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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 08-20-2013, 01:29 PM
Bluemill Bluemill is offline
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Location: Scituate, MA
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 2008 328xi, 2000 Corvette
Trick to getting seat cover on an E90

Both my son and I have 2008 328xi's. He bought his used with leatherette in black, and the driver's seat is a bit cracked and looking like it needs to be replaced.

We have had the new leatherette seat bottom for about a year, and we had tried one time before to do the job, and ran into road block 1, the plastic piece on the lower driver's side trim panel that blocks access to removing the seat belt from the seat. That basically has to be torn out of the seat to be removed. It would be nearly impossible to disengage the internal plastic clip that keeps it in place, which you have to do blind. This is an expendable part I think designed to discourage shade tree mechanics from taking business away from BMW techs! Once the piece is off you are free to unbolt the #50 torx bolt to detach the seat belt, which makes the job easier.

There are a lot of small screws, all torx, and some temperamental plastic fascia pieces for the seat adjustment panel that need to be removed to make getting the old skin off and on easier. I'm in now about an hour or so. There is a sewn on plastic channel rib on the bottom of the skin that is pulled over the edge of the metal seat base frame to hold it in place, rather than the use of hog rings. I think to myself this is nice.... should be easy to put on the new one with this channel rib arrangement-WRONG!!

I have spent about 4 1/2 hours today trying to re-install the seat cover, and my big problem is that channel lock bead thing. What's the trick? I've replaced a lot of auto upholstery in my life, and I've never had so much difficulty reassembling a seat cover. I'll get a start on one end, and then not be able to progress any further than about half way up the side. Then I tried starting in the middle or the least the front right corner, with the theory that if I get a start there, at the highest point of the cushion, with the most resistance, then the rest will go easily. No such luck, I get one corner on and then can't make any head way. I'll try the other side, and the first side pops off. It's insidious. There has to be a trick, or a special tool to make this job doable. Any ideas out there on this?

Help!!

Bluemill

P.S. this is not how wanted to spend my summer vacation!

Last edited by Bluemill; 08-20-2013 at 01:32 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2013, 08:37 PM
Bluemill Bluemill is offline
Registered User
Location: Scituate, MA
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 2008 328xi, 2000 Corvette
Figured out the trick-for the seat cover installation

My son came over to help this evening. With both of us pushing down on the seat, bottom side up on a work bench, he was able to get the cover on about 75%, but when we got to the end, it was not centered well enough, and there was too much on the left end of the cover.

Then he got a stroke of brilliance. He put the seat on the floor of the garage, and sat on it. His close to 200 pounds was just the right thing to push down on the very resistant foam cushion so that manipulating the attaching channel bead was done in about 4 minutes.

So I spend most of the day trying to figure this thing out, and I mean really straining to put the cover on, and my kid figures it out in about 20 minutes. That's my son! I'll finish the job
with all the busy, fussy stuff tomorrow, but the tough part is done. He figured out the trick to get this rather tough job done.

Best,
Bluemill

Last edited by Bluemill; 08-20-2013 at 08:39 PM.
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