Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Fiberglass, body panels, valences. Also interior pieces like seats, dashes, etc
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ponycarman
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Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby ponycarman » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:33 pm

This is my first write up everyone so bare with me and let me know if there are any ways to improve it. I didnt really know where to put this so I guess it goes in the general section. First I kinda want to say why this is important and how it can help performance. The upholstery mainly has to do with looks. When you want your cars interior looking nice for shows and stuff like that. Its also no fun getting all that dusty stuff all over you from the dried out and falling apart foam. As for performance, think of how important the seat is. It has to keep you planted and still so you can compete in whatever motorsport you enjoy and/or daily driver duties. Ive heard some horror stories of the seat frames breaking in half and stuff like that. One of my seats had the side bolster support broken. If the seat is broken and cant support you properly, that will hurt your performance on the track. On to the good stuff hehe.

I used an spare seat I pulled from a junkyard. The only part of this seat I reused was the head rest. Its in pretty bad shape so forgive all the rust. But you will get the idea. Here is what you will be starting with.

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First off you will need to remove the plastic cover from the side lever that tilts the seat forward. To do this get a flathead screwdriver and slide it up under the cover on the bottom side. Then pry the cover outward to remove both the handle and the base cover.

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Next you will need to remove a couple of small screws at the bottom of the back cover. They are kinda hidden so you may have to tip the seat forward to remove them.

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If your seat has the tilting mechanism on just one side you are ready to remove the back. If its has two then you have to pry one side of the back past one of the mechanisms, its not fun and pretty difficult but not impossible. when you remove the back, push in slightly and slide it up. There are two clips at the top that have to get past the little bars they clip on too. You can see the clips and the bars here.

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To remove the head rest just pull it up as high as it will go. Then use a dead blow or rubber mallet to get it past the keepers.

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Next tilt the seat on each side and remove the plastic covers. The covers are held on by one standard plastic screw. Just take it out and pop off the covers.

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Next you need to remove the cables that tilt the seat forward. There is one on each side you need to remove. I found it best to take a pair of needle nose pliers and pry the tab outward so you can remove and the reinstall the cable easier.

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Now you are read to separate the upper half of the seat from the lower half. To do this there are two screws on the lower section of the upper half of the seat. They might be covered over by the upholstery but they are there. When reassembling I used loctite on these because they are the only screws holding the upper part of the seat on.

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Now you can pull up on the upper part of the seat to separate them. You should end up with this.

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Now we are going to disassemble the bottom section of the seat. Take the bottom section and remove the two 17mm bolt from the sides, one on each side.

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The bolt on the other side will be under a cap. When reassembling remember that the bolt opposite to the seat belt buckle has a thick washer.

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Here is what you have now from the bottom.

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Next you need to take a flathead screwdriver and pry outward between the side mechanisms and the bar that had the bolts going into it. You will need to do this on both sides to get the bar past the mechanisms.

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Next you need to remove ther clips that hold on the front of the seat tracks. They can be a bit of a pain but they are too bad. I use a screw driver to push in the side of the clip and then either a hammer or a set of needle nose pliers to beat the clip out.

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One clip is a little harder because the seat adjustment handle is in the way.

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Now you have the seat tracks off.

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Now remove the plastic trim on the side of the seat.

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Take a flathead screwdriver and pry out the plastic pin/clip. The just slide the trim toward the front of the seat.

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Now your need to remove the weird looking pins from the side mechanisms. There will be one on each side. Take a flat head screwdriver and pry the pin out. Just make sure to keep the screw driver close to the center of the pin because you could bend the metal coming off the pin.

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Next remove the snap ring holding the side mechanism on.

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Now you can remove the side mechanisms. Use a screwdriver to pry the springed metal kind of a locking tab out of the way and hold it or it will spring back into position. Now while holding the tab out of the way rotate the side mechanism so it can get past the big pin and pull the mechanism off.

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Now you have this.

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Next is to remove the upholstery. Looking at the underside of the seat there are a bunch of metal tabs around the perimeter of the seat frame. Bend the tabs slightly out and pull the upholstery off the tabs.

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There are a bunch of hog rings holding the upholstery on. You will need some diagonal cutting pliers to cut them off. They dont seem to be in any specific spots. Just check all down the sides and across the middle. With the hog rings cut you can remove the center section of the upholstery. You will have to slide out the adjustable front leg bolster now as well.

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Next remove the side bolster upholstery by pulling it off the back first and getting it around the pins that go through it. Then slide it forward to remove it.

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After you have that removed now you can remove the seat foam. Just slide your fingers under the foam and work it loose. Sometimes its glued and sometimes it isnt. If its glued you will probably have a little bit of the foam stay behind on the frame but it will be ok. After the foam is loose slide the foam toward the front of the seat to remove it.

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Now you have the lower section of the seat completely disassembled.

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Now to disassemble the upper section. Its very similar to disassebling the lower section. To remove the center section bend the tabs on the top and bottom and pull the upholestery off the tabs and cut the hog rings down the side. Remove it from the top and roll it to the bottom so you can remove the long black clip at the bottom.

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Next remove the side bolster upholstery. Remove the uphostery from the tabs and cut the hog rings. Then just slide off the uphostery.

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Now remove the foam. Use the same way you removed the foam on the lower section.

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Now you have completely disassembled your seat. Here is what your left with.

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When you have the seats disassembled, it is a good time to weld anything that needs it and replace any broken cables and stuff like that. The reassembly is these steps in reverse pretty much. Now get to work fixing and restoring your seats!
Last edited by ponycarman on Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:06 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby M20_fever » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:36 pm

great writeup, and first sticky! My only suggestion is to go through and proof read it, lots of typos.

These look to be non-heated seats, just be aware the heating elements will be under the upholstery with the wiring running out the bottom middle of the seat on heated units.
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby Yoshi » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:39 pm

I actually did some welding on a sport seat today. The backing brackets broke. It's reaaally flimsy.
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby ponycarman » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:59 pm

Sorry bout the typos. Im not the greatest at english and spelling. Ill go though it and correct what I can pick out. These were non heated yes. And thos brackets are very weak. I just finished my drivers side seat today. Its not perfect and has some flaws but its way better than before.
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby toointoxicated62 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:24 pm

For the guys swapping from comfort seats to sport seats with blown shocks, you can replace them with the ones from the comfort seat. I just did this :D.

Also good shocks will be difficult(possibly impossible) to compress by hand. You have to compress them about 1/4 of a inch to install them. I did this using a clamp positioned a certain way. When i replace my passenger seat shocks i take pictures on how to do it.
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby M20_fever » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:09 am

Good info.
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby ponycarman » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:17 am

Awesome! That is very good info about the shocks.
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby StrictNine » Wed May 18, 2011 1:27 am

Thanks for the write up, worked great for me. I was able to redo the stitching that came out on the side of the seat, and tighten the bolts so now the back of my seat doesn't rock when I go around a corner :-)
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby ponycarman » Wed May 18, 2011 2:53 am

No problem! Glad to help
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby M20_fever » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:34 am

moved to interior sub-forum.
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby vmt » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:40 pm

Where can you buy replacement cables?
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby ponycarman » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:18 am

Do you mean the cables that are used in the unlocking mechanism to flip the seat forward? If this is the cable you are refering too you could probably get them from a bmw dealer or grab them from pelican parts. Here are the part numbers, this is the number for the shorter cable 52101916611 and this is the number for the longer cable 52101916612. Hope this helps :)
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby Court M3 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:05 am

Nice write up! Thanks for taking the time to do this.
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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby ponycarman » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:10 pm

No problem man! :)

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Re: Sport Seat Disassembly Write Up! Lots of pics

Postby e30cabrio » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:31 pm

Thanks for the write-up, I thought I belonged to every e30 forum and found you guys looking for this topic.
I'm disassembling a set of seats with heaters and can't figure out how to get the cable out without damaging it.

Thanks!

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