E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 04-01-2012, 03:17 AM   #1
XKxRome0ox
Black and Proud
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,198
My Ride: is totaled
DIY: e46 m3/sport coupe seats retrofit into e46 sedan

don't know if someone else has posted a DIY for this but here it goes
i have a 2001 325i without sports package
decided to get some m3 seats and swap them out
people on the forum always said they are "plug and play" and easy to swap
but i discovered a few notable issues that are worth mentioning during the swap

big shout out to valmont who did most of the work while i helped and documented the process

important - be sure to disconnect the battery as needed
and do NOT turn on your ignition before everything is connected properly and put back in place
if you turn on your car without some of the wiring connected, you may end up with an airbag warning light
turn off your car, remove the keys, and do not restart your car until you are finished



DISCLAIMER - only to be used as a reference, i am not responsible for any possible damage, injury, or death that may result as a consequence of following my posting


(this thread will be updated with more information later, such as what tools are needed/recommended. for now just putting up the pics and the basics)
recommended tools -
socket wrench and extension
16mm socket (for the seat railings)
T-50 torx screw bit for the seat belt receptacle bolt
10mm sockets for railing nuts


first step - once you acquire m3/sports seats, how do you transport them?

good news is that they fit fine in the back
just pull out the bottom seat bench (there are no screws, just tug forward and up)
and the seats fit like this
just be careful getting the seats in and out because the railings will scratch up your car body or leather easily

then you remove your old seats

the seats are held in place by 4 nuts/bolts in these 4 spots
i believe the socket you need is a 16mm?
you should have your battery connected to slide the seat forward and back to gain access to the 4 points

* you will also need to unscrew the seat belt connected to the seat rail
more on this later


be sure to have a vacuum cleaner ready because you're going to find all kinds of nasty stuff under the seats
i found 1 quarter, 4 pennies, a lot of dirt, two toothpicks, and some business cards


the seats are only connected by one group of wires, plugged in together in that yellow rectangular housing


the yellow housing is clipped onto a metal bracket under the seat
once you take out the 4 nuts and bolts holding the seat to the floor, just tilt the seat up and you should be able to see the bracket and yellow housing clearly
just pop it out gently




not sure if this step was necessary (probably is) but we lined up the rail/gear/track/whatever exactly the same on both seats
did it by using a measuring tape and marking with a sharpie
the rails contain gear and tracks ...
more on why it is important to line up your old seat railings and new seat railings in a bit
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderDave
Fill that hole in your soul by buying more material goods
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=15286051
buy my sedan rear seats (gray leather)

sell me sedan A pillars!! (black fabric)

Last edited by XKxRome0ox; 04-01-2012 at 03:25 AM.
XKxRome0ox is online now   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 04-01-2012, 03:18 AM   #2
XKxRome0ox
Black and Proud
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,198
My Ride: is totaled


lay out the seats and just transfer the parts such as the airbag sensor(?)
you can see what each wire is hooked up to
just trace each wire, transfer everything over


here is why we thought it was necessary to line up the railings exactly the same between the sedan seats and the m3 coupe seats
the part that i am pointing to is only on the sedan seat's railing
that is the part that the sedan's seatbelt bolts onto
coupe seatbelts are bolted to the car's body, not to the seats (since passengers need more room to access the rear seats)
unless if you want to make a custom seatbelt bolt bracket or something and drill into your body, you will need to transfer this part from your sedan seat to the coupe seat

you only need to remove one railing from each seat, just to be able to attach the seatbelt

the sedan's railing with the seatbelt attachment




when you remove the railing, you can see this gear head and shaft
after you swap the sedan railing to the coupe railing (they are the exact same size/length, except that the sedan railing has the extra attachment for the seatbelt)
it is probably best if you pull up this shaft and keep the gear head in the sedan railing

like so

this is the part that gave us some trouble
the railing/shaft needs to fit in 3 places
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderDave
Fill that hole in your soul by buying more material goods
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=15286051
buy my sedan rear seats (gray leather)

sell me sedan A pillars!! (black fabric)

Last edited by XKxRome0ox; 04-01-2012 at 04:07 AM.
XKxRome0ox is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 03:36 AM   #3
XKxRome0ox
Black and Proud
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,198
My Ride: is totaled

so you need to line up the shaft to fit back into where it came from
and line up the two bolts on the railing to the holes on the 2 legs/brackets under the seat (where you took the railing off from)
one side was not lining up easily and we wrestled with it for a while
the best solution was to line up the shaft first, then line up one bolt to one hole
tighten a nut under that one bolt
and while trying to fit the 2nd bolt to the 2nd hole/leg, we took a rubber mallet and tapped it from the first side that was already inserted
(if you're doing this, you will see what i mean)

once you swap the railings with the seatbelt bracket
you need to remove and replace the seatbelt receptacle (the place where the seatbelt "clicks" into)

there is an "explosive charge" next to the seatbelt receptacle so be careful (that's to release the seatbelt after an accident)
just unscrew using the T-50 torx bit

the yellow housing and one set of wires (which trigger the explosive charge) were connected to the seatbelt receptacle

just swap over to the coupe seat

and that's pretty much it
you reverse the process to replace the seat
tighten the bolts and nuts, connect the seatbelt to the bolt on the railing

and repeat for the other side
(already have m3 steering wheel on its way, that's next mod for me)


looks a little silly having coupe seats in the sedan with the quick tilt/fold function
but why not?
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderDave
Fill that hole in your soul by buying more material goods
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=15286051
buy my sedan rear seats (gray leather)

sell me sedan A pillars!! (black fabric)

Last edited by XKxRome0ox; 04-01-2012 at 04:18 AM.
XKxRome0ox is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 03:36 AM   #4
XKxRome0ox
Black and Proud
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,198
My Ride: is totaled
some housekeeping -
it's much easier to transport and store the old seats if you slide it so that the railings are as flush as possible under the seat

you only need this one plug (pictured above) to power the seat
i did not get an error or airbag sensor light from doing this
once you get the seat railings in the desired position, just unplug
do this before you finish mounting the new seats


finished product
yes, now i need a black armrest and need to redo at least some of my interior to match better
planning on rewrapping and painting various parts

so once we had all the wires reconnected, i turned on the car and tested everything out
there was no airbag warning light
and holding down seat memory button, the carseat's memory worked right away (that is stored with the car) moving the seat and mirrors



tada~ the latest rage is putting front seats in the back
sort of look like giant booster seats

so sedan seats fit fine in the back as well, without having the benefit of the quick tilt/fold function
someone should really do a retrofit of front seats into the back (since the sedan rear seats are really uncomfortable anyway)
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderDave
Fill that hole in your soul by buying more material goods
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=15286051
buy my sedan rear seats (gray leather)

sell me sedan A pillars!! (black fabric)

Last edited by XKxRome0ox; 04-01-2012 at 03:59 AM.
XKxRome0ox is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 03:57 AM   #5
XKxRome0ox
Black and Proud
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,198
My Ride: is totaled
i just finished making this DIY at 2am ... if anything doesn't make sense or if i placed a picture in the wrong spot or something, please let me know
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderDave
Fill that hole in your soul by buying more material goods
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=15286051
buy my sedan rear seats (gray leather)

sell me sedan A pillars!! (black fabric)
XKxRome0ox is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 08:04 AM   #6
Sansho
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 1,852
My Ride: 2001 325i
Nicely done!
__________________
.
Sansho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
omni01_k
Registered User
 
omni01_k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: CA
Posts: 227
My Ride: 2014 335i
Like those new baby seats in the back lol j/p.
Nice job on the seats and the DIY
__________________
omni01_k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #8
VALMONT
The De46vil's Army
 
VALMONT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: So Cal
Posts: 24,767
My Ride: 325Ci, Passat
Send a message via AIM to VALMONT Send a message via MSN to VALMONT
__________________
VALMONT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 03:58 PM   #9
CShell
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: At the computer
Posts: 11,199
My Ride: Cait
Send a message via AIM to CShell
What color is that sweatshirt?

CShell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 04:02 PM   #10
CShell
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: At the computer
Posts: 11,199
My Ride: Cait
Send a message via AIM to CShell
W&M folk can do anything.
CShell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
VALMONT
The De46vil's Army
 
VALMONT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: So Cal
Posts: 24,767
My Ride: 325Ci, Passat
Send a message via AIM to VALMONT Send a message via MSN to VALMONT
Quote:
Originally Posted by XKxRome0ox View Post
big shout out to valmont who did most of the work while i helped and documented the process
Quote:
Originally Posted by CShell View Post
W&M folk can do anything.


you mean:



__________________

Last edited by VALMONT; 04-01-2012 at 04:06 PM.
VALMONT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 07:45 PM   #12
XKxRome0ox
Black and Proud
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: los angeles
Posts: 10,198
My Ride: is totaled
Quote:
Originally Posted by CShell View Post
W&M folk can do anything.

so i hear you went to williamsburg looking for me ... too bad i moved back to california

(wait, i might be confusing you with someone else... are you the one who got hurt 4-wheeling? either way )
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderDave
Fill that hole in your soul by buying more material goods
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=15286051
buy my sedan rear seats (gray leather)

sell me sedan A pillars!! (black fabric)
XKxRome0ox is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 09:13 AM   #13
coby1
Just Road Miles
 
coby1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Georgia
Posts: 705
My Ride: 325i sport pkg
Subscribed thanks for the great wright up
__________________
<a href=http://img211.imageshack.us/my.php?image=coby112ef1.jpg target=_blank>[img=http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/3589/coby112ef1.th.jpg]</a>
coby1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 08:49 PM   #14
Hornung418
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bel Air, MD/ WVU
Posts: 1,013
My Ride: '04 MB ZHP
Awesome write up. I wonder if you can delete the quick tilt. That's one thing that just looks super out of place on a sedan.
__________________
Hornung418 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 09:18 PM   #15
Imola.ZHP
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Mud Island, TN
Posts: 1,236
My Ride: Imola ZHP
^ agreed, I wonder if e90 M3 seats would look good in there...
__________________

-- '03 330i ZHP
-- Marcus
Imola.ZHP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 10:16 PM   #16
///MPR77
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,852
My Ride: 02 ///M3 Tri-Ped
Nice write-up

Something worth mentioning:
Before removing the seat move the seat position, so that it is centered on the rails. This makes it easier to get out of the car, to prevent scratching the interior.
I remember keeping the battery connected right up until I went to disconnect the power to the seat, so that I could move it back and forth to gain access to the bolts.
__________________

Bewahren Sie ihre ultimative fahrmaschine
///MPR77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 01:44 PM   #17
bmwmck
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 509
My Ride: '00 328i 5spd
Great DIY! Any idea if you can transfer both the inner and outer sedan seat rails to the M3 seat? I've got a chance to buy some M3 seats but the rails aren't included.

Last edited by bmwmck; 12-08-2012 at 01:45 PM.
bmwmck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 04:32 PM   #18
Dundeal07
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: North Hollywood
Posts: 44
My Ride: 325cic
Looks awesome
Dundeal07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2013, 04:34 PM   #19
newnovice
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: northwest
Posts: 45
My Ride: 2003 325i
maybe a very lame question - can you put sports seats into a sedan that has manual seats?

Is the required wiring already present? Also worth mentioning is that I already have heated seats.
newnovice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 02:08 PM   #20
bee-em-dougle-u
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 912
My Ride: 2002 BMW 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by VALMONT View Post


you mean:



Go Titans! I'm a CSUF alum too.

Class of '87 or so.
bee-em-dougle-u is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use