you considering re-covering your seats? Want to collect all that loose
change under the seats? Do you have to repair the reclining mechanism? Well
the first step to all of these is removing the front seats. In this article
we will discuss removal of the front seats in the E36 3 Series BMW. Keep in
mind that this tech article applies only to the manual style front seats in
the BMW E36 3 Series cars from 1992-99. (Power seat removal article is
coming soon) |
you begin keep in mind we will be working around explosives in the case of
1997 and later cars, (no joke!) These later cars use a pyrotechnic charge to
automatically retract the seat belts in case of an accident.
front seats are held to the guide rails with two nuts and two bolts.
Basically all you have to do is unbolt it. The first step is to move the
seat as far forward as it will go and also move the seat as far upward as
possible Now look down at the seat rails. You will see amounting bolt at the
end of each seat rail. Remove these bolts.
keep the seat upward and slide the seat back as far as it will go. You will
see two plastic caps covering the front of the seat rails. Remove these and
directly below you will see a mounting nut on the front of each seat rail.
comes the part where we start disarming high explosives. Well, not really,
but we do have to disarm the seat belt tensioners on the 97 and later cars.
In order to do this, look at the side of the seat with the seat belt
receptacles you will see a panel with a display and a screw. This screw will
disarm the tensioner. Simply turn the screw clockwise until the display
changes from green to red. Once it is red, the tensioner is disarmed. When
re-installing, turn the screw counter-clockwise to re-arm the tensioner.
Just remember, green is armed, red is disarmed.
the case of the 96 and earlier cars, they use a mechanical style tensioner.
We will need to disarm these as well, however they do not use an explosive
charge, but rather a mechanical assembly. To disarm it, look down at the
seat near the seat belt receptacles. You will see the mechanical spring
tensioner on the side. Out of the front of the tensioner, you will notice a
cable that comes out and loops around. Midway on the cable is a handle.
First, cut the wire tie next to the tab on the cable. Now, VERY CAREFULLY,
turn the handle 90 degrees lift the tab to disengage the cable from the seat
bracket. Now remove the cable end from the seat lever. Keep in mind that
when you re-install cable to correctly install the cable end onto the seat
lever and use a new zip-tie to hold it in place.
on 2-door cars, you will need to unhook the seat belt from the guide on the
seat back. On 4-door cars you will need to unbolt the seat belt from the
seat frame. Now, tilt the whole seat assembly back to access the electrical
connectors. Disconnect these connectors and mark them so you know how to
hook them back together.
is the reverse of removal, however make sure you re-connect all electrical
connections correctly and re-install all covers, mounts and cables. Itís
also a good idea to place a liberal amount of grease on all moving parts,
especially the seat rails, this will ensure that the seats move freely on
Well, there you have it - it's
really not too difficult at all. If you would like
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