Written by: Mark Turnbull
You need new seats! Your going to spend a couple of bucks here but it's money well spent.
My YJ seats were so uncomfortable to sit in I couldn't have any fun on the trail. After a while the YJ seat back tends to bend and lean to the rear. I've heard stories from TJ owners about how the foam in the seat on outside (door side) breaks down and it feels like your sitting sideways. It's time for new seats! The shear number of replacement seats available in today's after market is dizzying! From stock replacement seats with any number of bells and whistles, tons of aftermarket tuner type racing seats to a handful of suspension seats. Direct bolt in replacements can be found in a variety of trim levels and are very expensive. I'm kind of confused as to why. I mean it's a stock seat, what's so special about it? If your looking at those tuner car racing seats...they look cool but you need to be worried about breakage. They are not designed for the kind of abuse caused by the human form bouncing up and down, side to side and worst yet, front to back. Snap one of those seat backs and your screwed. If your pushing it to the limit, what you need is a fixed bucket style suspension seat! A seat that will provide the ultimate in comfort and full body support. What is a suspension seat? It's a seat constructed of a steel tubular frame, foam cushioning and laced together with military grade suspension chord. Most are also 5 point harness capable. This kind of seat is 10 times more capable of withstanding the punishment associated with off road diving. There are no springs in the seat back or the seat bottom, you are suspended! Your bottom side doesn't come to an abrupt halt like on a stock style seat. It's the ultimate in off road comfort and safety. The most important advantage to a bucket style suspension seat is how well it holds you in place and keeps you from slipping and sliding around. You'll appreciate it the first time you get into one of those wicked off camber situations.
Keeping in mind the Bolt-on 101 Big Five, Price, Quality, Function, Design and Customer Service! Here's what we decided on and why! The Baja SS seat from Corbeau! Let's start with Price; you can buy two of these for less than what it would cost for just one seat from any those other seat manufacturers. Quality; the high grade materials used to make this seat from the tubular steel frame, foam padding, reinforced nylon and cloth to the military grade suspension chord are the same as any other manufacturer of this kind of seat. Function; It does a superb job of providing comfort, support and safety. As for Design, it is built and designed to be as good, if not better than any other suspension seat on the market. There is nice assortment of materials and colors available to match or accent your interior. There is one more thing that sets the Cobeau suspension seat apart from the others. More than one size is available! The Baja SS seat will fit up to a 36-38" waist. Need bigger? The bigger brother, Baja Ultra SS has a 4" higher back and is 1 inch wider and will fit up to a 40-42" waist. As for our final category, Customer Service, I have been a fan of the Corbeau brand for years. They have a long standing commitment to quality, safety and affordability!
The last thing you need to consider is how to mount these seats in your Jeep. At press time there are no suspension seats that bolt directly into a Jeep. Wait! Come back here...you have three options. The first is a custom made seat bracket option. That can be expensive. The second is an adapter which most suspension seat manufacturers offer, it can be be pricey as well. The last available option is to make your own for about ten bucks! Hold on...read on! Suspension seats mount three different ways. They either bolt on from the bottom to a bracket made specifically for the seat and your vehicle. Some have blocks or feet attached to the bottom. In the case of the Baja SS seat, and the most common, you'll find tabs at all four corners that point straight down. Is it difficult to make your own seat brackets? Nope, we made ours in about an hour.
The tools required: something to cut metal (a reciprocating saw), a drill, assorted wrenches and measuring tape.
|Start with a piece of 1and 1/2 inch angle stock. Turn it upside down, drill and bolt it to the stock seat frame. Place your seat in the vehicle. Find your comfortable driving position, mark the holes and drill.||
To maintain the ability to fold your passenger seat forward, cut away the material from the out-side of the passenger side bracket so that it clears the lever.
|Keep in mind that mounting the seats this way, will not allow you to slide the seat forward or back. If you look closely, you can see that I left some space open in the back of the bracket on the passenger side just incase I wanted to change the forward position of the seat.|
|You might find that the seat may lean back to far for you. The fix is easy.||Add a pair of home made bracket adapters. That will bring the back of the seat up and forward.||
I made mine three inches, the perfect seating position for me. Your done!
They look great!
They feel great!
A brand with a great reputation!
Conclusion: The first test drive in the Jeep after the installation was unforgettable. Aside from the obvious safety upgrade, the comfort level of this kind of seat is second to none. We have had the opportunity to put these seats to the test off road, and what a difference. It's makes the day on the trail so much more enjoyable! Two more notes of importance: If you are considering this seat for your daily driver, you might want to think twice. It is a bit more difficult to get in and out of because of the huge side bolsters. And secondly, if you are prone to back pain, consider the available inflatable lumbar support.