Rear seat WJ head rest mod

Old 01-01-2014, 07:34 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Iowa
Posts: 47
Year: 2001
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default Rear seat WJ head rest mod

After reading the how to on adding ZJ headrest I went on the search for some for my XJ. Due to the older age of ZJs they are in short stock at the yards and the ones that they did have were not in the best of shape.

Tools I used - Drills, angle grinder with a cut off wheel, razor blade, electric knife, pry bars, 15mm wratcheting wrench to remove the back seat of XJ

So I found an 03 Grand Cherokee with a nice back seat. Yard only charged me $25 for the whole seat. Took it home and started tearing it apart to see what I had to work with.

After cutting back the fabric and foam this is what I found. Was not using anything else on the seat so I sliced it all open with a razor blade to save time.
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Cut off all the welds with an angle grinder equipped with a cut off wheel. Pry bar helped free it from its old home.
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Ended up using these parts from the WJ. The black guides take a quarter turn to remove from the metal braket and a flat head screw driver to release the top of the guide from itself to put over the fabric.
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Here is the stock XJ seat pan after pulling it out and removing the cover and foam. Two 15 MM bolts to remove the rear seat and the cover just needs unzipped and the velcro realeased.
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The stock foam has partial cut outs in it for the overseas models that had headrest. I used these to determine where the headrest brackets should be mounted. The foam needed trimmed out more for the WJ headrest brackets. Used the wifes electric knife. (dont tell her)
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Added a couple of spacers made of 3/4" by 6" wood to space the headrest further towards the front. I drilled through the seat pan and then used wood screws through it into the wood.
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Mounted the headrests in with a three bolts per side. If I had access to a welder this part would have been much quicker. You can see here that they hit the bar that allows the seat to release and lay flat. I plan on cutting another inch off the bars so that they will be able to go all the way down.
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Slid the foam and covers back over the now modied XJ seat back. Cut two small holes in the top for the caps of the plactic guides and headrest could slide down into newly added brackets.
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Project went very well. The headrest were black so I had to use some SEM paint to get them to a closer match. Still need a little tweaking on the color. This is as far as they will go down as they are hitting the bar that realeases the back seat to lay down flat. I will pull the headrest back out and cut off an inch or so of the bars to let them go all the way down. Feel much better about my kid riding back there now in the case of a rear end accident. Will also be much better for her when she falls asleep while we are driving. Any questions or comments let me know.

Last edited by JeepingDan; 01-11-2014 at 10:11 AM. Reason: added more info
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