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Old 11-10-2015, 08:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Massachusetts
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Default How does one rebuild a front seat?

Hello, all;

My driver's seat broke! I leaned back on it reaching for my wallet, like I have a habit of doing, and the right side of the seat back snapped, and the seat back now bounces backward and forward like a rocking chair. Needless to say, this reduces support around corners, and makes my back twist slightly while driving.

I don't know whether it is the seat back frame that broke, or some part of the reclining mechanism, but either way, I will have to take the seat apart to fix it. The idea scares me! I can just see getting the seat out and starting the process, and realizing that I won't be able to repair and reassemble the damn thing.

How complicated is it to disassemble and reassemble a standard seat? I may try to take the seat back frame (or the whole seat back) from the passenger seat and swap it with the broken one, so I would have to do the job twice, and swap the cables and levers for the back seat entry function. I don't have a week to do the whole job, so it will have to be easier than I fear it is!

Is there a how-to online here or elsewhere? Or some photos of the process? Any help or advice will be much appreciated.


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Old 11-20-2015, 04:39 PM   #2
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Hey Dino,

I used this guide and it was 90% similar to our seats:


V2 in progress.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:34 PM   #3
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Thanks a bunch, eurohb! That will help a lot. Swapping the cushions will make a big difference, while I'm at it.

I may have to detach the seat back frame from the base to take it to a welding shop, and it looks like four Torx screws hold the back on, plus rigging the cables that control reclining. That looks like the hard part. It is almost possible to get access to the separated weld that caused the problem just by moving the seat back fore and aft with the seat still installed, but the welder may not want to risk starting a fire in my upholstery!

Thanks again,

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Old 06-07-2019, 03:20 PM   #4
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Very helpful. Thanks! Lisa
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:48 PM   #5
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I had mine welded a few years ago.
BMW CCA #146825
1996 BMW 328ti 2003 MINI Cooper S 2016 M235i
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:50 PM   #6
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Might be less headache to swap in a junkyard seat or take this as a sign to upgrade to a new, nicer seat.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:03 AM   #7
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When I purchased my ti the driver's upper seat frame was broken on the right side as described by the op. Tearing it apart and rewelding it really wasn't that hard. If you have access to a welder or a friend who can weld I would just fix it instead of replacing it.
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