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Thread: Hmm ... bushings were not cause of seat wobble. Is there an obvious next step?

  1. #1
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    Hmm ... bushings were not cause of seat wobble. Is there an obvious next step?

    I yanked out the drivers seat and replaced the bushings with the delrin ones.

    Bolted seat back in and whaddaya know ... it still rocks.

    I have a couple of things to tidy up before I yank it back out. I was just planning on strapping it to the workbench and rocking it while I explored with a flash light.

    Are there any obvious other fault points? All 4 bolts are tight and the bushing replacement procedure went exactly according to the book.
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  2. #2
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    The issue is recognized, but never definitively resolved. Maybe you'll have better luck and can help the rest of us. Here's the discussion.

    http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...=sliding+seats


    Blue Ridge Mountains
    1999 2.8 Z3 Coupe
    Arctic Silver

  3. #3
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    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

  4. #4
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    There's also plastic tabs at the front of the rails as a bushing for the tongue-and-groove. They fell out on my seats. After I replaced them (and the bushings), it's much better.
    Part number is 52108407659, 2 per side.
    I can get some pics of where they live when I get to a computer.
    Last edited by scenturion; 12-30-2018 at 06:17 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for those links. I got the passenger side rebuilt this weekend and that one does not rock an inch with the new delrin bushings, so no issue there.

    As soon as I get my glove box back in I'll move back to the drivers side. I'll keep an eye out for a place to put a penny or a place to put that clip you linked to scenturion.

    I'll report back.
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  6. #6
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    Ah yes, the pennies take up the slack in the bushings when they wear out. If they bushing is in there, it wouldnt hurt to jam a penny or other coin in there to space it out. If there's no sign of the plastic bushing, youve got metal on metal contact in the tongue and groove there.

    IMG_20180813_182400.jpg


    IMG_20180813_195238.jpg

  7. #7
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    Scenturion: Do you remember off the top of your head how the seat attaches to the frame? Is it just a normal bolt?

    I had my wife rock it back and forth while I was staring at the frame. The odd thing is there doesn't seem to be just one failure point, instead the whole thing seems "wiggly". Perhaps I can solve most of it with attacking it at the point where the frame attaches to the seat.

    I'm dangerously close to just pulling the trigger on Corbeau seat brackets. The big question just becomes: Can they attach to the stock seats??

    https://corbeau.com/bmw-z3-seat-brackets.html
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  8. #8
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    There's one bolt on the back of each rail. You remove the bolt and slide the rail rearward and it should pop out of the groove. you don't need to disassemble any of the electronics (see my picture above), but be careful.

    Edit: the bolt at the back of each rail must be removed
    Last edited by scenturion; 01-10-2019 at 04:15 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
    ... close to just pulling the trigger on Corbeau seat brackets.... Can they attach to the stock seats?...
    Corbeau says...
    "Corbeau brackets are designed specifically for Corbeau seats and will not work with any other seat brand."
    https://corbeau.com/master-seat-brackets
    BMW MOA 696, BMW CCA 1405

  10. #10
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    Still undecided. I'll hopefully have the trunk and all the musical stuff together this weekend and I can tackle this.
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  11. #11
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    Attached pics show two bolts with yellow paint near the back corners. The second pic shows the part where the seat slides into the seat rail. There's one on each side. Those four points (two bolts, two slides) are the only attachment points between the seat bottom and seat rails.

    seat1.jpg

    seat2.jpg

  12. #12
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    Well ... what a walking handful of design flaws down there, ha!

    Pulled the seat last night, flipped it and went to work.

    No signs of any bushings anywhere, metal-on-metal all over the place. Does anyone know what the original bushings were made of? I'm torn between trying to replicate them or going a different route. Maybe even adding another bolt somewhere.

    What a god awful monstrosity by the way ... this thing. I really want to try to retrofit a manual e36 one now. Another day.

    On a side note, once I un-routed the seatbelt plug, turns out the wires were crunched and compromised, so that will need to be addressed. I had noticed the seatbelt light did not come on. Now we know why. They must have failed closed.
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
    What a god awful monstrosity by the way ... this thing. I really want to try to retrofit a manual e36 one now. Another day.
    No joke! Last week I carried both of my newly acquired Z3M seats to my basement. I had to sling them over my shoulder like I was carrying an animal carcass or something. I had morbid thoughts of the Dexter series and how exhausting it must be to have to move 'dead' weight around like that all the time.

    I couldn't believe how heavy they were. They were pallet shipped to my house along with steering wheel, console, and door panels. I asked the driver if he wanted to pull around to my garage in the alley so he didn't have to go up any stairs. He said there was no problem and unloaded the pallet on the sidewalk. I was like..."now what? We have 7 steps to get to the porch." It was lightly snowing and he wanted to leave the pallet right there on the sidewalk. I convinced him we could pick it up and get it to the porch. Holy hell...I was sore the entire weekend from that dead lift.

    received_279405375974790_1547749952032.jpgreceived_222800398600360_1547749950728.jpg
    Nathan in Denver

    1999 M Roadster, VFE V3 S/C, Randy Forbes Reinforced, Hardtop, H&R/Bilstein, Apex PS-7, Supersprint
    1999 Z3 2.8 Coupe, 1 of 2, Manual Swapped, M Suspension & Brakes, M54B30 Manifold, Style 68's

  14. #14
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    I'm into it now .... something is gonna happen!

    I still have my old Harbor Freight MIG on the shelf. I may seriously try to just pop the pan out, drill a hole and weld a nut in there so I can crank down 4 bolts. We'll see tonight when I get it apart more.
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
    I'm into it now .... something is gonna happen!

    I still have my old Harbor Freight MIG on the shelf. I may seriously try to just pop the pan out, drill a hole and weld a nut in there so I can crank down 4 bolts. We'll see tonight when I get it apart more.
    How about a carriage bolt?
    Nathan in Denver

    1999 M Roadster, VFE V3 S/C, Randy Forbes Reinforced, Hardtop, H&R/Bilstein, Apex PS-7, Supersprint
    1999 Z3 2.8 Coupe, 1 of 2, Manual Swapped, M Suspension & Brakes, M54B30 Manifold, Style 68's

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by s8ilver View Post
    How about a carriage bolt?
    I thought about it, but the reason I kept coming back to the nut and welder is if I ever need to take it apart again.

    I'm going to try the steam trick on the seat cushion while I have the whole schebang in pieces. 145K miles and 18 years have "flattened" it quite a bit.

    So overall .... fixing the wires for the seatbelt, steaming the seat foam, might as well treat the leather again, and finally, bolts for the seat-to-frame connection.

    I'm probably going to have as many man hours into this drivers seat as I have into the entire stereo install.
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
    I'm into it now .... something is gonna happen!

    I still have my old Harbor Freight MIG on the shelf. I may seriously try to just pop the pan out, drill a hole and weld a nut in there so I can crank down 4 bolts. We'll see tonight when I get it apart more.
    Maybe a Nut-sert type of fastener would be a little less trouble__no need to disassemble the whole seat to avoid a fire...


  18. #18
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    Well ... I'm really glad i chose to take the drivers seat out and tear it apart. I found almost as many issues in just the seat as I did the whole rest of the car during my initial "scan".

    Seatbelt wires pinched and broken. Strip, cut, solder.
    Heated seat wires broken. Strip, cut, solder.
    Foam flattened from years of being sat on. I puffed it back up with steam (see the iron next to the wine) and will add a layer of foam in the middle.
    Seat rocking despite new bushings due to worn out .... "other bushings"...

    I started looking over the frame of the seat. Easy to do with the foam out. There is not an abundance of room down there, but there should be enough room for a bolt. Trying to re-create a bushing that's just going to wear out again seems like a waste of time.

    Randy, I looked at those inserts you posted, but I'm not sure I can make it work due to the relatively thin dimensions of both layers of steel.

    EDIT: Not sure why my images are flipped. I re-did them properly and they still show up like that.

    It makes sense that the drivers seat takes more of a beating due to a person always sitting on it.seat1.jpgseat2.jpg
    Last edited by CoconutPete; 01-22-2019 at 09:54 AM.
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  19. #19
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    Side question: Has anyone successfully used a generic heated seat element? Or should I keep going with trying to repair the OEM one. These wires are TINY and soldering is tricky.

    This one looks like an option:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2Pcs-Car-Ca....c100005.m1851
    Last edited by CoconutPete; 01-22-2019 at 11:53 AM.
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  20. #20
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    I think you should just replace the front bushings, or use a penny, or even tack weld them in place. Seems like much less work.
    The front bushings on my 250k mile Z3 didnt fail as much as they fell-out. I think if you taped or glued them in place youd get another 100k miles of service out of them.

  21. #21
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    That is not really an option as they have either fallen out and disappeared or have disintegrated completely, so I have nothing to start with.

    I'll experiment a little, but the whole "wedge a penny in place" just doesn't seem like a good long term solution. I went through the parts bin and I found both some bolts and lock washers that seem like they would fit in the allowed space nicely.

    If I get angry I'll just bust out the welder!

    Still have to decide on the heating element. I'll try soldering tonight, but d@mn that wire is thin!
    Zed's dead baby. Zed's dead.

  22. #22
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    You can buy the replacement bushings, though.

  23. #23
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    Can you post a part number for the replacement bushings? I've completely disassembled and reassembled two seats and neither had bushings. Both were very solid with no rocking and neither appeared to have a place bushings would go. Just a metal hook in a slot at the front and bolts at the back (See pic I posted above). I don't get any rocking, but if there's a bushing or supposed to be one, then I haven't seen it. RealOEM doesn't show any bushing either.

  24. #24
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    Posted above.

    Part number is 52108407659, 2 per side.

  25. #25
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    Ok got it now. Thanks

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