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-   -   Repairing Power Seat Switch-DIY (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171361)

Mister Chow 10-21-2006 02:02 PM

Repairing Power Seat Switch-DIY
 
8 Attachment(s)
Attachment 89039
So the switch for the power seat snapped off and I figured it was going to be a "cheap" fix with a new plastic stud from BMW. Well no, the little plastic stud is part of the whole switching control box and costs a bundle.

I tried to glue it back together but it was like building a ship inside a bottle so I decided to open'er'up and try to do a better fix.

First thing, remove the switch covers. They pull straight out. Don't twist!

You'll have to take the side trim panel of the seat off. This photo is looking from the driver's footwell. You need to pop out a plastic clip (that took a lot more force than I thought!) and undo a torx screw. There's another plastic clip on the back of the seat but it's possible to access everything without having to pop that one out.
Attachment 89040

The switching control box is clipped to the trim panel and is plugged into the actuators.
Attachment 89041

Disconnect the plug and unclip the control box.
Attachment 89042

And this is what it looks like. I took the picture after I fixed it so both studs are complete.
Attachment 89043

Attachment 89044

This is the toughest part of the job. To open the box up you have to flip open all 8 plastic clips simultaneously and pry the box open. Thankfully there's no glue. I used bits of cut up plastic to hold each clip open and then used a thin screwdriver to pry the box open.
Attachment 89045

Attachment 89046

Mister Chow 10-21-2006 02:19 PM

Part II
 
6 Attachment(s)
After you have the cover off you still have to pry up the clips on the brass plate to expose the studs.
Attachment 89047

Backside.
Attachment 89048

Backside without brass plate.
Attachment 89049

This is what everything looks like taken apart.
Attachment 89050

Then it's a simple matter of using some crazy glue and fixing the broken stud.
Attachment 89051

I got a little cocky and though I would reinforce the stud by filling it up with urethane sealant.
Attachment 89052
Big mistake! The stud has to be hollow to fit back together. Thank god for Dremel tools.

Reassembly is a two minute job. Much much easier than the disassembly.

I used a dab of vasoline on the plastic to plastic parts to reduce friction and hopefully lesson any stress on those studs. I also switched the two studs (which are identical) so the repaired stud is on the less often used backrest adjustment.

Oh and one more thing. Your seat won't move if the control box is out, the seat memory buttons won't work. So either make sure your seat is in its proper position or plan not to use your car until the job is finished. It should only take a half hour or so plus the time it takes for the glue to dry.

Good luck!

lex89 10-21-2006 08:54 PM

Very nice write-up. I wish you had posted this a couple months ago. I just paid $250 for the dealer to do the job. Good to know there's another way :)

Mister Chow 10-22-2006 06:49 AM

Thanks.

It's kinda silly that the switch can't be fixed more easily. It's not an uncommon incident to kick the switch when entering the car in a tight parking spot and the $250 for a new switch is silly for a $0.50 piece of plastic.

Hope it helps next time! :)

z0lt3c 10-22-2006 10:33 PM

did you leave the rear clip in and just bend back the plastic cover to expose the switch?


Did everything re-assemble properly when going this route?


Any idea how to get that rear clip out if, say, you also wanted to replace the plastic cover?

Mister Chow 10-23-2006 06:48 AM

The rear clip is hard to access unless you take the back of the seat off. I tried prying the seatback off a little and all I got was some loose change. :) Considering the front clip took so much force, I didn't want to risk breaking the cover. If you had a "Y" fork to remove those clips it would probably be a lot easier.

Besides, you can access the switch with only the front fasteners removed. I moved the seat up all the way to give better access.

The whole thing goes together super easy, no problem. :thumbup:

Peter330i 09-13-2007 07:19 PM

Worked Like a Charm!
 
Awesome post...I kicked my fore/aft/up/down button off this evening as I was getting out of my 03 540 and it broke the peg inside the switch at the base. When I saw it was going to cost $250 to fix at the dealer, I did a search in this forum and found this post. Thank you for posting step-by-step pics...I'm not the handiest person in the world, yet with this guide, was able to repair my switch in about 45 minutes. Well done.

Mister Chow 09-13-2007 08:13 PM

Thanks, I say spread the wealth (of knowledge.)

Coincidentally, I thought I might have to look this post up myself. The hotel valet returned my car with the switch cover knocked off this weekend. Luckily no intervention was necessary.

rogan 09-13-2007 11:49 PM

I've got the same problem but don't have the plastic bit to glue back on. I was thinking of getting some rubber hose with an OD the same as the switch cover and an ID the same as the white plastic thingy. Hopefully it'll work

chivas 09-14-2007 06:15 AM

put it together and add it to the FAQ please. good info!

Mister Chow 09-14-2007 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chivas (Post 2646137)
put it together and add it to the FAQ please. good info!

There's already a link to this thread but I'll do some cutting and pasting. :)

toi 09-14-2007 07:08 AM

http://www.koperformance.com/

they have just the outer plastic part of that switch here for like 9 bucks.such a nice site to shop for parts like these.cheap too

rogan 09-19-2007 07:09 PM

Fixed mine now.

When I got the car I only had the white piece sticking out the side of the seat; no switch cover or piece of rubber covering.

Got the switch cover for about NZ$12 (so about US$9) from the local BMW dealer, then went into my local marine shop and got a piece of rubber tubing that just squeezed into the switch cover. Rubber is ~8mm outside diameter and ~5mm inside diameter. Cut to length and push fit. Cost of rubber hose NZ$1.

Works very well and takes a decent amount of force to pull the switch cover off. So total cost about US$10 and less than 30 seconds to cut rubber to length and fit. If you're intelligent enough to know how to breathe then you should be able to do it yourself. Only tool needed was a Stanley knife to cut the rubber to length

Pahhhoul 02-09-2008 08:00 PM

HELP!
I attempted to do this DIY.
When I went to try and pry the control box open a bunch of springs and rods came flying out.
:mad: :mad:
My control box looks completely different from the OP's.
Anyone have a diagram of how the springs and rods are supposed to be put back in?
:dunno:

I would have taken pictures but my both my digital cameras have been stolen within the past month!
:mad::mad::mad:

jarhed1964 11-20-2012 02:09 AM

Whoever starts making these things as aftermarket replacements will make a killing. If I could get a casting of one, with both outside and inside diameters accurate, I'd give it a shot myself.

Anyone willing to make a casting of this? I need these studs but find it ridiculous that I need to pay over $200 for an entire new switch.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...1&d=1161464890

bluebee 11-20-2012 07:51 AM

I had not known about this thread - so I simply wish to cross link it to here:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Tips and suggestions for replacing destroyed E39 driver seat adjustment control panel

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...1&d=1214201766

jarhed1964 11-20-2012 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jarhed1964 (Post 7204570)
Whoever starts making these things as aftermarket replacements will make a killing. If I could get a casting of one, with both outside and inside diameters accurate, I'd give it a shot myself.

Anyone willing to make a casting of this? I need these studs but find it ridiculous that I need to pay over $200 for an entire new switch.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...1&d=1161464890



Ya know..... I wonder if those posts could be made out of aluminum?

Shader7 03-13-2013 11:31 AM

3D printed Seat Switch Boss
 
2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by jarhed1964 (Post 7204570)
Whoever starts making these things as aftermarket replacements will make a killing. If I could get a casting of one, with both outside and inside diameters accurate, I'd give it a shot myself.

Anyone willing to make a casting of this? I need these studs but find it ridiculous that I need to pay over $200 for an entire new switch.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...1&d=1161464890

First time posting - forgive me if my pics didn't upload right. I'm Chiming in late here (very late). As a long-time E39 M5 owner, I too managed to break my driver's side seat switch post boss (I kicked it getting out of the car one day). I followed this >great< thread and realized spending $250 to replace a tiny piece of plastic was ridiculous. Taking measurements from the broken bit stuck in the switch, and extrapolating the rest from images found here, I came up with the part below from an ABS 3D printer. It's a little rough and has marks from test fits in and out of the adjustment button (shown here broken as well, held together with an O-ring for testing until I can replace it). I may iterate it one time to make the fit even better but it clicks neatly into the button as-is and I expect that this first-run part will work very well. I'll fit it this weekend and report back.

caryalon 04-19-2013 10:47 AM

Any update on this? Did the 3D printed version work?


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