OE seats leave a lot to be desired, I just replaced mine with Suspension Seats - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
Jerry Bransford
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OE seats leave a lot to be desired, I just replaced mine with Suspension Seats

I recently came home from a couple days on some steep, very off-camber, & rocky trails with a tired & aching back. My TJ was off-camber enough that my OE seats just weren’t able to hold me well enough and my back was sore & tired by the end of the day. Not to mention the shocks & jolts from the rock crawling took their toll… my back was toast by the time I sat down at the campfire. It was then I decided to look into better and more supportive seats.

It didn't take much research to figure out that a suspension seat with better bolstering looked like the way to go. Bolstering is simply a fancy word for support which I needed more of. Suspension seats have an internal support system that helps to isolate you which reduces the shocks & jolts of a rough trail. So this type of suspension seat doesn’t use shock absorbers like make truck seats do, it uses an internal support system I show in photos further below.

Deeply bolstered racing seats first caught my eye; they were initially very impressive to sit in and they really held me in. Then reality set in, that wouldn’t be the best choice of seat for me since I have to get in & out of the Jeep all day. The high bolstering of a true racing seat is a PITA to have to climb in and out of repeatedly.

There were several brands that had the type of seat I felt would work well for me, After a lot of research, I zeroed in on PRP Seats after reading many positive posts & opinions on their seat design & quality. Then I discovered they were just 45 minutes up the road from me in Temecula California so I took a quick drive up to see their seats.

Note if you cannot see the below images due to the Photobucket Hosting problem, install the Photobucket Hotlink Fix for Chrome or Firefox



They have a lot of seat models available to choose from, that is for sure.



It wasn’t long before I picked out PRP’s Daily Driver seat shown below. It was designed for weekend warriors like me who have to climb in & out too often to use a pure racing seat. The Daily Driver’s bolstering & seat shape was just what I wanted. I also chose the fixed seat back angle since it was less expensive. PRP makes adjustable seat back angle seats but after thinking that decision over for several weeks & seeing how seldom I adjusted my OE seat back angle, it was an easy decision to go with the fixed seat back design.



I had the pleasure of meeting PRP’s founder Aaron Wedeking that day, he founded the company in 1997. Aaron was an offroad racer whose seat manufacturer was late with his seats for the upcoming 1997 Glen Helen race. His seat manufacturer said his seats were anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months out so Aaron decided to make his own. He tore various racing seats apart to see how they were made, figured out that he could do better than that, and the rest is history.

Aaron graciously gave me free run of the manufacturing floor so I was able to see how their seats are put together. Close examination of the frames showed first-rate welding, fabrics were high quality, so it was clear they had figured out how to make a comfortable high quality seat that is more than up to what we like to do with them. Hardware is up to the intended use with Grade 8 nuts & bolts.



The above three pics show the Daily Driver’s suspension seat frame. It is the combination of the steel frame design, construction, vinyl coated nylon, and the 750 lb. parachute cord that gives the seat its shock absorbing qualities. There is ‘give’ in this type of seat design which makes rough, bumpy, and sometimes tortuous offroad courses far easier on the body.

Based on my research and what I saw that day at their manufacturing location, I placed a pair of Daily Driver seats on order. The standard width 22" wide Daily Driver seat is perfect for me at 190 lbs. but not always knowing who might be riding shotgun, I chose the 2” wider 24" wide version for the passenger seat.

The next most difficult part of the order was choosing the fabric & colors, they have an unbelievable selection from simulated suedes & leathers to tweeds or all vinyl. I ordered mine with Black Vinyl for the sides & back, and a mix of Black and Gray Tweed in the seating area which will brighten up my dull all black interior. Most of their seats are custom made to order which means you don’t have to accept cookie-cutter colors & fabrics.

The below is part of their manufacturing floor… one large section of it is devoted entirely to custom orders. For custom orders, PRP assigns a person to that seat to build it from start to finish. They found by doing it that way instead of via a less costly assembly line type of construction significantly improves quality and order accuracy.



Aaron & I talked about quality & he was proud of his, pointing out for example the huge contract they won to build seats for Polaris who has “extremely stringent” quality requirements. PRP had to come up with processes to satisfy Polaris on their Quality Control, Documentation, and Work Flow procedures. Those processes turned out to be so good that PRM uses them for building all of their seats.

I noticed lots of cool pics on their walls before I left for home, here are two of my favorites…



Not long afterward, I got an email from PRP that my seats were ready. WOOHOO!!!

That’s my TJ at their back door…



And there they are… I was stoked!



PRP makes seat adapter brackets for various vehicles and Jeeps so I picked up two adapter bracket kits designed for 2003 and newer Wrangler TJs. Their adapter brackets made installing my seats a bolt-in process.

My tired old OE seats with their Bestop covers.



Removing my old seats didn’t take long, four floor bolts hold each seat in.



The amount of crud that was under and behind my seats was gross, I spent 30 minutes with a vacuum cleaning things up.



PRP’s seats bolt to the factory seat base so they slide forward & back as normal. If your seat base can also flip forward, it will still be able to but you’ll have to reach underneath to release the flip forward lever.

Removing the seats from their bases on 2003 and newer TJs has a little more to it than when I installed seats into my previous ’97 TJ. Keep removing bolts & the seat will come off. There won’t be much of your old seat left afterward if you have a 2003 or newer, it probably can’t be considered sellable by the time it is off the seat base.

” bolts hold the OE seats to the seat bases. After they are removed, those same bolts will be reused to hold the new PRP seats to the seat base.


The below is what your seat base will look like once it is ready to mount PRP’s adapter brackets. The adapter brackets are laying to the left of the seat base.



The adapter brackets are bolted onto the seat base & the seat is ready for mounting. Pay attention to the photograph on PRP’s supplied instructions that how the brackets face to make sure their width matches the seat width. The hardware supplied is all Grade 8.





The inboard side of the seatbelt mounts to the seat on 2003 and newer TJs. It was mounted to the floor in my previous ’97 TJ. So if you have a newer TJ, you’ll need to add a simple angle-bracket to hold the inboard seat belt. This is how I did mine using Grade 8 bolts and nyloc nuts.



I'm pumped, the seat is ready to be bolted in.





That color combination really brightened up my interior, compare it to the ‘before’ photo above.

PRP added options to my seats to make the use of 5-pt. seat harnesses easy. They added two different ways to accommodate shoulder harnesses… via the narrower slots in the seats or by the wider straps to the side of the headrest. These are optional, order them in the seat if you want them. 5-pt. harness openings aren’t standard, they are optional.



After driving with the seats for two weeks, going with the Daily Driver model was a great decision. They are unbeliveably comfortable, hold me in securely, and I already feel more relaxed just driving on normal roads. They'll get their first trail test in two weeks so I can't wait to see how they feel on the trail. I'm betting my tired back after a day on a rough trail are over. Not to mention how great they look... my TJ looks downright inviting now!

I give them two thumbs up, I love these things. If you’re looking at new seats or have a tired back at the end of the day & never thought about new seats to help, its my personal opinion that this type of seat would be a good decision.

PRP’s website is at http://prpseats.com/Default.aspx


When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #2 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 01:38 AM
MetalMountainGoat
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Those are some good looking seats. I'm still unsure if I would like the non adjustable back though.
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post #3 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 02:49 AM
DezertTJ
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Prp has some amazing seats. I sat in some with higher bolsters and I couldn't believe how comfortable they were! I went with mastercraft Rubicons because I got a great deal on them, but would go prp if I had to get a different set. Good choice in color and seat. It looks really good!
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post #4 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 03:36 AM
TJnProgress
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I picked up a set of PRP seats on sale at the vendor show for EJS in Moab last year and have loved them. I went with heated seats for those chilly rides, and have been glad I did on several trails. Great right up on how their brackets integrate with the stock mounts. Congrats!
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post #5 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 04:28 AM
btn
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How is access to the back seat with being a fixed-back?

2000 TJ, 4.0L, 4" suspension lift, 35s, rear D44 and front HP30 both with ARBs. AX15, 4:1 T-case.
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post #6 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 05:10 AM
JEK3
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I can't tell from the pics - do they sit at stock height?

Can you measure the angle of the seat back? If it's close to where I keep mine, I'll definitely consider these.
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post #7 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 06:22 AM
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Love my PRP DD's.


OlllllllO

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post #8 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btn View Post
How is access to the back seat with being a fixed-back?
Certainly not as easy as it would be with a seat back that flips forward, I would have gone with one of PRP's adjustable seatback angle seats if that was important to me but my TJ doesn't have a back seat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JEK3 View Post
I can't tell from the pics - do they sit at stock height? I seem to be sitting at about the same height as before

Can you measure the angle of the seat back? If it's close to where I keep mine, I'll definitely consider these.
It is something like 75 degrees but my measurement isn't all that precise. PRP does also make adjustable seatback angle seats too though. The seat angle can also be changed slightly via a pair of small shims under the front or rear of the mounting base.


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post #9 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 09:20 AM
BamaJeepman21
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Nice. The seats in my '98 are still pretty comfy though. I wonder if they could match the Sahara's color combination on the seats. That would be pretty cool and definitly a selling factor.

-Jack
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post #10 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaJeepman21 View Post
Nice. The seats in my '98 are still pretty comfy though. I wonder if they could match the Sahara's color combination on the seats. That would be pretty cool and definitly a selling factor.
Very likely yes, check out their color selection at http://www.prpseats.com/Topic/12-fab...ion-guide.aspx. I don't know of another suspension seat manufacturer with that good of a selection of colors & seat fabrics to choose from.

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post #11 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 10:07 AM
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Nice write up & seats Jerry.
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post #12 of 51 Old 07-01-2013, 10:56 AM
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Can you still comfortably rest your arm on the console?

Buy my transmission cooler. Derale TJ cooler.

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post #13 of 51 Old 07-02-2013, 02:05 PM
Timido
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Those brackets look pretty easy to make. Are those the standard width seats? What waist size are they supposed to be made for. I know they make a wider version.
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post #14 of 51 Old 07-02-2013, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBLJ View Post
Can you still comfortably rest your arm on the console?
Yep, same as before.

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post #15 of 51 Old 07-02-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timido View Post
Those brackets look pretty easy to make. Are those the standard width seats? What waist size are they supposed to be made for. I know they make a wider version.
I can't say what waist sizes other than the standard width Daily Driver feels real good with my 190 lbs. & 36" waist. My wife isn't heavy but she likes the 2" wider width I installed on the passenger side. My standard width seat would probably be a tad too narrow for her, uh, more feminine hind end.

Complete seat dimensons are at http://www.prpseats.com/seat-dimensions.html

Dimension-wise, the standard width Daily Driver seat is 22" wide, the wider version is 24" wide.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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