Jeep Wrangler Forum

Jeep Wrangler Forum (http://www.wranglerforum.com/)
-   TJ General Discussion Forum (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/)
-   -   OE Seats leave a lot to be desired, I just replaced mine with PRP suspension seats (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/oe-seats-leave-a-lot-to-be-desired-i-just-replaced-mine-with-prp-suspension-seats-253010.html)

Jerry Bransford 07-01-2013 07:00 PM

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps9e0282b6.jpg

They have a lot of seat models available to choose from, that is for sure.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps37cec73d.jpg http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psdf58bc08.jpg

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psa90744bf.jpg

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps9039b163.jpg http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psaf597408.jpg http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps5784e039.jpg

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps84d03b3f.jpghttp://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psf05977dc.jpg

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…

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psae2f0f90.jpg http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps4b4a0082.jpg

Jerry Bransford 07-01-2013 07:00 PM

Not long afterward, I got an email from PRP that my seats were ready. WOOHOO!!!

That’s my TJ at their back door…

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps99e69e39.jpg

And there they are… I was stoked!

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psc0927195.jpg

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps58e07691.jpg

Removing my old seats didn’t take long, four floor bolts hold each seat in.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps68ce6bf6.jpg http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps292089f7.jpg

The amount of crud that was under and behind my seats was gross, I spent 30 minutes with a vacuum cleaning things up.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...pseccb498c.jpg

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.
http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps6f22768e.jpg

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps561840cd.jpg

Jerry Bransford 07-01-2013 07:01 PM

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps71dac323.jpg http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psfdaed0ce.jpg

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psea4c30b7.jpg

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps8c2d63ec.jpghttp://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psef248788.jpg

I'm pumped, the seat is ready to be bolted in.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps01d62dd3.jpg http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psc5f28550.jpg

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps561783cf.jpg

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psa162f287.jpg http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps3ef1033a.jpg

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. :punk:

PRP’s website is at PRP Seats - Custom Off Road Racing Seats

UnlimitedRubicon 07-01-2013 08:16 PM

Do these seats add any "ride" height?

Cape Fear Finn 07-01-2013 08:26 PM

I'm a big guy so I am interested on how well the wider seat clears the console. Is it a tight fit?

Jerry Bransford 07-01-2013 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UnlimitedRubicon (Post 3918272)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cape Fear Finn (Post 3918315)
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.

RepairMan 07-01-2013 09:39 PM

Great write up and nice to know I have a made in the USA option.

OmniscientHiers 07-01-2013 10:38 PM

Excellent write-up, bookmarked! :thumb:

Finn Sizzle 07-01-2013 10:48 PM

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!

Jerry Bransford 07-02-2013 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Finn Sizzle (Post 3918986)
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. :punk:

48Sam 07-02-2013 11:09 AM

How much were these seats?

Verf 07-02-2013 01:25 PM

Thanks for taking the time on a great write up. Bookmarked!

Jerry Bransford 07-02-2013 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 48Sam (Post 3920290)
How much were these seats?

$279 each for the Daily Driver model I installed. :)

TXST8tj 07-02-2013 04:34 PM

They look great!

I love my Corbeau seats, but PRP was the runner-up.

Jerry Bransford 07-02-2013 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TXST8tj (Post 3921277)
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.

Verf 07-02-2013 08:57 PM

Jerry, did PRP have waterproof or resistant material? Or is it better to just buy covers so they can be removed

Jerry Bransford 07-02-2013 09:26 PM

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. :)

lovemachine 08-20-2013 04:35 PM

Bumping this up because I've been extremely tempted to place an order for these...

What color combination and fabric are your seats Jerry?

Imped 08-20-2013 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lovemachine (Post 4101378)
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. ;)

lovemachine 08-20-2013 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Imped (Post 4101389)
You can try mine out this weekend. ;)

You have these seats? Heck yea :punk:

Jerry Bransford 08-20-2013 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lovemachine (Post 4101378)
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. :)

lovemachine 08-20-2013 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford (Post 4102119)
Check out the review at the top of this thread, the colors & fabric choices are shown. :)

Can't believe I missed that :doh:

Jaxon1023 08-20-2013 08:11 PM

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

1jeeplvr 08-20-2013 08:14 PM

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.

louczar 08-20-2013 08:31 PM

Those prices are a lot cheaper than what I expected after seeing the product and build process!!!

Imped 08-21-2013 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1jeeplvr (Post 4102192)
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.

Duke-TJ 08-21-2013 07:21 AM

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.

Sherpa 08-22-2013 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TXST8tj (Post 3921277)
I love my Corbeau seats, but PRP was the runner-up.

Which model do you have?

Jerry Bransford 09-07-2013 04:57 PM

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps37eb2ece.jpg

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psd43bc5e3.jpg

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psa646961a.jpg

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.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...psfa9be200.jpg

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. :)

Holton345 09-07-2013 07:42 PM

Great write up, sir. THANKS!


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:11 AM.