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Installing PRP Seats - Back in the Saddle

Posted in How To on February 6, 2007 Comment (0)
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The PRP Daily Driver seats are a great fit in this first-generation 4Runner. We were able to retain use of the factory seatbelts but had to modify the seat brackets for installation.

Those of us who are addicted to four-wheeling obviously spend a ton of time in our 4x4s, but especially so if they're also our daily drivers. We drive hours to the destination, only to spend the next 8 hours or more on the trail. This all adds up to a lot of seat time.

Newer 4x4 stock seats are not that bad, but if your rig is pushing 20 years or more as our '85 Toyota 4Runner is, you can bet the comfort level has dropped considerably. That's where companies that specialize in making quality suspension seats like Premier Racing Products (PRP) can save our butts - literally! With recently added options like adjustable sliders and headrests and inflatable lumbar support, we can now feel relaxed when climbing back in the saddle to head to our favorite wheeling spot.

Shown here are the PRP Daily Driver low-back seats, assembled slider angle mounts, and the lever connecting rod. To complete the install, we needed to purchase eight washers and Nylok nuts to attach the studs on the slider to our custom brackets, and eight Grade 8 bolts, washers, and Nyloks (also shown) to secure the seats to the slider.

Choosing the right aftermarket seat for your 4x4 can be tricky: Is it a daily driver, a weekender, or an all-out competition rig? No matter what type of 4x4 you drive, PRP has a seat best suited for your needs. Our Toy' is a weekender, but on occasion we'll drive it long distance to the Rubicon or Moab, or just a few hours to the Hammers. With this in mind, we chose the PRP Daily Driver low-backs and ordered them with the sliding mechanism, built-in adjustable headrest, and inflatable lumbar support (a great option for those with lower back issues). The seats have lower sides that make them much easier to get in and out of, but they still have a nice, surrounding feel. We also chose to keep the stock seatbelts, which work just fine with the new seats.

PRP offers dozens of colors of Euro tweed, standard tweed, and velour for the seat top, with about 19 colors available for the vinyl piping, back, and lower part of the seat. We have a tan Can-Back top on the rear, so we chose Malibu Sand tweed (centerstrip and headrest) and black tweed for the seat top. Black was used for the piping, back, and lower part of the seat, which altogether made for a killer-looking combo.

Although these seats don't look that worn out in the photo (thanks to seatcovers), 20-plus years have taken their toll on the padding and sliders. Notice the mismatched low-end SR5 seats mated to the high-end tilt SR5 headrests that the original owner had swapped in - and love our black duct-taped console lid!

At this time, there are no direct seat-mounting brackets for '85 Toyotas available from PRP, so to help us with the installation we went to see Mike Cross at Cross Enterprises in Newbury Park, California. He specializes in fabricating and selling early-model Bronco and Jeep bumpers, racks, and tire carriers, but sometimes his friends can persuade him to do some custom fabrications on their 4x4s. Mike's welding and fabrication skills are topnotch, and he was able to come up with a custom bracket that kept the suspension seat as low as possible and still fully utilize the slider mechanism.

After a few jaunts in the 4Runner, we noticed the visibility is much better over the hood, as we now sit a bit higher in the truck. This was due to the way the suspension seats are built compared to the OE and not because the mounts are a lot higher. The taller height doesn't pose a problem, since our headliner was ripped out when we built the eight-point rollcage years ago, and the bars are tucked up pretty high. But just in case, we have added some more padding for extra protection.We're looking forward to getting more time in the saddle now that the sacked-out stock seats won't ruin our long day on the trail!

View Slideshow

Sources

Cross Enterprises
Newbury Park, CA 91320
805-499-8169
http://www.crossenterprises.com
Premier Racing Products
www.prpseats.com

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