My stock seats were pretty beat up due to age, weather and constant wear from the previous/ original owner. So I went out to the local Pull-yer-Own and found a totaled out 99 Grand Cherokee. Seats were in pretty good shape, so I picked them up for a $100. Manual adjust, cloth, no forward tilt. Nothing fancy. The one thing that I was really hesitant about on Grand Cherokee seats was the loss of the Forward Tilt since I have two little ones that I constantly get in and out of the back seat from either side. Luckily this was an easy fix as well!
So, for the swap of the seats, it is pretty basic. Remove stock seats from your TJ, remove frames from bottom of your TJ seats (sliders and all), remove stock frames from WJ seats (discard), install frames from TJ onto WJ seats, install WJ seats with TJ frames into TJ Jeep, go get 'em dirty. (Actually you have to notch the plastic covering on the side too, but I'll get to that later). All in all, if you can find a set of these guys lying around in a junkyard somewhere, I'd say go for it. They seem to form around you better than the stock seats do (a little bit) more like a sport seat does, but cush enough to still be enjoyable! I give it
Now for the added goodies that I found....
If you are considering the WJ seat swap, and are hesitant because you want to keep the forward tilt, YOU CAN! The hinge on the side of the TJ seats are the EXACT SAME as the ones for the WJ seats, but have the release lever on them. All you have to do is remove the hinge from the TJ seats, and swap them over to the WJ seats. Cut a 1" slit for the lever to poke out of in the back of the seat, and WAH-LA! 4-bolts. One 1" cut and That's it.
So, let's get into details, shall we?
So after a good (and MUCH needed) steam cleaning this is what I've got..... (The one on the left was still a little wet)
So here are my new (to me) donor seats from a 1999 WJ Jeep Grand Cherokee. Manual adjust, cloth, non-heated, and CHEAP!
So I removed my driver seat and frames from both WJ and TJ seats. Here are the side-by-side comparisons.
The WJs look to be a little shorter (only 1" shorter with the headrest ALL THE WAY DOWN!) but they really aren't. Optical illusion.
Now the BOTTOMS of the seats look a little taller on the WJs from this angle, but that is not true either. The base (where your butt sits) is actually even with the TJs, but the sides are a little more supportive and not as flat. More of a bowl than a plate shape. A feature that I was looking for in a new seat. (More support, or "wrap" I like to call it)
So I was about half way done with the Driver seat swap when I thought about the forward tilt.... and a light bulb went off...... "I wonder if I could retrofit the unlocking mechanism in the hinge on the TJ seats onto the WJ seat hinge?" When I pulled up the upholstery on the TJ seat and the WJ seat, I stood back and thought.... "Hmm... that looks REEEALLY SIMILAR!!" Now, the pictures below are from the passenger side. I had to make sure the hinges worked and fit correctly prior to taking pictures.... didn't want to steer you guys wrong, so NOTE: THESE PICTURES ARE OF THE PASSENGER SIDE
Driver side is done the EXACT SAME WAY.
THEY ARE A DIRECT SWAP!!!
This is how to remove them from the TJ seat (passenger side is shown). Install on the WJ seat is the exact same, in reverse of course.
There are four 13mm bolts holding the hinges in place. There are no other bolts in these hinges, so you can't miss 'em. (In the pictures, the 2 bolts in the bottom half of the hinge have already been removed). Two on the base of the seat,.....
two on the back of the seat.
Another note, on the PASSENGER seat, due to the forward TUMBLE cabling, there is a cable with a connector (similar to a throttle cable) hooked up to the back of the hinge that connects up to the pull tab on the top of the seat. This cable will be removed from the hinge. I did not retrofit the pull tab up top into the WJ seats so the cable was left in the TJ seat. This cable is not present on the Driver side.
Now, once you have your hinges installed, the plastic trim piece you removed to get there has to be trimmed. It is about a 5"x2" cut. I cut mine at an angle towards the front, not really sure if it was needed to be done that way, but cut it small, and make it bigger if need be. I used a hack-saw. Took (LITERALLY) about 20 seconds to cut this thing out. Both sides were cut the same.
Now the plastic covering does rub on the roll bar a VERY little bit when the seats are pushed all the way back. Here are pictures of the lack of clearance on both .... Driver side (pushed about 75% back)
And Passenger (all the way back)
And here's the finished product
Not a PERFECT match, but dang near close enough for government work!
And here is a picture of the WJ seats with the Forward Tilt in action! (Seat was pushed up pretty far when picture was taken. Had to get access to rear of seat to remove plastic trim piece for pictures a little further down in the thread.)
If anyone has any questions on this swap, let me know. If something is unclear, please let me know and i can try to clarify it up best as I can. I hope this helps some of you guys (and gals) out! It's a pretty simple, straight-forward swap, including hinges, and I think just about anyone would be pleased with the results. Thanks for checkin out my first write up! ENJOY!!!