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Old 08-01-2002, 02:20 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
G-Benz G-Benz is offline
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
I wish I had a digital camera...I could have posted the step-by-step procedure...oh well.

Yes, there are two philips-type screws on the bottom of the seatback. Remove those first (duh!).

The seatback removal is tricky. If your seatback hasn't been touched since factory installation (which most are) it will take a bit of coaxing.

No, you dont have to remove the headrest to do this. The top of the seatback has a 1 - 1 1/2" lip. The sides are held on by the tension of the front seat cover (which is provided by the seat springs of course).

The seatback sides have a channel that runs the entire height. The front seat cover lip sits in that channel. To remove, take a screwdriver at the bottom of each channel and carefully pull the front seat cover lip out of the seatback channel. Once started, push the side bolster on the side you are working on as close to the seat springs as possible to relieve tension. That will allow you to pull the remainder of the seat cover lip away from the channel. Repeat this step for the other side of the seatback channel.

Actually, if you just get one side off, there is enough access to replace the offending part.

The part number may be different for your car...I just asked Phil to order one up. He sold me a pair for $35 (figure I might have a spare for down the road).

The gear assembly is a one-piece self-contained unit, so you just swap out the old one. It is fastened to one of the vertical metal seat supports via two round plastic protrusions, held in place by a metal cotter-pin like part.
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This is all partially hidden cosmetically by a felt strip which extends down the metal support. The metal cotter pin (for lack of a better description) can be "encouraged" with a flat screwdriver and a hammer tapping against the bottom of it to force it upward.

Push the plastic protrusions into the metal seat support and it will free up the entire gear assembly. There is a flexible rod attached to the motor, and it attached to the gear assembly slot. That can be pulled out gently by hand.

More than likely, the old part is either missing or has a broken plastic fastener at the top of the assembly. This holds the headrest in place. The slider can move the headrest up because it pushes up anyway, but there is nothing to hold the headrest rod for the trip down. If this is the case, you can just pull the headrest up and out of the way.

Anyway, if you get this far, the hard part is done. Install is the reverse of removal.

Hope this helps (sorry for no pics).
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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