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  #1  
Old 03-18-2000, 01:23 AM
Robert W. Roe's Avatar
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Location: Lehigh Valley PA
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The seats in my 126 SD are blue MB-Tex and the surface is in very good condition, no rips or tears. They do, however, "sag" in the front of the bottom seat cushion. The passenger seat "tips" the passenger's butt toward the outside of the car. The driver's cushion could use more height in the front of the bottom cushion.

I have to have the front of this cushion all the way up and the back all the way down in order to have a reasonably comfortable driving position. When I last vacuumed the car, there was quite a bit of a beige colored powder under the seats, which I assume is the cushion material itself degrading.

I've never seen addressed in this forum the issue of seat repair, and my local independent shop didn't really seem eager to do this type of work with a 300D I owned a couple years ago that had a similar seat problem.

I'm figuring I need a new seat frame and cushion for all of my seats, or am I missing something?
I recall reading of people "jury-rigging" the springs with coat hanger wire and the like, but I'm not leery of ripping my seats apart, not having any experience in this area, and my SD is my daily driver. Am I better off buying other 126 seats in "better" shape? My seat memory doesn't work, but this was addressed in another recent post.
Any insights appreciated; thanks,

Robert W. Roe
1984 300SD 169K mi


[This message has been edited by Robert W. Roe (edited 03-18-2000).]
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2000, 04:00 AM
JCE's Avatar
JCE JCE is offline
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For what it is worth, I just went through the seat repair investigation process on my 124. There is an article in a past issur of the Star discussing redoing your seats - they concluded that it was better to let an upholstery shop do it if you want them to look right. Thus forewarned, I went to my local MB dealer - they recommended an upholstery shop that does all their interior work. The shop quoted me a $125 labor charge for doing either the pad, the spring frame, or both at the same time. The spring frame part was $92, and the pad was $86. They said that on most of the MB seats that they do springs and pads on with MB parts, the owners complain that the new springs are too hard and uncomfortable for the first year or so. They said since my seats weren't that bad off, to try Sheepskin covers and/or an external seat cushion before going to the expense of having them do the seats. Hope this helps.

------------------
JCE
87 300E, 62k miles
Smoke Silver
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2000, 08:33 AM
Luke's Avatar
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Location: Saint Helena, CA
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I just replaced the driver front seat bottom on my W123 last weekend. Took about 90 minutes.
The front seat spring box, and pad are readily available. Cost for both for a single seat should be about $150. The bottom cushion and spring box are VERY easy to replace. The MB tex bottom cover pops off and on quite easily. You won't need an upholstry shop for that. The seat backs... Dunno... That looks scarey.
Good luck.




------------------
'78 300D
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2000, 08:44 AM
Robert W. Roe's Avatar
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Luke, when you say the MB-Tex bottom cover pops right off, how do you get this part off? I'm tempted to try to look at the passenger's side seat; that way, if I can't get it back together, I can still drive the car.

JCE, I never did think to ask the dealer about this type of work; thanks!

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Robert W. Roe
1984 300SD 169K mi
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2000, 10:58 AM
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Robert, on mine the bottom of the seat spring assembly has a groove running around the edge. The bottom edge of the seat cover folds securely over the edge of that groove, and is held into place with a stiffner intregal to the bottom of the covers edge. The trick is to place seat upside down, and press to relieve the spring tension (wasn't much left on mine) on the cover, and then work the bottom of the cover out of the channel. I used a cedar door shim. Putting the cover back on with the new spring box, and pad took a bit more effort, since the tension was greater. 'Might help to have an extra pair of hands at the ready, but I did it solo. I followed the procedure in the service manual to physically remove the seat from the car. Remember, it's a Benz so the seat is heavier than #&%!! They show a special tool to unhook the height adjust spring, but I used a hook fashioned from an old tomato cage. It's nice to not drive around at a 7 degree angle anymore...

------------------
'78 300D
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2000, 12:04 PM
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Aside from the other good replies, it might be noted that the 126 body seat bottom was redesigned with two coil springs (one at each front corner. The original didn't have enough stiffness which allowed too much compression of the steel band springs (and they failed quite often).

Replacement (with new)is definitely the way to go.

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Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2000, 12:35 PM
Luke's Avatar
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One more note... In order to unfasten the rear bolts, you have to push the seat all the way forward. I am a tall person, so I had to find a short person to help me with that. Even with my knees in my throat, I could not run the seat up far enough...

Luke

------------------
'78 300D
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  #8  
Old 02-15-2001, 12:35 AM
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$250 a seat price quote

I finally got around to calling the Allentown PA Mercedes dealer, Knopf Automotive. (Yes, I am a procrastinator.) They recommended Dave's Interior Resorations in Emmaus PA.

I took my car there yesterday. He looked at my seats, which are still sagging, and found four broken springs on the driver's side. He quoted me $250 per seat, or $500 for both fronts, plus tax.

I have a few questions for the experts that frequent this site. He told me that they MIG weld broken seat springs, using a sleeve then welding this on. Will this give me a stress point that will fail sooner?

Do the springs themselves get weaker, leading to a more bouncy "ride"? Would I be better off buying a new frame or two (and pads?) and letting them install them? Stevebfl mentioned upgraded seat spring frames; any idea when MB began using them?

They use a foam rather than a horsehair pad; will this be as firm as the factory pad? I don't like how the factory pad deteriorates into powder, but would a foam pad "feel" like an MB seat?

Also, he said that he would put additional foam wedges in the sides of the seat bottoms, in order to lessen the stress on the springs. Does this sound like a good thing? Advisable?

I know this isn't really very technical, but I figure lots of our older seats suffer these same problems. I guess I'm wondering if this is a good deal. Any experiences with this shop or this technique?

I pulled into the MB dealer to pick up brochures, and the salesman said I'll probably be buying a new MBZ after I get "another 200,000 miles" on mine (his words) so...I'm looking to make those miles as comfy as possible

Thanks for any replies,

[Edited by Robert W. Roe on 02-15-2001 at 12:16 AM]
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Lehigh Valley PA USA
73 Olds 88, 72 MB 280SE, 78 Datsun 280Z, 71 T-Bird, 72 Olds 88, 83 Nissan Sentra, 85 Sentra, 73 230.6, 91 Integra, 83 300SD, 91 Volvo 940GLE wagon, 84 300SD, 95 Subaru Legacy L wagon, 02 Mountaineer, 91 300TE, 08 Murano, 2007 R320CDI 4Matic 52K, some Hyundai, 2008 BMW 535xi wagon all gone... currently
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  #9  
Old 02-15-2001, 04:07 PM
tryingstar
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I have a good foam pad from a 190 if it will fit you can have for $35. I replaced the bottom section of my driver seat for the same reasons as you. Took the seat out, separated the top and bottom, replaced the bottom with a better bottom and installed seat back in the car. Took about 68 minutes. Saved my foam and MBtex, springs were tossed. See my ad in the classified section.
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  #10  
Old 02-15-2001, 04:30 PM
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Robert,

Check out Performance Products (www.************************) or give them a call. They just merged with another company and now carry a good line of MB seat parts. Also, a foam seat cushion will not last nearly as long as a horse hair cushion. It will, however, be a lot softer. I had the seat cushion in my 124 replaced with an OEM cushion and it cost about 125 for p&l. Felt GREAT. I will do this on my new 124 once it shows up…

…Tracy
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2001, 07:26 PM
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Location: Rancho PV, CA, USA
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Hi Bob, whatever you do, do not wait too long as I did, and wear a hole in the cover. That gets expensive! If the springs are not broken, they will be. It would be cost effective to replace the bottom springs and both seat pads while it is removed. Ed
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2001, 07:51 PM
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Robert, To remove the seat you need to raise the height asjustment as high as it goes, then slide the seat all the way forward. This will give you access to the 2 bolts at the rear. Once this is done lower the seat and push it all the way back. This will lwt you get at the 2 upfront. The only thing left is to unbolt the seatbelt buckle support rod that runs along the seat and bolts into the hump in the back. Like someone mentioned earlier, these seats are heavy as hell. MB did not use any aluminum in these seats like most manufactures do. This is an all steel seat, they did not fool around building these. Getting a helper would be well advised. The seat back is attached by 2 bolts on each side. Once this is off you can start removing the the cover from the groove. If you are a DIYer, taking the seat apart is self explaintory. Just remmber which screws go where. My '80 300SD's original springs wear of course the old syle, without the 2 coil springs in the front corners. The replacement spring frame had them. It litterally makes the seat brand new when you replace a worn out spring frame. I would recommend while you have the seat tracks all apart I would clean and lube everything to help keep things moving smoothly.
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2001, 10:56 PM
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This is where I find my ole town of Klang (in Malaysia) very homely and cheap. I changed ALL the springs in the W123 and W126, together with the addition of foam (and a little of coconut husks in the W123 as I was led to believe) to butTress the seats - and the result : seats as good as new and, not to mention, firm. The total costs for each car : approximately USD80-00 (RGM300-00 @ RGM3-80 to USD1-00).

However, since my W126 has been well seated, I do find the seats wobbling a little. Not much. Just a little. I was told that this couldnt be rectified. Any truths to this statement? (I mean, it would be nicer to have seats that dont move so much.)


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  #14  
Old 02-15-2001, 11:24 PM
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Location: Indpls.,IN. USA
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Stick with the updated factory parts to fix your seat. Welding the springs is an iffy fix. The springs usually break at the corner where they twist and a stiff sleeve in this area will bend the spring at that point and break it sooner than later. The biggest task in replacing the lower frame is that in order to remove the screws, you must electrically run the seat forward and back to get to all the screws. You can do this with a jump pack or an extra battery and some jumper wires. The final repair is well worth the trouble. You'll be suprised at how much better your car feels. Good Luck!
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