Thanks for your response! The spring on the hand lever is attached to a hole in the frame that pulls it upwards, not to rest (unless the rest position is up and I am all-wrong about the rest position being down, parallel to the frame). Is there another spring or something? The front paw stops upward travel at the front bolt. When pushed down, he rear paw seems to hold it in place but slips easily out of the tooth from the spring pressure form the big, 100-lb. spring that pulls the seat up (if you pick your weight up off the seat). The spring that connects the paws together is also in place. I recently pulled out the seat and totally disassembled, cleaned and reassembled the device but it operates the same as before.
Is the wavy washer supposed to be flattened? I didn't think so, so it is tight but not flat.
Could the paw or spring be worn out? I don't think so. What else could it be?
Regarding lube of the seat tracks, there is a plastic-like way that the seat rides on inside the seat track. What type of lube should be used on that? (I have removed the seat tracks and lubed them with a silicon grease.)
Thanks again for an outstanding site and sharing your knowledge.
'85 500SL Euro