ZJ seats to Older Cherokee with 2 door modification

Old 04-24-2010, 12:16 PM
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Year: 1989
Model: Comanche
Engine: 4.0
Default ZJ seats to Older Cherokee with 2 door modification

ZJ Seats in XJ with 2 Door Modification

This is only for Cherokee with the older style seat brackets. This mod if done to the newer ones is easier because it is almost a direct bolt in. Although I think the old brackets have to be installed on the ZJ seats if your Cherokee is a 96 or newer. Just FYI.

I used a ratchet and various sockets, a Philips screwdriver, a drill, a hacksaw, and a marker. The only semi non normal tool I used was a torx bit socket for a ratchet, I believe it was a T45 or T55.

I recently purchased 2 ZJ Grand Cherokee seats in a junkyard for 50 dollars. I knew they were not going to be a direct drop in swap so I started thinking how to swap them in. I finally decided that since the mounting brackets fit in the Cherokee width and length wise that I would install new studs in the floor. One problem I still had though was that my Cherokee is a 2 door and that requires the seats to fold forward to allow access to the back seat. The ZJ seats had very limited forward fold movement but a lot of reclined movement. Here is how I fixed that.

This next section is only for 2 door Cherokees. To see how to mount them in any Cherokee scroll down.

Start by removing the plastic cover over the hinge. It is just three screws and it pulls off. This will expose the hinge and latch mechanism.

You need to unbolt this mechanism. It is only two bolts, one right next to the handle and one right next to the back of the seat.

Flip the chair over and move the fabric up to reveal the hinge bolt for the other side.

Remove that with a T55 torx socket on a ratchet. You might be able to use a bug allen wrench on it if you dont have the socket.

The back of the seat should now separate from the base of the seat. At this point remove the head rest. Unclip the seat cover at the bottom of the back of the seat. gently start removing the cover. It takes time and patience so be careful. Once you have it off unbolt the hinge from the seat back. Again it is just two bolts holding it there.

This is the hinge partially removed for reference

After you have that removed take a piece of angle iron or a metal strap and cut a piece out of it that looks like this.

The holes only have to be an inch apart. Put the bottom bolt of the hinge back on the back rest part of the seat. Clock the hole on the top part of the hinge over an inch. Put your piece of angle iron in the back rest support rod where the hinge was and bolt it in. At this point take another bolt and bolt the other end of the angle iron into the hinge. It is difficult to explain but here is a picture.
Hope that helps some. Anyway at this point you are going to re-assemble the seat. Put the seat cover back on. Put the head rest back in. Place the seat back rest back on the seat bottom and bolt it back into place. No tricks except be patient especially with the seat cover. This is a good time to replace the plastic hinge cover and remove the seatbelt clip that came with the seat. If you want to use that clip you will also need the seat belt from the Grand Cherokee. Just saying.

The seat back will no longer be perfectly straight but that is the price to pay for owning a 2 door.

Ok on to mounting the seat.

Mounting the seat in any Cherokee 2 door or 4 door.

At this point we are going to start mounting the seats. My way is probably a little bit more redneck and is not really perfect. A few suggestions to do that I didn't is to use a full piece of angle iron instead of two smaller pieces. It will make it come out stronger and mount straight. Also remove the carpet and use a wood template to make your holes line up as good as possible. I was impatient and it could have turned out better.

Remove your old seat.

Optional- Remove trim and carpet.

Take a piece of angle iron and mount it to the front mounting holes in the new seat.

I would recommend one long piece bridged between both mounting holes but in a pinch this design works as well.

Take the seat and position it in your Cherokee. Mark the floor with a marker or use a wood template for better accuracy. If you are patient I recommend the later.

Drill the holes.

Not a great pic but you get the idea.

Now remove the angle iron from the seat and put it on the floor putting the bolts through the floor from the top to mount it. Also put the bolts for the rear mounting holes up through the bottom of the floor like the original studs were.

Replace the carpet and trim and place the seat back on the floor over the studs and the angle iron. Bolt the angle iron back into the front mounting brackets on the seat and you are done.

The end result looks like this.

You can see because I am a moron that both seat belt clips are still in place.

Do this mod if you DD your jeep. The seats are WAY more comfortable. Also as far as I know that is the only seat swap for a 2 door that allows access to the back seat. The few problems with this mod are, more space between the center console and the seat, the seat belt is a little more difficult to fold back when someone is getting in the back of the jeep, the seat back isn't perfectly straight for 2 doors, and you sit up higher resulting in less clearance for tall people's heads. I am 6'1" and don't really have a problem with the clearance thing but if you are 6'5"+ you might have a problem. otherwise great mod.

Last edited by XJ Stryker; 04-27-2010 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:54 PM
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Year: 1989
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Engine: 4.0

Here is the finished product showing the clearance for the new seats. It is less than that of the old 2 door cherokee seats but much more than the stock ZJ seats.

Dont mind the trash. I was just re wiring the speakers to the sound bar and left a bunch of trash in the back.
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