Interior: Seats, Etc.                                                                                          FAQ Home
Volvo Maintenance FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars                                                                                                                     Version 5.0
Seat Heater Functional Diagnosis

Seat Heater Replacement

Seat Heater Switches

Seat Heater Relays

Seat Heater Failure Diagnosis: Terminals

Seat Heaters Over-Heat

Power Seat Back Tilt Jammed

Power Seat Stops Operation in One Direction

Power Seat Switch Cluster Removal and Repair

Power Seat Switch Repair

Lumbar Support Removal and Repair
 

Squeak in Wagon Seats

Seat Removal

Seat Track Re-Assembly

Seat Back Removal for Heaters, Lumbar

Front Seat Bottom Foam Replacement

Headrest Removal

Vinyl Repair

Leather Seat Repair 

Seat Cover Sources

Seats Interchangeable?

More Headroom Via Lower Seat Cushion


Seat Heater Functional Diagnosis.  [Response: ] I had the same problem and decided to remove the cover (by removing the side clips from the seat) to the bottom section of the seat (the part you sit on). While inspecting the warmer unit, I noticed that one of the connectors attached to the thermostat (mounted in the middle of the heater unit) had come loose. I have since heard from others that this is a fairly common problem among Volvo seat heaters. After reattaching the connector (and making the connection more permanent) the seat toasted my bum like a charm.  [Response 2:] How to troubleshoot the seat heaters:
1. Are fuses good?
2. Check seat heater switches to ensure they are good. Contacts may require cleaning, since they are in an area that accumulates dirt and debris.
3. If your car has leather seats, it will have a relay. Cars with cloth seats (probably only GL and base models) lack a relay and have the thermostat direct in line with the heater elements.  The relay may have come loose, or it may suffer from internal solder breaks.  Remove, re-solder, and reinstall.
4. Remove seat cover and trace continuity on seat heater harness. Sometimes the connectors to the thermostat break, sometimes the wires to the element break right at the edge of the element.  There are often breaks in the harness that develop over the years. It seems to be much more common to have a problem with the wiring than with the thermostat. I've found the connection often becomes loose right at the thermostat--I actually resorted to soldering one thermostat in place--no more problems!  Repair breaks with soldering. Simple way to test the thermostat is to check continuity after placing the 'stat in the refrigerator for awhile.
5. If Steps 3 or 4 show the seat heater to be ready for retirement, replace with a new seat heater. Cost will be around $100.
Repeat process whenever seat heater malfunctions, or every five years, whichever comes first. (Seat heaters commonly start to fail around the five-year mark).


Seat Heater Removal Tips. Just fixed my driver's side seat heater on 740GL; the resistor wire was broken. The biggest problem during the job was removing the seat. Took me a while to find the right position in which the seat would come up. I left the original heaters on the place and only put the new ones under the seat cushion. Another problem point was getting the springs under the seat back to place, the spring force is quite large. You can test your heaters with an ohmmeter, readings should be around 1-2 ohms. If you get 3-4 ohms they're still probably ok. I got seat heater elements from local dealer for $17 which is much less than original Volvo stuff.


Seat Heater Switches. Examined the switches for the electric seat heaters. Both sides had stopped working within the past year, and I had assumed the seat wires had failed. Surprise! Neither switch functioned; the contacts were dirty. It's a bugger to get the switch apart, but it's a simple hi-amp contact that's easy to clean. This is probably a common failure mode.

Seat Heater Switch Removal.  [Query:] Any advice on how to remove the seat-warmer switches?  The little orange "heater-on" indicator light is burned out, and I need to get at the switch for the purpose of replacing the indicator bulb.  {Response: JohnB] On my 90 they're just clipped into the center console.  I remove the screws under the parking brake handle and up comes the center panel and a bunch of wire harnesses.  Carefully pop the harness connector off the switch and pop the switch out for replacement or repair.


Seat Heater Relays. I had the same thing too. The problem (in my case, anyway) is the relays. They are under each seat, and can be unclipped and removed. The usual relay-death-syndrome, i.e. broken solder joints, is the culprit. Just re-flow the solder and your bum will heat up once again...


Seat Heater Failure Diagnosis: Terminals. Seldom is a non operational seat heater due to a broken element. 90% of the time it is a break at the spade connectors at the stress point near the thermostat or the thermo itself fails or no voltage to the connector under the seat, test for continuity with a meter through the under seat connector when ambient is below 50 deg F with seat heater switch off or under seat connector unplugged. Seat heater thermo is accessible with seat installed. if u move the seat fully forward and incline the back to its most upright position u can look how the upholstery is attached for the bottom cover. Its simply a spring loaded bar. pull it out of the two side attaching holes. recline the seat fully back and then pull the detached end thru the fold between the seat back and bottom then gently pull it over the bottom to reveal the seat heater webbing. slide the webbing out gently and u will see the thermo is pretty obvious how to replace the thermo. If disconnect the thermo use the ohmeter to check the continuity through the back cushion. you must use a heavy wire cutter on the wire clips that hold the upholstery in order to access the back heater. other wise removal is similar. I used plastic wire ties to replace the cut wire clips to refasten back upholstery. Has held for many years. Installation is the reverse of above. the only difficult part of the operation is getting that spring loaded bar back into the attaching holes under the seat.


Seat Heaters Over-Heat.  [Query:] I have a problem with my driverís side heated seat. Last winter it basically cooked my ass. It got so hot that I had to pull over and get out the car and then get it shut off with the switch. If I turn it on it comes up to temperature immediately almost and it gets super hot. Its almost like the element is right at the leather on the bottom seat. Now the thing doesn't work at all and I'm not sure how to proceed. The switch lights up and appears to be allright. I guess its either a bad thermostat or element.  I'm not sure where any of these parts are located.  [Response 1:] had the same thing too. The problem (in my case, anyway) is the relays.   They are under each seat, and can be unclipped and removed. The usual  relay-death-syndrome, i.e. broken solder joints, is the culprit. Just re-flow the solder  and your bum will heat up once again.  [Response 2:] It could be that the relay or the thermostat that controls them has a problem.



Power Seat Back Tilt Jammed.  [Tip from Don Willson:] On a trip last week the seat back quit working on one side. So I clipped the hog rings at the bottom of the seat and pulled the upholstry up like pulling off a sweater until I could get to the flexible cables. After quite a bit of investigating I figured that the motor and gear boxes were OK. I finally decided that the flexible shaft inside the housing to the inner gear box was too short and had slipped out of the gear box toward the motor end. Since I could not stretch the cable I shortened the housing about 3/8 inch and reassembled it and it works fine.To synchronize both gear boxes leave one unconnected and move the other side back and forth until it is about in the middle of the travel with the other side not moving, then reconnect the loose side.


Power Seat Stops Operation in One Direction.  [Query:]  In my 960, the passenger side 8-way powered seat works in all directions except down in front.  [Response: Mike Froebel] You have a dirty switch.  I have had good luck carefully prying out the rocker part - the part you move with your fingers.  Pry that plastic out from the front or rear.  Once again, be careful, there is 6 small parts in every switch.  Clean all electrical contacts by scraping with a dull knife, and get all the sandwich crumbs out.  Grease the 2 balls (also helps to hold everything together) and snap it back in place.  You may also have a broken solder joint where the bottom of the switch is soldered to the circiut board.  You have to take the assembly out to do this.  There are 2 bolts holding it in from the bottom. Either way you should be able to fix it for no money.


Power Seat Switch Cluster Removal and Repair.  [Query] My seat is stuck, I assuming its in the switch cluster, any tricks to removing and replacing it?  [Response: John ] Assuming it's a switch problem (could be checked with a test light), it's possible that dirt, soda, moisture, etc has corroded or gummed up the 'stop' switch contacts. Try spraying electrical contact cleaner (via radio shack or wherever) directly onto the switch assembly from the top while moving the stop switch on/off. I've often had good "luck" doing that but worst case scenario is that your switch assembly (called a power seat controller) is NG. They're not cheap, over $150.  [Response:  ]  There are two bolts that hold it in from underneath, which can be difficult to get to if you can't raise the seat.   I was able to fix an intermittent problem by re-soldering the connections on the circuit board.

[Further Query:] I got a new switch.   Its easy to get the switch out, the tricky part is the harness, and the front seat cushion, Anyone know how to remove the cushion? the harness disappears under the carpet, any ideas where and how much of the carpet to lift up?  Why Volvo decided to have a 24 inch harness on this switch has got me, you would think a connector could have been built into the switch housing, and tie right into the main harness.  [Response: Bob] You can pull up the front part of the cushion. The front part of the seat cover is attached by a rail going side to side. Usually has a clip in the center. Remove the center clip, grab the center part of the seat cover where it wraps around the seat frame, bend the rail out in the center so it will come out of its holes on each end. Then you will find an S hook attaching the cushion to the frame about 6 inches from the front. 1 hook on each side. The wiring plugs in near the outer seat mounting bolt. There is a plastic cover attached with 1 screw at the front of the left adjustment rail. Remove screw and cover, pull up the carpet slightly and you find the 3 connectors for the switch. One connector may not match, as they changed them. If so, you can either order the plug and terminals at the dealer or splice color for color.



Power Seat Switch Repair.  [Query:] The seat adjustment switches on my 760 do not work unless I push on the bottom of the circuit board.  When I do this, I hear a click (like a relay connecting) and then they all work. I will re-solder the connections on the bottom of the board, but I can't figure out how to get the board out of the plastic case, so I can get at the other side. Does anyone know how to get the board out of the plastic cover?  [Response: Craig Henrikson] Remove the cover over the rear seatback gear unit and then take out the phillips head screw at the rear of the plastic "pod" that holds the switch assembly.   There is also a similar screw at the front of the "pod" that is not easy to get at but a good offset screwdriver should do the job. Both of these screws go into the seat frame. On the bottom of the "pod" there are 2 bolts that hold the switch assembly in place. Remove these and you and pull the switch assembly up -- this should give you limited access to the PC board. You can them resolder to your heart's content. If this doesn't give you enough room then remove the seat (4 bolts - push to rear and lift) and you can then cut some of the cable ties under the seat to loosen things up. NB -- The switch assembly is a single unit with multiple solder points to the PC board -- if you need to repair a switch GENTLY pry up on the switch actuator and you will have access to the interior of the switch. All the PC board wiring is on the bottom of the board.   My major problem has been the on/off "STOP" switch -- it is easily bypassed by soldering a short wire between the 2 board connections toward the rear of the stop switch section of the board. Note that there are 2 relays on the board and you can't get at them if they are defective but you can probably bypass them if you are daring!


Lumbar Support Removal and Repair.  [Query] am hoping that someone can provide me with careful step-by-step instructions and tips on how to replace the lumbar support mechanism in both my front leather seats.  [Response:  Bob] The most common failure is the adjustment bracket breaks. To access, tilt the seat forward. Remove the lumbar knob and trim bezel.(unscrew knob and pull straight out, pull bezel straight out), then look at bottom of backrest you will see 3or4 steel rings, called hog rings. cut these rings and remove them. In the bottom edge of the seat cover,(where the rings were) you will find 2 metal rods going the width of the seat inside a pocket. Remove these rods. Tilt the seat back a bit and pull the seat cover through to the front side. Then carefully turn cover inside out from bottom and roll it up toward the top. You don't have to remove completely, just 8 or 10 inches. About 6 inches up on both sides in the back, there are 2 elastic straps with hooks attached to the frame. Unhook these with needle nose pliers. Continue pulling cover up till you see lumbar bracket. Unhook strap from back side.  Pull upright padding back a bit to access the screws, remove three screws, bracket comes out. Reverse procedure to install. You will need 4 hog rings and hog ring pliers to re-secure the seat cover when finished.  [Response: John Hibbert] I had the same problem with my 93 945. The following are the steps I followed-
1. Remove bottom section of the rear seat behind the one you wish to repair. In the wagon it simply clips out. This gives better access and enables front seat to recline further.
2. Recline the front seat as far back as it will go. This will reveal 3 wire hog ties. Cut these with a pair of pliers. Replace them with plastic ties when it is reassemble time.
3. Return seat to the upright position.
4. Remove the lumbar support knob by turning it anti clockwise. You will feel it turn more freely when it disengages from the internal thread. By pulling it firmly it will now come away. Also remove the trim bezel. It simply pulls away. The larger knob, the rake adjustment knob does not need to come out.
5. In the bottom edge of the front and rear faces of the seat cover where the rings were, you will see two metal rods going the width of the seat inside a pocket. Remove these rods.
6. Tilt the seat to enable the front section of the seat cover to be pulled through to the front.
7. Now commence pulling the seat cover up as though you were removing an article of clothing over your head. A little way up you will feel some resistance. Tilt the seat as far forward as you can and by getting down in the rear passenger footwell you should be able to see a strap on each side attached to the frame. Unhook these and it will enable the seat cover to be pulled up high enough to reveal the lumbar assembly.
8. Disconnect the strap that stretches across the back of the padding. When tensioned it shapes the seat.  This is done by putting pressure on the two clips.
9. Move to the outside of the seat again. Get your torx screwdriver from the Volvo tool set. Three screws can be found rearward from the knob you have removed. They hold the lumbar assembly in place. To access them you will need to gently push padding out of the way and maybe slide the seat to give room to work.
10. Remove the mechanism from its internal location. The problem will now be obvious and most likely be a break in the plastic bolt like fixture. It has a hollow rectangular head. Mine was broken through this head. This head has a pin passing through it.
11. You now have two options- buy a new mechanism for $20US, -or repair by placing a 10mm bolt through the centre of the adjuster to tie it together and strengthen it.
12. To repair you will need - a 75mm x 10mm cup head bolt,
  • an electric drill,
  • drill bits from 11mm downward,
  • hacksaw or grinder and file,
  • and a small nail or pin.
  • 13. Remove the pin that passes through the head of the plastic bolt by tapping with a rod of smaller diameter. This enables the broken bolt to be removed.
    14. Drill an 11mm hole through the centre of the hollow rectangular section of the plastic bolt. It needs only be wide enough to enable the 10mm bolt to snuggly slide through the centre.The head of the bolt should be at the rectangular end.
    15. Fit the broken section back together and carefully align the drill so it passes through the plastic casing, then the bolt and then through the plastic casing on the other side. This is to enable the pin you removed to locate in its original place and at the same time pass through the bolt.
    16. Once again check that the plastic bolt is together as it should be. Drill a hole the diameter of the small nail or pin you plan to use, through the non threaded end section of the plastic bolt. This hole must go through the plastic, steel bolt and plastic to enable the pin to locate snuggly. It keeps the plastic bolt together and enables it to be wound in and out without breaking.
    17. Cut bolt so that it finishes flush with the plastic end. File pin so that it also is flush. The cup head at the other end doesn't have to finish flush.
    18. Reassemble.
    This has worked effectively for me and I believe it to be stronger than the original plastic. Success may depend on the nature of your break.



    Squeak in Wagon Seats.  [Query:] I have a 92 960 Wagon with 91K miles. It has an annoying squeak that appears as though it's coming from the roof pillar (right behind the backseat no the driver's side). It squeaks when going over bumps.  [Response: Lance Schumacher] I had a similar problem on mine. It turned out to be the latches for the folding middle seat. I put some Vaseline on all the contact points and the squeak disappeared.

    Seat Removal. To remove the front seats in the 700/900 series, remove the seat belt retractor from the seat, If it's a power seat, disconnect the wire harness connectors located near the left front corner of the seat track (driver's seat.) Then remove the four bolts that secure the seat tracks to the floor. There are two lugs mounted to the bottom of the seat tracks- one per side that fit into "keyhole" slots in the floor structure, so once you get the four bolts out slide the seat aft to disengage the lugs and lift. It's much easier on your back if you have a helper to maneuver the seat out with out tearing up your door panels etc. Why the lugs you ask? My only guess is because the seat belt retractors are mounted to the seat instead of the "B" pillar and the engineers wanted to make certain the seats stay put in a crash. (my opinion)



    Seat Track Re-Assembly.  [Query] When I disassembled the passenger seat to fix / lube the seat rails 2 ball bearings fell out when I slid the rails off the bottom of the seat assembly. I didn't see where the came from and re-assembled the rails without them, but now the seat wobbles a little from side to side and front to back. Anybody know where they came from ? How to re-assemble this (non Electric) seat?  [Response: John Hibbert] I have the same problem with my 93 945. The tracks are very successful at collecting Aussie sand, resulting in jammed runners.  In attempting to clean the runners I ended up with ball bearings and rods and no idea where they came from. After much thought I reluctantly had to admit failure and posted to Brickboard.  Gregg Stade very kindly posted a detailed reply, however I've been too busy to follow his advice. It goes as follows-  'I think there should be 2 rods and 4 ball bearings per side. Note how the tracks are positioned..........  Now to the small pieces. I think what I did was lay the rods and bearings in the grooves on top of the track rail still attached to the seat and then gently slid the removed track on, over them. The order of the pieces is as follows: bearing, rod, bearing near the front and then another series of bearing, rod, bearing near the rear of the same track. While sliding the removable track on you'll probably need to temporarily hold the pieces from sliding out of position until the track is completely on. It may take a couple of goes to get it right. You'll know you have it right when the removable track will slide very easy on the fixed track.'

    Seat Back Removal for Heaters, Lumbar etc. Have the seat out. It might make the job easier to separate the seat back and the bottom, although it's not strictly necessary. To do so, remove the 4 bolts that point their heads inside, under the rear of the seat bottom. To open both the seat back and the bottom, you will have to bend/cut the small wire clips that hold together the rods at the end of the upholstery. You can try to reuse these clips at reassembly, but I usually just use those plastic ties used found at automotive stores in a multitude of colors. For the bottom, the upholstery is also held on the side of the seat by small hooks protruding from the frame. These should be easy to deal with. There is also a bigger metal clip on both sides that has to be forced off. After removing all these, you should be able to peel the upholstery back after unhooking the metal rod at the back end. There is also a metal rod held down with some clips at the center of the seat. For the seat back, you have to remove the small plastic panels on the sides of the seat (right side this means removing the knob for rake adjustment first by turning the locking ring inside it). You should also remove the lumbar support knob: just turn it CCW till it comes out, then the base should just come off. As for the above mentioned plastic panels, the bottoms snaps out, and then you push upward to unhook it (it's pretty tricky and I have broke some, I hope I remember correctly the setup!). Once you removed these plastic panels, you'll discover similar small hooks as on the seat bottom. After unhooking those, you should be able to pull up on the seat cover and get the job done. This is a great opportunity to repair a broken lumbar support mechanism!
    [Response on lumbar adjusters: Zippy]   What breaks on the 700 series of cars is the screw adjuster that the knob handle turns and thereby tightens the strap that is the support. To repair it you open up the seat back and replace the lumbar "adjuster".



    Front Seat Bottom Foam Replacement for 240 (about the same for the 700/900)   [Tips from Paul Seminara]  My car is an Ď85 245Ti with leather and seat heater, so there may be slight differences in procedure for your car. I did this from memory so I may have left out some vital detailsÖlet me know if I did.   (Also I hate interior work and no nothing about upholstery - but this turned out to be easy, fun and gave me a huge sense of accomplishment)
    1) Remove seat from car. (Easy on a 240 two 13mm hex head screws in rear, and two 13 mm nuts in front, fun with an air ratchet. Unplug the seat heater if necessary.)
    2) Study/Memorize seat springs, wire grid, foam and upholstery for ease of reassembly, damage and possibly for need of more parts than you have on hand. Study the seat heater wiring and unplug the connection to the back heater. Note the relative position and size of the springs and how they attach to the grid and seat frame.
    3) At minimum you will need new foam. (You may find good used foam in a wrecker. Good luck. It may stink. ) Get the best VCOA discount you can from a Volvo dealer or go to a reseller (IPD,  RPR.  Editor's note: around $150 for the bottom cushion from Volvo with VCOA discount). Study the foam and the center stiffener.
    4) You also may need a new wire grid. Often the cross wires are missing/broken and the whole grid is askew/tweaked. Get this from Volvo/IPD.
    5) You may be missing springs. Some of the well stocked hardware stores sell almost perfect matches (in some cases better springs). I heard that Volvo doesnít sell the springs any more, but I did not inquire, because Eagle hardware in the Seattle area has a huge selection of springs (I needed the two front springs and the springs I purchased are just about the same length with just slightly larger wire and overall diameter for a nice firm feel with better seat foam support).
    6) You may need a seat heater, but donít buy one until you open the seat up. It may be repairable,  mine was - the connector to the thermostat was broken - I soldered the wire to a new spade connector and the thing works great.
    7) So now that you have an idea of what it looks like, and what parts you need itís time to go to work.
    8) Remove the hog rings that hold the seat covering to the frame. They make special pliers for these but an assortment of pliers/vise grips/super grabbers will work. Retain the rings.
    9) Remove the spring steel slide through front upholstery holder strip. (A thin piece of steel about the thickness and width of a hack saw blade). It pops right out and slides out of the fabric/leather.
    10) Now peel back the front of the upholstery carefully to expose the foam.
    11) You will see some more (two) hog rings holding the fabric/leather button wire to the seat foam stiffener. Remove these rings.
    12) Now the fabric/leather should peel all the way back to expose the seat heater grid. And the foam should come out.
    13) The upholstery should still be attached to the seat, donít worry you donít need to remove it (I have read about some folks putting the fabric upholstery in the washing machine at this point though)
    14) If your seat heater wasnít working remove it/replace it/ trouble shoot it now. Also note that the new foam I bought did not have a rectangular divot for the seat heater thermostat. I cut one with an Exacto blade by placing the heater, marking the spot, picking up the heater and carving the divot.
    15) Clean all the dirt and foam bits out of the seat frame with rags and compressed air.
    16) Clean and lubricate the seat tracks.
    17) If the grid is shot or you are missing springs time to attack that now. I simply cut the center wires out of the grid, since I had to replace it anyway. (No need to stretch the springs to remove a bad grid!!). You may need help stretching the springs back, the last couple require some arm/wrist strength.
    18) Now you should be ready to put the new foam in. It should slide right in and fit well.
    19) Position the seat heater.
    20) Re-attach the hog rings to the fabric/leather button wire to the seat foam stiffener. This was a major pain for me so I used two strong tie wraps (not the cheapie kind) per spot. (In other words;  where there was one hog ring I used two tie wraps. Pull them tight while sorta pulling the fabric/leather forward.
    21) Pull the fabric/leather over the foam now pull it even and firm.
    22) Throw the hog rings away.
    23) Use matching/black tie wraps instead of hog rings to hold the leather/fabric to the seat frame.
    24) Clean and treat leather with Lexol.
    25) Plug the seat heater into the back heater.
    26) Reinstall the seat in the car and plug the seat heater in.
    27) Adjust the seat and enjoy!!!!


    Headrest Removal. [Note 1:]It's a game of blind-man-buff... there is actually a hook/latch holding the two rods.. you have to press down at the back of the seat about 6 inches below the top of the back to release them. [Note 2:] There are little tabs that you have to push on each of the legs of the headrest, inside the seat. Some people claim they can do this through the seatcover, from outside, but I couldn't. I had to open up the seat and reach up. If I remember correctly, you have to push sideways. I guess it's worth trying before you open up the seat.


    Vinyl Repair. I found that a clear PVC solvent adhesive does a real functional job on repairing tears in vinyl upholstery. It's sold in tubes at Walmart for $3. Called "Tear Repair". Call 800 248-Poxy


    Leather Seat Repair.  [Query:] The carpool  has taken its toll on the mothership (wife drives the car).  What is a good option to get the front seats recovered, as the local guy says that he only has vinyl (yuk). or do i have to buy the whole seat from the junkman?  New leather covers are available from the dealer at about 1300 bucks for each seat.   [Response:] I had a '90 760 wagon with ruined seats as well.  Instead of doing the dealer rape, I took it to a local auto upholstery shop.  They took a good look at what needed to be done, and suggested they replace the panels in the seats that were either worn, cracked or torn.  They replaced the panels, and then redyed the whole seat to its original color.  This was done to both front seats, and the dye was put on the whole interior. They also put in a brand new headliner for me, and fixed a few nick nicks around the interior.  The whole job cost me $500.  I think that might work for you instead of bending over at the dealer.  [Response 2:]   The driver's seat on my '92 940 has some cracking in the leather so I took it to a local upholstery shop that is well respected around here. As we discussed the options for proper repair, he told me he gets all his replacement leather from a supplier who dyes the leather to match what's already in the car--He clips a small sample from under the seat to use for color match. This upholstery shop then sews up the replacements.

    [Tip from Gennaro Lopez] I've taken off many a 240 seat and repaired the upholstery (shoe repair shop does wonders with the leather). Now I'm gonna tackle the wife's 740 sedan. Passenger's seat has a rip in the middle of the seat. If I can remove the leather skin, I'll take it to Guiseppo at the shoe repair place and he'll sew a thin piece of leather to it for about $5.

    Seat Cushion and Skin Removal.  [Query:] Are the methods for removing the seat & seat skins similar between the 740 and the 240? Any hints to avoid trouble?  [Response: Bob] There is a bar going through the upholstery front and rear, similar to 240. You should remove the seat pocket- 1 screw on rear, spring loaded retainer on front. Looking from under pocket, you will see a hole with a spring and round plastic thing. Stick a screwdriver in and press the retainer toward the seat, and gently jiggle the pocket upward. Then you will find a steel hook about 4-6 inches from the front of the seat cushion. Push the hook toward the center of the seat and unhook from seat frame. Pretty straight forward. I usually leave seat bolted down. However, if you decide to remove it, after unbolting all 4 corners. you have to slide seat back a bit and then lift. There are slots in the floor with holes (key shaped). Not too difficult.

    Color Issues.  If you have color problems due to scratches, etc., try a local art supply store and look for those solvent-based permanent art markers that come in a myriad of colors. There is usually a good match in color to be found (although watch color density: the lighter densities work better). Use the marker to color in the  scratches, etc. and reduce the color contrast.   If you need to re-dye areas of the seats, the dye used in detail shops is from Fitzgerald's and they can be reached at 800 582 3326. The seats do look good.  Of course I'm still going to get some Lexol and treat them to keep them looking good.  [Tip]  Here's a commercial site with a great deal of useful information about leather repair: http://www.leathermagic.com/

    [Tip from John Acampora]  All of the guys on my Mercedes list swear by Leatherique http://www.leatherique.com. They have stuff to repair cracked dashes and re-dye/maintain leather.



    Seat Cover Sources.  [Tip from Dick] You should contact Marathon Seat Covers. They make fabulous seat covers and at reasonable prices.  Even can get different grades at different prices. Have used them for years. Can get them at 800 735 2769 or they have a web site which is http://www.marathonseatcovers.com Have used their 200 and 700 series covers and the fit couldnít be better, they look like original equipment even with a klutz like me mounting them.


    Seats Interchangeable?  [Query:] Are the driver and passenger seats interchangeable in 74x and 76x cars?  [Response:] The short answer is sort of yes. The seats use mostly the same symmetric components mounted differently for left and right seats. The basic frame is ambidextrous. The lumbar support can be swapped around from left to right side (of course, the upholstery will have the hole for the lumbar adjust knob on the wrong side), as can the seat belt anchors, reels etc. The part that's not as trivial is the seat track and associated height adjustment. Earlier models, I think 88 and older, have left-right asymmetric tracks, though it looks like with a little bit of metal smithing that can be taken care of. 89 and newer cars (I think) have more symmetric looking tracks, though I couldn't guarantee that a left seat will bolt directly into the right spot.
    Generally, only the left driver's seat came with height adjustment, and typically only manual, except for some 760 and 780 cars. Therefore, I'm not sure that the height adjustment  mechanism transfers to the passenger side easily (i.e. the mechanism is symmetric), though I could be wrong. Power seat mechanisms can, as far as I have been able to tell, be moved from left to right as long as the bottom of the tracks is symmetric, which as I said above, I think happened in 89. As far as the difference between older, asymmetric tracks and newer symmetric looking tracks, the front, outer track mount differs between 88 and 89, but if the car itself is 89 or newer (accepting newer tracks), the older style track mount can be modified very easily to fit the newer body. If an 89 seat is to go into an older body, the 89 track needs an additional piece of hardware, and I doubt you can buy that piece separately, so it would help to have an old donor seat.
    Again, I could be wrong on the 88 vs 89 split here. In addition, I'm not sure the split was along model year lines as opposed to a running change. I've seen running changes in the middle of model years before on Volvos.
    700/940 versus 960/90?  [Query]  I have a line on some great seats from a 1993 960. Will they bolt in to my 1990 760? Both cars have power seats. [Response: Bob]  Yes.


    More Headroom Via Lower Seat Cushion.  [Query:] I'm suffering from a lack of headroom in my '88 760. I've heard of a TSB about lowering the front seats to gain about 1" to 1.5". My local dealer does not know about it. Can anyone help me identify it, or even better, tell me what it says and whether it's a DIY kind of job?  [Response: Scott] There is (was) a bottom seat cushion available for the car that gives about 1" extra headroom. Your local parts dept. should be able to find it without too much trouble. It is not too hard to install but does involve R&R of the seat bottom upholstery.

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