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Seat Belt Reel Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Seat Belt Reel Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

****

Tools:

T50 Torx, flathead screwdriver, 3mm Allen

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Coupe/Conv (2006-08)

Parts Required:

Seat belt reel

Hot Tip:

Disconnect battery before disconnecting seat connectors

Performance Gain:

Repair worn belt

Complementary Modification:

Replace opposite side reel

Seat belt buckles in all BMW Z4 models are equipped with pyrotechnic automatic pretensioners. The pyrotechnic device has an explosive charge which is triggered by the airbag (MRS) control module in case of sudden deceleration such as a car crash. Once triggered the device cinches up the seat belt by 55 mm (about 2 inches). During this process the seat belt reel will lock into position, to prevent slack in the belt.

The seat belt material can wear over time, becoming frayed, or worse destroyed with help of a beloved pet. The reel can be easily replaced with a little trim panel disassembly. This tech article will show you how to replace the left side seat belt reel, the right side is similar.

The pyrotechnic pretensioner in the seat belt buckle mechanism poses a hazard if not handled carefully. The front seat belt buckles are bolted to the inside of each front seat. If you aim to remove either front seat, disconnect the negative battery terminal and insulate the end to prevent accidental reconnection.

Interior trim pieces in BMW Z4 cars are often made of preformed hard plastic. Plastic clips or metal screws are used to hold them in place. To avoid marring the trim, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please include your vehicle information.

Open the convertible top.
Figure 1

Open the convertible top. Start by moving your seat as far forward and up as it will go. Working at the seat belt guide near the headrest, push the guide toward the rear of the vehicle to unclip it (red arrow). Then remove the seat belt from the guide and place it aside.

Follow the seat belt down to the outer seat rail.
Figure 2

Follow the seat belt down to the outer seat rail. Then, remove the 16mm fastener (red arrow). Use an open end wrench. It is tough to get a socket to fit in the space.

Working at the top of the seat, pop off the seat belt trim (red arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the top of the seat, pop off the seat belt trim (red arrow). If needed, gently lever it off using a plastic prying tool.

Then, remove the T25 Torx screw (red arrow).
Figure 4

Then, remove the T25 Torx screw (red arrow). Once removed, pull the belt guide off the seat back. Be sure to gently pull the weatherstrip (blue arrow) off, if it tears, replace it.

Close the convertible top.
Figure 5

Close the convertible top. Working in trunk, lever out the two plastic trim clips (red arrows) using a trim panel tool.

Lift carpet trim (red arrow) and remove from the trunk by sliding it straight out toward the left side of the vehicle.
Figure 6

Lift carpet trim (red arrow) and remove from the trunk by sliding it straight out toward the left side of the vehicle.

Lift carpet trim and remove from the trunk (red arrow).
Figure 7

Lift carpet trim and remove from the trunk (red arrow).

Next, pull the center console release knob out of the carpet (red arrow), then push it back through to the other side.
Figure 8

Next, pull the center console release knob out of the carpet (red arrow), then push it back through to the other side. The carpet may stretch a bit to accommodate it. Remove the rear trunk shelf. See our tech article on rear trunk shelf replacing.

Lift the trunk wall carpet up and prop it in place with a piece of wood (red arrow).
Figure 9

Lift the trunk wall carpet up and prop it in place with a piece of wood (red arrow). Then, remove the seat belt reel T50 Torx fastener (blue arrow).

Lift the seat belt reel up and detach it from the vehicle body.
Figure 10

Lift the seat belt reel up and detach it from the vehicle body.

Attach a string to the seat belt buckle.
Figure 11

Attach a string to the seat belt buckle. Push the seat belt buckle and belt through the opening in the seat back.

Working in the trunk, pull the seat belt down through the hole (red arrow), until the most of the string in visible.
Figure 12

Working in the trunk, pull the seat belt down through the hole (red arrow), until the most of the string in visible. Be sure to leave enough string out the top to help when reinstalling.

Attach the string to new seat belt.
Figure 13

Attach the string to new seat belt. Pull it through the opening. Be sure the buckle faces forward (blue arrow) and the tag (red arrow) faces toward the rear of the vehicle when pulling the belt through. Install trim pieces onto seat, then reattached belt to seat. Check belt operation then reassemble trunk trim pieces and trunk shelf.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 03:08:43 AM