Safety of Stock FJ40 Seat Mounts (1 Viewer)

1973Guppie

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I am planning on tying in my rollbar to my frame here fairly soon and was looking over my seat bracketry today on my 73 fj40. It is basically the stock fj seat frame that has been altered somewhat, tabs welded to, cut in places, etc, in order to fit my aftermarket seats and tuffy center console. For the most part it is basically the stock setup. My question is how safe is this setup? I know many bolt the seats to a setup that is tied into the rollbar and while this is probably the best way to go, I don't want to have to go this route if my setup is safe enough already. I am using all the same stock threaded holes etc. I don't do major hard core wheeling and I am more concerned about on street high speed safety, etc. Any opinions are appreciated.

Noah
 
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1973Guppie said:
I am planning on tying in my rollbar to my frame here fairly soon and was looking over my seat bracketry today on my 73 fj40. It is basically the stock fj seat frame that has been altered somewhat, tabs welded to, cut in places, etc, in order to fit my aftermarket seats and tuffy center console. For the most part it is basically the stock setup. My question is how safe is this setup? I know many bolt the seats to a setup that is tied into the rollbar and while this is probably the best way to go, I don't want to have to go this route if my setup is safe enough already. I am using all the same stock threaded holes etc. I don't do major hard core wheeling and I am more concerned about on street high speed safety, etc. Any opinions are appreciated.

Noah
If you are talking about ability to keep a person within the vehicle, the stock personal retention systems in an FJ40 are not safe at all. If a driver is securely strapped to the seat, a questionable matter in it's own right, the four bolt connection to the floorboard steel isn't likely to resist the inertia generated in a collision at any significant speed, IMO. The driver will move with enough force to tear out the seat bolts and be flung out of the vehicle. An improvement could be to use additional metal under he floor to spread the load over a larger area, but it would only be as salt on a poorly cooked goose.

The people who work their seat into and part of a well designed frame connected cage system would have the best chance in a wreck even though most of them build those protections for other reasons than those you are concerned with.

Personally, I think that anyone who operates an FJ40 at high speeds on highways is taking big chances with their life, regardless any protective measure they may try to take. The forces that work in an auto wreck are tremendous, unpredictable, and awesome.

Given this scenario, you may be safer to be flung out and away from the damage. Maybe the best thing would be to drive wearing a good helmet and a set of leathers as if you were on a motorcycle.

Forget about seat safety and seatbelts - practice jumping from a sitting position.
 
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honk said:
If you are talking about ability to keep a person within the vehicle, the stock personal retention systems in an FJ40 are not safe at all. The driver will move with enough force to tear out the seat bolts and be flung out of the vehicle.
Honk, you make a very good point that I've been (stupidly) ignoring for years. :rolleyes: :eek:

It almost seems lke the old-style front bench seats were more securely attached. (At least the seat belts were attached to the tub.)

Other than fabricating an entirely new mounting system to accomodate after-market seats, does anyone have any pics of a beefier mounting set-up for the later model stock seats??
 

1973Guppie

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I agree that a seat frame tied into a rollbar would be much safer but I am wondering how safe the stock setup on an fj40 is compared to other regular vehicles? After looking over my 98 4runner, it looks as if the seats are mounted just the same, bolted to the floorboards on each corner. I know the stock setup is not "bulletproof" but guess my question is, is it as safe as other cars out on the road OR am I at a big disadvantage by having a 73 stock bracketry setup. Really just wondering if I get into an accident if the seat assembly will disentegrate or hold up somewhat.

Noah
 

nuclearlemon

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i've seen quite a few wrecked cruisers and can't say i've seen them ripped out of the floor...which surprises me since they seem rather flimsy.
 
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honk: Personally, I think that anyone who operates an FJ40 at high speeds on highways is taking big chances with their life, regardless any protective measure they may try to take. The forces that work in an auto wreck are tremendous, unpredictable, and awesome.
Amen bro'. Remember that speed kills, no matter what you're driving. Hard core wheeling at 7 m.p.h. is probably a safer place for those stock mounts than on the highway at 70.

honk: Given this scenario, you may be safer to be flung out and away from the damage. Maybe the best thing would be to drive wearing a good helmet and a set of leathers as if you were on a motorcycle.

Forget about seat safety and seatbelts - practice jumping from a sitting position.
That's funny.
 
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one thing that may be obvious but is still worth mentioning, is that you should never mount the seat belts to the seat brackets. They should be mounted to the floor, frame, or cage. I suppose that if you have your seats mounted to a cage, then that is an exception to the rule, and its ok to mount both the seats and the belts to the cage. But you if youre running that set up, you better have the cage tied into the frame as well.

-Dustin
 

brian

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if i'm not mistaken, the seat does not restrain passengers in the event of a crash. that job would be filled by the belts, and are they not bolted to the floor boards? in a frontal event the seat bolts would have no force on them.
of course rust plays a large part.

and what about the NON-collapsing steering shaft?
 
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brian said:
if i'm not mistaken, the seat does not restrain passengers in the event of a crash. that job would be filled by the belts, and are they not bolted to the floor boards? in a frontal event the seat bolts would have no force on them.
of course rust plays a large part.

and what about the NON-collapsing steering shaft?
No, you are mistaken. In the older bench seat models the inner half of the belts bolts to the floor but the outer bolts to the seat bracket, and in the bucket seat models both sides bolt to the seat bracket, not the floor. The only body to seatbelt attachment in the later years is the shoulder harness mount to either the cab side or the flimsy rollbar.
 

Cdaniel

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So how did Toyota get past the D.O.T. regs to sell FJ40's in America?
 

rusty_tlc

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Cdaniel said:
So how did Toyota get past the D.O.T. regs to sell FJ40's in America?
The regs change all the time. American cars from the same era were no safer than Cruisers. If I'm not mistaken it was the safe bumper act, along with other safety requirments and stricter emissions controls that caused Toyota to stop exporting Cruisers to the US.
 

pbgbottle

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i've always been conserned for my safety with these belts . and seat ripping out of the floor .but to tell ya the truth . i tested them one time . when i was 19 . going on a 2000 km. road trip . i was young and dumb .thought i was invincible . pulled hard top . my belts shoulder strap was attached to the hard top . so for a temp. fix i bolted some lap belts to the seat . took off on the trip . needless to say the seats stayed in the vehicle .i was going as fast as the thing would go with 33's on it (1977 fj40 2f) speedo said 120-140 km per hour . i fell asleep .went off the road full speed ahead . rolled the thing 7or 8 times witness said .the people who were following where nurses on vacation .the vehicle jumped off a boulder complete flip in the air landed on wheels and kept rolling .the front springs main leaves where snapped ,punched the front driveshaft through the t-case .blew the rear shaft into the rear axle .bending the crap out of everything . . body tor right down the seam between the floor and fender well . on passenger side bent full cage to the left 5 inches .pealed the passenger top have of door flat to the running board .bushwacker flares survived ,windshield survived . fiberglass front end was gone , speedo was stuck at 140km .blew mine and my brothers shoes off . bikini top survived .truck was a right off . but luckily the seats stayed in the vehicle . we also ended up hanging upside down by the lap belt . it was wild .i walked away from it . my brother had a compression fraction of a vertebrae . he's o.k. today but will nnever drive with me again .

i guess what i'm saying is the belts worked . seats stayed in the vehicle . but i still don't trust them either . my next cage will be frame mounted .seat mounts built into the cage . and belts mounted to cage .
 
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well, heres some pics of my buddy Marc's Cruiser after a roll at maybe 40mph. Lucky bastard for walking away. His drivers seat broke away from the rig. His belts were partly bolted to the seat, floor, and roll bar. Hes so lucky infact, that had this happened two months earlier, he wouldnt even have had seat belts. He installed 3pt belts (standard shoulder & lap belt from CCOT) before Rubithon.

Anyway, I think that since the belt was bolted to his seat (s***ty Cruiser seat bracket set up)- the seat ripped away from the body. Not suprising. I can go on and on about other things hes lucky for, but I'll let the pics do the talking. Though they still dont do justice the the amt of damage the Cruiser took. He's lucky to be alive.

http://finespline.com/cruiser/marc_accident/index.html

-Dustin
 

65swb45

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On my 68, all four belt bolts are tub mounted in the sealed cross section at the front of the bed with 7/16ths bolts, which was factory spec for that year.

I would agree that there is cause for concern where the belt is attached to the seat because, as brian indicated, the force should NOT be carried by the seat. THat doesn't mean that manufacturers always do the safest thing. My sister totaled a Dodge minivan about 10 years ago. Now granted, she is a very large woman. I was still very disturbed to hear that in the force of the impact, her seat was ripped out of the floor! :eek: :eek: :eek:

So, to answer the original question, if you have belts that are seat mounted, you really need to consider getting longer ones that you can mount to the tub, if not a rollcage. And if you are going to mount to a tub, you definitely want to make sure that you reinforce that area of the tub so that the belt does what it is supposed to.
 
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Forget about the idea of hoping to be thrown clear so as to suffer less injury. That's kinda like thinking you could step out of a crashing airrplane just as it reaches the ground so you don't get hurt. Sure... In a cartoon world. That's about the only place where getting thrown out of a rig is a good thing.

The original factory setup is far from ideal. Having the belts attached to the seat frame is not a good idea.

That said, I have parted out and/or closely examined abou ten rigs which were totaled in highway speed crashes. Rollovers in most cases. A couple of endos. Most were typical "well used" rigs with the usual rust in floorboards and such. Not one of these had any issue with seats/brackets coming loose. Some of the brackets DID come loose from the floor (torn out) to varying degrees. But the seats were all withing a couple inches of where they started out and none of the brackets failed enough to change this.

One of rigs had a real hackjob of a home built mount for the seats. This rig endo'd and the driver was thrown through the soft top while still strapped into the seat. He wound up a quadrapalegic.


An FJ40 is not and never will be a good place to be in the event of a highwya speed crash. Seat belt secured to the floor are always better than seat belts secured to the seat frame. A seat mounted into a roll bar system is usually a good thing. But I would not loose any sleep worrying about the factory setup failing. No more lost sleep than the rest of the rig and its archeic, off road oriented design produces anyway. ;)


Mark...
 
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Mark W: Forget about the idea of hoping to be thrown clear so as to suffer less injury. That's kinda like thinking you could step out of a crashing airrplane just as it reaches the ground so you don't get hurt. Sure... In a cartoon world. That's about the only place where getting thrown out of a rig is a good thing.
It never occured to me when posting the suggestion that anyone would seriously consider the timed leap to be a viable option.
 
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I didn't think that you meant it seriously. But I still run into people who adhere to the "hope I get thrown clear" school of thought. !?!?!?


Mark...
 

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