View Full Version : FJ40 Bucket Seat Brackets

10-31-2011, 11:55 AM
When I originally got my FJ40, it had an old bucket seat that was haphazardly installed. I found a full bench seat set up and put it in. The bench seat set up was ok, but as I've started driving the 40 much more often - I find it to be pretty uncomfortable. While you really can't beat the bench seat for cool looks, you really can't adjust them very much, they provide no body support and after a couple of hours are just not comfy.

A month or so ago, I spent an afternoon trying out seats in the junk yard. I found a pair of bucket seats from a 1991 Mazda 626 Sport that are in great shape and took them home. On Sunday, PhatFJ fabricated brackets and helped me install the seats. I'm not (yet) a metal working guy so much of this was very new to me. Brian had already mounted buckets in his 1970 FJ40, so he had a pretty good idea on how to approach this. It also gave him good insight into the issues we needed to watch out for; for example on the drivers side seat, the mounting needs to be carefully done so that the door will close and not smash the seat adjusting levers.

Before starting the days work, I had an opportunity to check out and drive his 75 FJ40. WOW, this is a nice, tight and quiet FJ40. No pictures, but it is really nice. :D

We started working on the seats about 11:00 am and had them installed just shortly after 5:00. Tools used include; metric sockets, square, level (for flat edge), tape measure, black sharpie, grinder (cutting and grinding discs), BFHs, dolly, drill press, chop saw, clamps, magnets, welding blankets and welder. We made a trip to Home Depot to pick up some 3/8" flat stock and bolts and nuts.

It's been a while since I've bought nuts and bolts at HD, they now individually bag each one with a bar code. I suppose someone that it makes it easier to use the self-checkout scan, but it was a challenge to get everything scanned because the plastic bags would crinkle and not be read by the scanner:rolleyes:.

The Mazda seat brackets are flat on the back and have a slight angle bend on the front. We needed flat brackets and decided to try to bend the angle out to flat. If we would not have been able to bend the angle out, we would have cut out the front and welded in some flat stock. Brian used a couple of BFHs/dolly and with several well placed whacks, got the brackets flat and straight. I got most of the bend out of the passenger seat brackets, but Brian still found there was about 1/8" out of level condition on one of them and he made it right:thumb:.


There is a fair portion of "engineered on site details" that I'm not covering and Brian was often measuring and re-measuring throughout the fabrication process. In particular, the passenger side brackets are different heights on the front. Nothing that was a huge deal, but certainly things that if overlooked could have been problematic.

We started with the drivers seat by using the grinder to clean up the stock bracket.



Next we placed the flat stock on the seat brackets and marked the holes and length needed.


Next we trimmed the flat stock and drilled the mounting holes.



Next we mocked everything up on the seat and tack welded the flat stock to the bracket.



Next the flat stock was fully welded to the bracket.


Next we drilled to extend the mounting hole through the stock seat bracket.


Next we mounted the seat and installed it in the truck. Wow, it is a big improvement over the bench:D.



We then moved on to the passenger seat. On this side, we would need to fabricate two brackets and put in place flat stock for the seat to mount to. The brackets have a 90 degree bend in them. We did not have a bender, so angled marks were made and v-notches cut out of the square. The metal could then be bent to achieve the 90 degree bend.




As they were welded, they had to be checked to see that they remain square. The heating and cooling could result in things not being square.


With the bends in place, mounting tabs were welded to the feet and then drilled for the mounting bolts. We used the factory mounting points for the brackets.

We then mounted the brackets in the truck.


Next we covered the fuel tank with a welding blanket. We then mounted the seats to the flat stock and placed it in the truck to determine the final placement. There is a tube on the top of the fuel tank that we needed to clear. Tack welds were done to lock the flat stock in place on the brackets. I managed to not get any pictures of this step.

We then removed everything and completed welding the flat stock to the brackets.


I still have to clean up and paint everything and find a mounting point for seat belt anchor - but the seats are in and are great. I used we quite a bit in the writeup, but really it was mostly Brian. Brian thanks so much for helping me out and getting the seats installed. :D

10-31-2011, 01:05 PM
Wow, very nice!

10-31-2011, 01:56 PM
Two :thumb:s up guys :D

10-31-2011, 02:26 PM
Looks like top-notch work, and great photos.

11-02-2011, 12:21 PM
As always, awesome write up Ricardo! Thanks for sharing!