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Old 04-17-2005, 05:14 PM
cmac2012's Avatar
Renaissance Dude
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 15,779
Swapping passenger seat for worn out driver's seat (power) on 300 SD

This will probably be pretty elementary for all the old hands out there but maybe someone will find it useful. Driverís seats wear out a lot faster than the passenger seats, of course, and used passenger seats in good condition can be found pretty regularly. When I bought my 300 SD, the driverís seat was in bad shape Ė broken springs, flat Ė and the local dismantler wanted $300 for a power driverís side seat in good shape. Since the local Pick Ďn Pull had a much better price ($30) but no decent driverís seats, I tried swapping my existing passenger seat over to the driverís side in anticipation of buying a used passenger seat to replace that one if it worked.

I did this once before on some Recaro seats I bought for my 325i beemer (long story) and itís harder with manual seats that with power. The only tricky part on the MBz was swapping the little bracket on the center side rail that guides and grips the seat belt slide. Itís riveted on. I just ground the rivets off and mounted it on the other side with a couple of small nuts and bolts. Both rails have the holes to mount it which only makes sense from a manufacturing point of view. I canít remember for sure, but I believe the left and right brackets are a mirror image, not identical, but youíll have the correct bracket on your existing driverís seat. One thing to watch out for, the seat belt clasp is mounted to the frame with a slide on circlip affair attaching to a 3 or 4 inch long metal piece. This piece swivels around because it needs to move during operation, a little flexibility is required. It is possible to remount it in the wrong position which will cause you some grief when you try to operate the seat. Donít ask me how I know. So.... take special note of the position of this thing when you disassemble it.

All thatís left is to swap the various pieces of snap in plastic trim and lift that heavy, awkward sucker back in place. I despise seat belt buzzers (I can remember to put my seat belt on just fine, thank you very much) so I didnít need to bother with the two prong coupler for that thing, just the six prong seat control fitting which was a bit loose here and there (youíll see).

I eventually found an excellent passenger seat to replace the one I had swapped. Perhaps now I'll try to dye the beige leather on this new seat to match the dark brown of my existing interior, a color which I think was tried on two or three vehicles and then retired, judging from my never having seen another interior like it. Leather paint is expensive Ė Iím thinking maybe I can find some dark brown ink and try that. Might be time for sheepskins anyway. Or, if I find another beige leather passenger seat in great condition I might throw that on the driver's said and do it 3 times instead of just twice. There's no end to it. Somebody stop me.

All the best.

1986 300SDL, 315K
1987 BMW 325i, 440K

Last edited by cmac2012; 04-18-2005 at 02:14 AM. Reason: left out a period
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