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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-05-2005, 10:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
pcy
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Hello,

Hoping someone can help me what to do with the following problem...

Passenger seat motor (that moves the seat front to back) quit working.
The seat was moved all the way to the front. So, the 2 bolts (in the front)
that hold the seat are not accessible.

Took it to the dealer; dealer quoted $600 to replace the motor.
I said no thanks. I don't mind the motor not working. I just want
the seat to be moved to middle position. Anyway to move the seat?

any other thoughts?

thanks in advance
pcy
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Old 01-06-2005, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by pcy@Jan 5 2005, 08:10 PM
Hello,

Hoping someone can help me what to do with the following problem...

Passenger seat motor (that moves the seat front to back) quit working.
The seat was moved all the way to the front. So, the 2 bolts (in the front)
that hold the seat are not accessible.

Took it to the dealer; dealer quoted $600 to replace the motor.
I said no thanks. I don't mind the motor not working. I just want
the seat to be moved to middle position. Anyway to move the seat?

any other thoughts?

thanks in advance
pcy
[snapback]265274[/snapback]
As far as I remember, the seat motion is all run by steel cables and the motor. So unless you get the motor working, the seat won't move. Can you not even get a box-end wrench around the front bolts for the seat?
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks like there is a metal cap/cover on top of the bolts. So, can't access
the bolts. I removed the seat cusion. I see a plastic bucket that is between
the cushion and the seat frame. I will need to remove that plastic bucket.
Then I will see if I can access the motor from there.

Has anyone tried this way?

Thanks for your input.
pcy
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Old 01-24-2005, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quick update on the "power seat stuck" problem...
Remember my problem was that the seat was stuck all the way forward;
hence, couldn't removed the front two bolts that hold the seat in place.

Disconnected the battery negative cable. Removed the seat cushion, removed the 4 torx screws that hold the plastic seat bottom, discunnected bunch of cables. Now, I am able to see the motor and the shafts that connect to the mechanism. I was able to manually rotate the shafts (on either side of the motor).
So, I sat there and rotate the shafts... the seat SLOWLY moved back. I moved the seat to mid point. As someone else suggested, I tapped on the motor with a mallet. I connected back all connectors; put back the plastic seat bottom and the cushion. Connected the battery.

To my surprise, the "supposedly dead" motor is working fine. The seat now moves forward and back fine. May be it's a miracle..... nah !!
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Old 01-24-2005, 04:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by pcy@Jan 24 2005, 04:39 PM
Quick update on the "power seat stuck" problem...
Remember my problem was that the seat was stuck all the way forward;
hence, couldn't removed the front two bolts that hold the seat in place.

Disconnected the battery negative cable. Removed the seat cushion, removed the 4 torx screws that hold the plastic seat bottom, discunnected bunch of cables. Now, I am able to see the motor and the shafts that connect to the mechanism. I was able to manually rotate the shafts (on either side of the motor).
So, I sat there and rotate the shafts... the seat SLOWLY moved back. I moved the seat to mid point. As someone else suggested, I tapped on the motor with a mallet. I connected back all connectors; put back the plastic seat bottom and the cushion. Connected the battery.

To my surprise, the "supposedly dead" motor is working fine. The seat now moves forward and back fine. May be it's a miracle..... nah !!
[snapback]278276[/snapback]

the reason why it stops working is rusty, bad conctac plugs to the motor, and also the swicth on the side tends to get dirty inside creating really bad contact..

if something happens, do what you did of pulling the plasctic out then take the siwcht assembly out and clean the contacts, and it shoudl come back to live..
those motors are stong as bull, and ive neever seen them quitting, even on my brothers friend old 525 from 89, the seats worked great.. and he gave a shi#T about the car..
so yeah a lot of electricsal issues on the e36 are due to faulty plugs and conectors that get dirty with time..
not a big deal.

have a good one.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Never ever never (!) troubleshoot a BMW electrical problem without first disconnecting the battery ground and shorting it to positive, then reconnecting it. This reboots the mass of chips, semiconductors and such that go BMW-haywire and cause the wide variety of failures, freeze-ups and peculiar malfunctions inherent in these vehicles. THEN, if that has not worked you can start pulling things apart and cleaning, adjusting replacing, tuning, etc.....
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i have done this before

I HAVE HAD THIS SAME BROBLEM...a while back my roommate broke the seat control seat switch when he stepped on it. i had to put the seat forward like someone was trying to get in the back... then slowly and painfully remove the gear exchange box that mounts to the rails- this method is quicker but bites you in the end. i suggest even more slowly and painfully using a very small wrench and turning the tension cables between the motor and gear exchange box... if u need a motor still i have a couple extras
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