Just finished the install of heated seats in my 2011 JKU. Thanks to everyone in this forum and others for the great write-upsÖ.. probably wouldnít have attempted it without all that. Just wanted to give my thoughts on the project:
I bought the Sports Imports Universal kit from Amazon. $83 for bottom and back pads for both seats. There were cheaper universal kits available, but this kit had great reviews on other forums. I thought the quality of the kit and the detail of the instructions was excellent, especially for the price.
Quadratec sells a kit with plug and play wiring from Check Corp for around $200. I was going to purchase this, until I saw it only comes with a back pad for the passenger seat due to the airbag sensor thatís adhered to the seat foam. Since my normal passenger was the motivation for this whole project (canít drive around with no top if the lady is cold)Ö.this wasnít an option.
I decided to just cover up the sensor with the heating pad; the airbag warning alarm works just as it did before when there is weight on the seat. The pads from my kit allowed you to cut a section out of the middle for the sensors as long as 1.5 inches remained on each side of the cut. There is more than enough room to make the cut if thatís your preference.
I tried removing the 18mm seat bolts with a Ĺ drive breaker bar (I may have a hernia as a result). Instead, I removed the six 13mm nuts that hold the seat sliders to the lower seat frame (nuts facing down). The two forward, inboard nuts need to be turned with a wrench, the others can be done with a deep well socket.
Battery had been disconnected for a while. I separated all connectors under the seat, disconnected the seat belts from the seat (torx bit) and brought them inside. I unbolted the seat backs from the bottoms (4 bolts). Iíve heard some people say they did the install with the seats still in the Jeep. IMO, there is no way to get everything straight, wrinkle-free, and trimmed / cut properly without pulling the seats apart.
Removing the seat covers enough to install the pads is very easy. All you need is a small putty knife or pry tool to help the fabric clips off the seat frame. There are no hog rings, you can cut 1 zip tie on each seat bottom if you want easier access, and all the clips go back on easy.
The bottom heat pad has to be trimmed about 2 inches because of the sill (pleat that goes across the seat approx 6 inches back from the front edge). The back pad needs no trimming. They ask you to cut out a notch in the seat back foam for the thermostat (a small bump about 1/8 high, Ĺ wide, and 1 inch long). I did not do this and canít feel it at all when seated.
Wiring was easy. 20mm hole for each round switch (I placed them in the area in front of the cupholder and behind the shifter boot (manual trans). Wires run on either side of the center console. Removing two bolts towards the rear of the center console allows you to lift it up enough.
Each seat has a positive and negative power wire, and a control cable that connects to the switch. I used the 3í switch extensions that came with the kit to make for tidy wiring (you could get away without if you didnít mind the switch wiring exiting the seat midway and directly entering the center console.
Both grounds were spliced together and attached to an existing body ground terminal under the inboard section of the driverís seat. For now, I brought power from the SPOD through the fire wall, under the driverís door sill, and spliced it to both seat power wires under the driverís seat carpet.
I was going to attempt to find the accessory wire that is behind the cigarette lighter in the dash till I saw this product that taps into accessory power without having to break into the factory harness. This will eliminate the need to throw both the SPOD switch and the actual seat heater switch.
The project took about 7 hours and a 6 pack. It was really cool to do this myselfÖ. and it was a toasty ride to work in the morning. Looking forward to an extended top-down season!