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: 9 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 08-25-2010, 05:53 PM   #1
xi_ter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 2,221
My Ride: 2003 325xi
Replacement OEM Seat cover DIY for Seat bottom with pics

The OEM replacement cover comes complete with heated seat panel. The leatherette version cost about $260 at BavAuto. You will need to move 4 wire rods from the old cover.

The edge of the driver's seat bottom is a common wear point and also a look at the pulled out seat cover at the end of the job.



Steps:
1. Remove head rest and put aside.
2. Move seat to a high height position remove the 4 16 mm fasteners holding the seat. You will need to move the seat back and forth to gain access. I used this DIY to guide seat removal and switch disassembly:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=657042 (I will use a few pics that I found esp helpful)

3. Move the seats forward, one last time before you disconnect the battery, then disconnect it. Remove 2 torque screws at the back of the seat. Remove 16 mm bolt for the seatbelt anchor.



4. Tilt the seat back, pry yellow slide with slot screwdriver and undo the main power to the seats.


5. Remove seat from car. Put a moving blanket over the door sill.

6. Cut zip tie holding the seat heater wire and undo the two harnesses. Pry a hold-down sleeve for the small one, and a wedge shaped lock to push the harness aside for the larger one.
Take a look at the new seat cover to get familiar with the wiring supplied and ignore this if you don't have heated seats.


7. There are 5 tabs of various sizes holding the control panel pry upward on all 5 at the same time (or use bits of cardboard to keep them from locking again)

Several tabs on the seat control panel:



1 under the curved section, 2 larger tabs as circled and 2 smaller tabs

You only need to pull the control panel away from the seat it is not necessary to disconnect.

8. Finally there is a base under the seat controls that is held to the seat by 4 torx screws. Remove these screws and pull this panel away.



9. Push away the U-shaped channel holding the seat cushion to the perimeter lip of the seat frame.



10. Once this is done all around the cushion, the back part will pull from under the seat back and the bottom cushion will pull out so you can do the hog ring removal at a bench.
Cut the hog rings and make sure all of these are thrown away - any traces of the metal can cut the new vinyl.
BMW requires you to recycle the wire rods. Push these through the sewn sleeve. You'll notice that there are no prepunched holes for the zip ties. I used my needle nosed pliers to poke a hole.



11. I positioned all my zipties into the foam cushion so I would be pulling outward.
Use needle nose pliers to cinch the wire rods into the cushion with the zipties. At the back there are 4 more holes in the cover that need to be ziptied. Work systematically so you don't cover up one of the zipties. Cut off excess as you work.
Near the back u-channel, there are 4 prepunched flaps that need to be ziptied to the cushion. I kept the hog ring as an anchor for 2. For the other 2 I pushed the ziptie through about an inch of foam to prevent pull through.

12. Pull the back flap under the seat back.
You then need to attach to the seat frame by folding the u-channel and reattaching the cover, all the way around the frame.

13. Reconnect electrical.
14. Screw base of panel back on and click tabs in place.
15. Put seat back. Reconnect main power and reattach belt anchor and 4 seat fasteners. Reconnect battery and test heated seats. Refasten seats.

The OEM replacement is worth the expense and effort. The vinyl is fresh and there is perfect color and grain match. Gives a factory look to the tear repair and also gives a new seat heating pad. Due to the battery disconnect , you get 3 ABS/ Brake lights that go away on driving. Note I did not do the seat back, only the bottom.
__________________

Last edited by xi_ter; 08-30-2010 at 09:42 PM.
xi_ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 08-25-2010, 06:12 PM   #2
xi_ter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 2,221
My Ride: 2003 325xi
RealOEM.com pages for seat covers - gives a rough idea of cost

See seats group



http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...84&hg=52&fg=10
__________________
xi_ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2010, 07:37 PM   #3
iansanderson
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 2,778
My Ride: 2001 330CiC
Quote:
Originally Posted by xi_ter View Post
The OEM replacement cover comes complete with heated seat panel. The leatherette version cost about $260 at BavAuto. You will need to move 4 wire rods from the old cover.

The edge of the driver's seat bottom is a common wear point and also a look at the pulled out seat cover at the end of the job.

hat go away on driving. Note I did not do the seat back, only the bottom.
nice write-up. You are correct that the OEM cover really is the best option. It fits, looks correct and should last a long time. I will need to replace mine in the near future as some stitching is coming apart. Hopefully the extended leg-zone won't be too much of a problem.
__________________



Cheat Sheet:

GT1/ISIS/MoDiC = Factory authorized diagnostic system used by BMW dealerships across the world.

NCS Expert = BMW Factory R&D programming tool available on the internet (not intended for the public and not available to the dealership network)

OEM = Genuine BMW part only available from a franchised BMW dealership.

DME = Engine Management Computer
iansanderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2010, 08:29 PM   #4
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
$800 for each replacement cover... damn! That is almost $1600 per seat.

wow!

3 SEAT COVER LEATHER LIGHTGELB 2 09/2001 52108267614 $739.35


4 Cover backrest, leather BROMBEER 2 52107048432 $739.35
__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2010, 08:54 PM   #5
xi_ter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 2,221
My Ride: 2003 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
$800 for each replacement cover... damn! That is almost $1600 per seat.

wow!

3 SEAT COVER LEATHER LIGHTGELB 2 09/2001 52108267614 $739.35


4 Cover backrest, leather BROMBEER 2 52107048432 $739.35
BMW Replacement Parts is not too kind to leather owners, even shift boots are nearly $100. There are a few sellers at eBay.de that pull off the seat covers as described in this DIY and sell all the leather covers for around $1000.
http://translate.google.com/translat...6r&sl=de&tl=en
My German is horrible so I use Google translate. Some sellers ship world wide.
__________________

Last edited by xi_ter; 08-25-2010 at 10:43 PM.
xi_ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2010, 09:18 PM   #6
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
http://www.leatherseats.com/3Series_leather_kit.asp
__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2010, 09:57 PM   #7
John in VA
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 601
My Ride: '00 Farngrün 328i
From Tischer BMW:
52108267614 List Price Core Price Your Price
SEAT COVER $603.00 $0.00 $482.40

52107048432 List Price Core Price Your Price
COVER-B.REST $658.00 $0.00 $526.40
__________________
John in VA
'03 530i
'00 328i
'86 535i
'85 535i
'85 325e - RIP
'74 2002tii
John in VA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2010, 09:58 PM   #8
delmarco
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 6,303
My Ride: 330i
Send a message via ICQ to delmarco Send a message via Yahoo to delmarco
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in VA View Post
From Tischer BMW:
52108267614 List Price Core Price Your Price
SEAT COVER $603.00 $0.00 $482.40

52107048432 List Price Core Price Your Price
COVER-B.REST $658.00 $0.00 $526.40
thanks.
__________________




VISIT MY GARAGE TO SEE ALL MY MODS:

http://directory.e46fanatics.com/use...rMod&UcId=7917
delmarco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2010, 06:01 PM   #9
xi_ter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 2,221
My Ride: 2003 325xi
After driving with the new covers a few days, it's pretty amazing how much the heated seat grid had degraded over time. The new bottom cushion now heats up very quickly and is more uniformly warm than the upper part that was not replaced.
There are good reasons that BMW incorporates the cover and the heating grid... if the vinyl is cracking, the heating grid is probably getting bad as well.
__________________
xi_ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2010, 09:15 PM   #10
kap09
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 242
My Ride: 2014 S4 DSG
sorry to bump this old thread, but what description should i look for on realoem? i don't see leatherette as an option...
__________________
2014 S4 | DSG | Ibis White | Sport Diff | 19'' Peelers | MMI | Carbon Atlas | B&O | Side Assist | SC Badged
OE Sport | Alu Kruez | ECS Flush Kit | 40% Pinnacle Tint | Hoen Endurance | Escort 8500 x50

Past Rides
2013 S4 6MT//2010 A4 Quattro//2000 BMW 323i//1991 Integra//1990 Jetta//1993 Civic
kap09 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2010, 09:38 PM   #11
carsos
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dallas
Posts: 410
My Ride: '03 325Ci
damnit. this makes me want to add another thing to my diy queue.
carsos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2010, 09:44 PM   #12
kap09
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 242
My Ride: 2014 S4 DSG
Quote:
Originally Posted by carsos View Post
damnit. this makes me want to add another thing to my diy queue.
right? doing this and replacing my busted seat cover is at the top of my list as soon as i get the right part number and can place the order.
__________________
2014 S4 | DSG | Ibis White | Sport Diff | 19'' Peelers | MMI | Carbon Atlas | B&O | Side Assist | SC Badged
OE Sport | Alu Kruez | ECS Flush Kit | 40% Pinnacle Tint | Hoen Endurance | Escort 8500 x50

Past Rides
2013 S4 6MT//2010 A4 Quattro//2000 BMW 323i//1991 Integra//1990 Jetta//1993 Civic
kap09 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2010, 10:18 PM   #13
carsos
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dallas
Posts: 410
My Ride: '03 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by iansanderson View Post
nice write-up. You are correct that the OEM cover really is the best option. It fits, looks correct and should last a long time. I will need to replace mine in the near future as some stitching is coming apart. Hopefully the extended leg-zone won't be too much of a problem.
if it's really just the stitching that's the problem, you can fix that easy. curved upholstery needles and some heavy duty thread, a couple bucks at a craft/fabric store.

carsos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 05:05 AM   #14
xi_ter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 2,221
My Ride: 2003 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by kap09 View Post
sorry to bump this old thread, but what description should i look for on realoem? i don't see leatherette as an option...
On realoem.com the leatherette is referred to as vinyl.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...84&hg=52&fg=10
__________________
xi_ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2010, 07:27 PM   #15
dmax
Registered User
 
dmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 22,826
My Ride: '99 328i 1.04646 mu
Xi ter,

Missed checking up on this old thread...so looks like I'll be getting to this...

Do you happen to have an opinion or recollection about whether the seat covers for the bottoms in the front are symmetrical? I'm planning on just stealing the pass seat bottom with working heating grid to my seat.

Doug
__________________


Performing at the Comedy Cove--595 Morris Ave. Springfield NJ reservations 973 376-3840

A recent set

dmax on the radio every Wednesday 7-9 p.m. NYC time. Call in! (661) 449-9340 watsonnwatson.com
dmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 05:36 PM   #16
xi_ter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 2,221
My Ride: 2003 325xi
^^ The seat bottoms are symmetrical. Your plan will work. ...Sorry last couple of weeks were busy.
__________________

Last edited by xi_ter; 01-07-2011 at 08:53 PM.
xi_ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2011, 03:08 PM   #17
dsblk93gt
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Plattsburgh, NY
Posts: 210
My Ride: '01 325i
I need to do this to my car, I have been looking for a whole seat with not much luck since it is a sport seat and tan with no power.
__________________
'01 325i Sedan - Alpine White, Sport Package, 5spd - daily driver 144k miles
'93 Mustang LX 5.0 - Reef Blue, 5spd, Vortech Si-Trim and alot more....
dsblk93gt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 08:08 PM   #18
xi_ter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 2,221
My Ride: 2003 325xi
Power/ no power will have the same seat bottoms and backs. Will expand the possible sources.
__________________
xi_ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2011, 12:35 PM   #19
aggieE46
Keep it clean
 
aggieE46's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Royse City
Posts: 8,038
My Ride: 03 Evo, 07 Passat
Send a message via AIM to aggieE46
Thanks for the thread. Going to do this soon.
__________________
aggieE46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2011, 08:41 PM   #20
beberle
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 181
My Ride: 2009 328 wagon
It's only been a year, but the prices for these covers appears to be skyrocketing. ECS tuning has the same bottom cover for $359 right now and BMW of South Atlanta at $415. Supply shrinking & demand growing??
note: just bought the vinyl bottom at Tischer for $332. Ouch!

Last edited by beberle; 10-27-2011 at 06:42 AM.
beberle 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 08:50 AM.


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