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Old 05-13-2002, 11:11 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: secret
Posts: 3,044
Angry Engineers have sick minds

This should probably be in the open discussion, but why do engineers design and build things that are so hard to work on. A general statment that covers everything from a John Deere front end loader driveshaft to, in this case, a Mercedes Benz front seat. My passenger seat quit and I can't get the damn thing out to fix it! The service manual is no help because the one in the picture isn't the one like I have! I worked on the thing for three hours and still could'nt get to the rear inside anchor bolt. Heck, you can't even see the darn thing. The only way I could figure to get to it would be to drill a hole in the seat track!! Some where some engineer probably has an evil grin on his face knowing he really screwed someone with his design. This car has got me thinking that "Engineered Like No Other Car in the World" is a negative slogan!!
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Old 05-13-2002, 12:28 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 1,974
I resemble that remark

Things are designed to 1:work, 2: be assembled, 3: be disassembled, in that order. With 1 & 2 being primary concerns and 3 an option. People who pay engineers don't pay them to design things to take them apart, so blame them.

Perhaps that could be an option you could order with a car and pay extra for, to make it easier to take apart.
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Old 05-13-2002, 12:34 PM
CMuc's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Port Coquitlam BC, Can
Posts: 92
The bolts are probably easy to get at if the seat could move out of the way. Are you sure it is the seat and not the switch? I have an 87' 300e with 365000km on it and the passenger seat stopped working and it was the switch.
Chris Muc

'87 300E 430,000 km

"You can fight without ever winning
But never ever win without a fight"

Neil Peart
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Old 05-13-2002, 12:38 PM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
Don't know if this will help -- my Porsche had a reference in the owners manual as to how to move the power seat in the event the power went out. I havenít looked but perhaps MB has this same engineering feature? If nothing else you can try calling roadside assistance at 1-800-222-0100 and ask them. Last time I called, sorry to report, they were no da*n good...

BTW, this suggestion is based on the supposition that if you could reposition the power seat you could get at the bolt(s) causing this grief....

Good luck!

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
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Old 05-13-2002, 01:30 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: secret
Posts: 3,044
I can rap the transmission box on the seat track where the cable enters and make the seat go all the way forward and I still can't get to the fastener! FWIW, my son is manager of engineering with a major manufacturer based out of Holland. Honor grad from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He says that design engineers are the problem. They come up with the ideas and leave it to others to make it work. All I can say is that Benz has some that go out of their way to make something complicated. I hate to have something that doesn't work properly and I'll figure this out one day. It just irks me that I wasted a beautiful Sunday afternoon on this thing and didn't do any good!
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Old 05-13-2002, 03:41 PM
Michael's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: CT, USA
Posts: 2,699
This should be a 5 minute job, presuming you can move the seat. 1st step: undo front mounting bolts (seat rearward) Next, unhook the carpet that conceals the wiring at the front of the seat base (it's hooked around a horizontal seat structural piece). Next, raise the seat front & rear, and move it all the way forward. Using a 3/8 drive socket with a universal head & an extension, remove rear seat bolts. Lastly, move the seat rearward, fold the vertical upper section forward (for ease of removal) then unhook electrical connections. You're done!

BTW if seat won't operate because of crappy connections in the controller on the door, remove the little control knobs & spray some WD-40 in there. I've done this numerous times, and usually get an extra 6 months-year out of the seat switch.

Good luck
"If everything seems under control, you're simply not going fast enough" --Mario Andretti

1995 E500 street car
1986 Porsche 944 Turbo S track car
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Old 05-13-2002, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cape Cod Massachusetts
Posts: 1,427
Exclamation Gear Wrench!

I use a 10MM Gear Wrench because it has a 5 degree swing that makes it easy to use in such tight spaces. I got mine a ACE hardware for $5 or you can get the set a Sears.
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Old 05-13-2002, 04:00 PM
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Posts: 3,044
Switch is working properly. The bolt I'm referring to is the rear one next to the console. After removing the plastic track cover and sliding the seat completly forward and at maximum height, you still cannot get even a quarter inch drive socket in there. No room for a wrench either. I don't know how they got that bugger in there!
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Old 05-13-2002, 05:21 PM
Posts: n/a
Hey Cap'n when I was in TV repair we had 1/4" drive socket drivers - regular size and stubby. The stubby ones were about 2 1/2" long. Would there be enough space if you had a 10mm (or sae close equiv) stubby socket driver? Just guessin' because what has to come out - had to go in some way. Anyway - just thought the socket driver might be small enough to get in - if it don't - sorry - that's all I can think of.
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Old 05-13-2002, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cape Cod Massachusetts
Posts: 1,427
Lightbulb Or?

I'm assuming that the difficulty is that a socket/ratcchet combo is too tall to fit between the bolt head and seat above. You could always use a stubby (or ground down) socket and the type of adapter that has a square on one side (for the socket square drive)and a hex on the otherside, this will give you the socket height plus about 3/8", then use an open end wrench to turn the adapter/socket comb.
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Old 05-14-2002, 01:22 AM
ymsin's Avatar
Driver, Mercedes-Benz
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,645
this is way off ...

When I see the engines of the English (RR), the Germans (MB) and the Japanese (Honda) - the Germans are still #1 for practicality and ease of trouble-shooting to include rectification works.

This, of course, if matter of personal opinion.
... Kerry

126 tailed by a 203, 129 leading the pack.
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