front seat belt removal - please help - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 09:24 PM
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front seat belt removal - please help

I am trying to remove front passenger seat from 1991 535i so I can fix the infamous twisted seat back problem.
I have found a lot of great info on the web on removing the front seat but there is one difference between the phots and the configuration in my car.

I looks like there is sort of some tamper proof cover plate over the torx head bolt that holds the seat belt to the frame. The photos I have seen show it easily accessible. I can't take the seat out with the seat belt attached.

Anyone have any tidea on how to remove it.

Your help is much appreciated!

Thanks!
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 10:55 PM
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Removing the track covers and corresponding bolts are the worst part of the fix, it took me longer to do that than to fix the twist problem. You don't need to remove the seat belts, just the track bolts...then tilt the front seat back on the rear and access the motor underneath.

I turned mine 90 degrees to work on it through the passenger door.

The actual cable fix took about 10 minutes...I heated the metal caps with a lighter until they pulled out, then cut 1/4 in of the sheathing off of the cable, shove the cable back in and heat until the sheathing starts to melt, let it cool and test...
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 01:02 AM
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Thought of something else....there's two cables, one on each end of the motor, do 'em both. Annnnnd, make sure to adjust the seat so the back is even (untwisted) before starting...

Hopefully the design is the same in your car.
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#4 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 11:30 AM
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Hey Bowtie - Thanks for the tips.

LOL - I really felt stupid after posting the first message.
I went back outside and I still had the power plugged in to the seat, so I moved the seat tilt a bit and it allowed access to the seat belt bolt .

I took mine inside to work on because it was getting dark and chilly out but I fixed mine the same way you did - heating the metal caps, pulling them off and trimming the plastic sheath. I also repaired the cable to the power head rest - mine wasnt moving up and down.

So now I just have to put the seat back in - it's chilly and overcast out - hope it doesn't rain on me.

I did manage to get the seat pretty close to being even before I re-attached everything. One idea I saw posted somewhere was to use a drill motor to spin the cable. So I got my drill motor out, sinched the chuck down on the cable and ran both sides untill they were about as even as I could eyeball it.

Thanks again for you help.
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:12 PM
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No problem, stay dry...

Last two days I've been working on my dad's dually, pull axles, putting in bearings, rotors, calibers....in the wet, no fun.
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#6 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 07:38 AM
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I too, have the twisted seat problem. Help me understand, is the reason 1/4" of the sheathing needs removed is to effectively lengthen the cable, i.e., has the cable come out of the motor?
And, you did both sides?
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longrob View Post
I too, have the twisted seat problem. Help me understand, is the reason 1/4" of the sheathing needs removed is to effectively lengthen the cable, i.e., has the cable come out of the motor?
And, you did both sides?

Correct, on both accounts...
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longrob View Post
I too, have the twisted seat problem. Help me understand, is the reason 1/4" of the sheathing needs removed is to effectively lengthen the cable, i.e., has the cable come out of the motor?
And, you did both sides?
You asked if you do Both Sides - I did both ends of the motor because the motor drievs two cables (one for each side of the seat back). I did not do the end of the cable that drives the gear mechanism on the seat back. Once you undo the cable form the motor, you can push on the cable to ensure it is engaged with the seat back mechanism. Prior to pulling off the metal cap, measure how much steel cable is protruding past the cap. You want 3/8" - 1/2" protrusion. If you only have and 1/8", then you trim 1/4" - 3/8" off of the sheath.

Before you hook the cable back up to the motor, use a drill motor to spin the cable (you can sinch the chuck down on the cable). Run the drill motor untill the seat back looks straight. Then hook the cables back to the seat motor.

It really is an easy job to do - the hardest part is just getting the seat unbolted and out of the car and that really wasn't too hard either. I brought my seats inside because it was dark and chilly outside. If oyu pull the seats out of the car, remove the headrest first, recline the seat back and then just give the headrest a really good tug. The seat back panel also comes off very easily and it provides access to the power head rest motor and cable. My passenger side headrest wasn't working and the fix was to also trim the cable sheath.

If you google e34 twisted seat - you'll find some results where people have posted photos along with instructions.

Last edited by DonJ; 10-24-2009 at 01:08 PM. Reason: forgot to add info about power headrest.
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#9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 08:33 AM
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DonJ and bowtie,

You guys are great! With your help, it now looks like I'm finally gonna do this. I have been riding around with a small pillow on the right side of my backrest to try to level me up as I sit. Whatta pain.

I understand the thigh support extension feature of the sport seats will complicate the repair, i.e., that motor reduces the clearance to get your fingers in to work on the sheath and cables.

Either of you have the sport seats?

-Rob
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#10 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 04:00 PM
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Glad I was able to pass on some good information that I learned from other bimmer owners. There's a wealth of info on the web and it sure has helped me fix a lot of problems myself and in turn saved me a lot of money.

I don't have the sport seats but even then, it was a little tight getting to the bracket that holds the cables on to the motor. But that is why I took the seats inside, I was able to sit on the floor and turn the seat in any position.
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