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E30 seat repair - seat recline

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    E30 seat repair - seat recline

    The drivers' seat that I picked up had a recline issue where when you pull the lever up to recline and then push the lever back to neutral, the seat back doesn't lock. I'd have to fiddle with the lever a bit to get it to lock again.

    Not sure how common of an issue this is but my friends' sports also have the same issue, so decided to document the super simple fix in case it's useful to someone down the road.

    These steps were done on comfort seats but should be exactly the same for sport seats.

    With the help of these three tutorials, I took apart my seats. You DO NOT need to do this if you are only interested in this particular fix. You only need to take off the plastic mechanism covers (1 on each side).

    There is a metal thing with teeth that moves when the seat reclines.

    Look into where the arrow points


    ... and you'll see this:


    The metal things beside the teeth (see arrows above) move out of the way to allow the seat to recline and then catch the teeth to lock the seat back into place. These metal pieces weren't moving nicely, so a little WD-40 in there did the trick. Do this on both sides of each seat.

    Simple fix, and saves you the embarrassment of your seat back falling on your rear passenger.
    Last edited by kumulonimbus; 07-07-2012, 12:46 PM.
    1990 BMW 325i Coupe

    #2
    Whats Ive also found is that the posts that spring connects to get gummed up and the spring doesnt seem strong enough to fight the extra resistance. A few minutes with some brake cleaner seems to really help.
    Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

    Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
    https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
    Alice the Time Capsule
    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
    87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

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      #3
      Trying to do this now and removed the retaining screw on the round plastic hinge cover, but it still doesn't want to come off. What's the dealio?

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        #4
        The plastic hinge cover has a small lip on the lower rear, you have to pry it over the mechanism.
        '89 lachssilber vert - Frau Blücher
        '84 alpine 2dr - gone to the great beyond...
        '00 titanium 4dr e46 - bricked

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          #5
          Originally posted by Semblance View Post
          The plastic hinge cover has a small lip on the lower rear, you have to pry it over the mechanism.
          That's not it--something behind the cover above where the slotted head plastic retainer came off. I know it sounds simple, but the bugger won't move. Will be back on it later today...

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            #6
            There's a second threaded post immediately above the one that the plastic nut screws on to. There's no nut for it, it's friction fit into a receiver in the cover, just wiggle.
            '89 lachssilber vert - Frau Blücher
            '84 alpine 2dr - gone to the great beyond...
            '00 titanium 4dr e46 - bricked

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              #7
              When i redid my sports seats I cleaned the mechanism with some strong cleaner (like what they use in a parts washer) then lubricated the whole thing, and along with that and new rear shocks the seats recline and everything like brand new!

              Feedback!
              Custom Cup Holder Consoles!
              Calypso Story--S50/Shaved and Tucked Bay
              Originally posted by mrcheezle19
              I would love to have an awesome story of how I threesomed some hot college chicks in my car and then railed some cocaine by now, but the e30 is not a Ferrari. So instead I have random guys asking me questions about suspension, good enough I guess.

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                #8
                Thanks

                Driver's seat just needed this, thanks!
                Ian T.
                BMWCCA #518713
                1990 325is | 2001 325xi Touring

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                  #9
                  Don't ignore the seat shocks ;)
                  Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

                  Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
                  https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
                  Alice the Time Capsule
                  http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
                  87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

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                    #10
                    Great tip, worked like a charm! I thought I had stripped the gear mechanism initially!

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                      #11
                      Super tip! My "new" sport seats are like this. This will help a lot. I also think I have to bite the bullet and buy new shocks... Thx mate!

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                        #12
                        Brake clean or solvent with some air pressure helps get the 30 years of crud out in a hurry. I use triflo to lube up the gears and bushings, WD40 will work but it's not much of a lubricant.
                        OP, Nice job on the write up, now on to the sliders, those are fun to clean out.... ������
                        Proud Owner and Operator.
                        sigpic

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                          #13
                          kumolonimbus, great thread. My 1988 e30 seat would not recline. I shot PB Blaster in the location the red arrows show in your first post. This fixed it right up. I am now lubing and cleaning a bit more before re-installing. Thank you!

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                            #14
                            Dumb question time but you pull the recline handle on my seat and it'll just fall backwards, there's no issue with it retaining position so long as I don't let go, it's more that there's maybe a return spring that is missing or broken. Suggestions before I take the seat out/apart?

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by m5james View Post
                              Dumb question time but you pull the recline handle on my seat and it'll just fall backwards, there's no issue with it retaining position so long as I don't let go, it's more that there's maybe a return spring that is missing or broken. Suggestions before I take the seat out/apart?
                              It sounds like you need a new seat shock to resist gravity pulling it down.

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