Off-road Jeeps and trucks put up with a lot of abuse. You make your ride more durable and better able to withstand the rigors of the trail by upgrading to durable and heavier duty equipment. From your suspension to steel truck bumpers, replacing the parts that must be stronger gives you better and safer performance.
Yet have you thought about your seat? Whether the issue is comfort, the ability to absorb the shock of rolling down rugged trails, or your OEM seat has simply seen its last days of rock climbing, upgrading your seat is something to do for you. Just as aftermarket bumpers better protect your vehicle, an aftermarket seat offers more comfort, greater support, and better control of your vehicle when you don't have to worry about what your seat is or isn’t doing.
Choosing the Right Seat
There are many kinds of aftermarket off-roading seats you can install in your Jeep or truck depending on what you like to do with it. Some are designed to offer more shock absorption and good reach for rough terrain, while others are designed for driver positioning and safety when crossing rough terrain.
If you are choosing something other than an OEM type of seat, research the different types, including the types of safety belts or harnesses you need to use with them so that you purchase the right one.
Correctly Installing A Replacement Seat
The biggest mistake drivers make when replacing off-road seats is not replacing or using the wrong mounting hardware. This can be dangerous since it is the mounting hardware that keeps the seat securely bolted to the vehicle.
Depending on the seat you are installing, you may need to replace a number of different parts that support and secure the seat and provide different functionality:
- Seat Brackets - Seat brackets, bases, or mounts are the basic support for the bottom of the seat and the main means of bolting the seat to the floor of the your truck or Jeep. Depending on the vehicle and the seat, these brackets may be made from one piece or multiple pieces and include sliders or need sliders to be added separately.
- Seat Back Mounting Brackets and Side Brackets - If your truck has a roll cage, seat back mounting brackets serve to mount the back of the seat to the roll cage for stability. Side brackets hold the bottom of the seat securely affixed to the floor.
- Seat Lift Supports - These are the gas-filled strut supports that raise, lower, and maintain seat height. Seats that sag or sink down over time need new lift supports. They should be installed along with a new replacement seat.
- Seat Sliders - Seat tracks and casters allow the forward and backward adjustment of your seat on the seat bracket. Some brackets come with sliders built onto them while others require separate sliders.
- Seat Mount Adapters and Tabs - There are adapters that are designed to fit aftermarket seats to OEM mounting hardware where possible.
Installation Hardware - Universal Fit Or Vehicle-Specific?
When researching the hardware required to install an aftermarket seat in place of an OEM seat, you must determine whether you need parts designed specifically for your truck or universal fit parts. To ensure correct mounting, you must use the right hardware to safely install an aftermarket seat into your vehicle.
Whether you race, do extreme rock climbing, or have an OEM seat that is just beaten up and needs to be replaced, a new seat in your off-road truck or Jeep can be great equipment to improve your ride. Just like adding other aftermarket mods to such as specialty truck bumpers, heavy-duty steel truck bumpers, or any other type of aftermarket bumpers, remember there is much more to swapping seats than just unbolting the old one and replacing it with the new one. The right mounting hardware is the most critical factor for successfully upgrading to an aftermarket seat!