I was restoring a John Deere 4250 tractor, and the original tractor seat had tears in the fabric and the armrests didn't work properly. Rather than replace it with a new identical seat, I decided to use an old seat we had on our farm from a minivan.
I took the minivan seat and cut out all of the hardware that secured it to the van. I stripped it down and removed the bottom support. I then welded some flat iron onto it. Next, I drilled and tapped holes that would allow me to attach the old forward and reverse sliding device from the tractor seat.
I reinstalled that device into the minivan seat and attached the fabric around it. I then installed the seat into the tractor. To finish it off, I added a seat cover for protection.
The seat is a little narrower so it seems to grip you better, allowing for a more comfortable ride. I can also recline the seat backwards. The hydro cushion suspension works just like it did on the old seat. This seat doesn't sit any higher so you don't have to worry about head space.
One downside is that a second person can't ride in the cab as easily since this seat doesn't have the armrests that fold down. However, there is now more room to place a lunch box or thermos beside you.
This seat is much more comfortable because of the extra padding, and it offers better lumbar and back support. After doing this in one tractor and being so pleased with the results, we are thinking about converting other tractors and machinery to this type of seat.
Philip Raak, Minnesota