I wanted one bucket seat in the back of my 2 door (and add cargo space), but with the option of a second bucket seat in back to fully replace the rear bench. As a quick note, I have a kid on the way and refused to give up my 2 door, so looked into options to make the 2 door "kid friendly" by being able to access the back seat through the tailgate. I could not find anyone who had done something similar, so figured a way to do it myself. Perhaps this is helpful to others, for any variety of reasons.
First, I'd like to give my kudos to Eastside Custom Truck of Kirkland, WA. They took my vision and SAFELY and securely installed my seat as I envisioned. I did what I consider quite a bit of homework, and they implemented exactly what I wanted. This is pretty easily replicated if you also want a 3 seater with the extra space for cargo (or 1 or 2 full bucket seats in back).
Before I post the pics, just know that there aren't a lot of aftermarket seats that can fit 2 buckets in the back of a 2 door. I searched. Most are too wide, too deep, or too tall (depending on headrests, but factory are removable, which is a huge plus). I also preferred the upholstery to match, but that was secondary. Nice that the right seats were also identical to the front, IF you can find them.
To my surprise, the best fit (by dimensions) I found was the factory front seats. But they are hard to find (the dealer quoted me at $2k each -- ridiculous). I finally found a set (both driver and passenger) on the East coast for $400 (only 6 sets nationwide that I found at salvage yards, and most were at $500+, plus shipping), and once found, I had them shipped.
To be clear, I wanted to be able to NOT have to maneuver the front seats to get an infant carrier into the back. WAY too much hassle. So I figured if I could just have one bucket in the back, I could slide the infant carrier through the opened tailgate since there was no longer the seat back (on one side) to contend with.
Here is the final product:
With the seat slid forward, there is a ton of cargo space:
For those who wanted to see roughly what it looks like with the 4th bucket seat in, here is a pic (the closer seat is up an extra inch as it is sitting on the bolts still, but you get the idea).
You can see that there is still room for the 4th (matching) bucket seat, but I didn't have that one installed (Again, I need the cargo and room for the kid.) But it WILL fit. I will probably work on some sort of more easily removable 4th seat option before installing, without having to crawl under the Jeep to unbolt it.
But for my purposes, this works GREAT. Because the seats are on sliders, it can still move 2 inches back from where pictured, or 7 inches forward if I need more storage behind. It is about as flush to floor as possible, and can fit someone 6'2" still in the back (for a soft top). As I said, it can be slid forward or back some, and is fully reclinable the same way your front seats work.
So perhaps this idea helps others with a 2 door wanting the extra cargo space or just to make their 2 door easier for an infant carrier (and it will be pretty darn easy). But wanted to share in hopes that it helps anyone else the way the other threads have helped me.
Lastly, you may be as surprised as I am, but the rear seat belt clip is different from the front. So I'll have to change out the receptacle or trim the metal on the clip. Surprised me, too, that they aren't the same, but there is always a flaw in something custom. This seems to be it. But should be an easy fix.
Edit: I swapped out the seat belt buckles from the original rear bench so they now work as they should. If someone doesn't have that part anymore (but still has the original belts in the back), the part number is 5KP791DVAA, and I was quoted $77 -- for that price, I robbed my own buckles as maybe nobody wants to buy the bench anyway.
Any thoughts or further questions are welcome, but two bucket seats in the back (on sliders) IS possible. I'm pleased with the results (but am holding off for the moment on installing the 4th until I can design an easily removable solution for the last seat).
This isn't exactly a full "write-up," but I know the info inside and out, so please just let me know if you need any additional info.
Just trying to do my part to keep this forum as good as it is.
Last edited by Hoovis; 01-16-2009 at 05:53 PM.
Reason: more pics and fixed the seat belt latches
How hard is it to install/remove?
something like this that was as easily removable as the bench would be awesome!
Well, to be sure it was done right and safe, I had Eastside Custom Truck do the install. But I had it all measured out, etc. They charged me 2 hours of labor, and said that 6 of the 8 bolt locations were very tight getting to and had to be put on with a standard wrench (there are 8 total bolts standard on the factory passenger seat, and 6 on the driver side factory seat). So hopefully that gives you an idea of how easy or hard it is to install initially.
As it is, clearly it is not anywhere near as easy as the factory rear bench por putting in/removing. It would probably take 30 to 60 minutes to now get back out, and about an hour (plus the help of a friend) to put back in.
I am trying to come up with a "quick disconnect" type of system before putting in the 4th seat. But I'm in no hurry to figure that out. I can tell you though, that trying to put them in with something like the factory hardware that is already on the factory rear bench is highly doubtful to work. It would simply sit too high off the floor, be too expensive, and/or at a minimum, you would lose the ability to slide it forward or back.
if stock seats fit then surely mastercraft fronts for the JK will fit too. Those are expensive but no where near as expensive
Unfortunately, not for the rear of the 2 door. The mastercraft seats are too wide to fit two in the back of a 2 door (22" wide versus factory seats of 20" wide). The Mastercraft Baja seat is only 21" wide (and therefore maybe barely possible), but the Baja is too deep (26" deep versus factory seats of 23" deep). You might be able to get them in, but you would lose the ability to recline the Baja.
As for the cost, it all depends on how much you have to pay at a salvage yard (if you can find them). Most quoted me the factory seats at $200 to $500 per seat.
I would like to see how it looks with both installed. neat idea. how close is it to the top?
The top of the seat is 6-1/2" from the top of the heasdrest to the soft top. 13" if you remove the headrest. It sits about 2-1/2" higher than where the front seats sit.
It was too difficult to get any decent angle for a picture with both in there. Looks about the same as the rear bench only slightly bigger (taller) and with a small space (very small) in between the 2 seats. Sorry I can't be of more help on this issue.