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Thread: E24 Sport seat compatibility

  1. #1
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    Question E24 Sport seat compatibility

    Gentleman -

    Does anyone know the compatibility of Post 1983 E24 sport seats among the various years? In other words would a 1985 set of sport sets fit in a 1988 (harness, rails, etc) and cosmetically do they look the same.

    Thanks...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicaneS54 View Post
    Gentleman -

    Does anyone know the compatibility of Post 1983 E24 sport seats among the various years? In other words would a 1985 set of sport sets fit in a 1988 (harness, rails, etc) and cosmetically do they look the same.

    Thanks...
    Some cars had power seats,some had comfort.

    The biggest difference is the seat belt buckle as they are different after 1985.

  3. #3
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    I'm just referring to the sport seats not the comfort seats. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Cosmetically they may not be the same. The patterns varied somewhat over the years. Mechanically they should bolt in. Electrically they should plug right up assuming that the recipient car was originally equipped with sport seats. If not wiring for the power thigh bolster will have to be added. Wiring and controls for heated seats may either be needed or not used depending on the seat.

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  5. #5
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    Since I'm not putting originality high on the list with my old car I want to just fit a set of nice Sparcos. It would look nice and be comfortable. They would be considerably lighter than stock power seats.

    The best thing would be to just recover my stock sport seats, the factory Recaro style sport seats are simply the most comfortable car seats I've ever spent time in.

  6. #6
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    You may have other options as well: Look into sport seats from an E36, or possibly an E46. E36 are known to bolt into E24 with little modification, perhaps just elongating the mount holes at the bottom rear of the seat rails. Among the E36 crowd there have been reports of E46 seats bolting into E36, so maybe E46 seats are also suitable for E24... I've personally not tried this, but have read of it in the E36 forum over the years. That said, some say seat height/headroom issues may arise for taller drivers.

    Also note that among E36 coupe/vert seats, the seat frames are all the same regardless of comfort, sport, or Vader pads, which are all interchangeable in the E36 seat frames.

    I've bought E36 seats at PicknPull and at least one other junkyard, for less than $50 for each complete seat. Some E36 seat pads are aesthetically compatible with the E24 upholstery pattern. You can change colors by using Leatherique or Leather Magic, per info from both poster FlyfishVT on the E36 forums, and also confirmed by correspondence with these leather dye companies. FlyfishVT reports that Leather Magic brand is equivalent to Leatherique, but somewhat less expensive.

  7. #7
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    Just a smidge off-topic, but the power sport seats in my '86 635 I recently acquired have worn-through leather on the side bolsters and the remainder of the leather is intact, but showing its age.

    I was considering trying to find seats out of a later model as discussed here, though our local Pull-a-Part no longer sells seats for a pittance as they used to do, but an alternative is re-covering my original seats.

    Does anyone have experience or an opinion on which company makes the best genuine leather seat covers, or best quality for the price (price counts!)?

    I have a very tall sitting height, so being able to sit low enough in the car is important, so if different-car-model seats may not be appropriate in my case?

    Thanks,
    Bob

  8. #8
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    I want original sport seats....

  9. #9
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    My '87 has the narrow/more horizontal pleat design, my '88 has the wider/fewer pleat design, so there's the split in years. They are completely different and would be an obvious mis-match if mixed together. That said, I have e30 fronts with a vertical seam in my 87 (feel better than comfort seats but look wrong). There's a guy on ebay that sells side bolster leather for $75 each. Perfect for replacing worn sides.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobinyelm View Post
    Just a smidge off-topic, but the power sport seats in my '86 635 I recently acquired have worn-through leather on the side bolsters and the remainder of the leather is intact, but showing its age.

    I was considering trying to find seats out of a later model as discussed here, though our local Pull-a-Part no longer sells seats for a pittance as they used to do, but an alternative is re-covering my original seats.

    Does anyone have experience or an opinion on which company makes the best genuine leather seat covers, or best quality for the price (price counts!)?

    I have a very tall sitting height, so being able to sit low enough in the car is important, so if different-car-model seats may not be appropriate in my case?

    Thanks,
    Bob
    Have you considered use of leather seat covers taken from, say, an E38 or E39? Such seats have pretty similar shape to your stock seats, so may be good candidates for re-use on E24 seat pads. Last I checked, PicknPull sold just the seat covers for about $8 each, so I used such to recover my worn E36 seats Large seats such as E38 may have good leather large enough to fit over and properly tuck into the E24 seat frame. I've not personally tried this yet, but have eyeballed a number of such seats at junkyards, and measured a few with a tape measure, so am pretty sure it would work. That way, you'd have BMW OEM leather in your car, with presumably the same color and type of dye. With E36 seats the leather covers just peel off the foam pads, including the heating elements for heated seats. Get the switches while there, as BMW reportedly used the exact same seat-heater switches in all its models.

    The seat shapes (and therefore the seat cover shapes) won't be exactly the same, but if wetted with water or rubbing alcohol, the leather fibers relax and can be easily stretched or re-shaped somewhat, which elasticity may make E38 leather covers workable for an E24 seat.

    Another variation on that theme may be to peel the leather cover up off the sides and then slice a good junkyard E38 or E39 foam seat pad (with its leather still attached) in a plane parallel to the seat surface, and then trim and refit the whole foam pad/leather cover onto your old seat pad base, by slicing the old pad off in similar parallel fashion, then tuck in the leather overhang into your old plastic side and rear panels. 3M spray adhesive for foam would presumably secure the new foam to the old foam base. Again, I've not yet personally tried this, but am pretty sure it will work. An electric carving knife (as commonly used on Thanksgiving turkey) works well for carving and trimming foam, per YouTube videos. Or try a sharp fish filleting knife.

  11. #11
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    I'm thinking of eventually replacing my power comforts with a pair of MANUAL sport seats. (I don't need/want the complexity and extra weight of power seats.) Were Euro models the only E24s that came with non-power sport seats? That would make finding a pair quite difficult.

    I've also been told that besides E30 seats, genuine Recaro LX and LS seats will also fit. Can anybody confirm this? If so, are special adapter brackets required?
    Last edited by LarryM; 05-06-2017 at 02:50 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
    I'm thinking of eventually replacing my power comforts with a pair of MANUAL sport seats. (I don't need/want the complexity and extra weight of power seats.) Were Euro models the only E24s that came with non-power sport seats? That would make finding a pair quite difficult.

    I've also been told that besides E30 seats, genuine Recaro LX and LS seats will also fit. Can anybody confirm this? If so, are special adapter brackets required?
    The e24 seat rails I think, are all the same dimensions and bolt patterns match. Other cars (e30) are different and you have to make brackets to attach the seats (I did). Can anybody confirm this?

  13. #13
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    I found some later-model (post 1984) manual E24 sport seats with rails. The seats need restoration, but I'm wondering if I can still use the rails from them which of course match the bolt pattern on my floor.

    Does anybody know if E30 sport seats will fit onto the late E24 sport seat rails? If they do, that would allow me to install E30 seats in my car without using any adapters at the floor.
    Last edited by LarryM; 05-17-2017 at 08:59 PM.

  14. #14
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    In a round-about way I'm going to say the E30 sport seats are not a bolt-in, because I've seen adapters advertised which make this possible. It's been a while, but there was a group buy for the adapters a while back on mye28.com.
    Dean
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicaneS54 View Post
    Gentleman -

    Does anyone know the compatibility of Post 1983 E24 sport seats among the various years? In other words would a 1985 set of sport sets fit in a 1988 (harness, rails, etc) and cosmetically do they look the same.

    Thanks...
    I looked in RealOem at the parts and they don't seem compatible. I didn't look at all the seats for E36's but there is no resemblance to the E24 seat rails..

  16. #16
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    The rails that won't work in a post 82 car are either early rails or E30 rails. The E30s can be used with adapters which are not all that difficult to make. There is a set for sale on Ebay right now.
    81 Euro undergoing total nut and bolt restoration
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