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Non-Pneumatic Seats?


bmzero

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My wife hates the seats in the 730. Mostly, I think she mostly doesn't like shallow/short seat base. So, that means I'm shopping for seats.

 

I don't see any benefit to having all of the lumbar adjustments on these seats. Mine have about 6 or 8 buttons for adjustment, none of them make the seat any more comfortable for me or her.

 

I'm considering swapping them out for some non-pneumatic seats and just powering the seat height with air. I see no reason to pay nearly $1000 per seat just to have them air operated.

 

Am I missing something here? What would the drawbacks be for using standard, non-pneumatic seats in a HDT?

 

There seem to be a ton of OEM seats with arm rests on them out there for pennies on the dollar compared to a pneumatic HDT seat.

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I have aftermarket seats in my truck. They only have one air adjustment (other than height/shock absorption) and that is lumbar. Neither my wife nor I uses the lumbar adjustment much, but we both adjust the height/suspension regularly depending on needs. The other thing they have is heat. My wife has to have a heated seat or she is not happy and you know what that means ;) .

 

I have never had one of the fully adjustable air seats, so I guess I don't know what (if anything) I am missing with them. My seats are the basic seats that Wayland Long puts in most of his 2L Custom trucks. They are leather and nice but nothing fancy.

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I think it was RandyA who put seats out of a another vehicle in his HDT. And yes they were modified and mounted on the air ride bases of the original seats.

 

I will say this. Both seats in our 780 were in bad shape. Visually they looked great but just a few hours in the seat and you knew they had a lot of miles under them. We had the Volvo a few years before I finally replaced both seats. This is one of those projects that is now in the "Why did I wait so long?" category.

 

Completely deflate the seats and go for a long ride on some rough roads. Even down some not so rough roads and you will see the advantage of the air ride.

 

At 5'2" my wife was unable to adjust the seat high enough for the seat not to bottom out on bigger bumps with her feet resting on the floor of the cab. When the seat would bottom out it would jar her back. With her feet hanging and not touching the floor it was uncomfortable and her legs would sometimes fall asleep after a while. Using some scrap A/B 3/4" plywood built a little pedestal for her feet. About 4"~5" tall. Now she can adjust the seat to the proper height and still rest her feet on the floor. The pedestal can easily be moved for passengers who do not need/want to use it.

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There have been several people adapt van seats, cars seats all with for same comments as yours. Search the forum

 

I saw a couple of posts where they used normal seats, but no discussion about the drawbacks of doing so.

 

I would hate to not have air suspended seats in a HDT. You may not care about lumbar support and the other adjustment but going over a bump you will really appreciate the shock absorbing of the seat suspension.

 

I agree there. I wouldn't even think of solid mounting them to the floor. That would be a brutal ride.

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Completely deflate the seats and go for a long ride on some rough roads. Even down some not so rough roads and you will see the advantage of the air ride.

 

Other than the height adjustment, I keep my seats deflated anyway. They're more uncomfortable to me with air in them. Maybe my seats are just really bad. I don't have any comparison.

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We have replaced the seats in both our International and then our Volvo. Both times just used seats from custom vans and installed them on the air ride bases. Now we can drive 10 plus hours if need be and still feel good.

The original seats were not so user friendly. But did keep you awake with the sore bottom.

 

 

Safe Travels, Vern

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These are the leading candidate right now. My wife is pretty adamant about having heated seats. Finding a set of rear van seats in dark grey or black, with arm rests, and heat will probably be tough. I may just have to add the heat element to them.

 

16361744778_00d801e7ae_b.jpg

 

16363134419_3cf4767201_b.jpg

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/131156691231?item=131156691231&viewitem=&vxp=mtr

 

I may try to find a set of these closer to home and try to avoid the $250 shipping price.

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Or these.

 

16548394632_b5340ee384_b.jpg

 

16363580617_b199302512_b.jpg

 

I'm not sure if that seat belt assembly comes off cleanly or not. I have asked the seller. I like these better due to the dual arm rests and they're a little cheaper.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-BUCKET-SEATS-MIDDLE-SEAT-CONSOLE-BLACK-FULL-LEATHER-van-truck-classic-car-/141558129383?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item20f585a2e7&vxp=mtr

 

The main problem with these is that the center console is built into the driver's seat. I'm confident I can separate them, but cosmetically, I'm sure it'll be noticeable.

 

16363232619_a845f0aa55_b.jpg

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We purchased new seats two years ago from 4 States in Joplin MO, the old ones were so bad I was going to trash them, but they gave us $250 for the old ones, wow. The new ones were $750 each making the price $1250 + tax, the best item we have purchased for our HDT

 

"Elite seats" PS. installation was free, with two arm rests on each

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Some passenger side seats have no air option and are just a welded base that bolts up perfect.

 

We are in the process of doing up 3 air seats in the back of ours for the kids.. I have the drivers seat out of mine and putting another seat on it. My requirements on seating are dual arm rests.

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BM - Just a question? with the short seat cushion, have you looked at ALL the levers on the seat? All my seats have had adjustable seat cushion depths (4 positions if memory serves). You may have it in the full back position. We are talking about the butt to knee distance, right? There is also the whole seat forward to back for the seat to steering wheel (different lever though) adjustment.

 

You may already have a solution there. Just saying. I'll try to post some pics in a bit.

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The van seats pictured are nice, but will require a LOT of work to make them fit on the base. Air ride units are a pedestal, that requires a center "plate" on the seat. I suggest you investigate seats in full size conversion vans--which are designed to fit on a pedestal, are very comfy (usually) and often have heat.

I'm not very picky either...But I"m in agreement about the air ride and the heated lumbar at least. Now my DW has to have lumbar air (I like it empty, she likes it all the way out... <_<:unsure: )

NO matter what you do.. make sure you actually find the seat you buy comfortable--go to a dealer or junkyard and sit in a few. For instance, I liked our Windstar seats just fine, but the seats in my F-I-L's Caravan are awful (for us). Our Acadia front seats are great--my daughters' Equinox...not so much.

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The van seats pictured are nice, but will require a LOT of work to make them fit on the base. Air ride units are a pedestal, that requires a center "plate" on the seat. I suggest you investigate seats in full size conversion vans--which are designed to fit on a pedestal, are very comfy (usually) and often have heat.

I'm not very picky either...But I"m in agreement about the air ride and the heated lumbar at least. Now my DW has to have lumbar air (I like it empty, she likes it all the way out... <_<:unsure: )

NO matter what you do.. make sure you actually find the seat you buy comfortable--go to a dealer or junkyard and sit in a few. For instance, I liked our Windstar seats just fine, but the seats in my F-I-L's Caravan are awful (for us). Our Acadia front seats are great--my daughters' Equinox...not so much.

 

Thanks, Jeff. You're probably right about them taking a lot of work. I'm on the lookout for a good set of conversion van seats, but I don't see much out there right now.

 

I'm not opposed to putting some work into mounting seats like these. They seem to be significantly cheaper than purpose-built seats for conversion vans.

 

I'm going to try to find some seats locally. That way I can do the butts in seats test as suggested.

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I had a brand new seats in the garage (from another truck) and the original seats in the Volvo were 836,000 miles team driving shot. The two seats were totally different, different manufacturer, different mounting, etc. We fashioned 3/16" thick flat adapter plate that would mount to the seat and to the base. I kept the original air base, since it was working fine. It can be done, here's how!

 

Searna.jpg

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I had a brand new seats in the garage (from another truck) and the original seats in the Volvo were 836,000 miles team driving shot. The two seats were totally different, different manufacturer, different mounting, etc. We fashioned 3/16" thick flat adapter plate that would mount to the seat and to the base. I kept the original air base, since it was working fine. It can be done, here's how!

 

Thanks for the information, Henry. That's a good read.

 

In the grand scheme of things, and of all the fabrication this truck warrants, mounting the seats should be a relatively simple task.

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Do some advance planning so you end up with a location and height that fits both of you.

 

With 18 inches difference in our heights seat mounting, both vertical and distance from the wheel/pedals was a bit tricky to get right. Ended up using a booster on the passenger side floor to avoid bottoming or dangling feet, on the driver's side we added an extension to the throttle to bring it 1.5" closer to her short legs. She'd bottom the driver's side when she was driving over big bumps but we didn't want to chance a booster on that side that could shift into the pedal area.

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BM - Just a question? with the short seat cushion, have you looked at ALL the levers on the seat? All my seats have had adjustable seat cushion depths (4 positions if memory serves). You may have it in the full back position. We are talking about the butt to knee distance, right? There is also the whole seat forward to back for the seat to steering wheel (different lever though) adjustment.

 

You may already have a solution there. Just saying. I'll try to post some pics in a bit.

 

X2

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To the question about extending the seat cushion, yes they are all the way out. That's one of the first things I noticed when I got in the truck so I extended them. They do have two positions.

 

Ironically, I sat in the passenger seat for the first time a couple of days ago and it's really comfortable for me; significantly more comfortable than the driver's seat. They're the same seat, but the passenger seat probably has significantly less butt time.

 

That being said, she is obviously a lot more picky about the seats than I am. I'm going to have her test out a few seats before we settle on a new set. I won't be buying pneumatic (lumbar) seats. We will just mount them to the pneumatic bases.

 

On the swivel, my seats have them now, but I can't get them to swivel out. I think the seats are just too big, or mounted too close to the doors to turn all the way around. Hopefully I can maintain the swivel on the new seats.

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