Cars / e32 / Body & Interior / Reclining Seatback

Reclining Seatback

Article by: Johan

Article applies to: e32 and e34 models.

Problem: When pulling the lever to adjust the backside of my seat it would fall backwards until it hit the backseat.

The cause of this is 2 worn gas shocks in the chair. These shocks are a real pain.

They are the same type that are supposed to hold the bonnet from falling on you head when you are tinkering in the engine bay. . . I bet those and the ones holding the boot open are failing as well.

Fixing it:

The only way to get to the shocks is to remove the seat. You can get away with just removing the two torx bolts and tilting the seat forwards.

You will need an Torx E14 socket for this. If you want to remove the seat all the way also remove the clip holding the seat belt height adjustment cable and the torx bolt holding the seat belt to the seat.

Next remove the clips holding the shock to the seat. I pried them off with a screwdriver. And reused then, but of course you remembered to get new ones 😉

Removing the shocks is the easy part. Replacing the new ones is harder. When the seat back is tilted all the way forward you still have to apply a little pressure to the shocks to get then in place.

I used a glue clamp to force the shock inwards. You will need some patience here and an occasional scream to relieve frustrations.

When the shocks are in place replace the seat and don’t forget the seat belt height adjustment cable . . .


BMW Part NumberDescriptionPriceQuantity
52101964173Seat Rail Gas Spring$42.182

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