Info on Seats, Airbags and Connectors
Initially I wanted to call this thread...
All the useful and useless information you would ever want to know or not know about replacing your seats and reconnecting all the cables for the airbags and seat tensioners and belt adjusters...
But I thought that was too long so I plumped for the above
Just recently I have changed my cloth valour seats for leather ones. My first plan was to just change the drivers seat for an electric one with the memory feature. You see my wife is 5 foot nothing and I am not only much taller but my girth is far greater too. In other words she is still (after 45 years) a doll. So as such whenever she gets into the drivers seat she either can't reach the pedals or looks like the Queen at an American press conference. All hat and no legs.
I did start another thread to ask you guys how? what? and where? about the procedure and I got a lot of help, see here... Click Me
On searching around for a suitable seat I found a number of full sets; on eBay, in various states of decomposition. I guess the result of fat bottom girls and guys relieving bodily flatulence in the affluence of their R75's. Quite by accident I found the ones I eventually bought. A full set of Black Leather seats in what initially appeared to be in mint condition, but at a cost that was at first not only eye watering, but also a nose dribbling potential flood. So I paid a deposit with a view to just checking them out.
I got an email from the seller to say that unknown to them the passenger seat had a patch repair (more about this later) and so he reduced the price to a one eye watering level. This piqued my interest a bit more as a lot of the single seat deals I had seen were not that much cheaper. The whole deal of getting a full set of leathers seemed like a good idea and the Doll was getting excited too. Visions of old codgers testing the rear leather at the drive in movies in style and comfort came to mind. I haven't yet told her that drive in movies are no more; but I still live in hope of testing the rear leather. (Steamy windows to test the aircon, but that is another thread)
Anyway, I sent an email back and asked if they had an electric drivers seat that worked but I wasn't bothered about the condition of the upholstery as I would swap it for my velour cloth. And if they didn't have one could I have my deposit back? I got another email back saying the price for the full set had reduced even more for the full set. To me this was a bum clenching deal not to be missed. So I said yes and went yesterday to pick them up.
I was gobsmacked at the size and presentation of this place.. Think of a junkyard dog type of place with a crotch scratching Neanderthal who can't string two words together without some bleeping word in between. Then think of a chrome and glass city central office with dolly birds serving you coffee and this place would fall toward the latter. Gobsmacked is not the word, I was impressed.
Sorry I digress... So that I would be able to fit my new acquisition into the 75 I had taken out the rear seats. The 240 mile round trip was interesting. I had a constant drone from the back end going down and I also could hear one of the back plates catching the brake disc on occasions. This was over the top of listening to 5Live world cup discussions and Wimbledon tennis chat. So if you are having strange noises try taking the rear back rest out and driving around a bit. Any untoward noises will be amplified to a disconcerting level. It may help to pinpoint where it is coming from.
Anyway I took a close look at the patch on the passenger seat and decided it could either be repaired or replaced at a later date and at the price I paid (£150) for the full set. With the condition of the other seats being very good I thought it was a good deal. The guys loaded them into the old girl quite easily so I was pleased that I took the rear seat rest and squab out. Driving home was a dream... No drone or scraping back plate. 5Live had never sounded better.
Right, sorry for all the preamble lets get down to it...
After giving the new seats a good clean (more on this later) and applying more grease to the working parts I started to remove the old ones. Well as the rears were already out I installed them first. No problems at all everything fitted as it should. I noticed that the leather version of these seats have additional cushions at each side of the backrest. These fit on the appropriate brackets already provided in the bodywork just inside the doors, I fitted these first and then put the seat section in. I am glad I did this as then I was able to manipulate the holding clamps a lot easier than trying to put it in after the rear backrest had been fitted. Something I had done before when checking the fuel pump out. Fit the seat section first then put the backrest in afterwards much easier than the other way round.
It is a struggle getting the seatbelt buckles through the appropriate holes in the seat, but that was because my fingers don't work as well as they used to. You have to undo the bolt holding the middle seatbelt and buckle to pull it through and then remember to pass it back through when reinstalling again. Simple job with the correct Torx thingy. Mr Haynes shows this procedure although the pictures leave much to be desired. I didn't take any photos of this as I thought it was pretty easy to understand and I forgot anyway.
While there I checked a few other things such as the seal on the tank for the fuel and pump access plates and they seemed to be okay if a little dusty under there. Worthwhile doing this while there is access.
Now to the front seats...
First take out the headrest as this will enable getting the seat out of the car. This is easy just a matter of pushing the plastic button on the base of one of the rods that the headrest slides into the top of the seat backrest. Slide the seat back as far is it goes this reveals the Torx bolts holding the seat to the floor. Undo the two bolts at the front and then slide the seat forward and undo the back two. The seat should then tilt back which will give you more access to the gummings underneath. You then may probably see this...
In my case the wiring was a mess and nothing was tidy. I have a theory about why we have so many problems with airbag warning lights on the dash coming on. I think because these connectors are not fitted properly to a stable platform they vibrate loose (more on this later). I have to say I have only had this problem a couple of times and I think I have found a solution (more on this later). As you can see in the picture above only the blue one is fixed to the seat frame, all the others were loose and flopping about. I guess if the seat is moved often for different drivers there could be more opportunity for them to work loose and the connectors develop a bit of slack so causing the warning lights coming on. This is just my opinion and is open to debate.
Now all these connectors have to be separated so the seat can be lifted out. This was where I had some problems. Not being a small person I had difficulty; in this case, in getting down under the seat . Coupled with old and gnarly fingers that only work when food and other such sensual activities give them an incentive to work, and a brain that has decided to go on strike when it can't figure out which bus to catch. I couldn't figure out how these connectors came apart. Eventually I realised that there is a very small section that has to be pushed in so that the parts will separate...
The section between my thumb and forefinger right on the edge has to be depressed and then the part with the red wires will pull out. The problem being... trying to do this with two hands while kneeling and bending and scrabbling about is not easy. And I have never done anything like this or seen any connectors like this before. Half the problem is working in ignorance and not wishing to break anything. Eventually the penny dropped and I got them apart and I was able to lift the seat out...
Here you can see all the cables (yes I did clean and vacuum it before I took the photo) Now look closely at the thingy-me-bob at the bottom of the picture just under the orange cables. I didn't know what this was and I certainly hadn't disconnect it from anything. I gave it a few tugs and I heard something moving above my head... Oh a ghost in the machine. I looked up and the seatbelt height adjuster was moving up and down. I had often wondered what made that work. Just a simple cable pulley does the job. Obviously someone at some time had disconnected it and never put it back. I had a new seatbelt buckle (more on this later) put in by my local mechanic a few years ago. I assume it was them that hadn't reconnected it. This is what it looks like close up...
I discovered that it clips onto a hook on the seat frame. As the seat moves back and forth it pulls the cable and automatically adjusts the height of the seatbelt to suite those who are vertically challenged. For the short and the tall. Man these cars are very clever, which is a polite way of saying they are PC.
There are two hooks it could possible fix to and I wasn't sure which one. Eventually I discovered it was the rear one. ..
View from rear...
And what it does...
Is lift the seatbelt up or down depending on the forward or backward position of the seat.
Now lets look at the connectors again...
Something else that confused me as I had never seen these before was these things...
I eventually discovered that these things pass through a square hole in the frame and then are twisted so that they lock into place. I discovered this by seeing them on the new seats when I turned them upside down. On the new seats the cable connectors were still in place fixed to the seat frame. So it was quite simple to repeat this when putting them back in. I also used some cable ties so that there is very little movement of the cable when the seat moves back and forth. Only time will tell if this supports my theory about why the warning lights come on
These things slide out as can be seen in the above picture. But once fitted to the connector they present a square button that has an offset neck so when it is inserted into the hole in the frame it is twisted and so locks into the hole. as seen below.
The above and below pictures shows where they lock into the seat frame.
And once all are in it looks very neat and tidy...
Note the blue connector was broken so I had to cable tie it to the frame.
All of this was done while the seat was tilted back before I had bolted it down to the floor. I guess it would have been very difficult to do this while the seat is fixed. I assume this was why none of the cables were attached to the frame by the mechanics who changed my seatbelt buckle. If you want quality work DIY.
Now lets look at the seatbelts...
I had a broken buckle on the drivers side and the MOT was due a couple of year or so ago, so I had to get it fixed. I told the garage to do that and when I got the car back I noticed I now have a seatbelt not fastened warning light...
This one is the one that replaced my broken one. Note there is a black cable coming out of it whereas the one on the passenger seat doesn't. So I am guessing that it is this that feeds the warning light in the dash.
This feature is something that is normally only available to our European cousins. I am guessing that when my local guy bought it he assumed that it was required. I now wont to get one for the passenger side so a warning light will appear for them too. Dunno where to get one tho. I am sure it is a plug and play thing and would not require a T4 session to get it activated.
All I had to do with this was unbolt it from the old seat and fix to the new one, a very simple procedure.
The passenger side was a repeat of the driver side except for the black cable in the loom. Check the similar picture above for the driver side. Dunno why? Again the seatbelt height adjuster was not connected but it is now.
For anyone interested the black shiny thing in the middle is the rear compartment heater outlet. No heat comes out of the vent at the back of the centre consol.
Please note... If you are contemplating replacing your seats with the electric ones you will need to check you have this connector off the loom under the seat. I think it can still be done but some modification to the loom maybe required. Perhaps someone can add to this thread that explains this.
When it got time to bolt the seats to the floor it became apparent that the seat would have to be moved on the track to gain access to the holes. Fortunately the tracks have a sort of cup shape that fits over the bolt hole which locates the seat track into the correct position. As I had followed Mr Haynes suggestion that the battery be disconnected for this work to be done (to stop any chance of the airbag being activated). At this point I had to reconnect it and viola it worked and I was able to move the seats back and forth to put the bolts back in.
Please note that Mr Haynes also suggests that new bolts be used for fixing the tracks. I didn't; it's up to you what you do.
When I got around to adjusting the passenger seat it wouldn't work. I messed around with it for a while thinking that it was a duff one and perhaps it was because of the patch and something in the gummings had got broken. Then the penny dropped and I realised that for the passenger side to work it needs the ignition to be turned on it to get power. The driver side has constant power so the memory function can work before the driver gets in.
My next job is a T4 session to get Lazy Seat enabled. This would allow the two keys to be programmed to two different settings in the memory. When the fob is pressed it automatically adjust the seat to the appropriate key. I can see another visit to Terry at TS Autos coming up.
And the finished project looks like this...
The above was before I had taken the passenger side out.
Now finished and all is working well....
This is the patch on the passenger seat. I am looking for an upholsterer to see if this can be fixed. Actually it looks far worse in the picture than what it is. The picture has been enhanced to show why I got the full set much cheaper than the advertised price.
Now I been to know how to keep the leather clean? what products to use? anyone care to suggest some?
Please Note... If you wish to quote any text in this thread please DO NOT quote the whole thread including the pictures. Just select the appropriate text and quote that. This puts quite some pressure on my bandwidth on my server and then my host pulls the plug and no picture will be shown.
Also... it just keeps things tidy don't-cha think?
Hope this is of some use to someone contemplating doing this.
PS The Doll Loves em.