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MasterCraft Safety Baja RS Seat Refresh/Upgrade

Posted in How To on April 1, 2012
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There's a reason the phrase "seat-of-the-pants" exists. Your seat is your most intimate, direct connection to your rig. A comfy seat means a more comfortable ride means a better experience means happier memories.

Since the initial installation into our '04 4Runner (see "Superior Seating," May 2010), we've spent a lot of seat time in the MasterCraft Safety Baja RS recliners up front. They were holding up well, but we'd come to regret not having ordered the optional adjustable lumbar supports in the first place. Why had we skipped the adjustable lumbar supports? The OEM Toyota driver's seat featured an adjustable lumbar support that was way too firm, even at its softest setting. We feared the same might happen with the Mastercraft supports. It turned out that long days combined with rough trails left us quite literally feeling the need for additional lumbar support.

In addition to wishing for the adjustable lumbar support, we wished we'd paid closer attention to our chosen color schemes during the initial order. Both the Baja RS seats up front and the Sportsman seats in the second row looked great, but the colors didn't match. This was our mistake; MasterCraft built the seat covers exactly the way we'd requested.

Here's our mandatory "before" shot. Despite lots of miles, dusty trails, and plenty of snacks consumed behind the wheel, the driver’s seat was still in remarkably good shape.

This is a situation where MasterCraft really shines. Thanks to in-house manufacturing, MasterCraft is ready to provide follow-up service for the seats it sells. Are your MasterCraft seats looking war-torn and weary? Does the internal foam have more miles on it than you care to admit? Do you want to add an optional feature the way we did? When you invest in a MasterCraft seat, you're buying long-term comfort and style.

We paid a visit to MasterCraft Safety's headquarters in Santee, California, and followed along while the longed-for adjustable lumbar supports were added to our Baja RS seats. After the lumbar supports were in place, a new set of seat covers provided a fresh look and corrected our previous mismatch mishap.

MasterCraft's marketing manager, Kelli Willmore, showed us additional aspects of seat building. Each seat frame is built in a precision fixture that is used for tack welding. After the pre-bent, laser pre-notched tubing is assembled to specifications, it is removed from the fixture and hand-welded at a dedicated welding station.

Our seat-of-the-pants impression? We needn't have worried in the first place. Adjusted to full soft, the lumbar supports are barely firmer than the seats were without them. At full opposite lock the support is abundant and unmistakable. Our sweet spot was in between these two settings. With custom-tailored lumbar support at the turn of a knob, there are miles of smiles ahead.

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Before the seats were set back into the 4Runner, they had to pass muster under the watchful eye of quality control inspector Adam Martinez. Adam checked item after item off of an exhaustive list before he was satisfied. The final stop was the MasterCraft welding shop where foreman Gilbert Chacon and his crew re-installed the seats.


MasterCraft Safety
Santee, CA 92071

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