The early Jeep, Bronco and Land Cruiser left a lot to be desired for a rear seat. The bench seats were small and uncomfortable. Our project Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser still had the original rear jump seats, but they had to go because they aren’t a good match for long days on the trail.
With these older 4x4 vehicles finding new life as purpose built trail rigs, additional seating that is both safe and comfortable has become a much sought after piece of off-road equipment. One company that has effectively answered the call is MasterCraft suspension seats.
In the 1970s, MasterCraft launched suspension seats for off-road racing. In 1999, after Robbie Pierce took over the business, we started seeing more applications for the aftermarket. MasterCraft quickly gained popularity with Jeep owners and off-road part distributors like Quadratec and Off-Road Warehouse. Application specific seats became available for popular vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler.
EENY, MEENY, MINY, MOE
We had our eyes set on the MasterCraft Rubicon bench. It was developed to fit into CJ7, YJ and TJ series Jeeps, and 1966-77 Broncos without drilling holes. For custom applications, like ours, widths of 36 to 40 inches are available. They will fit CJ5, IH Scouts and even Land Rovers!
The one-piece suspension liner is made of nylon-coated Phifertex mesh and give the MasterCraft seat it’s unique ride.
High quality polyurethane foam of different thickness and density is used to create a body hugging shape and feel.
The attachment points for the liner are double lapped, grommeted and attached to the frame with mil-spec nylon cord.
MasterCraft offers a large selection of upholstery colors to compliment your rig’s interior or your persona. The suspension seat is finished off with high quality NAUGAHYDE vinyl upholstery and Marquesa Lana Fabric center inserts.
We contacted Vanessa Sherman from MasterCraft. She was very helpful in getting our order in and answering questions we had about our custom application. We were going back and forth on what size width to get and options. We had taken measurements of our area between the wheel wells and had an exact 40-inches to play with. We ordered the MasterCraft Rubicon bench with the following options:
- Rubicon 40-inch Bench Seat
- Black Vinyl
- Grey Inside
- Grey Outside
- Baja Stitching
Two weeks later we had our seat. MasterCraft can ship directly to your shop or home, but since we are not too far from their facility in Santee, CA--we took a drive to pick up our bench.
Back at the ranch, we took a closer look at the MasterCraft bench seat. I was really amazed how light the Rubicon Bench seat was—it didn’t weigh more than 35lbs. The touch and feel is amazing. Sitting in it is also great. I can tell you first hand that MasterCraft seats are far superior to the factory seats, especially in off-road use. I have been in Jeeps, PreRunners and Sand Cars with MasterCraft seats and can say that they hold up really well and provide a great ride and support.
Prepping our Land Cruiser’s tub for the new MasterCraft Rubicon bench seat was a must. Our old cruiser needed a fresh coat of black Krylon before we even thought about putting in this plush beauty.
Before drilling any holes in the floor, we considered different mounting locations. The MasterCraft Rubicon bench already comes with three mounting tabs that sit flush on the floor (two front, one rear). To fasten the seat we only needed to drill some holes on the Land Cruiser floor and add five ¼ inch bolts.
To find the optimal mounting position, we put our cruiser’s top on and also took into consideration the rear cross bar of the roll cage. We ended up positioning the bench seat 10 inches from the back. It lines up perfectly with the corrugated design on the floor.
Installation was very straightforward. It took less than 1hr to measure, position, and drill holes and fasten the MasterCraft Rubicon bench down. Tools required:
- Measuring Tape
- Power Drill w/ ¼ inch metal drill bit
- ¾ SAE socket and wratchet
- ¾ SAE wrench
- Krylon black paint for touch-up of floor
We were very fortunate to have worked with MasterCraft on our bench seat for project Toyota FJ40 Cruiser. The entire experience was awesome. We were excited about picking out the seat design, the fabric and colors--to picking it up at the factory. MasterCraft really runs a top-notch operation.
The MasterCraft bench seat fits perfect, looks great, and most importantly will add safety to our trail rig. We plan on adding a 5-point harness in the future, but at this time we will live with lap belts for recreational wheelin’. One thing is for sure, after adding the MasterCraft bench seat; the interior of our 40-year old cruiser looks a lot better.
|Isabella Joy, a future off-roader in training (5mo old)|
One of the main reasons for us choosing MasterCraft was because of their craftsmanship and safety. Our most important passenger will be on the trails with us soon--our daughter Isabella Joy. I wouldn’t trust her safety to anyone else.
We have met MasterCraft owner Robbie Pierce and respect him both as a businessman and as a fellow off-roader. We look forward to seeing him on the trail and showing him that FJ40s can climb too.
If your back needs a break from a rough ride or your 4x4 is simply ready for a new look—give MasterCraft seats a call. They will take care of you and will gladly find the right fit for your off-road vehicle.
MasterCraft Rubicon bench seat starting at $474.95
A full line of suspension seats and safety equipment is also available from MasterCraft Safety products.
9335 Stevens Road
Santee, CA 92071