Suspension seats: Are they worth it? (1 Viewer)

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Dec 7, 2019
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My BJ73 is fairly harsh and bouncy. Seats are original. Tilt adjustment cables are rusted and broken. Seatcovers are entirely duct tape. Not much padding left. I also miss having arm rests...........I'm considering getting some heavy equipment style suspension seats like this: NEW SUSPENSION SEAT WITH ARMREST FITS EXCAVATOR FORKLIFT DOZER LOADER TRACTOR 895801055959 | eBay

I know some of the 70 series came with suspension seats. Pretty impossible to find here in the states... Those of you who have had suspension seats in a 70 series: Did you like them? Are they worth having?

I can get some used captains chair buckets from the salvage yard for about $45 each, but then I have to get covers for them etc. and no suspension. I can get some zero turn mower suspensions for about $120, but they only have 1" of travel. Not sure if it's worth it.. Any opinions?
 
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I installed factory suspension seats in my 70 after quite a while driving with the regular ones. I think it was a worthwhile improvement since I got them for a great price. They require a lot of tinkering with the settings to get it right. Another negative about them is your driving position moves a lot more when you're on bumpy roads, you can adjust the settings on the fly to a nice medium though. They definitely got rid of a lot of backpain on long trips and I find I can drive much longer distances without getting fatigued. Suspension seats aren't magical, they do have some nice long game advantages though and they are cool.
 
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Kennesaw, GA
My 70s are Canadian spec trucks so they came with suspension seats. The summary by dcruiser666 is spot on. Adding to this, I find the seats even help smooth out the ride while off road, most notably on easier trails and rough gravel roads where you are likely to be going faster making even frequent small bumps unpleasant. Effectively, the suspension seats help smooth out the sins of the leaf spring suspension under the truck. For example on the first 70 that I bought, the springs were flat and ineffective but the suspension seats enabled the ride quality to be tolerable so I could continue to drive the truck without major complaint while saved pennies to upgrade the leaf springs.
Back to your question … Suspension seats are most definitely a positive feature to have.
 

joekatana

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My BJ73 is fairly harsh and bouncy. Seats are original. Tilt adjustment cables are rusted and broken. Seatcovers are entirely duct tape. Not much padding left. I also miss having arm rests...........I'm considering getting some heavy equipment style suspension seats like this: NEW SUSPENSION SEAT WITH ARMREST FITS EXCAVATOR FORKLIFT DOZER LOADER TRACTOR 895801055959 | eBay

I know some of the 70 series came with suspension seats. Pretty impossible to find here in the states... Those of you who have had suspension seats in a 70 series: Did you like them? Are they worth having?

I can get some used captains chair buckets from the salvage yard for about $45 each, but then I have to get covers for them etc. and no suspension. I can get some zero turn mower suspensions for about $120, but they only have 1" of travel. Not sure if it's worth it.. Any opinions?

I have a set of the suspension seat bases that I could sell , it is not that hard to fabricate a mounting system for nice aftermarket seats on those and your problems are solved.
 
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I am on my third 70 series and they all had suspension seats so I can't really compare suspension vs. non-suspension. I do keep them in locked position probably 99.9% of the time. Some people like to bounce, some don't.

The seats themselves do make a big difference though.
 

hoser

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The suspension seats definitely help. And selectable/lockable is a nice feature. My only small complaint is the entire unit has some play in it, even in locked mode. i.e. if you grabbed a hold of the headrest and rocked the chair side to side or diagonally, you would see some movement/noise in the base. Maybe mines are worn, I don't know, never had new ones.
 
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I had/have both. When I had the suspension seats I kept them locked all the time, even off roading. I didn't like the constant up/down therefore the change in position relative to the steering wheel and constantly. Of course I didn't spend much time to see if I could set it up properly for my weight. If I had then maybe I would have had a better experience. They are heavy too, the bases. My current rig doesn't have a suspension seat, would not fit. I would have to get a seat that has some suspension built into it that I could then bolt to the factory sliders, like the aftermarket ones are made.
 

bottombracket

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I cannot comment on them on a 70 series, but my HJ61 has suspension seats. Compared to my other 60 series trucks that I have owned and driven extensively, the suspension seats are always there, working in the background. I compare it to a good full suspension mountain bike- even if you don’t notice it all the time, the suspension is always there, working in subtle ways, and taking the edge off of things.

Grab the bases from @joekatana and get going!
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
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2,344
My BJ74 had them, they were rubbish, I locked them out. Driving hard offroad they make driving control difficult as your constantly moving and they can cause back issues if you land the car, then travel and bottom out the seat send a shock into your body.

Get a better fixed seat.
 

joekatana

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So surprised about how many people don’t like the suspension seats . I had my first 73 in the early 90’s with them and always loved them , yes I lock them when offroading but these shine to me for daily driving especially speedbumps and massive potholes . I have a 99’ HZJ73 waiting for me in Europe and I already have a set of oem suspension seat and frames for that one as that will be a keeper and daily driver. You have to play around with the settings and I usually swap the passenger one for the driver side as they usually have been used a lot less.

In my troopy right now I have some Scheelmann seats as troopies and pu’s do not have enough space for the suspension frames, the Scheelmann seats provide more comfort and support but I would still opt fir suspension in the much more bouncier swb and mwb models.
 
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Western victoria Australia
I don't really notice much difference locked or unlocked. Also anyone over 100 kg's seems to bottom them out even when fully tightened. And they squeak a bit.
They are 35 years old, and are in a truck that has 700,000 km's ,so probably aren't functioning like new ones.
 
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Yeah, it's really hard to know how much age and use has affected the performance of the original factory ones. I'm sure there's a ton of legitimate variation in people's experiences with them because of that.

I don't approach the weight limit, I'm below average height, but I can see it being a problem for a lot of people. 200- 220lbs is pretty common in na.

Since it seems like robmobile73 isn't considering the factory option, I question how big a factor our experiences with them should be in his decision. There's going to be some similarities, but the ones he posted are 1,000,000,000 times better than our old Toyota ones if I had to guess.
 
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Dec 7, 2019
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North Carolina, USA
Yeah, it's really hard to know how much age and use has affected the performance of the original factory ones. I'm sure there's a ton of legitimate variation in people's experiences with them because of that.

I don't approach the weight limit, I'm below average height, but I can see it being a problem for a lot of people. 200- 220lbs is pretty common in na.

Since it seems like robmobile73 isn't considering the factory option, I question how big a factor our experiences with them should be in his decision. There's going to be some similarities, but the ones he posted are 1,000,000,000 times better than our old Toyota ones if I had to guess.
I appreciate all of your experience and replies! The BJ73 is fairly new to me. I love it's tractor quality simplicity/durabilty, but my almost 50 year old back doesn't endure the harshness like it did in my 20's. The BJ73 is very basic. I do not have any arm rests at all. The forklift/excavator seats have folding arm rests. They also fold forward which helps with my camping plan......... I am going to use surplus military stretchers as cots to sleep on folding the seats forward and resting one end of the cot on the dash and suspending the other from the rear roof rack by cordage.
I looked all around the salvage yard at seats, but found most to be dirty and often dilapidated. I found some rear captains chairs from a minivan that were nice, but it would require cutting off the bases and fabricating welding new ones to fit a suspension base etc...
Joekatana was nice enough to offer to sell me some factory seat bases at a reasonable price, but I'm leaning toward buying 1 brand new suspension seat and giving it a try.
What I'm learning from all of you is that suspension seats are great in general driving and help with fatigue/sore back. Off road they can be a problem with excess bouncing/changing position with controls at important times..............Best value for the money/effort would be just get a great seat and forget the suspension.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
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Location
North Carolina, USA
I appreciate all of your experience and replies! The BJ73 is fairly new to me. I love it's tractor quality simplicity/durabilty, but my almost 50 year old back doesn't endure the harshness like it did in my 20's. The BJ73 is very basic. I do not have any arm rests at all. The forklift/excavator seats have folding arm rests. They also fold forward which helps with my camping plan......... I am going to use surplus military stretchers as cots to sleep on folding the seats forward and resting one end of the cot on the dash and suspending the other from the rear roof rack by cordage.
I looked all around the salvage yard at seats, but found most to be dirty and often dilapidated. I found some rear captains chairs from a minivan that were nice, but it would require cutting off the bases and fabricating welding new ones to fit a suspension base etc...
Joekatana was nice enough to offer to sell me some factory seat bases at a reasonable price, but I'm leaning toward buying 1 brand new suspension seat and giving it a try.
What I'm learning from all of you is that suspension seats are great in general driving and help with fatigue/sore back. Off road they can be a problem with excess bouncing/changing position with controls at important times..............Best value for the money/effort would be just get a great seat and forget the suspension.
........then there's the fact that I'm always trying to do something a little different from everyone else just to see how it turns out.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Messages
207
Location
Dubai, UAE
They're not very common over here in the Middle East market. In fact, I've never seen a factory suspension seat here.

I didn't want to go the Scheelmann route in my 78 as I do long distance touring and have found the Scheel's to be very hard for my liking, so I've ordered a set of Stratos 3000 LTSS from Australia - they seem to get great reviews and have a mounting system designed specifically for the Troopy.

They'll be coming on the slow boat, so ask me in around 3 months how they are.
 
Joined
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North Carolina, USA
I ordered the heavy equipment suspension seat. Ordered the low profile version as I think the normal will be too tall and hard to make work with the uneven floor/mounting points. Seat should come in this week. If It works out I'll post pics and order another for the passenger seat.
 

Gun Runner 5

KI4CMQ
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I'll be the Devil's advocate .....
Between the lack of legroom and seating position in the average 70 Series, after about :30 minutes of driving you'll be numb from the neck down and won't even feel the bumps. :lol:
 

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