Looking for honest feedback about seat upgrades. Seems Stratos are the only option but so far not a good response on their customer service or quality and at 2k plus per seat its a but worrying. Has anyone got them? Are you happy with their comfort? Is there another option?
If you have read any of my previous posts about the Stratos seats you would know exactly what I think of them.
To be fair, a seat is a very personal thing and needs to suit your particular body shape/size, so what I think is no good might be acceptable for someone else.
Having said that... I definitely feel like I sit on the Stratos, not in it, so for me it does not give me anywhere near the comfort or support that I have experienced with other after-market seats.
I have often called these my K-Mart seats, as the build quality is definitely not reflective of the purchase price. After returning the seats 3 times to Stratos I gave up on them being able to fix the problems I identified. I have since done some of my own modifications, which have reduced the amount of excessiove free movement these seats have, but in my opinion they are still only average, at best.
I am still considering manufacturing my own X frame suspension mechanism and fitting something like a Recaro on top of it, but that is way down on the priority list at the moment, as I have way too many other things that need doing before I even think about doing that.
Sadly, as you have noted, there are very few legal suspension seat alternatives to the Stratos (in Australia).
If you are set on getting a suspension seat, one suggestion might be to look at the wreckers to see if you can get a driver's suspension seat from a post 2012 Canter. They come fitted in them as standard equipment.
Alternately, with good suspension on the truck and a decent after-market seat, you might find that you end up with a better driving experience and more money left in the wallet if you forget about suspension seats entirely.
I should also add that some people are not fans at all of suspension seats in an offroad situation, as it can reduce the feedback you get from the vehicle. Also, if there is too much travel in the suspension mechanism, like on a big rig seat, it can feel like you are sitting on an uncontrollable pogo stick, which is definitely not a fun experience.
We bought a vehicle with the Stratos seats already fitted and are in the middle of a trip to the Cape. Having come from a stock fg639 with standard driver’s seat and a bench for the passenger (and standard suspension), the Stratos are great. But we have nothing to compare them against other than the previous vehicle.
Irrespective of this, the other big plus is that they, or any other aftermarket single seat set up, allows you to build a custom console in the centre. Invaluable.
But if I was to have to fork out the dollars in the first instance, I think there might be better value out there but I can’t comment on their good/bad points.
I was seriously considering Stratos, but thought they were a bit overpriced.
Very happy now that I didn't go ahead and buy them, as after I upgraded the suspension to parabolic's; I found that for me the standard Fuso driver's suspension seat was quite adequate.
My wife who often takes a turn behind the wheel, stated she would be quite happy to have the same seat fitted to the passengers side; so thats what we did.
Thanks for all your comments. I’ve got some feedback on our set up. We just had 2 stratos suspension seats fitted. And I agree with all of the above however after returning from Moreton Island today, I have been really impressed with the improved ride. First we did parabolic from ATW, then 19.5 rims with Goodrides, then stratos suspension seats. All went as good as could be. There will always be compromise with these trucks and it is all about getting as much comfort as you are prepared to invest in.
Another issue we’ve had is the air con not able to keep up with the heat from the engine. Despite looking at air con upgrades, there would still be the heat issue. We have just had applied to the interior a ceramic spray on product called Lizard Skin. (There is a great YouTube clip on this). On top of this is a sound deadening material. Gave it a good work out today and found that it is an improvement to both sound and heat. Still going to apply an insulation layer with a new vinyl floor to get it even better. As we have a dual cab with the engine access issue, I found a guy who has fabricated an access hatch within the access hatch for a quick oil and radiator check.
Somewhere on here is a thread with our experience with the AC. Not sure what your model is like but on our 99 FG in the USA, the AC condenser has a rubber flap on the leading edge. At speeds over about 45mph or so, this flap bends backwards and funnels air under the condenser, hindering the ability of the fan to blow through the condensor. Once I bent the flap upwards and trapped it behind the bumper so it couldn't do its job, our AC became completely functional at highway speeds. Previously it had worked well at speeds around town and had greatly reduced cooling capacity at highway speed. It's my belief that this problem lies behind many of the complaints of poor AC on US models.