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Old 07-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #1
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Thumbs up OE Seats leave a lot to be desired, I just replaced mine with PRP 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 & out of the Jeep all day. The higher bolstering of a true racing seat can be 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.



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 22" width 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" 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…


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Old 07-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #2
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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 back & forth normally. 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.

½” 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.


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Old 07-01-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
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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 PRP Seats - Custom Off Road Racing Seats
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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Do these seats add any "ride" height?
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:26 PM   #5
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I'm a big guy so I am interested on how well the wider seat clears the console. Is it a tight fit?
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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Do these seats add any "ride" height?
Maybe a little but for the most part I feel like I'm sitting at the same height as before.

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I'm a big guy so I am interested on how well the wider seat clears the console. Is it a tight fit?
The wider seat clears the console but it's a tighter fit... but the seat easily slides up & down so it's not that tight.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:39 PM   #7
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Great write up and nice to know I have a made in the USA option.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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Excellent write-up, bookmarked!
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #9
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Thanks, good write up. Earmarking this as ill need to get some new seats in my YJ soon and I'm local to Temecula as well, rather by local and made here!
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #10
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I'm local to Temecula as well, rather buy local and made here!
Buying a seat that was made in the U.S. was a big concern of mine, I really didn't want a seat that was imported as so many of them are. That I discovered the PRPs were made locally was icing on the cake.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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How much were these seats?
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:25 PM   #12
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Thanks for taking the time on a great write up. Bookmarked!
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:32 PM   #13
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How much were these seats?
$279 each for the Daily Driver model I installed.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:34 PM   #14
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They look great!

I love my Corbeau seats, but PRP was the runner-up.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:46 PM   #15
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They look great!

I love my Corbeau seats, but PRP was the runner-up.
Corbeau makes a fine seat too, they definitely made my short list.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:57 PM   #16
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Jerry, did PRP have waterproof or resistant material? Or is it better to just buy covers so they can be removed
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:26 PM   #17
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They have all vinyl or pleather seats if you need the seats to be to be waterproof. I wasn't worried about it since my TJ always has some sort of cover like the soft top or safari top on.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:35 PM   #18
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Bumping this up because I've been extremely tempted to place an order for these...

What color combination and fabric are your seats Jerry?
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:37 PM   #19
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Bumping this up because I've been extremely tempted to place an order for these...

What color combination and fabric are your seats Jerry?
You can try mine out this weekend.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:01 PM   #20
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You can try mine out this weekend.
You have these seats? Heck yea
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:58 PM   #21
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Bumping this up because I've been extremely tempted to place an order for these...

What color combination and fabric are your seats Jerry?
Check out the review at the top of this thread, the colors & fabric choices are shown.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:04 PM   #22
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Check out the review at the top of this thread, the colors & fabric choices are shown.
Can't believe I missed that
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:11 PM   #23
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Did they say anything about the colors fading or tweed deteriating? Florida sun and beaches are extremely hot and I go doorless and topless as often as I can
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:14 PM   #24
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Very nice.And seats are def on my list.Under my Dirty Mudder seat covers are seats that are held together with duct tape.
Did PRP help to explain all there choices.Im afraid Id accidentally forget to order something I should be ordering.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:31 PM   #25
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Those prices are a lot cheaper than what I expected after seeing the product and build process!!!
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:48 AM   #26
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Very nice.And seats are def on my list.Under my Dirty Mudder seat covers are seats that are held together with duct tape.
Did PRP help to explain all there choices.Im afraid Id accidentally forget to order something I should be ordering.
Just call PRP. I got all black vinyl (back)/Cordura (front) with double stitching and adjustable lumbar support.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:21 AM   #27
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the price for these custom seats is great! Thanks for another great write-up Jerry. I appreciate how you field-tested them for a couple weeks before doing this write-up.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:14 PM   #28
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I love my Corbeau seats, but PRP was the runner-up.
Which model do you have?
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:57 PM   #29
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What finally got installed last weekend were the shoulder harnesses. They attach to a new weld-in shoulder harness support bar ($50) from Poly Performance positioned behind the front seats. Poly Performance JEEP/TRUCK & BUGGY*::*Cage & Cage Accessories*::*Synergy Jeep TJ/LJ Shoulder Harness Bar for Stock Cage - 4X4 Off-Road Parts. The shoulder harnesses came from Racing Seatbelts.

When no one is available to help, you get creative with duct tape to position the support bar to be tack welded prior to final welding. This took some time, welding a shoulder harness bar in place deserves all the care you can give it.



It's important the support bar be at shoulder height. Mounting it too high or too low can cause major injuries through spinal compression. A very close friend of mine was killed in an offroad accident from improperly installed shoulder harnesses so be careful to do it right.





I went with 3" wide aircraft style seatbelts but for comfort, went with 2" shoulder harnesses. Having worn 3" shoulder harnesses in aircraft, I knew I didn't want anything that wide again... especially since my Jeep is a crawler, not a racer.

Shoulder harnesses aren't needed for all trails or forms of offroading but it's nice having them for when there's a little pucker factor happening.



Not to mention these won't lock up and strangle you when the Jeep is on a really steep section of trail like the factory shoulder harness will.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:42 PM   #30
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Great write up, sir. THANKS!

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