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Thread: E31 Seat Twist repair service

  1. #1
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    E31 Seat Twist repair service

    E31 Seat Twist repair service, I've used the search and have found good info on how to repair the seats but I know my limitations and time restraints . I'm looking for someone (hopefuly in the NYC area but not a must ) that can repair both seats as they both have issues. any help would be gratefully appreciated.


    Troy

  2. #2
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    1993 BMW 850ci 6 speed
    15-30 min side max, and don’t put any limitations on yourself. If I can do it any one can. There is .pdf on how to do it with pics somewhere.

    Torch lighter, a semi functional back, some wrenches and sockets you will be good. No need to pull seats out just push back and lean on the back seats (Ifyou can even call them back seats).



    Quote Originally Posted by mrtroyboy View Post
    E31 Seat Twist repair service, I've used the search and have found good info on how to repair the seats but I know my limitations and time restraints . I'm looking for someone (hopefuly in the NYC area but not a must ) that can repair both seats as they both have issues. any help would be gratefully appreciated.


    Troy

  3. #3
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    1991 BMW 850I CB73435
    I am having the same problem with the driver's seat bottom, the right side of the driver seat bottom moves fore and aft only on the right side the left side is not moving. I am not sure which side of the driver's seat the motor is on. I read a thoughtful explanation of how to remove the driver's seat on the E31 and it is daunting. I am new to this forum and hope that I am not going out of bounds. As I become more knowledgeable about this problem with the seat twisting problem if you can hear the motor running (try the switch in both directions) and that will likely eliminate the switch and motor, which will result in two possibilities, a small gear in the seat or a cable (just like a speedometer cable from before the Millennium!). The cable has square ends and apparently the sheath over time stretches and the square tipped cable loses contact with the motor and gearbox. That is as far as I have gotten. There is a gentleman E31 forum i mentioned earlier in this note. He is in the UK, his moniker is "8Tech". His car is a Right hand drivebut the information contained applies to the Lhd cars for the most part. The gearboxes for the seat functions are rediculously expensive > $1000.00. The problem in the gearbox is usually a small gear, and there are different colors which identifies the particular type. I am looking, so far with little success for a source for that gear. The hardest part of the repair seems to be getting the seat out of the car without damaging the seat or the car. You should check out the article with detailed photos. Thank you 8TECH for sharing, and also scarring this old man. If anyone knows of a patient and reputable independent BMW service operation. I suggest that you take care and make sure that whomever does the work has done the repair.

  4. #4
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    There are many DIY instructions, for E32, E34, E31, basic procedure all the same
    http://m.odometergears.com/howto/E34...Cables_Fix.pdf
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0PlmNWfIZ8

    BTW: is there any shop which makes / reproduces Bowden cables tailor made in case the wire is cpl. broken? Often original only comes complete with the motor at high prices.
    SHOGUN'S TRICKS AND TIPS FOR THE SEVEN SERIES
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  5. #5
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    Alpina B12 5.7, 850 CSi
    One of the members here on the forum makes the cables with excellent instructions.

    Here is info from a previous post:
    You may want to consider contacting Paul Brill alias "The Seat Guru". He has specially manufactured seat cables for up-down that are not only longer, but are right/left (cable twist reversed) so the dreaded "seattwist" never happens again. I replaced both my seat cables with his cables and have been super happy with that decision. I was also impressed with his knowledge and installation instructions. And, he's a great guy!

    email:
    seatguru429@gmail.com
    Editor, E31 NEWS - BMWCCA E31 Chapter Newsletter
    North America Representative, 8er.or Board of Directors



  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info, correction for the user name, not The Seat Guru, Seat Guru https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...vailable-Again
    SHOGUN'S TRICKS AND TIPS FOR THE SEVEN SERIES
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by McKennaM View Post
    ...I am looking, so far with little success for a source for that gear...
    THIS >>> http://www.odometergears.com/product...s+E31+89-99/40
    '91 Dinan 860 Stage III (soon to be Dinan TT 6L)
    '91 850i 6sp (mint)
    '91 850i 6sp (getting there)
    '90 Dinan 750iL TT stage III
    '94 850 CSi (being restored to factory perfect)
    '96 850Ci, The George Carlin car
    '94 840ci (4 short - obvious parts car), '91 850i parts car
    '73 3.0 csi, '08 535i, '95 318i
    ...and a few other non BMW cars

  8. #8
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    It says "Discontinued" on the website of odometer gears
    SHOGUN'S TRICKS AND TIPS FOR THE SEVEN SERIES
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  9. #9
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    it always says that.. they always will make them, but they are one at a time hand poured.. you have to call and ask
    '91 Dinan 860 Stage III (soon to be Dinan TT 6L)
    '91 850i 6sp (mint)
    '91 850i 6sp (getting there)
    '90 Dinan 750iL TT stage III
    '94 850 CSi (being restored to factory perfect)
    '96 850Ci, The George Carlin car
    '94 840ci (4 short - obvious parts car), '91 850i parts car
    '73 3.0 csi, '08 535i, '95 318i
    ...and a few other non BMW cars

  10. #10
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    1991 BMW 850I CB73435
    Thank you so much for the information, I do appreciate the responses. I am also a new forum trainee and I am an "old dog" learning new tricks trying to keep my 850 which I am about to celebrate 15 year's of ownership healthy. She has 67xxx on the odometer and draws a crowd whenever I take it to the BMW Authorized Dealership who has serviced it since I have been it's caretaker, but they no longer can do the service work on the car; the car is older than the BMW technicians. If anyone knows of a reputable independent BMW repair shop in Phoenix AZ I would appreciate it if you would advise me.
    Regards
    marc mckenna

  11. #11
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    Marc, as for a repair shop in Phoenix AZ you may also post the question in the Forum: Regional Discussions & Events - General discussion and questions about what's going on in your regional area. https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/f...ons-amp-Events
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  12. #12
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    Me too! In AZ. I've got some new seat cables for E38s and I've had E39 seats out for the normal fixes too (about to do my 525i as well), but I'm frightened to take out my 840ci passenger seat to fix the forward-backward twist... (well not frightened, just many more reservations than E38 or E39 fixes). The front floor bolts are currently exposed but what about the back?
    Last edited by Chamberlin; 09-07-2018 at 11:13 PM.
    2004 BMW E46 330Ci 6spd (Oxford Green Metallic 2)*
    2002 BMW E39 525i Sport 5spd (Oxford Green Metallic 2)*
    2001 BMW E53 X5 3.0i Sport (Oxford Green Metallic 2)*
    1995 BMW E31 840Ci (Oxford Green Metallic 1)*
    2001 BMW E39 530i Sport 5spd (Aspen Silver Metallic)
    2001 BMW E38 740i Sport (Sahara Beige Metallic)
    2000 BMW E38 740i Sport (Sahara Beige Metallic)
    1994 BMW E31 840Ci 6spd (AVUS Blue Metallic)
    2000 BMW E38 740i Sport (Titanium Silver Metallic)
    2007 BMW E91 328iT 6spd (Deep Green Metallic)
    2000 BMW E36/7 M Roadster (Oxford Green Metallic 2)
    1999 BMW E36 M3 Coupe 5spd (Fern Green Metallic)*
    2000 BMW E36/8 M Coupe (Oxford Green Metallic 2)*
    2001 BMW E36/8 Z3 3.0i Coupe 5spd (Oxford Green Metallic 2)
    2002 BMW E36/7 M Roadster (Oxford Green Metallic 2)
    2007 BMW E63 M6 SMG (Silver Grey Metallic)
    2006 BMW E86 M Coupe (Sepang Bronze Metallic)
    2009 BMW E92 M3 DCT (Space Grey Metallic)
    2008 BMW E92 M3 6spd (Melbourne Red Metallic)
    1997 BMW E31 850Ci (Jet Black)









    * = current




  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chamberlin View Post
    Me too! In AZ. I've got some new seat cables for E38s and I've had E39 seats out for the normal fixes too (about to do my 525i as well), but I'm frightened to take out my 840ci passenger seat to fix the forward-backward twist... (well not frightened, just many more reservations than E38 or E39 fixes). The front floor bolts are currently exposed but what about the back?
    If you've done this on other BMWs, the 8er shouldn't be any more difficult (other than the seats may be a little heavier). You can access the rear bolts by sliding the seat forward. Just be aware that there are six bolts, not four, holding the seat in place.
    Mike Barrett
    94 850CSi, Hellrot over silbergrau dunkel/silbergrau hell
    96 850Ci, Oxfordgrun over silbergrau hell

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbarrett635 View Post
    If you've done this on other BMWs, the 8er shouldn't be any more difficult (other than the seats may be a little heavier). You can access the rear bolts by sliding the seat forward. Just be aware that there are six bolts, not four, holding the seat in place.
    Thanks for that Mike! But I'm concerned as I won't be able to get to the rear bolts because of the seat twisting (that is, the seat-base's front to back movement), is binding up after an inch or so of travel...

    -Joe
    Last edited by Chamberlin; 09-07-2018 at 11:57 PM.

  15. #15
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    As soon as I posted my reply, it occurred to me that you might have that problem. I think thereís a workaround, and maybe a search on some other boards might find it. I think it involves disconnecting one of the cables and using low speed drill to spin it to get the seat to move. Iím going from memory here goes back to my E28 days. Hopefully somebody here will have a better and easier solution.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mike Barrett
    94 850CSi, Hellrot over silbergrau dunkel/silbergrau hell
    96 850Ci, Oxfordgrun over silbergrau hell

  16. #16
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    If you can get the seat back far enough it is possible to fix the cable in place. If it is the front motor you can remove the cable ends, cut off a quarter inch, and use a lighter to melt the end back on, and stick it back in place and that could be your fix. I think you need to find out if your front and back motion is the motor at the front of the seat bottom, if it is, you could be done in less than 1/2 an hour.

  17. #17
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    Appreciate the follow up Mike, and thanks Rick, I will have to give that a try... Here's to hoping it's the front motor!

  18. #18
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    to access all the bolts if your seat movement is pooched...
    you can access the leadscrew from the front end of the rails, this is where the variable speed drill comes in handy
    disconnect the cables first
    '91 Dinan 860 Stage III (soon to be Dinan TT 6L)
    '91 850i 6sp (mint)
    '91 850i 6sp (getting there)
    '90 Dinan 750iL TT stage III
    '94 850 CSi (being restored to factory perfect)
    '96 850Ci, The George Carlin car
    '94 840ci (4 short - obvious parts car), '91 850i parts car
    '73 3.0 csi, '08 535i, '95 318i
    ...and a few other non BMW cars

  19. #19
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    Not to thread hijack, but after doing the seat twist repair, I now how permanent check backrest lock on the MID. I removed the seat due to new upholstery, and have checked and triple checked the connections on both pass and drivers seat. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by rotomoto712; 09-09-2018 at 02:47 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cartoonz View Post
    to access all the bolts if your seat movement is pooched...
    you can access the leadscrew from the front end of the rails, this is where the variable speed drill comes in handy
    disconnect the cables first
    Thanks toonz - sounds like fun. Do you think they made the end of the worm gear screw accessible on purpose, because they knew their cables' sheathes could lengthen over time? (half kidding).
    Last edited by Chamberlin; 09-09-2018 at 05:40 PM.

  21. #21
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    actually, that's part of it. The other reason for this access is to correctly time / align the two tracks when reassembling everything.

    ...and if you do remove the seat - DO NOT even put the key near the ignition with the seat unplugged or you'll have to learn how to reset the SRS light.
    Last edited by cartoonz; 09-09-2018 at 09:29 PM.
    '91 Dinan 860 Stage III (soon to be Dinan TT 6L)
    '91 850i 6sp (mint)
    '91 850i 6sp (getting there)
    '90 Dinan 750iL TT stage III
    '94 850 CSi (being restored to factory perfect)
    '96 850Ci, The George Carlin car
    '94 840ci (4 short - obvious parts car), '91 850i parts car
    '73 3.0 csi, '08 535i, '95 318i
    ...and a few other non BMW cars

  22. #22
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    1991 BMW 850I CB73435
    Mr. Cartoonz,
    Do you or any member's know what the exact location of the motor (1991 E31)that moves the seat bottom forward (towards the dash) and backwords (towards the rear seat), it is not seat back it is the seat bottom. I'm having exactly the same problem,I may have problems accessing the bolts. If any member's could send a note or better a BMW "exploded view" of the numerous motors and cables and the location of the "6 bolts" are it would be greatly appreciated. I am aware that there are centering pins that aid in centering of the bottom seat rails and 4 bolts, 2 at the front and 2 at the rear, but 6 bolts in my mind does not make sense to me. Wouldn't they interfere with the seat bottom moving fore and aft. Another question is about the gearbox gear, it seems to me that if the gear was broken that the seat motor would run but the seat would not move at all. Could or would anyone enlighten me regarding this "gear". My thoughts are that if the seat twists, whether it is the back vertical component or, in my case the seat bottom that the motor and the gearbox are OK, that the problem is with the "speedometer like" cables. Unfortunately, I am not near the car now and won't be able to get to Phoenix until October so I am planning ahead to bring the necessary information and tools that are going to be needed to remove the driver's seat on my E31, which moves on the right, twisting the seat bottom to the right and the left side of the driver's seat bottom does not move which indicates to me that the left cable is the problem. I apologize for rambling. Any suggestions on who could help me with this problem or how to approach acessing the seat rail bolts if the motor/cables for moving fore and aft are not accessible would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for being so long winded. Like the 850 I am not a spring "chicken".

  23. #23
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    Question Seat twist issue on E 31

    I think I have messed up posting a note regarding the dreaded seat twist. Would the moderator help me out.
    Thank you
    Mckenna

  24. #24
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    Could you tell me the location of the electric motors or where I can get an "exploded diagram" of the seat adjustment mechanisms for the E 31 1991 850i.

  25. #25
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    I had the same seat problem where bottom would not operate evenly so seat was 'twisted'. I removed seat and then I removed the bottom frame with motor. You can remove the cables from motor drive mechanism and test each cable with an electric drill by chucking the square end of cable into drill. Operate the drill very slowly and see if each seat slider moves for and aft. I found one side would not move smoothly.

    So I removed the cable and gear drive mechanism from seat rail. I disassembled the gear drive and found nylon gear on end of long screw shaft had split. I replaced gear and reassembled seat and it works fine now. While I had seat apart I also shortened cable housings on both the seat bottom and seat back because many people have found where stretched cables will also prevent seat from operating correctly.

    Here are a few photos of seat mechanism:

    IMG_20171121_141959141 (2).jpg
    IMG_20171121_221709348.jpg
    IMG_20171121_221734507_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20171121_224102859_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20171121_224245243_HDR (1).jpg

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