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Old 05-06-2011, 01:13 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
300S - replacement seats & shoulder width issue

Given the recent run up in gas prices, I have started to read quite a bit about older Mercedes-Benz diesels. I've learned quite a bit, including finding this forum and others. I'm REALLY interested in buying a Mercedes (diesel preferably), but one thing is holding me back... the seats.

A number of years ago, my father owned an S-class (SEL) sedan, and I owned an Audi 5000. I love German cars, but IMHO the seats in the Audi put my father's seats to shame. I'd go to sit in his car and the seat would go waaay down, and it didn't provide the cushioning that my Audi seats did.

Now I am in the market for an older Mercedes, and just today I sat in a 380SE and had the same reaction: "the seats blow!"

I know for my first post here that comment may not be well-received, but let me ask a question: are there replacement seats available for S-class cars which have a much different feel than the standard seats?

A second question, if I may: I'm pretty tall, and though I don't have football player sized shoulders, my shoulder hits the B-post (hope I got that right) to the point that it is a bit uncomfortable. Even moving the seat up doesn't fix the problem. In my 2000 Toyota Avalon I have no such problem.

So... is there hope for me in getting a Mercedes in which my posterior and my shoulders are comfortable?

Any input, suggestions, and questions are much appreciated - and THANK YOU.

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Old 05-06-2011, 01:38 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 120
I am 6ft 1 and almost 300LBs. I have no clearance problems in my 300sdl. the mileage is very good considering the cars enormous size and weight, 28mpg. I believe if I change the injectors I can do a little better. Obviously there are smaller MB diesels that are far better on fuel economy but for my size I am very happy. As far as the springy seats. I have read some threads about installing cheap pool noodles in the springs to firm it up. I have gotten used to the spring a little. It is nice on big bumps. What I really hate is my climate control. I wish I had simple buttons to control everything instead of the cc.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:45 AM
Zacharias's Avatar
Not so amused
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: West Quebec
Posts: 4,025
There are no replacement seats that will provide a simple bolt-in solution. Orthopedic seats were an option on 1980s Mercedes, but they are rare as hen's teeth.

A friend's dad did put Audi 5000 seats into his older, w116 SD but it was quite a project.

I can't imagine how big you must be to have a shoulder issue in a w126. God help you if you get into a w124. I am 6ft 4ins and more than 400 lbs and I have ample room in an SD of any vintage.

The seats in the car you tried obviously need rebuilding. You shouldn't sink into any Mercedes seat. But they will never be like a fine piece of furniture. If you want that, you should try a Volvo XC70, 2003-2007 vintage. They are troublesome cars but they are very large inside and have superb seats.

Or, of course (shudder) an SUV.

2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

“Let's take a drive into the middle of nowhere with a packet of Marlboro lights and talk about our lives.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:57 PM
babymog's Avatar
Loose Cannon - No Balls
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northeast Indiana
Posts: 10,767
Agreed on the '80s Mercedes seats, in a word they suck.

I test drove new Mercedes (among others) in '85, the dump-truck steering wheel and barco-lounger quality seats turned me off instantly, bought a quattro instead with far superior Recaro-built seats. My wife's '85 Jetta seats were also far superior to the Mercedes seats in comfort and support.

Fortunately, in the early '90s they improved. I was able to buy my '91 300TE with "orthopedic seats" which had IIRC 13 airbags and much better springs/foam in the seat. You won't find an '80s Mercedes with decent seats, they were dismal when the cars were new, might want to look at a '90 or newer.


Gone to the dark side

- Jeff
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