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TXST8tj 01-25-2012 04:04 PM

Corbeau Baja RS seats - installed
I just completed the installation of a pair of Corbeau Baja RS suspension seats in my 2001 TJ. Here is the story....


My original plan (as per my "build plan") regarding my TJ's OEM seats was to buy seat covers to clean up the appearance, and to run them for a good while. The eventual plan would be to replace the seats all together with an aftermarket suspension seat.

At some point in the last year, my driver's seat took on a permanent malfunction. Some part of the reclining support broke leaving me with a 'gangsta lean' back and to the passenger side. At first it was just annoying, but after a while I realized how much it was affecting my lower back.

I jumped a couple stages in my "build plan" and decided that new seats needed to come sooner than later. The commute to my office is 20 miles each way, and by the time I get to the parking garage, I am ready for a back massage. I also travel a lot for work, and while most of my travel is done by airline, the driving travel can be 600-800 miles in 3 or 4 days. When you right leg looses feeling after a long drive, the broken OEM seat just doesn't cut it.

At the end of the day, I built a pretty good case to my wife that I needed to spend $600 on new seats :laugh: which ultimately turned into $800. Up to this point, it has been the best $800 spent.

Brand Decision

After a good amount of time looking around and researching, I decided on the Corbeau Baja RS[/URL].
I had a few general guidlines I wanted to stick with and a few specific factors I needed to consider before reaching my ultimate decision.

These were the basic guidelines I eventually came up with:
* "Baja" style suspension seat
* Reclining feature
* Wide waist accomodation
* Cloth fabric front
* 4-5 point harness accomodation
* Matching rear bench seat available

The brand options for a Baja style suspension seat that I looked at are:

I quickly narrowed my search down to Corbeau based on availability, reputation, style, and price. They held a consistant price of $300 each from each vendor I searched. I also contacted their helpful customer service department to find they carried the same price. Corbeau has been a front-runner in the racing seat market for years and has a very strong following in the offroad world. They offer a full cloth front in the solid black color I was looking for.

Beard Racing was quickly ruled out as I could not even find a reclining seat option.
Mastercraft was ruled out because they tip the scales at $575 each and only comfortably accomodate up to a 40" waist.
PRP was ruled out based on price. Their recliner series are $400 each.
Smittybilt was really ruled out before it even started. I prefer not to buy their products. They were the cheapest at $270 each.

Corbeau, Mastercraft, and PRP quickly became the only three choices I was working with. All three brands have a great reputation and generally offered what I was looking for. By the time I got through the specifics of what I wanted, I realized the main thing separating these brands is price. With Corbeau being almost $200 cheaper per seat than the most expensive option and still maintaining an incredible reputation, Corbeau was an easy choice.

Developing Criteria

- Baja style - Simply put, I like the style. It is a rugged look for a Jeep and functional in width and height. The "suspension" support rounds out the package for my Jeep.

- Reclining feature - Until I install a full cage with harness bar, for the minimal added expense, I was happy to have the reclining option for passenger comfort. I am personally a 'set it and forget it' kind of driver, but I knew my wife would prefer the ability to fine tune 'her' seat.

- Wide waist accomodation - I am a large guy. I'm 6'5" and....well, working my way back to a heathly weight. I needed a seat that was going to fit my wide frame. I have a 42"-44" waist so I really needed the widest seat I could get, while still being a baja suspension seat.

A place where Corbeau shines is they offer a few "Baja" style suspension seats with two width options. The Baja RS is designed to fit up to a 42" waist; the Baja Ultra Wide [/URL]is just as wide, but does not have the reclining feature. The standard Baja SS [/URL]fits up to a 38" waist.

- Cloth fabric front - Corbeau has many options of color combinations to coordinate with your vehicle. All I wanted was a black seat with a cloth front for added comfort. The combination of black/black is just as simple as that.

- 4-5 point harness accomodation - Sooner than later, I would like to add a full roll cage to my TJ. I will be incorporating a harness bar behind the front seats to take advantage of a pair of Corbeau 4-point harnesses[/URL]. I don't predict using a 5-point, but I wanted the availability there.

- Matching rear seat available - Just as I want safety, comfort, and style for the front seats, I want to carry that to the rear seat as well. Keeping all passengers comforable in my vehicle..on and off the important to me. Keeping my most valuable cargo (my 4 year old son) safe in the back seat is priority #1. Having a matching rear bench seat is imperative to round out my guidelines. Enter the Corbeau 40" Baja Bench [/URL]seat.


I conveniently was ready to move on new seats around Christmas. By that time, I had narrowed my choices down and picked the Corbeau Baja RS front seats. My wife coordinated with my parents to order the pair of seats for me for Christmas. My wife bought one, and my parents the other.

Homemade brackets

In conversation, I had mentioned that I wanted to make my own adapter brackets to retain my factory brackets and sliders. The basis of this was to save a few dollars....and really to increase the chances that I would actually be able to get the seats.

I worked with the passenger seat first so I could continue driving the Jeep. I started with an unused transfercase drop kit I had laying around. The square tube was 1.5"x1.5". The added height of the tube would clear the obstructions from the factory bracket and create a flat surface to mount the flat surface of the seat frames.
There are three holes at each corner of the Corbeau seat frames to accomodate many applications. The inner most holes are only about 1/4" wider than the bolts on the factory sliders. The tube allowed me to widen the mounting points and bolt the seat directly to it.

The immediate issue I ran into was that in tht configuration, the seat was too far toward the doors/rollbar and would not work that way.

I identified the issue at hand and made some measurements. At this point, it looked like the square tube application was going to work as the initial base; I just needed to slide the seat to the center of the Jeep to clear the rollbar and door.

Willing to continue making my own adapters and to "MAKE THIS WORK", I headed to the hardware store and picked up a couple pieces of square tube to make a new base for each seat (the tcase kit was just to work out the basic design), and a couple pieces of 3/16th 2" wide steel to make a base to shift the seats to the middle.

I actually felt like I made an honest effort and didn't do too bad with the first one.
I cannot weld, so I used self tapping screws to hold the pieces together until I could get it to someone to weld together. From there, I would pull it off and paint it.

This construction was enough to bolt the seat in the Jeep for a good test fit, with me in the seat. The conclusion was that the seat sat way too high for comfort. The seat was difficult to get in and out of and the seat itself was actually mounted too far back. I also had not even addressed the seatbelt needing to be higher.

After all the measuring, cutting, drilling, test fitting...and money spent, I realized I needed to reconsider the official Corbeau brackets. On top of that, my wife entered the garage after a while she highly suggested that I just order them. OK.

Corbeau Brackets

Corbeau offers an adapter bracket [/URL]that allows their seats to bolt directly to the OEM sliders. This allows you to retain full OEM function of slide, tilt, and fold-n-tumble.
They also offer a full replacement bracket [/URL]with sliders that the seat mounts to and replaces the full factory setup.

There are pros and cons of each. The adapters allow you to retain the fold-n-tumble, but they sit the seats up at least 1" higher than the factory seats.
The full brackets sit closer to stock height, but looses the fold-n-tumble feature. The seat still slides forward and with the RS model, tilts forward for rear access.

After the results of my homemade adapter brackets, I came to the conclusion that the Corbeau full replacement brackets would be the better option for me. For the comfort of my passengers, I did not want the seats any higher than necessary. With my height, seeing over the hood is not an issue for me, but sitting up too high could cause interference with my head and the top.

I got the full replacement brackets ordered and mounted the seats on them promptly. I realized very quickly that I should've left it to the pros and just gone this route from the start.

All of the holes on the seats lined up perfectly with the holes on the Corbeau sliders. Additionally, the holes for the base of the brackets lined up perfectly with the holes in the tub. The installation could not have been more smooth.

I am really impressed with the simplicity, quality, and effectiveness of the brackets. Corbeau was extremely precise with lining everything up on these brackets. The seats just clear the B pillar of the rollbar and the doors. This means they created as much room between the seats as possible. I do not have a full center console, but I do believe a factory unit would fit between the seats.

I run a Tuffy Conceal and Carry underseat drawer and I am very happy to report that it still fits with the Corbeau full replacement bracket.

I knew the seats were comfortable from sitting in them on the floor, but I could have only imagined they would be this comforable inside the Jeep on the road. These seats are amazingly comforable. There is a special sense of security with them that is hard to explain. The upper and lower side bolsters really do wrap you (without being obtrusive) and hold you in place.
I am realisticly on the side of a 44" waist. These seats (along with the Ultra Wides) are advertised to comforably accomodate a 42" waist. I can say with all honesty that there is no issue with me fitting.
This Jeep is currently my daily driver and with the little driving I have done in these seats so far, I could not be more happy. I am beyond satisfied with the comfort and quality of these seats.

At this point, I cannot wait to get the rear bench seat. Knowing what I know now, I will definitely jump straight to their TJ specific adapter bracket for that seat too!

I am also considering a bolt-in harness bar (Rockhard 4x4 perhaps) to allow me to get the harnesses in there sooner than waiting for the full cage to come.

91badass 01-25-2012 04:08 PM

nice, good info.

not4hire 01-25-2012 04:22 PM

Thanks for the write up..That helps me a lot for my seat choice..

BeaverJeeper 01-26-2012 05:14 AM

13 Attachment(s)
very nice! i have a pair of baja ultra SS seats sitting on the floor in my room. waiting for the brackets to come in the mail. if anyone goes this route, ALL "baja" seats OTHER THAN the RS, you need the corbeau bracket AND the "baja adapter" i did not know this, because it never states it anywhere on any site that i saw. i spent 200 bucks on the full brackets just to find that they don't fit the baja seats (not including the RS) so i have to spend 70 more bucks on the adapters.

not a big deal, i just wish i would have known. =/ but MAN, seats are comfy. lol can't wait to get them in the jeep and really test them.

TXST8tj 01-26-2012 06:44 AM only think they are comfy sitting on the ground. Wait for your first drive. It feels like another vehicle. I take curves and turns and don't budge. You'll find that you don't have to readjust yourself in your seat every few miles too.

thecheezman 01-26-2012 07:13 AM

Great write-up! How do they feel when laying back? I always try to take naps in my jeep and these stock seats are very uncomfortable.

TXST8tj 01-26-2012 08:25 AM

These would make a good 'napping' chair. They have an "infinite" recline, so they can basically lay all the way down til they hit the back seat.

mannyc 07-07-2012 12:39 PM

Great Write Up !
Thx for the info,

Gongodhar 07-29-2012 12:49 PM

Thanks for the info. I am about to do something similar in my 97 TJ. Can you comment on how the fabric holds up to stains, how easy is it to clean? I too prefer a vinyl/fabric combo over all vinyl, but I keep my top off most of the year (live in San Diego) and I don't want the new seats to be too dirty too soon. Thanks.

Flashole 07-29-2012 02:22 PM

Where is your center console? Am I just missing it? Will it not fit with the new seats?

owen3544 07-29-2012 03:38 PM


Originally Posted by Flashole (Post 2633630)
Where is your center console? Am I just missing it? Will it not fit with the new seats?

He has a half console, so it doesn't extend between the seats. I have the same seats and my full console fits just fine.

Gongodhar 07-29-2012 03:49 PM are not missing it, I am. I hadn't thought about that. I have the OEM one still in there, but I guess I could pull it out. The seats I am actually looking at are the Corbeau Moabs (little smaller) or the Baja XRS. Thanks for point this out.

TXST8tj 07-30-2012 12:42 PM


Originally Posted by Gongodhar (Post 2633441)
Thanks for the info. I am about to do something similar in my 97 TJ. Can you comment on how the fabric holds up to stains, how easy is it to clean? I too prefer a vinyl/fabric combo over all vinyl, but I keep my top off most of the year (live in San Diego) and I don't want the new seats to be too dirty too soon. Thanks.

They have been cleaning up well for the last several months. They don't seem to require anything different than you would use with OEM seats.

Originally Posted by Flashole (Post 2633630)
Where is your center console? Am I just missing it? Will it not fit with the new seats?

No center console at the present time (just the half setup). I am holding out for a full Tuffy at some point.

I finally got the 'matching' Baja 40" bench with Corbeau bracket.

owen3544 07-30-2012 03:01 PM

I wasn't going to buy the rear seat, up until now I just have the rear seat cover, but that back seat looks great in there

eDoSimply 07-30-2012 03:29 PM

Awesome write up, but what really want to know is what u told your wife for her to agree to the $600 for the seats. ;)

clarkkent 07-30-2012 10:42 PM

Yeah, that backseat is bitching. I'm sure it doesn't roll forward though?

erickpl 12-21-2012 09:29 AM

Mine get here today! :)

Do you have a pic of the Tuffy underseat drawer from the side? How visible is it with the Corbeau brackets installed?

Jerry Bransford 12-21-2012 11:39 AM

Wow that was a VERY nice writeup and especially interesting to me since seats are my next wished-for upgrade. Thanks very much, your pics and information was really great and much appreciated. :punk:

NC Bear 12-21-2012 12:25 PM

I agree with Jerry. Thanks for the write up you just helped me make up my mind on seats, those look great! Now, if I can figure out how to pay for them...

sduncan 12-21-2012 01:38 PM

These exact seats are my next purchase. The wife is all for it and even wants the seat heaters in them. Thanks for the write up...saved to favorites.

Jacqui 12-22-2012 02:01 AM

Thanks for the write-up. Has some very handy information! Look forward to putting it to good use next year when we get our Corbeau seats. =)

Dubs99sahara 04-11-2013 08:15 AM

You mentioned that they are suspension seats. Do they actually have a piston type suspension set up on them like the 18 wheeled rigs have?

Jerry Bransford 04-11-2013 09:09 AM

No pistons or shock absorbers are used, everything that makes it a suspension type seat is inside the seat at self which is made up of bungee-like cords & straps to help isolate the driver from the shocks & jolts of offroading. Here's one of the explanations from a website... Suspension Seats Buyer's Guide

erickpl 04-11-2013 09:43 AM

I put my Corbeau's in after Christmas and they are SUPER comfortable. Hold me in very well too. With a Tuffy center console, the seat belt lock is a bit of a tight fit, but it does fit. :) Plans are to go with better harness setup at some point, once I have a bar behind my seats to attach the harnesses.

Dubs99sahara 04-11-2013 10:40 AM

Jerry, Thanks for the explaination! These look like great alternatives to the stock seat! Good looking as well!

kyle32 04-11-2013 11:07 AM

how much higher or lower do the sit? what about back seat it look like the back is alot higher

im 5,8 will i be able to see?

erickpl 04-12-2013 09:37 AM

Yeah, you'll be able to see just fine. The seat feels like I sit a TINY bit higher than I did with my stock seats. Keep in mind, I did use the Corbeau mounting brackets, not the adapters or the OEM flip/tilt brackets.

TXST8tj 04-12-2013 12:48 PM

With the Corbeau full replacement brackets, I feel the seats sit just as factory (depending on the condition of your factory seats).

With the Corbeau adapter brackets (bolt to the OEM brackets), the seats would be 1.5"-2" taller.

I don't think the rear bench sits any higher than factory.

Jerry Bransford 04-12-2013 12:50 PM

The seats I see are normally bolt-in for CJs and YJs but require their bracket kit for TJs. Is it possible to reuse the TJ's OE seat brackets for them or weld simple adapter plates in place? Or are their TJ adapter brackets really needed?

rgroesbeck1 04-12-2013 01:18 PM

Jerry, I have been looking at them for a while and when my neoprene seat covers wear out, they will be in mine. My understanding is, you do need the TJ specific brackets. I'm certain you could make something else work, but why bother when they have done all the work and fabricating? Seats are one of those things you want to work as designed.

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