As my kids are growing, I have been wanting to do something to give them some head support while riding in the back seat of the LJ. I have seen on other forums where folks have added headrests to the factory bench, so I have had my eyes on a good deal to come my way so that I could do the same. Such a deal came up last week and I scored a 2 door JK back seat for a screaming deal. I got it home and started measuring, thinking I might be able to fit the whole seat in the LJ instead with some slight modification. However, the seat cushion is just too wide to fit between the LJ wheel wells. Next I began disassembling the JK seat back to extract the headrests. I got those out and noticed that there is no height adjustment on them which would be awful low on the TJ seat back. Then I started to compare the two seat backs. The JK is about 4 inches taller than the LJ seat back. So, I stripped it down to the seat back frame as pictured below:
Then I disassembled the LJ seat back and came to the conclusion that if I narrowed the mounting brackets of the JK seat back, I could mount it to the LJ seat cushion. Out came the grinder and air cutoff wheel to remove the brackets. Low and behold, the mounted right up to the LJ seat hinge:
Additionally, the JK hinge release cables mounted right up to the LJ hinges. Score #2. Next step is to narrow the JK seat back frame and do any necessary trimming on the seat back cushion.
I trimmed the seat back frame and re-welded it using only materials that were cut off of the frame.
Next I put the frame back in the cushion and trimmed the foam to clear the TJ seat hinge:
Then it was just a matter of assembly.
It all came out really well, so I also went out and ordered JK a seat cover to match the bottom TJ cover. It should arrive Monday.
The foam in the JK seat is more firm and the seat back cushion has side bolsters that the TJ seat does not have. I don't sit back there either. I am 6'4" and my head would be above the roll bar, so the Jeep is just not made for a guy my size to sit back there. Reading in other threads, I have heard that some folks prefer their TJ seats in terms of comfort over the JK. All a matter of opinion I suppose.
Just picked up the seat cover and unfortunately, the grey panels appear to be noticeably darker than what I currently have. I'll know for sure when I get it home to compare side by side. I wonder how the Rustoleum Fabric/Vinyl paint would work on the neoprene.
Very nice! I went w/ the Corbeau, because I didn't have the fab skills to pull off a custom job like you did, very nice! Yeah I agree the headrests are a must for the kiddos. I feel so much better having mine in a decent seat at least.
How does the fold and tumble work with those huge headrests? Hows the rear visiblity, not that its great to begin with on a stock rear seat, but again I think those things would really get in the way.
Not dumping on your work or idea...great idea and awesome work, just wondering about the functionality of it.
The headrests can be removed and I really have not attempted to do a fold and tumble. In fact, having the jeep since it was new, I have never folded the seat and left it in the Jeep. Therefore, I'm not worried about it. When I install the seat cover, I'll have to see if it will fold and tumble just for grins. I know that it will require the headrests to be removed though.
As for visibility, the limiting factor is still the spare tire, not the seat. As for the headrests, most of the viewing area lies between them weather looking in the rear view mirror or over the shoulder when backing up. However, I am tall and might be able to see over the seat better than an average height person.
As with any mod, there are pros and cons to be considered.
I'm feeling better about the seat cover color and figure that the difference in the grey color is fading. Once I got it installed, the difference is not as pronounced as I had envisioned.
I played with the fold and tumble the best I could while in the garage. It is possible by removing the headrests and not having the front seats slid all the way back. Once it is folded up, the front seats can be slid back which actually holds the back seat nice and tight. Although more difficult than stock, that function is still there. I will caveat this statement by disclosing the fact that I re-drilled my seat brackets to move the back seat another 3" rearward, which also helps with clearance for the fold and tumble.