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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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  #26  
Old 10-04-2010, 07:15 AM
ElwoodBlues ElwoodBlues is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkksterbigd View Post
So I notice the motor has a cable at each end. If the right side is hanging up does that mean I need to do this procedure to the cable entering the right side and leave the left side cable entering the motor alone?
Yes, but depending on what method you are using, you may want to go ahead and check the other one while you're there.

If you're doing the quick fix, I'd recommend just leaving the other one alone, but if you've gone to the trouble of taking the seat out of the car, then you might as well at least visually inspect the other one.
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  #27  
Old 10-23-2010, 12:28 AM
cali1995*joy cali1995*joy is offline
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1999 BMW 528i E39

Thanks to all of you for your inputs and time. My seat was fixed. I replaced an electrical plug that was broken.
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  #28  
Old 01-18-2011, 08:07 PM
Dman692420 Dman692420 is offline
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I have a e39 540i with sport seats and the driver head rest motor does not make a sound. Also the head rest is not attached to anything
in the seat meaning it pulls up by hand with ease, and once I let go of rest it just falls back into the seat back. so it has no other position ither than all the way
in the seat. All the other electrical controls work fine. Any help or info would be appreciated!
Thanks

Last edited by Dman692420; 01-18-2011 at 08:24 PM. Reason: contorl info added
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  #29  
Old 05-10-2011, 12:45 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlyers8 View Post
Anyone in the Southern California area, I will fix your seat twist for $300 per seat (depending on location). I have done a number of them now and have a solution that has yet to fail. E-mail me @ rjkidder32@msn.com
Wow,

Interesting you charge $300 for something that people can fix for free at home!
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  #30  
Old 05-10-2011, 12:48 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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Originally Posted by Phlyers8 View Post
Anyone in the Southern California area, I will fix your seat twist for $300 per seat (depending on location). I have done a number of them now and have a solution that has yet to fail. E-mail me @ rjkidder32@msn.com
Dude stop trolling
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  #31  
Old 08-26-2011, 05:58 PM
SMG_II SMG_II is offline
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foam shavings?!

I've done my research on this dreaded topic (tried to read all posts I could find and went through Bluebee's helpful collection) and have a question to pose before I tackle this tomorrow:

My driver side seat (2002 530i w/ sport package) has both the seat bottom and seat back twisting. I've noticed underneath the chair that there are little foam particles collecting periodically (I vacuum the car when I clean her).

So my question is, is this normal that foam shavings are appearing under the seat, or is this some sort of byproduct of the seat twist problem?

Just curious, thanks!
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  #32  
Old 08-26-2011, 06:44 PM
kross1300 kross1300 is offline
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^
I also have an 02 530 sport premium that had the same twist you said. I assume that the foam particles are a product of the twist. I just cut a 1/2 inch section out of the middle of the insulation on both cables and it completely fixed the problem....id recommend going that route for sure...
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  #33  
Old 08-26-2011, 07:11 PM
SMG_II SMG_II is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kross1300 View Post
^
I also have an 02 530 sport premium that had the same twist you said. I assume that the foam particles are a product of the twist. I just cut a 1/2 inch section out of the middle of the insulation on both cables and it completely fixed the problem....id recommend going that route for sure...
Good to know, thanks! Hope to solve this problem this weekend...
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  #34  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:57 PM
kross1300 kross1300 is offline
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If anyone in San Diego ever wants a hand I'll be happy to come over and help with the fix assuming you are reasonably close (I live in Rancho Bernardo).
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  #35  
Old 08-26-2011, 10:03 PM
Rita Bosico Rita Bosico is offline
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Just bought this 2002 525i a couple weeks ago and it's one electrical problem after another. tonight i experienced 'the twist'. the seat already had the height adjustment malfunction to where it leans in toward the console. but the twist had me so discouraged about BMW. This site made me think it's not as bad as i felt it was. thanks.
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  #36  
Old 08-26-2011, 10:08 PM
ElwoodBlues ElwoodBlues is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMG_II View Post
My driver side seat (2002 530i w/ sport package) has both the seat bottom and seat back twisting. I've noticed underneath the chair that there are little foam particles collecting periodically (I vacuum the car when I clean her).

So my question is, is this normal that foam shavings are appearing under the seat, or is this some sort of byproduct of the seat twist problem?
No, I doubt the foam particles are specifically related to the seat twist / seat cable issue. This is just from normal, long term wear on the seat. Good luck with your cable repair.
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  #37  
Old 08-30-2011, 03:56 PM
SMG_II SMG_II is offline
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Thanks all for the help! It took 4 hours and 2 friends to do this, but now the seat works!

I ended up using this thread's procedure in conjunction with some of the other DIYs on this forum.

As a suggestion, I used tin snips to cut through the plastic skin of the offending cables. For the first cable, we used a Swiss army knife equivalent. Then one of my friends had the bright idea to use tin snips and cutting through went much faster and cleaner.

Question though--I bought some fuel line, perhaps too big (3/4"), but just ended up using duct tape in order to seal up the area we trimmed off the cable skin. Is there a particular reason why I should have used fuel line instead?

Thanks!
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  #38  
Old 08-30-2011, 05:14 PM
kross1300 kross1300 is offline
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No reason to use fuel line at all. A few people have said that they had to redo the fix a couple times as the problem came back so maybe they preferred wrapping the cable to taping it. I used electrical tape because it should come off easier than duct tape if I need to trim more insulation.
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  #39  
Old 08-30-2011, 07:18 PM
dem1an dem1an is offline
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I had to just pay my mechanic 4 hours @ $80/hour to fix both front seats my 2003 540i.

Last edited by dem1an; 08-30-2011 at 07:25 PM.
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  #40  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:20 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is online now
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Do you really think that electrical tape will hold the two pieces of the cable together? Any separation and the problem comes back. Seems to me that putting them together with a piece of fuel line that has been split and clamping with two small hose clamps would be much more secure.
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  #41  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:24 PM
kross1300 kross1300 is offline
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Yea electrical tape will definitely be great. The two halves actually kinda pushed together on their own anyways.
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  #42  
Old 08-31-2011, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dem1an View Post
I had to just pay my mechanic 4 hours @ $80/hour to fix both front seats my 2003 540i.
That's fairly reasonable actually. My indy said they charged $300 per seat though I know they'll let me jew them down a bit if I decide to go for it.
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  #43  
Old 10-04-2011, 06:47 PM
patrickegan patrickegan is offline
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This worked great!
Thanks Elwoodblues.
I will add that a Burnzomatic lighter/torch works way better than a lighter, there is no need to remove the upholstery, but you will want to remove the left side seat trim on both seats to access the "top" motor-mount screw from the exterior of the seat. Also, the driver seat has a 2" clip on the right rear track that is easily pried off with a screwdriver and allows the drivers seat to move aft exposing the front Torx bolts.
My steps include the following:
1. Position the seats to as near as perfect as you can.
2. Slide the seat aft and remove the Torx bolts.
3. Slide the seat forward and remove the moldings and Torx bolts.
4. Disconnect the battery to preclude the airbag warning from illuminating.
5. Tilt the seat forward and disconnect the seatbelt tension wire.
6. Disconnect the yellow power cord by sliding the side "out".
7. Remove the seat from the vehicle and place it next to the car on a mat or something to prevent it from getting damaged. I didn't disconnect the seatbelt.
8. Remove the black cover by following the directions in Elwood blues post, one Torx screw and one nut.
9. I removed the motor behind the black cover, and additional two torx bolts, this allowed me to attach a drill and "spin" the seat frame and give me maximum access to the underseat.
10. I removed all four screws, 2 each motor on the right side of the seat and only one each on the left side, this allowed me to rotate the motor and expose the cables. (All directions are as if you were sitting in the seat)
11. I then pulled the cable out as is described in all the other posts, I cut approximately a quarter of an inch off of each and reinstalled the sheath then reinstalled the cable.
12. All re installation is the reverse of removal.
This took me four to five hours for the passenger seat as I explored removing upholstery and really was unfamiliar with what I was doing, I didn't want to mess this up. The drivers seat went quickly, less than an hour, the longest part was trying to find why the seat wouldn't go back and expose the Torx bolts, then I found the clip!
Good luck!
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  #44  
Old 03-10-2012, 02:27 PM
JR02525i JR02525i is offline
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Twisted seat

Quote:
Originally Posted by kross1300 View Post
If anyone in San Diego ever wants a hand I'll be happy to come over and help with the fix assuming you are reasonably close (I live in Rancho Bernardo).
I have a 2002 bmw 525i with a twisted drivers seat, backrest rotates clockwise about 10 to 15 degrees and stuck that way. This happened yesterday as I was adjusting the seat. Back rest moves up and down but remains in the twisted position. Couple of local repair guys on Craigslist want 140.00 to fix. Read about a few different methods to fix this on the internet. Your method is the most simplistic and labor sparing. Might attempt this. Any chance I could speak to you in detail abou the process? I'm located in the Encinitas area.

Thanks much!
Ray
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  #45  
Old 04-05-2012, 11:59 AM
cessna823 cessna823 is offline
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On A BMW 540i SEAT TWIST - Please Keep In Mind The Seat Cable Spin Round As Motor Turns Them Which Is Not To Fast That Why The Cable motor End Held In Place By Tin Flex Plate, The Worm Type Gear Box With The .25 cent Odometer Gear That Sells For $41 Bucks Is where Seat Adjustment Drive Torque Starts.....
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
.I Just Unbolted Seats Removed Seat belt Tension Cable From Under Each Seat And I put the seats on there back and looking in the bottom front Of Seat, at the 2 motors with 2 cables coming out of each motor to there gear box and pulled the cable to me and cut the cable coax in the center of where i can access the cable, then i pulled the cable out of the motor and then out of the gear box leaving a Empty Cable Coax, I took and Shot Each coax end filling them up with white Lithium Grease, i slid the cable back into the gear box and i then cut 1 and half inch off the coax on the motor side, then i slide a 3/8 inch fuel line with 2 3/8 inch clamps on the fuel line onto the Coax. I then Slide Cable Back into Motor Coax, I then pushed the 2 coax back together operating the seat to verify each end of the cable has mated into the motor and gearbox. I then slide the 3/8 inch fuel line over each end of the cut cable coax and tighten each clamp tight then operated motor again to verify all is ok..... Then Moved onto the next cable....works like a charm with out unbolting or heating up anything .... and your seats can remain in the car but i position mine toward the door as much as possible but to leave Seat plugged in so i can test my fix.....I did have to remove the Seat Belt clip but not to bad......Also keeping in mind if the cables would shrink anymore i would loosen each clamp and push the cut coax together until they stop and tighten clamps....i was thinking about adding a return spring around the cut coax to keep tension on the cable coax pulling them together as needed but maybe next time.....

Last edited by cessna823; 04-10-2012 at 04:28 AM.
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  #46  
Old 04-06-2012, 11:09 PM
kevin525 kevin525 is offline
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Just buy a new seat at the junkyard for 100dollars
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  #47  
Old 04-07-2012, 05:40 AM
cessna823 cessna823 is offline
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Sure Buy Seat From Bone Yard But The Cables Or Gear box may be Same Condition What You Already Have Or Worse..... I have found if you cut the Cable Coax In The Center Where You Can Access Them, Slide Cable Out Of Coax, Cut 11/2 inch From Coax As Mentioned Above, You Will not have to unbolt, heat and the 3/8 Fuel line with Clamps On Each Side Tighten And The Job Is Done Also If Cable Would Decide To Shrink In the Future You Can loosen 3/8 inch Clamps And Slide Cables Together Through Ur 3/8 inch Fuel Line Splice And Tighten Clamps, Like Having A Cable Adjustment Installed For the Future if Problem Comes Back.... I would Love To Be Able To Wrap Each Cable Coax End With Return Spring Then Slide Larger Fuel Line Over And Tighten Clamp But The Spring Tension Would Keep Both Cable Coax Ends Moving together So It Would Be A BMW Self Adjusting Seat Cable.......hahaha ....one day maybe....Good Luck..... Just Diy....Cables New From BMW Found Them To be About $91.00 A Seat ...Keep That In Mind When Talking To Bone Yard...!!!! Hope This Helps, Just A Quick Easy Fix that Works , Lithium Grease Helps Keep The Cable Lubed Even Though Cable Not Spinning That Fast Just A Trick I Like To Do...If Anyone Has Any Questions - Feel Free To Contact Me With Any Questions (352)242-7821 Have A Great Day"...

Last edited by cessna823; 04-07-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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  #48  
Old 05-13-2012, 06:13 PM
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Oscswa Oscswa is offline
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Wanted to thank Elwood Blues, I recently purchase some black sport seats (both seats were twisted badly) and used these instructions to repair the seat twist on both and everything works great. I didn't have to remove the leather, I was able to do the repair by just unhooking the leather on the side and peeling it out of the way so I could get to the motor screws. Thanks for the post it helped alot.



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Last edited by Oscswa; 05-13-2012 at 06:14 PM.
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  #49  
Old 06-23-2012, 03:56 PM
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EddieNYC EddieNYC is offline
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Today, I repaired the seat height issue... Ugh. Same symptoms as above, but only one side goes up...
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  #50  
Old 06-23-2012, 04:42 PM
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Albo Albo is offline
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ECSTuning sells new cable sets for $55.00 per seat:

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E39-530...Seat/ES141764/
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