5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60)Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)
Have a new, much easier way to fix the seatbacks on the E39. The Mrs. told me the seatback was crooked a while back and I researched the shortening of the cable fix. Looked it over and I started the job this morning. Once I had the seats out and the seat back cable removed from the motor, I got to looking at this thing and tried to find another way to effectively lengthen the cable, which is what the method of cutting the cable outer sheath does. It popped into my mind I could cut about 11 mm of the metal end fitting that goes into the motor thus lengthening the cable. I used a tubing cutter to cut the end of the metal off, then I split that piece and put it back on the other side of the collar to make up for the space on the back side between the bracket. It worked really well and I did not have to heat the outer cable sheath, work the metal fitting off and cut the plastic then re-fit it all. Here are some pics I took while I did the job. They are a little blurry but I think you will get the idea.
I am trying to diagnose the exact same seat twisting problem in my 2003 540i with the sport seats. I have the passenger seat out but I don't see any sign externally that the cable is not engaging the motor or gearbox. Should I be able to see it if it is not engaging? Second, how do I know if it's the motor interface of the rear/gearbox interface that's FUBAR'd?
You will not be able to see anything from the outside. You can check the operation of the gearboxes by removing the cable ends at the electric motor end and manually operating them with an electric drill. This also allows you to balance each side back to equal. If the manual cable operation works and the seat back moves correctly, apply this cable modification as described above to put more of the metal cable into the electric motor and you will be good.
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