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Thread: Replaced the seat belt guide in 2001 roady - with pictures

  1. #1
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    Replaced the seat belt guide in 2001 z3 roadster - lots of pics

    As I documented before, the seat belt guide on my passenger seat had broken, and I made a strap out of velcro to hold it. It worked fine, but I hated having the broken guide on there. Here's a picture.


    I read every post I could find about removing the leather, and I was scared to death to start the project. However, since my father and I were replacing the bushings this evening I thought I would poke around and see just how hard it was to remove the leather. I am VERY happy to report, it's not very hard! Now that I've done it, I bet I could take the leather off a seat in less than 15 - 20 minutes. It's easier with help, but one person can do it. This is a standard seat and NOT the M seat that has been documented in other posts. This seat has leather around the back, as opposed to a hard back. Here is the process, with pictures...

    What you'll need:

    13mm, 16mm and 17mm sockets
    flathead screw driver (for prying open hog rings)
    Pliers/channel locks (for crimping hog rings)
    Replacement seatbelt guide - Right/Passenger side part number 52108410506
    Hammer (for attaching lock rings)

    The first thing you need to do, obviously, is remove the seat. This is a relatively easy process and well documented on the board. Two nuts on the front of the rails (13mm), two bolts on the back of the rails (16mm), unplug the wires (the 2001 has one plug with a sliding catch), remove the seatbelt, and pull the seat out.

    One you have it out, you will notice that it has a long seam up the middle and that it's clipped on at the bottom using a two part plastic strip. Open the seam at the bottom, and slide the leather from the seat bottom back through the gap towards the front of the seat, just to get it out of the way. Then using the same approach, open the back of the leather seat by pulling the plastic strip from the one side out of the plastic u-shape guide in the other. It will be obvious how this opens up when you see it.



    You can see how the leather up top has a plastic strip on it that folds over and into the u-shaped channel in the leather tab that comes through the gap from the seat bottom.





    Once the leather is open, you will see the hard panel in back. This is held on only with two little pins in the center...top and bottom... and friction. Remove the pins, and wiggle this plastic shield down and out. The hardest part was getting started at the top where the plastic curved a bit over the internal metal frame. Work it out, but again, it's only held on with those little pins and friction.




    Here's the pin at the bottom



    Here is the back out of the way



    Now this is where the job got a LOT easier than others have posted. The foam is molded with a red metal rod running vertically on each side. The leather is stretched over the foam and attached with hog rings (or other method) to this red metal rod. This entire foam/leather assembly then slides down over the welded metal frame and attached to the frame using just a double hog ring on each side. So, to get at the seat belt guide, and you need to do is unclip this red rod from the frame, and slide the entire foam/rod/leather assembly up and off the metal seat frame. You DO NOT have to remove the leather from the foam. Once you have it off the frame, you can easily peel back the leather and get access to the seat belt guide. Again, this took only a few minutes.

    Ok..here is a picture of the red rod and where it attaches to the metal seat frame with a hog ring (mine had two on each side)




    Here you can see where the red rod sits down in to a hole in the frame. Once you remove the hog ring it slides up and out, taking all of the foam and leather with it.


    Here you can see that I have that hog ring removed, and I'm ready to lift the entire foam/leather assembly off the frame by pulling straight up.


    Pulling it up. The sheet metal you see is the metal frame that goes up into the headrest area.


    Foam/Leather assembly removed from the frame. Now it is VERY easy to peel the leather over the foam to get access to the seatbelt guide




    The plastic is on there to make it easier to slide the foam and leather together. Don't throw it away. It works.


    Once you peel it over the headrest, you have easy access to the back of the seatbelt guide



    Here is the frame.


    Replacement of the guide is straight forward. Pry off the lock clips on the back of the broken one, put the new guide in place, and secure it with the new lock clips that come with the new guide. I simply placed a socket over the clip and smacked it with a hammer (using a 2x4 underneath for support) a couple of times until it was tight.

    I thought I would throw this picture in there too. This is an insert for the back of the headrest that makes it more firm. You can just pull this out before peeling the leather back, as having it out make it much easier to fold over the foam to get the leather off.



    Once you have the new guide installed, you just do everything in reverse. Slide the leather back over the headrest first, and then slide the entire foam/leather assembly back over the frame. Be careful not to damage the leather as you slide it over the metal headrest support. Be gentle but firm. Also notice the position of the foam on the frame as you remove it, put it back the way it was (it straddles the frame)


    Make sure the red metal rods are set down in their correct holes, and then reattach the hog rings.



    Carefully slide the plastic backing up over the foam and frame, and secure it with the small black push pins you took out. Then you can simply close the leather along the back and at the bottom. You are done! Here's a huge improvement over my repair job. Having this fixed, as well as my seat bushings in, makes me feel much better!





    Oh, if anyone wants the velcro strap I made as the temporary fix, just let me know. I'll throw it in an envelope for you.
    Last edited by sdmike1; 02-20-2010 at 11:28 AM.
    99 facelift E38 gone but not forgotten | 2001 Topaz Blue Z3 3.0 (9/00): ASA AR1's, Kicker sub, stone guards & more




  2. #2
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    Wow, nice write up demonstrating just how truly cumbersome this is.

  3. #3
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    Great write up and great pics. Despite the post above, doesn't sound too cumbersome. Some board members have worked a lot harder for the same "payoff."
    Completed to date
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  4. #4
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    Sometimes a cumbersome project is just what I need to take my mind off of the tsress of everyday life

  5. #5
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    Lots of work being done on seats recently... Thanks for great pics. I wonder why non-M seats don't have that yellow sensor in the back
    Kelvin

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the great pic tutorial, helps to look through and read to understand another part of the car I haven't dove into yet.

    btw, nice legs 'insert sexual whistle'

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    Great job. Thanks for sharing the details. Very good reference. Perhaps also add the part numbers to it.

  8. #8
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    Great write-up. It's interesting to see the internals of the seat. Thanks for posting.
    jeremy [AT] coupecartel [DOT] com

    1 of 1 | 2002 Laguna Seca Blue/Black M Coupe | LK61201
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  9. #9
    mherington is offline Passing Gas... BMW CCA Member
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    A quick question: At the point where you have the seatbelt guides exposed and ready to exchange, is the entire leather seat cover off of the foam, or is there more work to do to get the leather off? In otherwords, what's left to swap on new leather?

    Great writeup! Thanks for sharing,
    Marshall

  10. #10
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    Wow, great details. I need to do this.
    Pandora


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mherington View Post
    A quick question: At the point where you have the seatbelt guides exposed and ready to exchange, is the entire leather seat cover off of the foam, or is there more work to do to get the leather off? In otherwords, what's left to swap on new leather?

    Great writeup! Thanks for sharing,
    Marshall
    Once I peeled it back for access to the guide, the leather is still attached to that red bar down the front of the seat. You would peel the leather back and release the hog ties or whatever else is holding it in. I didn't have to go that far, so I'm not positive what's in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by JaBr1884 View Post
    Thanks for the great pic tutorial, helps to look through and read to understand another part of the car I haven't dove into yet.

    btw, nice legs 'insert sexual whistle'
    hahah...my father will smile about that. Those are 70 year old legs. Mine are still under 50

    Quote Originally Posted by GB5416 View Post
    Wow, nice write up demonstrating just how truly cumbersome this is.
    It's not very cumbersome at all for the non-M seats. If you put one of these down in front of me I could have the guide replaced and the seat back together in less than 30 minutes.
    Last edited by sdmike1; 02-20-2010 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    99 facelift E38 gone but not forgotten | 2001 Topaz Blue Z3 3.0 (9/00): ASA AR1's, Kicker sub, stone guards & more




  12. #12
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    Nice job! Needs to be done on my passenger side.

  13. #13
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    Just a reminder, if anyone wants the velcro strap I made to hold the broken guide just let me know. Here's more info on what I'm talking about.
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1371101
    99 facelift E38 gone but not forgotten | 2001 Topaz Blue Z3 3.0 (9/00): ASA AR1's, Kicker sub, stone guards & more




  14. #14
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    That looks easier than it was on my '98. Being able to remove the whole thing would have been a real help.

  15. #15
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    I say everybody do this and send the broken guides back to BMW. It's ridiculous.
    -Abel

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  16. #16
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    This begs the question - if you reinstall the same design won't it break again? Is there a better replacement than going back with the original part?

    Z3M Kville

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z3M Kville View Post
    This begs the question - if you reinstall the same design won't it break again? Is there a better replacement than going back with the original part?

    Z3M Kville
    Not that I've seen. If the new one lasts another 10 years like the first one I'll be plenty happy.
    99 facelift E38 gone but not forgotten | 2001 Topaz Blue Z3 3.0 (9/00): ASA AR1's, Kicker sub, stone guards & more




  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z3M Kville View Post
    This begs the question - if you reinstall the same design won't it break again? Is there a better replacement than going back with the original part?

    Z3M Kville
    I replaced my roadster seats with Coupe seats- no guides 4 bolts very easy.
    Plus I went from seats with 80k miles on them to less than 30k mile seats.
    If you do buy seats from a damaged (wreaked car you may have to replace the pyrotectic seat belt tensioner with the ones from the seat being replaced.

  19. #19
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    Thumbs up

    I just wanted to let you know that I think this may be the best documented diy that I have seen yet. Absolutely fantastic job. My son, daughter and I did this for our Z3 today and your direction and pictures were just perfect. It took us about 2.5 hours total to do both seats. Great job and thanks for sharing!

    John

  20. #20
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    I have a 98 Roady... same seat set up or no?



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeeand7 View Post
    I just wanted to let you know that I think this may be the best documented diy that I have seen yet. Absolutely fantastic job. My son, daughter and I did this for our Z3 today and your direction and pictures were just perfect. It took us about 2.5 hours total to do both seats. Great job and thanks for sharing!

    John
    Great! That's why I do DIY write-ups! I figure if I need to do it, might as well help others facing the same thing. Glad it was helpful!

    Sure is nice not to have to look at that broken guide, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessicias View Post
    I have a 98 Roady... same seat set up or no?
    Not positive. It should be easy to tell though. Just see if the back of your seat looks like mine (leather back with fold-over seam). If so, chances are it's the same.
    Last edited by sdmike1; 02-28-2010 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    99 facelift E38 gone but not forgotten | 2001 Topaz Blue Z3 3.0 (9/00): ASA AR1's, Kicker sub, stone guards & more




  22. #22
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    very nicely done DIY for sure...

    just wondering, the metal frame inside the seat looks a bit rusted? is that just the photographs or?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerZ5 View Post
    very nicely done DIY for sure...

    just wondering, the metal frame inside the seat looks a bit rusted? is that just the photographs or?
    Funny you should mention that. It looked like rust, but it was smooth..didn't feel like rust at all. It was almost like it was just discolored. Strange, actually. After examining the frame I didn't feel any need to replace it, sand it, paint it, etc.
    99 facelift E38 gone but not forgotten | 2001 Topaz Blue Z3 3.0 (9/00): ASA AR1's, Kicker sub, stone guards & more




  24. #24
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    good job, this write-up should be in the FYI DYI sticky thread for sure

  25. #25
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    Seat belt guide bracing

    All,
    I bought some black rubber shrink tube, the kind you heat up to shrink. Protect the seat and use a heat gun or good hair dryer. I replaced the guides on mine 2 summers ago and have had no problems since then. I also ensure I am careful to pull the belt out straight to avod any pressure on the guides.
    I'd post a pic but my ride is still in a bag, waiting.....

    Red Coat

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