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  • 01-28-2011, 03:50 PM

    Re: Weird seat issue

    No, you don't need to buy new cables.

    You need to search the archives using "Seat Twist" in the search box. You'll find links to detailed instructions (with pictures)showing how to cut 1/4" off of the sheath that contains the drive cables that move, tilt, and raise the seat.

    After you've repaired it, you'll realize that it was easy. The first time I muddled through it, I spent an hour. The hardest part was convincing wifey that I wasn't going to ignite the seat from her car while using a torch to heat up the ferrule.

  • 01-28-2011, 01:30 AM


    Do a search for twisted seat and you'll see. Basically you just need to trim off about 1/4" of the black cable sheathing. We had to do it to mine when one side of the seat bottom wouldn't rise.

    I can send you the links I used if you can't find enough info out there.

    Northern California
    2003 530i Steel Blue Metallic /Gray leather
    AT/PP/SP/CWP/Xenon/Folding Rear Seats/Ultimate Cup Holders/Stongard Headlamp Covers/Stealth rear signal bulbs/50% tint/Saab trunk lid handle/PS2s/Aux. adapter/BMWCCA Member/With a Pink Panther on the mirror/E34('91 525i) retired
  • 01-27-2011, 09:19 PM

    Re: Weird seat issue

    You guys are great.

    Two last questions before I tackle this.

    So i make sure I am clear, it is the seat bottom that has this issue, not the back. One side raising, and one side not. Same repair?

    No need to buy new cables?

    Thanks again, Mark
  • 01-27-2011, 03:38 PM

    Re: Weird seat issue

    The problem of "seat twist" runs throughout the BMW line of that era. I too have applied this shroud-shortening technique to several cars, and although the operation sounds like an urban legend, it definately works.

    Unfortunately, I did not learn of this no-cost repair until AFTER spending over $400 to replace all of the drive cables in my '94 740i.
  • 01-27-2011, 01:55 AM

    Re: Weird seat issue

    You are awesome. Thanks for the help!

    I see that this seems to be for the e32, but I assume that it applies to the e39 as well.

    Thanks, Mark
  • 01-26-2011, 09:58 PM

    Re: Weird seat issue

    Hi Mark,

    Do a search for "BMW Seat Twist". It's a common problem and the fix is cheap (as in no cost, just some time). I've done both the seats in the 530 and have to do the driver's in the 540 next. It is caused by the cables in the seat adjusters. BMW didn't make the cables long enough inside the sleeves and after time they slip a little out of the square drives and slip. There are a couple of good illustrated step by step instructions that you can download. The preferred method is to pull the seat out of the car, heat the end off the offending cable ferrule with a butane lighter, shorten the cable sheath about a 1/4" and then put it back together. Works like a champ.

  • 01-26-2011, 09:31 PM

    Weird seat issue

    I have a '02 540 sport with electric seats.
    All of a sudden the right side on both drivers, and passenger seat will not move up. The left side goes up, but this causes the seat to twist in its mounting. I don't know where to begin looking for an answer. Help!

    Thanks, Mark

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