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  #1  
Old 11-10-2003, 09:17 PM
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Poor seat springs

Hello. I am thinking of buying a Mercedes, but a few of the older Mercedes that I have seen- have the "sagging" seats. Most are early 1980's models. It feels as if the springs are about gone. What does one do to fix these? Is there a kit available for repair, or do you have to simply get a new seat? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2003, 09:26 PM
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This is a shot of the "old" style spring that originally came in the early 80's cars. This one came out of my 300SD. You can replace just this spring and it is usually the culprit. If it is a car with power seats plan on taking 4 to 6 hours to change it out. If they are not power seats should be doable in about 2 to 3 hours. It is a good diy'er type of job. More pia than hard. I work pretty slow so my times may be longer than someone that does it all the time.

Oh yea, don't get one from a junkyard or a "used" one off of ebay. You will more than likely be getting one like what is shown. There has been a design change which improves it alot.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2003, 09:28 PM
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forgot pic
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2003, 02:38 AM
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I agree with engatwork with the additional consideration of the seat pads (between the seat springs and the seat cover material. I have done at least a half-dozen of these over the years.

If the springs are good (you can reach underneath and carefully check each spring wire), then at least the pad needs to be replaced. engatwork right though, new springs with new pads are simply great. Incredible actually.

The pads have been greatly improved over the years. They are form fitting and are rarely exchangeable from one car model series, but there are some exceptions.

Check the edge bolsters (on each side) if they are not pronounced, designed that way to hold you in the seat, the pad is shot. Additionally, if pushing down on the front edge of the seat does not offer very much resistance, consider springs and pads. If you seat belt latch area starts squeaking from the seat edges rubbing against the plastic, you are often in need of new pads.

For older cars, often the seat back pads can still be used, especially since the new seat pad will elevate one back up higher on the seat. Compare the front passenger seat to the driver's, a good way to see how bad the wear has become.

There have been several good posts on the topic of repairing seats. Use the search feature. Here are a few: Seat Repairs

This is a repair that although takes some work is one that I really enjoy the results of. Mercedes seats are truly remarkable parts of the cars. For a car that you truly like and look forward to many future miles, do at least the pad and consider the spring. Your other end will thank you.

Good driving,

Haasman
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  #5  
Old 11-11-2003, 07:10 PM
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engatwork,

You wrote: <>

Which one is this one? Does this mean you can replace just a coil, or the entire spring assembly or the complete spring/frame assembly? Where do you buy it?

haasman,
My 82 300D driver side seat is collapsed in the front left area. I will check if there is a broken spring but I suspect the pad is worn down and maybe the spring has gotten fatigued rather then broken. The seat is squeeking between the seat belt plastic cover and the seat cover because the pad is so collapsed I guess.

I have heard they use horse hair pads. I'd like to avoid the cost of the pad and make my own with foam. Is that reasonable? I read somewhere about using the foam that campers roll out under a sleeping bag. My main concern here is the thickness needed and if it holds up well over years.

If I make my own pad instead of buying a MB horsehair pad is the thickness uniform or do the sides (bolsters) have to be built up. If it is not uniform thickness I probably will throw in the towel and just buy the pad. My MB-Tex seat cover is fine so I will keep it.

Anyone know where to get the best deal on the pad?
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2003, 07:24 PM
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The "horse hair" pads I think was an application from years and years ago.

The late 70's and early 80's cars had pads that were fiber in nature with a heavy application of a flexible glue or something. The later models had foam pads which were of rather high density.

I have tried the foam pad substitution route with not great results. The bolsters, top outside edges get crushed quickly as does the rear section. You would have to model new foam. BTW, these foam pads slip over the spring assembly. I put on a sheet of the camping mat you described but took it off again because the loss of the bolsters. I finally inserted between the springs and the old existing foam pad with medium results.

I am afraid the best is still a new pad. It is shaped and designed specifically for your seat.

As an aside, the covers hold the pad and all together and locate it all on the seat frame/spring assembly with considerable tension. This keeps the seat from sliding from side to side or front to back. This tension also makes the seating experience quite consistent.

As an old engineer once told me: You will need to adjust your seat position and your body from time to time in a good seat. In a bad seat you won't since it won't make any diffference. I have found this to be true.

Haasman
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2003, 08:17 PM
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I guess I shoulda been clearer.
That is the one and only spring in the seat. I'll say from way over here that, based on what you said, that replacing this spring will be the single biggest improvement you can make on your car. It is unbelievable the difference. Again, only purchase/install a NEW one. Check with FastLane for availability.
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Old 11-11-2003, 08:44 PM
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HAASMAN:If i elected to replace the spring and the pad,where would i get the correct parts from?
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2003, 09:17 PM
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Check with FastLane of course. They work hard to earn your business and if they can't supply what you need, they can direct you to excellent sources.

Haasman
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2003, 03:05 PM
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Just a footnote on repair of spring wire(s)

I'm adding this for info, those that might follow this thread and still want to repair a broken spring. Mine ('85 380SE) had 2 broken spring wires. I removed the seat, turned it over, and inserted some aluminum flashing to protect the unholstery materials, then MIG welded the wires. Returned seat to car, and listened to both wires break on the first seating! I was told later that you can't Mig weld spring steel (wish I'd heard this first).

So, back to the shop, flip seat over again, this time I crimped some split tubing over the broken joints, with vise grips. The repair has lasted 6 months, seat feels fine now, as the padding wasn't badly worn. I did insert 2 coils from another seat into the corners, stuffed with HD foam, and this really firmed it all up nicely...
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2003, 12:35 PM
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repair old seat springs

Use uph c clips to fasten springs together. This will stiffen seat spring, and if not broken will usually result in satisfactory repair and bring seat spring up higher No welds, or sleeves! These clips (used in seat uph) do a good job and about 6 are all neeeded to stiffen and strenghten old spring. Good luck, Abe G
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2003, 12:40 PM
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Abe

Where on the springs and the seat base do you attach the uphostery C-clips? I am trying imagine this.

Also, if one has a broken coil, how would this work. Sounds like a good idea.

Are seat springs available separately, say from an upholstery shop? If so, where would you located them in the seat frame?

Thanks,

Haasman
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2003, 09:00 PM
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Good question Haasman,any one have an answer? Pictures would be great.
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2003, 03:02 AM
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SEAT SPRINGS

This would be good info to have. Where does one get upholstery "C" cilps?
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  #15  
Old 11-14-2003, 08:29 AM
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The way the upholstry is attached to the seat spring frame is harder to explain than it would be to show you. The edge of the upholstry that "attaches" to the spring frame has like a cardboard edge material that forms a stiff straight section along its edges where it attaches to the frame. This edge piece "hooks" into a u shaped channel in the edge of the spring frame work. You have to sit on the seat and this provides enough slack to allow you to pull this edge out from the u shaped channel. Once you do one it is pretty straight forward. I will say that the last couple I did I had to use a screw driver to help pry along some of this edge section because after being in there for almost 20 years it was pretty tight. If someone can explain it better please do. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of this job.

Again, I stongly recommend replacing the complete spring frame assembly with a new one. The spring assemblies are available new and are not cheap but you are wasting your time getting one from the pull a parts place. The one I took out of the 300SD was not busted or broken but it went into the trash can. I refuse to sell something like that on ebay when the newer design is 100% better.
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