For my first (true) modification to my new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, I decided it was time to move those seats in the back further back! You see, in the stock Unlimited, the rear bench seats are awesome and comfortable. The rear seats are a bit close to the back of the front seats. Now, if you add kids car seats, that puts the faces right up onto the front seats. It also has them sitting straight up into the air! My kids couldn’t even nap without kinking their necks, or banging their heads into our head rests. So – its time to modify!
Luckily a friend told me about a very simple modification. The folks over at Ohio Diesel Parts have a great Jeep Wrangler Rear Seat Recline Kit to solve the problem. The kit will drop the back of the seat 2.5 inches back, and raise the tilt of the lower seat by 1 inch or so. The cost is reasonable, $52 originally, but $26 on sale at the time of this post. That will basically allow the kids to sleep a bit more comfortably, and not have their heads next to my head rest (where they can talk or scream me deaf!).
Basically, it is a bolt on modification. First, you remove the factory 4 floor bolts with an 18mm socket on the front of the rear seats. Next, you raise the seats up vertically, and remove the back 3 floor bolts holding the remainder of the floor mounts in place. Then, you add in spacers to the back 3 floor bolts and re-attach the factory bolts (Ohio Diesel sends you longer ones if you need). Lower the seats back into place, on top of the 4 extra tall spacers, and re-attach with the provided extra long bolts (these are 17mm socket bolts).
Note: these bolts are tight, so use an impact wrench or a breaker bar to get them out. Also, there is one bolt on the back three, on the driver side, that is damn near impossible to get off without an extra long 18mm socket. So good luck! I will admit, they were in there good and tough!
Once you are done, the seats look like they are back to stock, but with a much nicer recline on the top seat. And now there is a better pitch on the bottom seat. As you can see from the pic, the effect is subtle, but it is noticeable. My youngest road in this today, and told me “daddy, this is much more comfortable.” Don’t know if he was just making me happy, but he seemed to like it! For such a reasonably priced modification, it is a great bang for the buck!