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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-04-2013, 02:04 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Seat motor question

Trying to change the front/back seat motor on my passenger side seat. Problem is the motor doesn't work and the seat is stuck all the way back in the rear most position so I cannot move it forward to get at the rear seat bolts. Anyway to disengage the system and manually move the seats so I can get at the bolts? Any suggestions welcome. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2013, 03:49 PM
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This seems to be the curse of the E36 power seats. The motor always quits with one set of the bolts covered. If you raise the seat as high as it will go and look under the rear portion you'll see the forward/backward motor in the center rear. Extending from that motor to the drive gears on either side of the seat are two shafts. You have two options. Option 1 hold the switch in the forward position and tap the motor. If the E36 gods are smiling on you the motor will temporarily come to life and move the seat for you. Option 2 (if option 1 doesn't work) use a set of pliers and turn one of the drive shafts until you've moved the seat far enough to get to the bolts.
Note: Unbolt the exposed bolts first so that once the seat moves you only have to unbolt the covered bolts to get the seat out.
No lie here this repair sucks big hairy tea bag, but with some patience its doable.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2013, 04:16 PM
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Jakobie1086 Jakobie1086 is offline
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I will take this moment to say manual seats > electric.


Good luck with repair.
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2013, 04:16 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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I'm praying to the BMW God's DC.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2013, 05:44 PM
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Hope it goes well for ya! Photo 2 in this DIY shows what I'm talking about. You can see the two notches where the drive shafts are exposed to grab onto.....

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...eat-Repair.htm
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2013, 05:47 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Do I have to grab both and spin together or just one?
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2013, 05:49 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Clutch switch connector

Anyone know where I can get a clutch switch connector for my Auto to manual swap? Willing to buy one if anyone has a part car. Thanks
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2013, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky3 View Post
Do I have to grab both and spin together or just one?
Just one. They're both connected to the center shaft of the motor.
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  #9  
Old 12-04-2013, 08:53 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Re: Seat motor question

Warning! Danger Will Robinson!

Don't forget to disconnect your battery before you disconnect the wires to the seat(s). Failure to do that will result in an SRS light.

Sent from my MB860 using BimmerApp mobile app
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2013, 09:14 AM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Props to DC! Hammer trick worked. Thanks
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2013, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky3 View Post
Props to DC! Hammer trick worked. Thanks
Excellent! It's usually the brushes in the motor that wear out and lose contact with the armature. If you get contact the motor runs. In my case I pushed that too far and each time the motor wouldn't run I tapped it. Eventually there was no re-establishing brush contact, thus the mucho shaft turning to get the seat moved forward so I could get at the bolts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Warning! Danger Will Robinson!

Don't forget to disconnect your battery before you disconnect the wires to the seat(s). Failure to do that will result in an SRS light.

Sent from my MB860 using BimmerApp mobile app
Just disconnecting won't set an SRS fault, but if you forget and turn on the ignition with it disconnected it darn sure will so I disconnect the battery when I have the seat out just to protect it from my own suptidity! Make certain you setn the seat belt pretensioner safety to the "safe" position while you have the seat out, and make certain you arm it again right before you put the seat back in, otherwise SRS light.
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Last edited by dc_wright; 12-08-2013 at 10:05 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2013, 10:05 AM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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The only problem I ran into is that BMW decided to put a rivet on the other side of the motor to support it. Opposite the 2 bolts. I had to chisel it out. I put it back with a nut & bolt. All well that ends well! Now onto the auto to manual swap!
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky3 View Post
The only problem I ran into is that BMW decided to put a rivet on the other side of the motor to support it. Opposite the 2 bolts. I had to chisel it out. I put it back with a nut & bolt. All well that ends well! Now onto the auto to manual swap!
Been there done that.................














Twice - driver and passenger seat.
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2013, 05:14 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_wright View Post
Just disconnecting won't set an SRS fault, but if you forget and turn on the ignition with it disconnected it darn sure will so I disconnect the battery when I have the seat out just to protect it from my own suptidity! Make certain you setn the seat belt pretensioner safety to the "safe" position while you have the seat out, and make certain you arm it again right before you put the seat back in, otherwise SRS light.
I was more afraid he'd have the key on to be able to run the seat back and forth while unbolting it and forget about it when the seat was finally loose. Pick the seat up, unplug the wiring....uh-oh. SRS light. Don't ask how I know.
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #15  
Old 12-08-2013, 06:46 PM
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Interesting! Never had to have the ignition on to move the seats in Marie......
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  #16  
Old 12-08-2013, 09:11 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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At the time I didn't know they'd move with the key off/out. It was back when I had about 100 posts. Like YEARS ago.
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guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #17  
Old 12-09-2013, 03:59 AM
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Gotcha! Sure sucks to find out that way LOL....
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