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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought a 2001 BMW Z3 3.0i, and so far, I love the car with three exceptions. One is the Harman Kardon subwoofer is crackling (saw that there is no easy/inexpensive remedy), another is the slow recoil of the seatbely pulley/tensioner (another common gripe, I see) and the third are broken seat belt guides on the sides of the seats.

I would like to get some advice and instruction on how to remove and replace these seat belt guides. There appears to be no obvious screws/tabs, and I am fairly certain that there are two mounting points, as each broken half enjoys spinning around on the side of my seats.

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks to everyone for the advice/how-to responses. Very good detail, and will be very helpful when I have my seats disassembled across my living room floor (it's been about 100 degrees here; garage work is a bit uncomfortable right now). Wish me luck.....and apparently some patience, based on the level of effort involved!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Just completed the replacement of the seat belt guides, and many thanks to all that provided information and advice. I found the "dkindig" link best as far as photos, but ran into a couple of differences worth noting.

1. I have heated seats. This throws extra fun in removing the seat backs, as you need to be very careful with the wiring. The passenger side was cool. The driver's side seat bottom wires pulled out of the seat back leads to the heater element. The leads attached to the back heater are friggin' tiny; I would guess 24 gauge or smaller. I ended up putting connectors on each set of leads and reconnected, but I think I jacked up the seat back heat element, as the bottom gets hot, but the back doesn't seem to.

2. The fiberglass seat back made a nice cracking sound when attempting to remove after pulling the pins and getting the friction fit to give way. There is a nice lip at the top of the head rest on the fiberglass seat back. It slightly lips over the top of the headrest frame. Be aware of this, as you will crack the fiberglass as I did. Should you do this, get a nice 15-minute set epoxy that works on fiberglass (readily available at auto parts stores) and repair. The repair was not really bad; pretty easy, and very effective.

3. The "hog rings" that were on my untouched seats were typical BMW over-engineered intelocking clamps. Should you find these, I would recommend that you first "prop" the fiberglass seat back from the bottom; giving you some access on the sides of the seats. Next, I got a very narrow chisel (you could use a narrow flathead screwdriver) and a hammer to force the interlocking tabs to bend open. When I replaced the seats, I bought a box of small hog rings (QTY 100 @ $4.99) and a hog ring plier for $9.99 and used those; two on each side. The result was great.

4. When removinig the seat, be sure to have the seat slid all the way to the front; it makes tipping the seat on the floor to get various procedures easier. I did that on one seat, and the CG of it made it easier to maneuver. The second one had the seat all the way back, which became awkward when positioning on the floor.

5. Remove the seat belt bolt FIRST! Removing the floor bolts first was really dumb on my part. I didn't make that mistake on the other side. Loosening a bolt that had never been removed on a wobbly seat was not awesome. Luckilly, I had a second person sit in the seat until I was able to get the bolt removed. Also; if you are removing the seat belt bolt from the seat, I would highly recommend a ratcheting box wrench. I did this with a standard box wrench, and loved the extra 5 minutes of turning the wrench in a narrow space on a bolt with 3 trillion threads.

--Other than that, it was not bad. Any advice on the seat back heater issue I have? I'll certainly take any help on that.

Thanks again!
 
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