JK Unlimited Rear Seat Recline Kit
- Easy to install
- Clear instructions
- Will not rust
- None, but I do wish it could recline even further without major adjustments
If you’ve ever sat in the back of a 07+ JK Unlimited, you know how uncomfortable the seats are. Adding a recline to the 2nd row of seats does improve the ride, and if you’ve reached the same conclusions yourself, you should give this kit a try.
The Jeep JK Unlimited is a great family vehicle that provides safety with a longer stance, and extra storage space to boot. However, what it doesn’t do well is provide comfort for rear passengers unless they’re 12 or under. In addition to a soft center back seat that doesn’t fully support anyone over 70 lbs, the rear seats in the 4-door JK are set at an awkward angle that makes long rides uncomfortable, and relaxing/dosing-off almost impossible. If you’ve ever sat in one for longer than 5 minutes, you start wondering why Jeep made it this way; especially when many other manufacturers are able to provide comfortable seating in the same compact package.
Luckily, like most other Jeep parts, someone took the initiative to make a hack to fix it. In this case, that someone is Tony, from Innovative JK Products who has sat in the back of a JKU for over 1,000 miles.
The Jeep JK Unlimited Rear Seat Recline Kit is a kit with 7 black Acetal plastic spacers that is meant to adjust the angle of the recline for the JKU’s second row of seats. While the actual adjustments may not seem like much, the end results are certainly noticeable. Tony was nice enough to send me a free set for testing, and these kits come with very clear instructions, similar to the sPOD.
Overall, the install took me about 40 minutes (with the right tools) and the short version is that the install process went very smoothly. We should also note that installation of this kit requires NO loosening, changes, or modification to any of the seat belt mounting points; which is great if you’re concerned about tampering with the safety aspects of the vehicle.
My current setup includes the Tuffy Security Deck, fire extinguishers I’ve bolted onto the the Security Deck, and a child seat that requires access to the space between the Security Deck and the rear seats; and I’m happy to say installing the JKU Recline Kit did not require me to give up or change the location of any of these items.
As you can see above in the before and after picture, the seat itself (at about the top of the rear quarter panels) leans back about an inch once the kit is installed. About 2″ of recline is realized when you move up to the head rest.
Unfortunately I did run into the issue of not being able to put the top of the Security Deck back on when the seats are locked in the upright position, but this problem is easily fixable by folding the seats down before putting the lid on. Luckily, I rarely take my Security Deck off so this is not an issue for me.
Tony mentioned there would be about an 1.5″ increase in height when the seats are folded, but in my test, I didn’t really notice any major changes for when the seats are folded down. (Both before and after the install the seat sat about 6 inches from the top of the front seat back pockets.)
I did notice one tiny annoying thing. If you have the Rugged Ridge Floor Liners for the rear passengers, it seems like they’re cut to avoid the vertical seat support bars, not the bracket itself; so your Floor Liners will now curl up a bit due to the increased height at the mounting point. Of course, this now means it can do a better job at trapping water and mud, but if it bugs you, you could also just widen the notches on the Floor Liners.
Despite having a 4-door JKU, I’ve always been reluctant to have people sit in the back seats because I know they’re probably uncomfortable, and I like my passengers to be comfortable. However, after checking out the kit myself, and trying out the back seats again, I can happily say this is no longer the case!
If you’d like to pick up a set for yourself, check out Innovative JK Product’s eBay store at this link: http://stores.ebay.com/Innovative-JK-Products