Quick And Easy Seat Swap
We’ve never liked the seats in our ’06 Wrangler. The seating position was so low we couldn’t see upcoming trail obstacles, the top of the seats blocked rearward vision because they were so tall, and the rear seat weighed about a zillion pounds, so hoisting it in and out was a pain in the butt. If that wasn’t enough, over the years our seats were stained and sagged—they had seen better days.
We wanted better seats, but absolutely refused to do any fabricating to get them mounted in the Jeep. If that wasn’t enough to lessen our options, we actually use the back seat in this Jeep, so we needed to retain the fold-forward functionality of the front seats. A little more comfort wouldn’t hurt either, so we were hunting for suspension seats.
Our search led us to Corbeau. We liked the way the front new front Baja XRS reclining seats fit us, and the combination of injection-molded memory foam with military-sourced suspension technology makes for a great ride. The added bolsters will hold us in the Jeep better off-road, but aren’t huge enough to make it a pain to get in and out of this daily driven Jeep. Out back, the 40-inch-wide Baja was the perfect width for our Jeep, and Corbeau had front and rear seat brackets to bolt them into our Jeep with minimal fuss.
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The Corbeau instructions state to bolt the adapter bracket to the seat and then to the factory Jeep front seat bracket. When we tried that, the holes didn’t line up between the adapter and factory seat bracket. So, we busted out the drill and opened up two of them. In retrospect, it might be possible to attach the adapter bracket to the seat and leave the bolts loose then continue without drilling.
Out back, the instructions state to bolt the adapter bracket to the Jeep. While all the holes line up here, the instructions must have been written for a Jeep with no carpet and no factory rear seat belts. If you still have the factory carpet, your factory seatbelt bolt won’t even touch the floor if you try to install the bracket on top of the carpet. After cutting the carpet so the bracket sat directly on the floor, the bolt reached the captured nut, but was too short for full engagement and stripped out. We replaced the factory bolt with a 7⁄16-20 x 21⁄2-inch bolt and were then able to go through the factory seatbelt floor mount, the adapter bracket, and had full engagement in the factory captured nut.
The instructions also state to bolt the front seatbelts to the seat. Well, before you do that, go ahead and put them in a vice and bend them. If you don’t bend the front seatbelt receptacle mount before installation, it will stick out about 5 inches from the seat towards the center of the Jeep. Shown above is the correct amount of bend.
Sure, the instructions could have been better, but how often is that the case? And, we covered literally all of the “gotchas” we ran into here in this story. Start to finish it took us about five hours to install front and rear seats, including running to the store for the new rear seatbelt bolt. The front seats are very comfortable. The rear seat is very comfortable as well, but kind of cramped for two adults. Two smaller kids would probably be fine. One added bonus we weren’t aiming for but got was an increase in legroom for rear seat passengers due to the front and rear seat’s design. Another unexpected bonus was that we shaved around 100 pounds out of the Jeep just by swapping seats. One final bonus we got and fully expected was how comfortable and how much better at absorbing shock they are than the factory seats could ever be.