Extra-cab? Quad-cab? Pffft. Child’s play. But if you drive a single-cab pickup long distances and don’t want to feel like you just spent the night wadded up inside a foot locker, you’d better have your seating just right.
My old tow rig was a 1989 Ford F-250. When the factory fabric started splitting I bought a high-zoot leather replacement. I was so amped up to install it I literally tossed the factory seat in the trash. Joke was on me because the thick seatbacks and tall headrest meant the new bench had to be pushed so far forward to clear the rear window and bulkhead that my knees were literally hitting the steering wheel. I fished the old seat out of the trash, scraped off the banana peels and coffee grounds, and reinstalled it.
The stock bench seat in my 1968 J2000 was chewed and missing foam, so I ordered up some nice Smittybilt buckets. I even kinda test-fit them beforehand. However, when I actually went to mount them, I wound up having to use a couple lengths of 1 1/4-inch square tube. It pushed the seat up just high enough that my forehead hit the sagging cardboard headliner and put my right foot at a weird angle when operating the throttle. Getting closer, but not quite there.
The factory interior of my 1968 M-715 was sheer torture, especially when my elbow hit the sharp edge of the factory battery box between the seats. I ordered some comfy Corbeau race buckets and small Empi kid seats and welded them into a custom cage I built. Going down the road was great, but actually getting in and out of them was a bit of a chore . . . especially with the cumbersome race-oriented four-point harnesses I used.
The factory bench in my 1972 J4000 pickup was missing so many springs my ass literally hit the floor if I didn’t have a length of plywood under it. It was torture. I scoured the junkyard and found a factory three-piece bench from a 1971 Dodge D100. I swapped the pristine passenger seat to the driver’s side, reused part of the J4000 slide assembly, part of the D100 seat brackets, and a bit of custom cobbling, and kept the factory seatbelts. I could drive that truck all day long and get out fresh as a daisy. So next time you think about modding the seats in your single-cab 4x4, consider my truckups and save yourself a little bit of hassle.