underside of the seat. In the process of dismantling things I must've messed up my seatbelt receiver's plug, so I've got another one on the way and then I'll finish up the seat install on the passenger's side. I've got the battery disconnected in order to avoid any error lights, so once I get the passengers' side seat installed I'll connect the battery again and pull the GTI out of the garage, and turn it around so I have adequate room to pull the driver's side seat out. The seats honestly come out far easier than I expected, pulling the seats in my Mazda was notably more annoying despite having way more space in which to work.
I'll take photos once the seatbelt receiver comes in, but it's not been a painful process up to this point. PS if you're a smart guy unlike me, when you pull the seat you'll take note of what plugs go where. I did not, and I'm going to be referencing wire colors/connections from the driver's seat, but I'm going to be futzing with these for a while as I try to get the height dialed in. The lower seating position is a plus because I didn't really fit properly with a helmet on the OEM seats, so I'm going to be stacking washers to try to get it how I want. I hear thigh support is a thing, so there's a good chance I'll try with barely any washers in the back and a full stack up front, though I'm using the stock bolts at this time (and if I need more height adjustment, I'll get longer bolts).
Y'all know what $50 of washers looks like? It's hilarious. I bought 100 of the two sizes of washers I needed for the brackets to the seats and the brackets to the car, and I think that's adequate for two seats.