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  #1  
Old 09-05-2013, 03:44 PM
Chad300tdt's Avatar
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w123 Wagon - Adding Rear Headrests - DIY

I added head rests to the rear (60/40) seat backs on my friend's 1984 300TD.

I purchased the complete seat backs with head rests from another car but they weren't perfect. The covers on the seats had a double stitch on the seat ribs and the carpet on the backs was dark brown. I disassembled both sets of seat backs so I could take the head rest receiving hardware from the one set of seats and swap them into the car's current seats. This way I keep the original look and just add the head rests.

First I removed all the hardware from each seat back.


It's easiest to start in this corner to begin pulling the seat cover off.


The edge is folded over and stitched to a plastic band. That band and the edge need to be pulled out of the lip on the seat back. You need to compress the seat foam to give enough slack in the cover to remove it all the way around.


Once the edge of the cover is released completely, you can lift the cover off enough to see a metal rod in the seat cover clipped to a metal rod in the seat foam. The clips need to be pushed down and pried to the side with a screwdriver to release the cover from the foam.


Now that the cover is off, you need to push the seat belt retaining bands through the foam so you don't rip them off.


Then you can lift off the foam.


Here's the bracket in the donor seat. Each head rest has a set of brackets like this. The two silver clips need to be pushed off so the chipboard cover can be removed.


The two flat springs hold the post cups and the white nylon post bushings in place. On the left side it also holds the post lock button down.


Remove both of the flat springs by pulling them through so you can remove the post cups and expose the pop rivets.


I drilled out the rivets and removed all the brackets. Here is the car's seat waiting for the brackets. All the holes are already there.


I pop riveted the brackets into the car's seats.


Then I replaced the post cups and flat springs.


The chipboard covers got clipped back on.


I needed to trim the seat's foam to allow for the new hardware in the seats. Here's all that needs to be removed.


Here is the foam all trimmed and ready.


I lined up the covers from both seats to transcribe the location for the post hole trim rings and installed them on the car's seat covers before doing the reverse of the above steps and putting the seats back together.

Here's the car with the rear head rests complete.
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2006 Nissan Pathfinder LE
1998 Acura 3.0 CL
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"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

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1985 300TD - Red Dragon
1986 300SDL - Coda
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1985 300CD - Gladys
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2013, 04:22 PM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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great pictorial Chad! thanks for posting it

did you use the original non headrest seat skins? Maybe im misreading, but im not sure if you used the donor seat skin with the double stitch, or the ones that came of the non headrest seats.

If you used the ones original to the car, did you have to poke holes in the vinyl?
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
great pictorial Chad! thanks for posting it

did you use the original non headrest seat skins? Maybe im misreading, but im not sure if you used the donor seat skin with the double stitch, or the ones that came of the non headrest seats.

If you used the ones original to the car, did you have to poke holes in the vinyl?
I used the original skins and lined them up with the donor seat skins to transcribe the hole locations. Then I slit an "asterisk" in the skins and snapped the plastic grommets on.
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2006 Nissan Pathfinder LE
1998 Acura 3.0 CL
OBK#44
"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

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1985 300TD - Red Dragon
1986 300SDL - Coda
1991 - 300TE
1995 - E320
1985 300CD - Gladys
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  #4  
Old 03-03-2014, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad300tdt View Post
I used the original skins and lined them up with the donor seat skins to transcribe the hole locations. Then I slit an "asterisk" in the skins and snapped the plastic grommets on.
Very cool, I'll have to do this. Given Mercedes obsession with safety I'm really surprised they ever sold cars in the 80's without rear seat headrests.
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2014, 02:23 PM
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I'm going to try this in my 'SD this spring.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:52 PM
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Great job Chad!
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  #7  
Old 03-03-2014, 02:55 PM
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Another thing: How do you get the head rests out?
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:52 AM
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Chad:

Can you tell me how you managed to get the seat backs out of the car in the first place? There is conflicting information on the internet. Do I need to remove the plastic covers on the inside sides of the seat backs and then remove the three big phillips head screws? It looks like there is also a small bracket on the outside of each seatback.

You probably don't have pictures of the removal, but if you can tell me how it's done I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,

Jeffrey
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2016, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjtaras View Post
Chad:

Can you tell me how you managed to get the seat backs out of the car in the first place? There is conflicting information on the internet. Do I need to remove the plastic covers on the inside sides of the seat backs and then remove the three big phillips head screws? It looks like there is also a small bracket on the outside of each seatback.

You probably don't have pictures of the removal, but if you can tell me how it's done I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,

Jeffrey
If I'm remembering correctly, I believe I had to use two wrenches to remove a bolt holding the center of the seats to a bracket on the floor. Then there are snap rings holding the outer sides of the seat in the brackets there. Once the rings are removed the seats can slide side to side a bit to get them out of the brackets and out of the car.
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2006 Nissan Pathfinder LE
1998 Acura 3.0 CL
OBK#44
"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

SOLD
1985 300TD - Red Dragon
1986 300SDL - Coda
1991 - 300TE
1995 - E320
1985 300CD - Gladys
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2016, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy4diesel View Post
Another thing: How do you get the head rests out?
There is a release button that needs to be depressed as the head rest is at its highest position. The ends of the head rest posts/rods have a recessed ring that gets grabbed unless the button is depressed.
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Chad
2006 Nissan Pathfinder LE
1998 Acura 3.0 CL
OBK#44
"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

SOLD
1985 300TD - Red Dragon
1986 300SDL - Coda
1991 - 300TE
1995 - E320
1985 300CD - Gladys
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  #11  
Old 10-26-2016, 03:24 PM
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Specifically, the button to release the headrests is on the back of the seat, disguised by the carpet. You'd never think to look there if you're used to the kind that's up on the top right by the headrest itself.

-Rog
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2016, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjtaras View Post
Chad:

Can you tell me how you managed to get the seat backs out of the car in the first place? There is conflicting information on the internet. Do I need to remove the plastic covers on the inside sides of the seat backs and then remove the three big phillips head screws? It looks like there is also a small bracket on the outside of each seatback.

You probably don't have pictures of the removal, but if you can tell me how it's done I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,

Jeffrey
Jeffrey, if need pictures, the '79 is apart.

Chad, don't remember a snap ring, but the rest is familiar.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2016, 07:15 PM
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2016, 11:39 AM
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I have a set (3) of dark blue wagon headrests for sale

Sadly no inside seat hardware.

Just three dark blue headrests, in excellent condition. From an Ohio -> eastern Canada car with tinted windows.

PM me if interested.
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