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  #1  
Old 02-05-2003, 04:41 PM
jab
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alternative seats for W123?

the front seats on my w123 have gone south and need replacing.

however, the old girl rolls around quite a bit on corners and sometimes i have to hold on to anything handy to stop myself falling horizontal!

as a result i would like to put in some seats that are more supportive, which probably means sportier, and preferably leather too.

does anyone know if i would be able to straight swap some seats from a more modern merc, or is there a contempory model that i might be able to rob some from, (not literally of course!)

thanks in advance. jb
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2003, 06:49 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 459
I've asked this question numerous times and no one seems to know. Here is the info I have gathered:

-There is a U.S. aftermarket seat company called Carbeau that sells very nice seats (in leather too). This is the company you want to call because they have also designed adapter frames to mount their seats to your specific application.

-Another option is to rebuild you current seat with a new box spring and seat pad. I went this route and it cost around $250 just for those two parts. The new seat frames bottoms are a lot more firm and don't sway from side to side. The drawback to this is that you still have a mediocre seat - no modern lumbar support, so side bolsters on the seat or back, no option for heat etc. You can get all this with a Carbeau seat.

-I have been on this board for a few years now and have never seen anyone install different seats in a w123. On the other hand, there is (was) a guy in the Vintage section who swapped in seats out of a w140 into an old 260SE. I think his car was something like a 1973 model. He sounded like a really handy guy, so he may have done some custom work to make them fit. I emailed him about it once and never got a response.

-My big concern with custom fitting seats (even the Carbeaus with the company mount) is that the w123 seatbelt buckles to the frame of the seat rather than the frame of the car. Are you really safe if you attach the seatbelt to something else or in some other configuration? I don't know, but the thought concerns me.

Bottom line, anything is possible. Carbeau is the only non-OEM path I could find. I have never seen or heard of anyone install seats out of a w124/126 into a w123. I know that the the seat mount on my w124 is different than my w123. And lastly, there is something to be said for keeping the car stock looking.

Good luck, and I hope this helps.

GregS
'84 300D
'90 300CE
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2003, 07:27 PM
engatwork's Avatar
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If you look behind the seats on the driveshaft tunnel you will see where the rear of the seatbelt connection fastens to the frame.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2003, 10:50 PM
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I could never figure out what that slide thing that attaches to the tunnel is for, but I would bet money it doesn't save your life in an accident. The substantial part of the buckle is mounted to the seat frame itself, which is in turn bolted to the floor. If you ever took the seat out (like I have), you would realize that the thin piece of metal that bolts to the tunnel merely slides back and forth in the buckle bracket. There is no lock mechanism on that piece of metal that I could see that would transfer force, so I maintain that most of the force is going through the frame of the seat itself. Hence, my concern about installing a non-OEM seat.

Greg
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2003, 09:29 AM
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
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126 SEC Seats

Hi,

I was wondering what kind of seats would fit in that car as well (I have an 85 CD) and I decided I would put in some SEC seats but I wasn't sure they would fit. I found a picture at this address: http://c123klubas.agvila.lt/galerija/imagepages/image1376.htm
that shows those seats in a CD so they do fit but I don't know how much work was involved in doing it. I'll let you know when I start to put mine in.

Ray
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2003, 04:13 PM
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jab

I have had several 123's and to reduce the "roll" I replaced the front and rear stabilizer bushings. The rears and quite easy to do. The fronts require a lot of effort but are very much worth it.

Here is how: The bars stay in place. For the rear, it is held on both sides by a simple U shaped metal cap. Each cap is attached to the body by two bolts. Remove the two bolts on each cap and the sway bar will fall away enought to remove the metal cap. The bushing is rubber (sits within the cap to isolate noise) and has a split in it. Open the split and it can be easily pulled away from the sway bar.

Before replacing the rubber bushing be sure to clean the sway bar on and around where the bushing sits on the sway bar. It is common to get grit and dirt on the inside of the new rubber bushing and that will accelerate the new bushng wear. This is a very easy thing to do. If you have enough clearance, you might not even have to jack you car up!

The front sway bar is a whole other story. In order to replace these you've got a lot of work ahead of you. It isn't so technical it is just you have to find access to the bushngs.

Do a search on this site, there have been many posts about it.

Haasman
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2003, 04:23 PM
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Recaro Seats

A n old fellow in my Mercedes Club here in Miami has a 1982 300D with Recaro seats, a 5-speed shift and Euro lights.

The seats seemed to fit the car just fine.
He was planning to sell the car (about 120K on it) for a bargain $6,000, or so he said.

I have seen Recaros on E-Bay. I assume ther is some way of adapting aftermarket seats safely to any Mercedes that they are made for.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2003, 05:56 PM
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Recaro does make seats for MBZs. Some of the after market seats need adapters.

I guess if it were me, I would see what the money total is vs have the seat(s) repaired.

Doing it yourself isn't really too bad a job. I've done it: Springs (lower frame), cushions etc.

Haasman
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2003, 06:02 PM
jab
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thanks for the suggestions, i hadn't thought about rebuilding or rebushing but i do like both the concepts.

anyone else ever done a swap please let me know, i'm not sure how much longer i can hold on!

thanks jb
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2003, 06:24 PM
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If I may add, the hardest part is handling the little "C" hooks that hold the seat cover on to the foam/padding underneath. I used large needle-nose pliers.

What you need to know is:

Is the frame/springs OK. You can reach under the seat and look/feel for broken springs. Do even bother tying to fix them. Been there, done that. Get new seat bottom.

Padding/cushion- If never been replaced, just replace it.

Cover- If it isn't torn or ripped, it should be OK with one area to check- If you have the MBtext with the pronouced ribs running front and rear (vehicle orientation) they may have slid down towards the back of the seat (hinge area). I found that moving them back, using hot glue and several heavy-duty threaded sitches works great.

To remove the cover, you have to compress the seat covering edges all around. Best to do when the seat is upside down and it is elivated on something about 1-1 1/2 feet high. Start with the back and you will see how there is a cardboard edge attached to the seat covering that needs to be pushed down (seat upside down) and it will come out of a grove that is all around the seat edge.

There is hardly anything more satisfying than doing this, especially when the seats have gotten quite bad!

Hope this helps.

Haasman.
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2003, 07:07 AM
jab
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i just got my head under my bottom if you know what i mean and the metal support springy bits have indeed broken.

i'm going to ask around some scrapyards and see what i can find, and get some idea of rebuid costs.

thanks once again.

jb
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2003, 07:33 AM
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When I rebuilt the seat in the 300D I went ahead and purchased new springs. Those that you get from a scrap yard are probably going to be worn out too UNLESS you can find a good one in the passenger seat.
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2003, 11:24 AM
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After reading what I posted earlier - I am in 100% agreement with Greg. Nothing like one of these with a brand new seat spring.
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2003, 11:24 AM
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Please, take my advice and buy the NEW box spring frame. The new ones are redesigned and are much more supportive the ones originally installed in the cars. They will be far better than any worn out thing you find in a junkyard.

Trust me, I've been through this already and it is so satisfying the first time you sit in that seat. You won't think about the money once the job is done.

And for comparative purposes, the first thing I did was put my passenger side seat frame on the drivers side. Assuming my passenger frame is as good as any you will find in a junkyard, I can once again promise you that it is incomparable to the new, redisigned frame you will get if you purchase brand-new.

Good luck,

Greg
'84 300D
'90 300CE
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  #15  
Old 02-08-2003, 06:57 AM
jab
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thanks once again

actually when i mentioned scrapyards i was thinking more in terms of trying to find and fit complete seats from a higer spec car. SE, SEL, SEC ETC.

but i fully take on board the new spring thing. i will check out those prices here in Blighty.

unfortunately, not only are the springs on my seat gone but so too is the cover, although i could always throw something over this. i hate extra covers. the cars were designed to look good without them. so i am really looking to replace pretty much everything. perhaps i can find good covers in a scrapyard, maybe even leather, if i'm lucky, and then purchase new springs.

i'm going to get on with this as my seat is depressing, both physically and mentally!
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