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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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  #1  
Old 10-17-2009, 07:17 PM
jieg jieg is offline
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Mein Auto: 525i 2003
twisted seat surprise, see images

as indicated in my other post, I took out my driver seat to fix the twist seat

I must admit that I spent a long time "fixing" the cable ends of the motor that control seat height (wrong motor, the little one) at least I did not cause any damage

Later I started working on the other motor, there has to be that one!! (large one)

ok, I disengaged the cable from the motor and pulled the inner cable outwards and found what is shown in the picture, the cable pulls all the way out!!!!. I did not try all the way but I am sure it would come out of the sheath.

The short cable (shown in the picture for comparison) belongs to the height controller, for which I cannot pull the inner cable outwards

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By jieg at 2009-10-17

is the problem on the other end of the cable?
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By jieg, shot with KF750 at 2009-10-17

any one has experience working on the other extreme of the cable?
All DIY´s I read are related to the motor end of the cable

any help is needed and welcomed

thanks

IVan
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2009, 08:24 PM
hieuu hieuu is offline
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Pulling out cable is normal, the cable is square on both ends you can even flip flop the cable it does matter. The other end goes to the gear box and the cable fix doesn't always work if your gears are stripped, because like most other bmw parts they are made of low quality plastic.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2009, 09:52 PM
jieg jieg is offline
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Mein Auto: 525i 2003
my son helped me a lot!

finally sorted out!

Seems that not all cases can be sorted with the seat inside the car, in this case it was indispensable to take the seat out of the car.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By jieg at 2009-10-17
remove the cable, heat the metallic silver sheath to take it off, then cut some sheat as shown

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By jieg, shot with KF750 at 2009-10-17

heat the metallic sheath again to reinsert it in the plastic sheathed cable, which sould have a longer metallic end now.

reassemble carefully, as is tricky to hold the assembly back as originally shown in the upper picture
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2009, 11:10 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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On mine, I didn't unscrew anything. Once I confirmed which cable had the problem, I just used a cigarette lighter to heat the ferrule on the motor end of the cable, jerked the cable out, cut about 3/8 inch off the black sheath, heated the ferrule again and shoved it back in. Fixed, just that quick.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2009, 07:22 AM
anton-sa anton-sa is offline
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Mein Auto: Bmw e39 525i 2001
on my 2001 525i, i got sports seats, manual ones. im actually glad they manual. less problems...
on my previous ride i had a e30 325i, which i fitted front electric sports seats from a 1997 M3.
i eventually had one of the gears stripped, was finnicky to replace...eventually replaced it though.. when i sold the car though, the driver side seat gear also had a problem (the dredded e36 electric seat recline gear)

i had no idea e39 electric seats also gave issues... again..hehe im glad ive got sports seats of the manual variety (has up/down,tilt,recline,forward/back)
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2009, 08:21 AM
andyffer andyffer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anton-sa View Post
on my 2001 525i, i got sports seats, manual ones. im actually glad they manual. less problems...
on my previous ride i had a e30 325i, which i fitted front electric sports seats from a 1997 M3.
i eventually had one of the gears stripped, was finnicky to replace...eventually replaced it though.. when i sold the car though, the driver side seat gear also had a problem (the dredded e36 electric seat recline gear)

i had no idea e39 electric seats also gave issues... again..hehe im glad ive got sports seats of the manual variety (has up/down,tilt,recline,forward/back)
lighter weight so you have that performance advantage. BMW sneakily put that kind of stuff in the 525.. sleeper

With 1 person driving the car I could live with the manual seats but if you have other drivers then its a real pain.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2009, 02:20 PM
jieg jieg is offline
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i personally do not like all the electric options in the seat, I would prefer manual movements, especially on the back rest
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2010, 03:15 PM
540 bimm 540 bimm is offline
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can you help me on my case sir's.. i checked on the cables already and its still good.. the motor is working but all of the right side of the driver seat is not working.. it seems like my seat just had a stroke.. LOL.. can someone help me pls.. thanks!!
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2010, 03:52 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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LOL,

Leave the seat in one place, stop adjusting it and you will never have this problem....hehe!
Anyway, good DIY!!!
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  #10  
Old 04-16-2011, 08:42 PM
Vegas Jade Vegas Jade is offline
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Great thread

Im new to the forums and finally got enuf money to buy a used 2003 5 series 525i

Got problems with the seat... it works both move but is twisted

Head rest doesnt go up and down.

Leg support that goes out of the seat is stuck in the extended position i think its a switch problem it doesnt make a clicking sound when i try to retract it... like that of when you try to extend it.

Any help for a new enthusiast.

Last edited by Vegas Jade; 04-16-2011 at 08:43 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-16-2011, 08:45 PM
Trini23007 Trini23007 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 525i sport
messing with the seat scares me dude, so many parts and wires...
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2011, 08:29 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, if someone comes here for twisted-seat DIYs, I'll add this to the existing list of twisted-seat DIYs, each of which has helpful advice.

- How to understand BMW seat cables that fall out causing twisted seats (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) & watching out for the accidental airbag light (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & warnings about the seat twist DIY (1) (2) (3)
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2013, 07:15 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This thread just came to my attention today - it has some really nice pictures of seat twist repairs:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Another seat twist thread
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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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  #14  
Old 10-14-2013, 10:26 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This thread was updated nicely with a new seat twist lessons learned post:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Seat Twist Repair E39 2002 530i - DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gian View Post
I just finished this repair myself and, let me start by saying, it was a major pain. The #1 thing you will need is patience. If you don't have it, forget it. My passenger side seat had a problem when trying to recline and when trying to elevate. Therefore, both motors were affected. I decided to do it the "harder way", by removing both of the motors and cutting the sheath back on ALL FOUR connections. (IMO, You do not want to go back in there! Trust me. Do them all now! Even the sides that work! Eventually they may fail.)

I used this DIY guide
bellsouthpwp.net/m/i/miales/seatcablesfix.htm
Many thanks to the poster of this guide

Tools that I used...
Needle nose pliers
Socket wrench w/T-50 bit
Box cutter/razor blade
Reversible Flat 8mm built in socket wrench (A must have)
Bic Lighter
LED flash light (not pictured)



After careful consideration, I decided not to remove the seat from the car or disconnect the power. I ended up placing the twisted seat up against the back seat to get a good look underneath. I then placed a board underneath the twisted seat to brace it so that it wouldn't fall back forward.

Tips

-The smaller your hands are the better. It is really tight under there. Also you might want to wear some sort of gloves. There is a lot of rough metal parts and you can get your hands cut up easily. (I did, live and learn)

-There was a metal bracket that I had to bend in order to get to one or two of the bolts. It had some plastic housing attached to it with wires. I had to remove the plastic housing so that I could bend the metal. You'll know it when you see it. I just bent it back after I was finished.

-Take note of the location of the Bosch label on the motor so you can put it back in correctly.

-If you remove both motors at the same time, make sure you mark which cords go to each motor.

-Before finishing, make sure you bring both sides of the seat up in order to even them out. Once you put the cords back in you will not be able to do it. (After cutting the sheath and replacing the connector, put one cord in at a time and bring each side all the way up. This will even out both sides of the seat)

-Make sure you apply enough heat to the metal connector on each cord. It must be hot enough so that it can be put all the way back onto the sheath. That connector has teeth that cut into the sheath in order to stay in place. If you don't get it back on fully, then shortening the sheath did nothing. The cord will not stick out enough to engage the motor.

-One thing I wish that I had was a magnet of some kind. Putting the screws back in would have been so much easier.

That's all for now. I will add other tips if I can remember them.
See also:
- How to identify seat twist & fix twisted seats (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) & BMW_E34_seat_twist_repair_diy.pdf
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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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  #15  
Old 06-01-2014, 06:35 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Yet another twisted seat thread today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Twisted Seat For Me Too
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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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  #16  
Old 08-03-2014, 09:41 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this was posted today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Question about seat twist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tygr1 View Post
Can the bottom of the seat become twisted for the same reason as the back of the seat i.e. the cable?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dking078 View Post
Yes it can, the fix is the same procedure. The cable for the bottom of the seat is near the back rest cable.
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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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  #17  
Old 08-05-2014, 02:42 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This thread today has good information:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Question about seat twist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tygr1 View Post
Exactly how many cables are there under the seat?
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickbuilder View Post
You will be dealing with 4 per seat. 2 on left and 2 on right. Did both seats in 3 hours. Take your time and do it right. Don't cut sheaths in the middle and clamp them. Do it on the ends. I cut about 1/2 inch from each end. My seats had bottom and back twist. They work perfectly now.
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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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  #18  
Old 09-05-2014, 09:07 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This thread today asks the basic question...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Permanent solution for twisted seat problem?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerZ5 View Post
So, my car has started to develop the twisted seat problem and I'm getting ready to fix it. From all the videos and postings on the internet that I've seen/read, the problem seems to be that the rubber tube/sheathing material expands over time and prevents the internal cable from making proper contact with the adjustment motors. The fix seems to be to shorten this tube/sheathing material to allow the internal cable to be exposed again. (correct me if my understanding is incorrect)

The solution seems fine, and it may not matter to most folks that the problem might reoccur in 10 yrs time, but being an engineer type, I just thought to myself, isn't there a better material that can be used that has better dimensional stability? For example, would some PEX tubing make a better sheathing material that would not expand over time? I don't have a Chem. Eng background or anything to do with polymers sciences, but thought maybe some fellow E39 owners might be and have some good ideas?

any thoughts?
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