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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 06-30-2008, 08:19 PM
sidneyj sidneyj is offline
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Wow this thread is still going. Bluebee your sure putting some serious effort here. On the front seat backs they are held on by two screws at the bottom while the top portion has has a clip that slides up under and inside the seat. Therefore remove the 2 screws at the bottom and pull out slightly and slide it down and out. If you tilt your front seat all the way up and tilt it down, then get on your knees and look up under the seat closely for the 2 screws. You may have to pull some seating out of the way to find them.

OK are we done now?
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  #52  
Old 07-01-2008, 03:54 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidneyj View Post
tilt your front seat all the way up and tilt it down, then get on your knees and look up under the seat closely for the 2 screws.
THAT's the secret! ... I'll look tonight. I tried yanking that cover off but I knew SOMETHING was holding it on tightly! I'll look for the screws and photograph it for the next gal.

Quote:
OK are we done now?
Nope. Still have the passenger side to do.
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  #53  
Old 07-07-2008, 06:36 PM
axleman1 axleman1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidneyj View Post
I have both gray outer and inner covers for sale if interested. There in new condition and actually the passenger side was replaced new under warranty just before the warranty expired not long ago.
Do you still have the seat control covers?
If so, how much do you want for them?
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  #54  
Old 07-08-2008, 07:14 PM
sidneyj sidneyj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman1 View Post
Do you still have the seat control covers?
If so, how much do you want for them?
Still got them. Got your pm also. Check your pm.
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  #55  
Old 07-08-2008, 07:31 PM
ProRail ProRail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
My E39 driver's-side lower seat control panel is destroyed. I guess all I need to do is replace it and plug it in. Before I do that, I wonder if you have any advice for me to build my courage up to tackle this repair? It's still hanging by a thread (in back, somehow).

Before you do any major work, consider this: If you have all your seat settings in memory there's no reason to mess with the manual settings. I will eventually fix mine but unless we introduce a new driver to the mix we don't have to worry about it.
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  #56  
Old 07-09-2008, 02:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProRail View Post
If you have all your seat settings in memory there's no reason to mess with the manual settings
I agree the seat settings are static if there's only one driver.

But, I found I needed to raise the steering wheel and move the seat back when working on my laptop in the car.

It was a pain before I fixed this.
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  #57  
Old 08-08-2008, 02:53 PM
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spydrz spydrz is offline
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Thanks for all the pics and info! I just replaced my driver's side...I'll save the passenger side for when it finally breaks. I think these things are made of the same material as the cupholders.
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1984 318i/man./Tornadorot*
1990 525i/man./Alpinweiß*
2001 525i/man./SP/PP/Cosmosschwarz/Sandbeige*
2002 X5 3.0i/man./SP/PP/Sirius/BT/Titansilber/Sandbeige*
2006 330i/man./SP/PP/CWP/Sirius/Blackline/Rear Fogs/Arktis/Grau*
2001 525i/step./SP/PP/CP/CWP/Xenons/Rear Shade/OEM Sirius/OEM BT/OEM AUX/M5 Rear Sway/Bilstein HDs/Beisan Vanos/Rear Fogs/Schiefergrün/Sandbeige*
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  #58  
Old 09-06-2008, 03:53 PM
Alpine Alpine is offline
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Anybody have their seatbelt rub agains the cover and make an annoying noise? If so, how did you fix it?
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  #59  
Old 12-21-2008, 09:30 PM
cow2215 cow2215 is offline
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replaced it...and it broke again!

I replaced the cover about 6 months ago, and it broke again! The plastic cracked right by the rear torx screw, everything else feels intact. Has anyone else had this issue? I can't for the life of me figure out what's going on - it's my wife's car, I rarely drive it so it's not like the seat is going back and forth all the time. and she swears she's not getting in the car by stepping on the cover...

Related question, did anyone have to replace the electrical plug (the one for the seat controls) at the same time? The locking clip on ours has broken off, such that it wiggles loose at the slightest pressure, ie when the plastic cover is broken and moving around.
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  #60  
Old 02-23-2009, 09:44 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cow2215 View Post
Has anyone else had this issue?
I had both your issues but both, I think, were due to someone (kids) using the side cover as a step stool into the car.

My clip is broken but at least it stays in. If you find the cause, let me know. Also, I desperately need a hint as to how to get that last bolt in in the back, it's so very hard to do.

Bluebee
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  #62  
Old 09-08-2009, 02:09 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Just saw this thread on a similar topic today so I figured I'd put the cross referenced links of that thread into this post below ... so that anyone with this problem who happens upon this thread has the latest x-references handy ...

QSilver7 gave the following excellent bimmerforums links ...

QSilver7 bimmerforums DIY on the seat cover R&R ...

Related bimmerforums information by QSilver7 ...

Bimmerforums similar seat/steering-wheel problem report ...

Another similar seat/steering report on bimmerforums ...

Similar seat-cover problem report on bimmerfest ...

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  #63  
Old 06-22-2010, 07:44 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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As a cross reference, here's yet another similar break in the seat control panel causing the steering wheel and drivers seat to stop adjusting.

This one was fixed with 3M DP 270 black epoxy because plastic solvent cement didn't work on the black module; but the plastic solvent cement did work on the cracked screw hole of the seat cover itself, reputedly made of styrene.
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  #64  
Old 06-22-2010, 08:54 AM
nasmith nasmith is offline
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My 2003 525i has experienced the same problem with the driver side seat cover - the comments in this thread have been extremely helpful. I have some additional comments, however. There is supposed to be a white locking lever on the connector which locks the connector into the rectangular receptacle on the seat control box. Mine is broken off and the receptacle is also broken as shown in bluebee's photos. I am replacing the seat control in mine as one of the switch post sleeves (which the adjustment knobs attach to) has disintegrated and fallen off. I found a used switch at www.bmrparts.com at a reasonable price. I am concerned that the connector will not remain in place without the locking mechanism and am considering using an electrical wire tie to secure the connector. I have also added a nylon sleeve (1/2 inch od, cut to 7/8 inch in length) from the hardware store to a longer forward torx screw to provide extra strength to the seat side cover - time will tell if this is effective.

Norm
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  #65  
Old 06-25-2010, 10:37 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasmith View Post
time will tell if this is effective.
So far (knock on wood), my "repair" (with the old broken control box) has been working ...
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  #66  
Old 06-27-2010, 04:38 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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As a cross reference, NoTempoLimit reported no steering wheel tilt and no movement in the drivers' side seat ... and then created a nice tilt and seat control panel DIY in this thread ...


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  #67  
Old 12-06-2010, 06:57 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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As a useful hint for those who do not want their seat and steering wheel to constantly adjust ... see this hint posted today over here by cn90:
  • Adjust the steering wheel and driver's seat to the way you want.
  • Then pull fuse #13 (glovebox).
  • This disables BOTH the steering wheel and driver's seat (but I do not care as I am the only driver)
The steering wheel adjustment motor is very expensive, which is why I do this.

If I ever want to adjust the steering wheel and/or seat, simply re-insert fuse #13.

I have pulled fuse #13 now for a few months and do not miss the steering wheel column going up and down during entry and exit from the car!
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  #68  
Old 12-18-2010, 04:17 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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As a cross reference, see this QSilver7 post diagramming the seat control operation of the E39 as it relates to the control box at the seat side.
- driver seat and wheel adjustment not working

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  #69  
Old 12-30-2010, 07:19 PM
bmwMobiletech bmwMobiletech is offline
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Thank you Bluebee and happy new year...
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  #70  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:35 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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By way of cross reference, there is an recent seat control module thread of interest where the broken module actually caused a seat fire!
- Seat Adjustment Module Failure (Elec. Short & Flame)

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  #71  
Old 04-03-2011, 09:07 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, today a new retrofit to the broken seat panel was proposed:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) --> Broken seat panel repair-DIY

So that others find this new information (along with the old), I updated the bestlinks keyword-rich sentence on the subject (the intent is to be both complete and consistent in our replies).

- What to do when both your automatic steering wheel tilt and manual & automatic driver seat control fails (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & related automatic steering wheel tilt details (1) (2) (3) & what to do if your steering wheel & key cylinder locks in place (1) (2) or if you lose your key and need to program a new one yourself (1) & signs of a failing ignition switch (1) or ring antenna (1) & the BMW TIS for when the ignition switch spins but does not engage (1) & rebuilding a failed ignition switch (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) & how to test your BMW E39 DSC steering wheel sensors (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & how to retrofit to a 3-spoke M-Sport steering wheel (1) (2) (3) (4) & heated steering wheel retrofits (1) & updating the life of an old steering wheel (1) & where to buy the BMW steering wheel roundel (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).

Here are the pics from that DIY (in case the photo-sharing site goes down):
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  #72  
Old 04-12-2011, 08:26 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, I was googling today, and lo and behold, I find an answer to an ancient question of mine in this QSilver7 post on another forum:

Quote:
(image and writing by: Bluebee (bimmerfest.com's e39 forum...she didn't know the function of this piece since she has the regular 10-way seats that doesn't have the LUMBAR option)
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  #73  
Old 04-13-2011, 06:31 AM
DrewCrewOf2 DrewCrewOf2 is offline
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Thanks BB for "bumping" this thread... My right side seat control plastic is warped a bit... so every time I take the car to the detailers or somebody adjusts the seat forward or back... the control "sticks" in forward or reverse. Later I hear the circuit breaker popping periodically. Been meaning to tackle it but cheeze, what a pain. Now that I see the possible fire hazard and this thread that came out of the deep dark ages of 2008, I am now BRAVE!

Thank you so much for saving me!

-Dennis and Beverly Drew, the DrewCrewOf2!
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  #74  
Old 04-13-2011, 07:26 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewCrewOf2 View Post
Now that I see the possible fire hazard and this thread that came out of the deep dark ages of 2008, I am now BRAVE!
FUD is a wonderful motivator!
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  #75  
Old 04-13-2011, 03:17 PM
fortunateson fortunateson is offline
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That RealOEM chart on page one seems to indicate that the sandbeige covers are not available (or only one side). Is this correct. I may wan to replace mine for a vey minor scuffing issue. Perhaps I'll have to mix up some SEM product if I can't get them.
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