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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 01-31-2013, 02:26 PM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 530i, 2001 325i
e38 Contour seats in e39 - help, please!

So I have e39 sport seats in my 2002 530i. I find them somewhat uncomfortable (I'm 6'3, 235).

I've read many threads about e38 contour seats in e39s, so I found (bought) a pair to put in my car.

I took out the driver's side sport seat, put in the contour seat, hooked it up, and ran into 2 issues:

1. The seat does not go far enough back to insert the front anchor bolts. It travels back and forth fine, but stops too soon, which, aside from cramping my leg room, doesn't allow me to finish the install. Any ideas?

2. The 4 way lumbar switch doesn't seem to do anything. Any troubleshooting pointers?

Thanks,

Cary
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2013, 07:18 AM
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Al's540i Al's540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caryalon View Post
So I have e39 sport seats in my 2002 530i. I find them somewhat uncomfortable (I'm 6'3, 235).

I've read many threads about e38 contour seats in e39s, so I found (bought) a pair to put in my car.

I took out the driver's side sport seat, put in the contour seat, hooked it up, and ran into 2 issues:

1. The seat does not go far enough back to insert the front anchor bolts. It travels back and forth fine, but stops too soon, which, aside from cramping my leg room, doesn't allow me to finish the install. Any ideas?

2. The 4 way lumbar switch doesn't seem to do anything. Any troubleshooting pointers?

Thanks,

Cary
Ok, I've done seat swap in my car. Howerever, mine are E38 comfort seats and not contour. Questions for you: are the E38 seats the same year as your E39?

Do all of your electrical harnesses plug in correctly to the new seat? Any seat connectors missing harness plug ins?

The lumbar may not work anymore. It happens. Only way to fix is listen and see if you can hear the pumps working. Most of the time the pumps fail and you'd have to pull the seat out and rip the seat open to get at them to replace.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2013, 08:34 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Make sure that something is not stuck in the rails since you say the seat doesn't go back as far as the original ones. Also, try lowering the seat...if memory serves me correct...height adjustment may affect how far back the seat goes (??).

Check to make sure that the lumbar pump is working (can you hear it when pressing 3 of the directional arrows?). And also check the lordosis (lumbar) pad (#1 in diagram below) and air tubes (#2 in diagram below) to make sure they are intact and connected:


BTW/FYI: 3 of the lumbar arrows will pump-up/move the lordosis pad ... and the 1 arrow releases air from the pad. Thought I'd mention it in case you were pressing the release arrow (the one at the 3 o'clock position).
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 02-01-2013 at 08:35 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2013, 11:19 AM
DONROD DONROD is offline
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did you sell the sport seats
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2013, 04:03 PM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al's540i View Post
Ok, I've done seat swap in my car. Howerever, mine are E38 comfort seats and not contour. Questions for you: are the E38 seats the same year as your E39?

Do all of your electrical harnesses plug in correctly to the new seat? Any seat connectors missing harness plug ins?

The lumbar may not work anymore. It happens. Only way to fix is listen and see if you can hear the pumps working. Most of the time the pumps fail and you'd have to pull the seat out and rip the seat open to get at them to replace.
They were from a 2001 740i, had the yellow connector. That's the only plug that I plugged in.

Thanks.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2013, 04:05 PM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 530i, 2001 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Make sure that something is not stuck in the rails since you say the seat doesn't go back as far as the original ones. Also, try lowering the seat...if memory serves me correct...height adjustment may affect how far back the seat goes (??).

Check to make sure that the lumbar pump is working (can you hear it when pressing 3 of the directional arrows?). And also check the lordosis (lumbar) pad (#1 in diagram below) and air tubes (#2 in diagram below) to make sure they are intact and connected:


BTW/FYI: 3 of the lumbar arrows will pump-up/move the lordosis pad ... and the 1 arrow releases air from the pad. Thought I'd mention it in case you were pressing the release arrow (the one at the 3 o'clock position).
Thanks - tried at different heights, didn't see anything in the rails.

I didn't hear a pump work in any of the four positions.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2013, 04:05 PM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DONROD View Post
did you sell the sport seats
Not yet...
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2013, 04:27 PM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DONROD View Post
did you sell the sport seats
Not yet...
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2013, 06:41 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Lumbar Support: principles of operation info

Here's more lumbar support info...just for general knowledge:



__________________
Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2013, 08:44 AM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Thanks for the lumbar info - much appreciated. I'm trying to figure out the seat travel first - if I can't get the seat to move back, I can't use it...

Last edited by caryalon; 02-02-2013 at 08:47 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-27-2013, 01:15 PM
Lesterpablo Lesterpablo is offline
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Just curious if you figured out the travel problem? I have the same problem with my E38 driver's seat. Works fine but wont go as far back as the passenger seat.
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2013, 01:20 PM
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nyclad nyclad is offline
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Does your e38 seat have the little metal clip towards the rear of the inboard track like the e39 seats do? That metal clip restricts the seat going all the way back if it's still in place.
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2013, 02:52 PM
Lesterpablo Lesterpablo is offline
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I was planning on removing the seat to check for obstructions this weekend so I'll be sure to check that first. Is that only visible with the seat removed?
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  #14  
Old 03-29-2013, 07:36 PM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Sorry for the late reply. I moved the seat all the way forward, and up, and found the clip that I would swear was not there when I first looked... :-)

Move the driver's seat forward and up, look on the inner track. You'll probably see a clip on the bottom toothed track. It's about 2 inches long. Just pop that clip off, and voilą, more seat travel.
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  #15  
Old 03-30-2013, 09:50 PM
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Oscswa Oscswa is offline
Oscar
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Mein Auto: 330i Sport
Good luck on your swap, post some pictures when you are done. I am still looking for a pair of comfort seats to swap out my sport seats also. After having sport seats after a few months I like the comfort seats much better.
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  #16  
Old 03-31-2013, 06:46 AM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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Swap's been done for a couple of months, now. Seats are very comfortable. The upper articulating back on the e38 sports comfort/contour seats and the slightly less aggressive thigh bolsters a pleasure.
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  #17  
Old 03-31-2013, 07:15 PM
waehrik waehrik is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 530i/5, e28 535i
I did this swap too and didn't have any of the issues that caryalon had. My contour seats were out of a 2001 e38 and they went into a 2002 e39. Everything worked immediately and the seat travel went back plenty far for my 6' height. I'd be inclined to believe that there was something wrong with the seats. You can easily power up the seats out of the car if you have a 12v power supply. I tested mine using a modified computer power supply that I converted into a benchtop supply. There are two heavy gauge wires under the seat, brown is - and red is +. I was able to make sure that everything worked well before installing them.

Just a tip, anyone looking to install the seats should install the 'sliding jaws' into the new seats while they're out of the car. It's much much much easier with them on a living room floor.

Anyone need a set of black sport seats in great condition?
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  #18  
Old 04-01-2013, 07:17 AM
caryalon caryalon is offline
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What are the "sliding jaws"?
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  #19  
Old 04-03-2013, 08:33 AM
Lesterpablo Lesterpablo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyclad View Post
Does your e38 seat have the little metal clip towards the rear of the inboard track like the e39 seats do? That metal clip restricts the seat going all the way back if it's still in place.
Perfect! That's exactly what it was! Thanks!!
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  #20  
Old 04-11-2014, 06:52 PM
Cypher613 Cypher613 is offline
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Mein Auto: E34 535i/E39 530i
I may waehrik. Picking up an e39 530i tomorrow. Sport package but has the comfort seats. Definitely will be swapping for sport seats at some point - just depends on exactly how much love and preventative maintenance she needs initially. Shoot me some pics?
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