Beware Rugged Ridge XHD Seats -
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-30-2011, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Rochester Hills
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Beware Rugged Ridge XHD Seats

I bought a set of Rugged Ridge XHD "Rubicon style" seats for my recently purchased 1997 Wrangler Sahara. The stock seats were old, worn out, and must have gotten wet in the car's past life as they had an unpleasant odor about them.

I am new to the Jeep DIY world, but pretty handy overall. These things were a nightmare to install, and I want to give warning to others about my experience.

The seat itself is decent quality. But they are pretty uncomfortable. The description of them says the seat bottom is extra "wide to cradle the rider in comfort". They provide good back support, but very uncomfortable for me as the seat bottom bolsters make for a tight squeeze. Well, I am 6'2" and 220 pounds, so figured it was just that I am a big guy. But a woman friend of mine who is all of 125 pounds says they are uncomfortable for her, too for the same reason. Not terrible for around town, but I don't look forward to any road trips of any length in my jeep.

My real problem is the quality of the mounting and installation materials. Though the brackets included let you install this in pretty much any Jeep, the materials are shoddy. Installation was a pain to begin with- there were no instructions included so I had to download them from the internet. Once I did, they were not clear at all- lots of detail on how to remove your old seat, but installation of mounting hardware is given as "use the bolts, nuts, and nut plates included to install as shown in the diagram and figure...". Not intuitive, and you can barely see the pictures. Terrible lighting and low resolution. It is very difficult to make out orientation of the parts. The diagram provided simply highlights which holes to use, but doesn't show how to orient the parts. Also, I am pretty sure the pictures of driver and passenger side seats are backwards, making it all the more confusing.

The "nut plates' are four long, narrow metal plates with a nut welded on the end. Great idea- should have made it easy to push the nut into the corners (once you figure out which holes to use) and drive the bolt through to attach the seat mounts. However... of the 8 nut plates that came with my 2 seats, 5 were screwed up so bad during the manufacturing process that they couldn't be used. When they welded the nuts on, several nuts had slag from the weld inside the threaded hole; on several others the holes were not threaded properly, and on one the nut was half missing from welding damage. This made it impossible to use these parts, and I spent hours fishing nuts and washers up into the seat cushion corners and then fishing a wrench onto the nuts to secure the bolts. Also, the bolts included were about 4 inches long- crazy, because it I used them they would have gone all the way up into the seat bottom cushion. What should have been an hour job took me the better part of a day and two trips to the hardware store.

The plastic trim pieces used to cover the seat hinges were cheap too- both broke when I tried to install them according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Once I finally got them installed, they look great but are not very comfortable. Wish I had bought something else. I will have a hard time buying from Rugged Ridge again, given the shoddy overall materials and workmanship.

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-30-2011, 05:55 PM
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Nice review.... Maybe this can be put in our review section, so others can readily find it.

Oh, and welcome!

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post #3 of 8 Old 12-15-2012, 04:05 PM
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
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Now that you've had them for a while, would you still suggest a different seat? I'm getting ready for new seats and found this post as I was about to buy them.

I like the racing seat style but it's also my DD and I'm looking for comfort as well.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-15-2012, 04:23 PM
Matt L
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
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Location: Wa.
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mastercraft for the win, i have them. I just put in corbeau jp? in my k5, not as comfy as mastercraft, seam narrow.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-15-2012, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
mastercraft for the win, i have them. I just put in corbeau jp? in my k5, not as comfy as mastercraft, seam narrow.
How would wider seams help the Corbeau be more comfy?

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post #6 of 8 Old 12-15-2012, 08:18 PM
Matt L
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well it seems if they built them a little wider it would take more seams.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-16-2012, 08:58 AM
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2004 TJ Wrangler 
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On Rugged Ridge' s installation instructions...I called their tech line to get directions for installing one of their ORV lift kits and was told that there were none available . The tech that answered the phone was helpful, but told me that their thought behind not providing instructions for a lot of their products was "If a customer is taking off a part to replace with one of our aftermarket upgrades, they should know how to get it back on"...I ***** you not. I've got a buddy who got boned on their XHD seats as well, his only lasted a year with a bikini top before they dry rotted and tore...
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-05-2014, 07:45 PM
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
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I recently bought these seats as well. Bought shorter bolts for the install as well as the long bolts are a pain to get in the correct positions and seems they would extend extremely far into the seat cushioning. Included directions are not that great and the mounting pictures for the tj seats are definitely reversed. The bolsters do make these seats narrower than factory. If you are above about 160 or a 32" waist then you might spill over the bolsters a little, or maybe it will just ensure you don't move around at all. The reclining mechanism takes a little time to raise up if you want to adjust it a great deal, if for instance you have some time for a quick nap while waiting for something. Would not recommend to others but I can live with them. Agree with the main posters review on these.
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rugged ridge , seats , tj , xhd

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