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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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  #76  
Old 07-16-2011, 06:59 PM
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For the record, 540imsport wrote up a concise summary today over here:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > creaking drivers seat/replacing seat trim

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
A few months ago, I had a creaking drivers seat. I found the source was the front pivot points on the forward portion of the seat....there were some white nylon bushings that once given a shot of lube, became silent.

But a week ago, an even worse "creak" or cracking noise appeared whenever I got in or out of the car...very annoying. A careful examination showed some cracking of the left side plastic trim, that surrounds the various seat switches. (I found cracks on the top of the trim, and also in the center near the round "plug" on the side) You have to purchase the covers as a set...you get both "outside" covers for the driver and passenger seat for about $50 at the dealer. A shame, since the passenger side is fine, but a satisfying repair I completed this afternoon.

I used these online instructions:
http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/483099

The only tough part was getting the center latch snapped back into the seat. This is the part that is pictured in the above instruction as the round "lumbar" switch. My sport seats don't have this, and instead has a plug, with a square boss that snaps into the seat frame....it was a struggle to get it to snap back in...took me about 45 minutes. You have to snap it in starting from the bottom, up and in...hard to describe until you attempt it.

Also, removing/installing the plastic push pin that is under the center of the seat is best accomplished from behind the seat....move it forward and angle the seat base up for more clearance. Move the seat only about 80% forward, rather than 100% will actually allow you to raise/tilt the seat up more.
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  #77  
Old 08-16-2011, 06:59 AM
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Today, for the record, another person had the seat control module problem:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Help! Driver's Seat/Steering Adjustments Not Working

For the record, here's what's in the bestlinks at the moment:

- 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)
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  #78  
Old 09-12-2011, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
How m4x10 translates to #30 Torx is definitely beyond me. I must have the wrong secret decoder ring setup.


I searched and didn't find the procedure to remove the seat back. How is THAT thing stuck onto the back of the seat anyway?
Sorry to bring out the old topic. I plan to replace my seat outer cover. How to remove the last screw to get the old cover out without removing the seat back? Any idea?
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  #79  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:15 PM
jc82632011 jc82632011 is offline
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Hi, bluebee i have a 02 525 i with passenger seat issues and i am trying to find out what the fuse amperage is
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  #80  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:16 PM
jc82632011 jc82632011 is offline
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can you please help the fuse keeps burning out
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  #81  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:27 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jc82632011 View Post
Hi, bluebee i have a 02 525 i with passenger seat issues and i am trying to find out what the fuse amperage is
Your glove compartment fuse rack should have a pull-down sheet showing the fuse locations and amperages.

My car is a 99 528i so somewhat different but fuse 13 is a 30-amp green fuse.
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  #82  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:49 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw7833 View Post
Sorry to bring out the old topic. I plan to replace my seat outer cover. How to remove the last screw to get the old cover out without removing the seat back? Any idea?
Do you mean a metal torx screw, or the plastic pin clip that holds the cover at the hole circled in the photo you quoted?

If the plastic clip, here's what I do. The hole in the seat back that it fits into is hidden under the lower-left corner of the seat back cover, but that hole can be felt by hand, and if you wedge both hands (fingers) underneath the side cover at that spot and around that pin clip and squeeze-pull straight out and evenly with four fingers underneath and thumb outside, it will pop out. Install is easier, just position the pin over the hole and press in with thumb. It's harder to explain than actually doing it but it's key to apply force evenly and in a way that doesn't crack the flimsy cover plastic. I use no tools, just my fingers, but the trim tools that others have mentioned should also work, just that the leverage is different. When using my own fingers, it's easier for me to tell if I'm applying too much pressure or too unevenly, risking breakage.
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  #83  
Old 09-18-2011, 10:51 PM
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I already took out the plactic clip and replaced the passenger side. Now facing another problem to take out the seat tilt adjustment level in drivel side.



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  #84  
Old 11-20-2011, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jc82632011 View Post
Hi, bluebee i have a 02 525 i with passenger seat issues and i am trying to find out what the fuse amperage is
This thread should provide all the fuse values (as does the second Bentley book):
- Where to find all E39 fuses and their values (1) (2) (WDS) (WDS.ru) & how to find the hidden front passenger seat undercarpet fuse panel (1)

For the record, today the Bentleys failed another user who was trying to figure out how the front-most switch connects to the seat cover panel.

QSilver7's response, as always, was so enlightening that I feel I must include it below for completeness.
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Driver seat depth thigh adjustment lumbar contour switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
You need to remove the cover from the seat so that you can access and REMOVE the electrical harnesses from the switch(es). From the pic you posted...that is what's preventing the thigh extension switch from being removed.

All of the switches in the seat's cover are secured from the rear side of the cover...some are also pulled away from the rear side, and some like the thigh switch are released from the rear, then push out through the front. See pic below (from Rhett's heated seat DIY on e38.org) on how to remove the rocker switches (he's removing the upper articulating back switch...but the thigh extension switch is designed and released the same way:


Look at the switches (not the buttons) in Bluebees pics below...seen are the large seat switch (rectangle) and the round lumbar switch...both are attached to the rear. And if you look to the left of the large seat switch...you can see the 2 tabs that are holding the plastic cover where the ROCKER switch goes (#1 in diagram) that controls the thigh extension feature. The 2 way rocker switch don't have "removable buttons" so the whole thing is removed/inserted from the rear. The large regular seat switch is the only one with removable buttons that come off/go on from the front side of the cover. If your seats don't have one of the four features...then it has a "fill-in" plug...which is also secured from the rear. If you've pulled the switch out from the front without releasing the spring clip, you may have broken the cover and will need a new one for the switch to fit properly...so make sue the cover isn't broken.



The seat cover has a place for 4 switches...which depends on what features your seats have...again ALL of them are inserted/removed from the rear of the seat cover.:
  • 2-way (rocker) thigh extension switch (#1 in diagram but has a different part nbr vs the articulating upper back switch)
  • 10-way basic seat switch (big rectangular one) (#7 in diagram for driver's side)
  • 4-way round lumbar switch (#10 in diagram)
  • 2-way (rocker) articulating upper back switch (#1 in diagram...but has a different part nbr vs the thigh switch)

When you see these diagrams like the one below...more than likely its from www.realoem.com & if you go to that site to look up the diagram...you will see that there is a part nbr index below the diagram. So if you don't understand what you see in the diagram...look it up so that you can see what the part is...or if it applies to your car. If an item in the diagram is NOT listed in the part nbr index...then that part is NOT used on your car...especially if you used your car's VIN to get to the diagram. For instance #5 is NOT used on the e39...they are used on the e38 REAR electric seats and/or head rests:
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  #85  
Old 11-28-2011, 11:18 PM
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For the cross linked record, this information today may help someone in the future:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Driver's Seat Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElfChampion View Post
I found a really great solution for broken plastic parts on my BMW. I use PVC primer and then cement the pieces together. It works much better than epoxy or super glue. The primer (mostly acetone) softens the plastic to make a much stronger bond than any glue alone (even better than roughing the joint by sanding). This PVC primer and cement (two different cans) are commonly found at any hardware store.
The seat adjust switch on the driver's side of my 2002 530i was broken. You know that little black post which holds the seat adjust knob? I removed the whole black box (thanks to other posts which show how to remove the seat adjust switch), disassembled the unit to access the other half of the post. Once I had both pieces in my hand I placed them on a paper napkin, primed the broken joint then glued. I took care to wipe off the excess glue the squeezed out of the joint then set on wax paper to dry. Note: It is critical not to rush the drying process. You should let set at room temperature for ~ 60 minutes. When done, I couldn't see any evidence of the break. I used a #2 pencil to rub graphite on the friction surfaces where the post moves and reassembled. Note: I used this same PVC primer (blue) and cement (clear) to repair the plastic molding I broke trying to remove the seat adjust switch. All these repairs are very strong, simple and look like new.
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  #86  
Old 09-17-2012, 04:08 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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I know this is an old thread but I had occasion to replace this trim panel today and found a method to deal with the plastic rivets. I checked the entire thread and didn't see the answer to this problem.
And I found it is not necessary to remove the seat back trim to release the rearmost rivet.

There is no doubt that these rivets are TIGHT! I tried prying under the rivet heads with no luck at all. Visibility was minimal, space was tight and the force required was high. I kept slipping off the rivet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
This #6 post by PJB covers all the basics but I still was confused as to the LOCATION and SIZE of the two #T30 Torx screws and what the three plastic rivets looked like and their location also. I couldn't find them on my own and I had to literally tear the old BMW seat outer cover off in order to find them. I had to cut them out as they would not come out any other way (PJB was right).

I hope this picture shows it for the next person. Basically, the two #T30 Torx screws are on the top and the three plastic rivets are on the bottom.

One Torx screw is at the very front, the other is at the location where the seat back joins the seat bottom. One plastic rivet is in the front bottom, another in the middle bottom, and the last one (the toughest to see) is at the back bottom.

DOES ANYONE KNOW IF I NEED TO REMOVE THE SEAT BACK (how?) to get to that last rear plastic rivet?



Finally I did this.
1) removed the two torx head screws
2) raised the seat as high as it would go and as far forward. Then put the seat back as upright as it would go. It gave just enough visibility to see the locations of the 2 rear rivets from the rear seat footwell, especially with the new panel for reference.
3) inserted a tack puller (trim tool or screwdriver would work too) between the tab of the trim panel and the seat frame, not between the rivet head and tab. The rivets then popped out easily.
4) with the seat back upright, there was enough space to release the rearmost rivet and work the rivet and tab out of the pocket
5) moved the seat rearward ward and released the front rivet the same way

The rivets can be removed from the old panel for reuse by sqeezing the barb end close to the head with a pair of pliers and pushing them through. It needs a tight sqeeze and a firm push. This is what was so tight; why I couldn't pry the rivet out in situ.

For assembly,
1) insert all three rivets into the holes of the trim panel tabs, just as shown in Bluebee's picture. There is room to position the panel with the rivets in the tabs
2) position the panel on the seat and start the two torx screws. Just a few turns so they are locating the panel & won't fall out and get lost but will allow the panel to move easily
3) wiggle the tabs/rivets around until they enter into the holes of the frame; they will almost fall into place on their own, since the panel is positioned by the screws. Push each one home as it locates in the frame - they will seat quite easily. Front one from the front of course, the two rear ones from the rear seat area. Move the seat as convenient
4) tighten the two torx screws

BTW, I found I didn't need to disconnect the seat control switch block from the harness connector/plug. After releasing the trim panel, there was lots of harness length for access to release it from the old panel and snap into the new one.

Once I'd figured this out, it became a 10 to 15 minute job total. It just took me 45 minutes of frustration to work it out
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  #87  
Old 09-17-2012, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
Finally I did this.
This is wonderful information!

Mine is broken again! I have the parts, but I didn't put them on yet. It's in the queue.

When I find that round tuit, I'm going to follow your instructions & let you know how it goes (after I fix my driver side door window again, and my windshield washer, etc.).

I'm hoping your hint above will be a wondrous blessing - because I never did figure out completely how to get it all back together properly!
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #88  
Old 11-19-2012, 09:21 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I came here after a long time away to find the bolt sizes for my seat cover since both my bolts and all four Christmas tree clips appear to be missing.

I wonder if we can just find a metric Phillips head bolt to replace the two T30 bolts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJB. View Post
the T30 Torx screw is listed at RealOEM as an m4x10 and that was enough for me. However I typically fail to realize that this might not be apparent to others; there certainly was a time when I didn't know what that meant.
Q: Can someone explain how to cross reference a M4x10 (T30 Torx) bolt to a standard Phillips head metric bolt at Home Depot?
I mean, I know it's 4mm in diameter and 10mm long - but how does 'that' tell us what threads it uses?
2002 525i => Seats => Front seat => SEAT FRAME W.ACTUATORS
- Parts diagram line #11 Fillister-head screw M4X10, #07146977086, $0.48
- Parts diagram line #10 Clip, #52101873544 $0.20

EDIT:
I just called the local San Jose BMW dealership who has the clips in stock for $1.94 each but not the bolts which are $2.20 each.
(BTW, I've never found the local BMW dealership here in Silicon Valley NOT to be the most expensive for anything - even trivial parts like these.)

Note: Googling, I find there is M4x10x0.7 (which is a course thread) and M4x10x0.5 (which is a fine thread).
I just realized I can remove the bolt on the passenger seat and just match 'that' at Home Depot.


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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 11-20-2012 at 09:26 PM.
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  #89  
Old 11-20-2012, 07:53 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Doing a search for what other part numbers will fit, I found there is a really good (ancient) E39 seat-switch repair DIY over here:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Repairing Power Seat Switch-DIY

Where users attempt to glue & reinforce & second source the seat switch control box components themselves.

__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 11-20-2012 at 08:08 AM.
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  #90  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:54 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
....
Note: Googling, I find there is M4x10x0.7 (which is a course thread) and M4x10x0.5 (which is a fine thread) so I 'assume' it's an M4x10x0.5.
I just realized I can remove the bolt on the passenger seat and just match 'that' at Home Depot...
It's actually a 4mm sheet metal screw that goes into a "U" clip. A good substitute is a #8 x 3/8". That would actually be 4.2mm x 9mm.
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  #91  
Old 11-20-2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
It's actually a 4mm sheet metal screw that goes into a "U" clip. A good substitute is a #8 x 3/8". That would actually be 4.2mm x 9mm.
Wow. I didn't know you can substitute a metric M4x10 with an SAE bolt.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #92  
Old 11-20-2012, 07:27 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Wow. I didn't know you can substitute a metric M4x10 with an SAE bolt.
Ask me how I know.

The screw that holds the seat covering to the frame actually goes into a U clip, not a threaded hole. So there's some tolerance in the fit. The major diameter of a #8 sheet metal screw is about 4.2mm. That's close enough to 4mm for the U clip on the seat frame.

BTW, I noticed that the rectangular socket on the seat switch assembly in you photo is broken just like mine and the clip that holds the connector in is missing. Do you have problems with the connector coming out? I'm going to disassemble it all again and try to use a zip tie to hold the connector in the assembly.
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Last edited by Steve530; 11-20-2012 at 07:36 PM.
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  #93  
Old 11-20-2012, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
Ask me how I know.
I loved your example. Thanks for explaining 'cuz it didn't make sense otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
the rectangular socket on the seat switch assembly in you photo is broken just like mine
They all seem to break similarly. Mine happened when young kids used the seat cover panel as a step stool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
Do you have problems with the connector coming out?
Yes. I'd be interested in your fix.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #94  
Old 11-24-2012, 09:02 PM
Mybmwm5 Mybmwm5 is offline
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Hi all,
Thanks to all for your illustrations and help here. My sister's 2001 E39 seat cover broke the other week and I bought the covers and associated stuff from Pelican Parts but the trim removal tools from my local Snap On Tools supplier. Thanks to what you have here, I followed the instructions and it took me 30 minutes to remove and install the new one without any dramas.
The only tricky bit was tring to locate the torn screw on the top of the seat towards the rear. Otherwise all good and it looks great.
Thanks again all.
Kind regards
Michael
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  #95  
Old 11-24-2012, 09:05 PM
Mybmwm5 Mybmwm5 is offline
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Torx screw not torn screw! It's the auto spell checker on the. iPad!
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  #96  
Old 12-13-2012, 01:00 PM
Kel Kel is offline
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The correct part # for the small black plastic rivets that the excellent post # 6 of PJB #6 is 52-10-1-873-544 per BMW dealer ( saw an other post where incorerctly it was posted to be 52-10-8-150-020 which is actually a metal screw and not related to seat side cover)

Last edited by Kel; 12-13-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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  #97  
Old 12-13-2012, 01:02 PM
Kel Kel is offline
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One question : the bottom middle plastic "tongue" of the plastic side cover (Unforntunately was not able to see it ) : does it go into a socket before putting back the rivet, or simply seats on a metal piece on bottom of seat and is only held in place by the plastic rivet?

Last edited by Kel; 12-13-2012 at 01:04 PM.
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  #98  
Old 12-13-2012, 01:22 PM
Kel Kel is offline
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Would the PVC primer and cement be the strongest glue to hold a small metal piece to the partialy broken plastic seat side cover ( meaning after gluing a small piece of metal to the damaged plastic use torx screw with the newly repaired piece to the metal part of the seat bottom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
For the cross linked record, this information today may help someone in the future:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Driver's Seat Control

Last edited by Kel; 12-13-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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  #99  
Old 12-13-2012, 02:21 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel View Post
Would the PVC primer and cement be the strongest glue to hold a small metal piece to the partialy broken plastic seat side cover ( meaning after gluing a small piece of metal to the damaged plastic use torx screw with the newly repaired piece to the metal part of the seat bottom.
AFAIK, PVC primer and glue is for gluing PVC to PVC, so it would not work. You'll need something to bond metal to plastic. I checked my spare right seat cover and found it's made of ABS plastic.

I saw a thread where the person used a metal channel piece to reinforce an unbroken cover. That part of the seat cover is 0.733 inches across,
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Last edited by Steve530; 12-13-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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  #100  
Old 12-13-2012, 04:28 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
... inserted a tack puller (trim tool or screwdriver would work too) between the tab of the trim panel and the seat frame, not between the rivet head and tab. ...
This worked for me, too. I bought a Lisle 35260 plastic fastener remover, which works well, after I broke my plastic trim tool trying to remove one of the clips. I've attached a picture of the tool below.

Also, had trouble starting the screw on the front of the seat. I found I could use a small set of needle nose pliers to guide the screw into the U clip by reaching through the front inner side of the seat cover.
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	lisle 35260.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	2.4 KB
ID:	353139  
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