We have a 1995 Plymouth Voyager minivan. The car is in good working order with only 74,000 miles on it so we dont’ want to have to give it up. However, my kids will soon outgrow their car/booster seats and the back two rows of the van do not have any headrests. I do not feel comfortable having my kids ride without this support. Is there any way of installing head rests in a car such as this?
The cleanest way to do it would be to head to a junkyard and see if the seats from the newer versions will interchange with the mounting hardware in yours or if there were rear seats with headrests as an option in vans of the same “generation” as yours. Perhaps the fancier Chrysler version would be more likely to have them.
Otherwise, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t just grab a set of headrests and the little clicky things that keep them from sliding down from pretty much any car and just poking some holes in your seats and installing them that way. That seems to be how they’re held in on all of my cars anyways-- there’s nothing in the seat actually holding them in.
I have not checked inside my seat, but I would expect there to be some sort of structural support in there. They are part of the car's safety equipment and they must support a certain amount of force in an accident.
Many years ago some headrests were installed by dealers as an add-on. I have a 1962 Cadillac with these headrests. They have hardware attached to the back of the seat. The headrests can be easily adjusted up and down and can be tightened when they’re in the right position. They feel very robust. Although they certainly aren’t as advanced safety wise as new headrests designed into modern seats they still seem to me much better than no headrests at all. I remember seeing an identical setup in a 1961 Galaxie. But I doubt very much that such items are still manufactured unless JC Whitney offers them for classic type cars–you might look into the Whitney catalog or Hemmings Motor News.
That’s just what I’ve observed-- there’s the little plastic adjusters that are usually attached the actual fabric of the seat, but otherwise they just sit in place. Granted, the only ones I’ve ever carefully examined were broken ones where the adjusters had come off and, without the adjuster there, the head rests can just wiggle around in the seat, but if you put it back it’ll stay in place.
If I had to speculate, I would guess that though the headrests prevent whiplash in low-to-medium speed crashes, in a spectacularly bad wreck they might cause a nasty head injury if they were too well attached. But I have no actual data, so that’s just my WAG.
Replace the second row seat with captain’s seats from the same generation van ('91 - '95). Direct fit, and it keeps the kids separated a little (“Mom, he’s touching me!!!”). If you have more than two kids, there’s no easy retrofit for the third row. The later seats have incompatible floor mounts.