Disclaimer
None of us are professional car service technicians and this story is just my own experience, no responsibility implied, mess with your electrical system and your own BMW warranty at your own risk.
Props given to ReeYee and Skin Mechanic and Hugo for their seat bushing instructions, and most especially to Doug Whalen for making these sanity-saving bushings and shift knobs and other goodies!
Seat Rocking Shish Kebab

Clutch Stop
Remove the Hump
Check Under Seat Wires
Removing the door sills
Removing the Seats
Mac
Console Lid
New Cam Cover
Sport Seats
Custom Leather Console Lid

Shift Knob Removal
Thanks to JonT for company and pics and Shawn for all the work and the pics and the company BBQ and to Melissa for company and dinner and turning me on to her iBook and Brent for the prototype shot
(Whalen Shift Knob)

So your seat is rockin' and it's driving you crazy. This is not the rocking chair kind of rockin' there is another problem like that in our seats with another kind of fix. This is the feeling like your seat is sliding a little bit when you come to a stop, like a roller coaster loose on the rail. It may have been like that from the start in your car, it might have begun after some use, it might be a roadster or a coupé it might be an ///M or a Z3, doesn't matter year or model.
Well the good news is that there is a fix, the bad news is that it's a bit annoying getting to the part you need to fix.
Behold the elusive kebab:

Deceptively simple.
On top you see a kebab with original oem black bushings, on the bottom you see one with Doug Whalen's white Delrin bushings. That is what it is all about, replacing the oem black rubber bushings with hard white bushings that wont "give".
I didn't think this would work because the rocking in my seats was so bad you could see it move, it felt like an inch of play.
This is it.
I checked my copy of BMW's Parts and Service Information CDs, albeit not the most recent, they don't show this part.
The closest I could come was 52 10 000 Removing and Installing front seat (normal/electric) left or right(Z3 Roadster M Roadster Z3 Coupé M Coupé)
Sport Seat Diagram
Standard Seat Diagram
So, there is no proper name for these parts. You are stuck with the names I give them.
Here is the PARTS NEEDED list I can manage- please email me to update it or add proper names
Materials needed:
Vaccuum cleaner (when you see what's under your seat, you will want one, and maybe some nice carpet cleaning stuff too)
Socket Wrench -13 and 16mm socket for the seat rails. Then a couple of different sized torx bits to disassemble the rails. Don't recall the exact size there.
100 grit sandpaper
sanding block- so you can sand more evenly on the bushings.
What size lug wrench
Block of wood to keepseat up
12V power supply to move seat rails when it is out of the car
Knee protection
Soldering iron- you may find torn wires
Nut and bolt tray
Blue Tape to mark where kebab is on rails
Work gloves- plastic and knit- for pulling door sills
grease? for shishs?
mirror tool to see under the seats
4 whalen bushings per seat
BFH (Rubber Hammer)
Midget 3/8" Drive Ratchet
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
First you have to remove the seat from the car. This pretty well follows the BMW directions for Seat Removal
We're at Shawn Fogg's magic garage, so you are seeing pics of the same process for Shawn's gorgeous Bright Red 96 1.9 with standard seats with seat heaters, and my wonderful Boston Green 97 2.8 with brand-new sport seats.
~*~Important to note that we only worked on the driver's seat. PLEASE check the BMW service information for special procedures relating to working on the passenger seat AIRBAG~*~
Also note that extensive use of the 12v power supply is used, I don't know how to move the rails for this procedure without it. Shawn suggests you make sure you remove the seats when the seats are fully in the most rear position.
Shawn begins by removing the bolts in the front of the rails and on the rear of the rails.(4 bolts, 2 in front and 2 in rear)


Shawn lifts the seat up to get a better access to the bolt that releases the seat belt. Resting the seat on a block of wood while he works on the bolt.

be careful disconnecting all the wires under your seat before you take the chair out of the car.
Getting the seat out is something best done by fit people, as it is heavy and has the sharp rails sticking out of the bottom, and has to be lifted at an angle. This is a barrel of not much fun for a coupé especially.
It's already a good thing Shawn has removed his seat, when he sees the condition of these wires. Literally hanging on by a thread.


The placement of these wires under the seats is really unfortunate.
Shawn repairs the wire and finds a better way to route the wires, tucked under the clip for the seatcover, wrapped around the side to the seat belt, well out of the way of the moving parts under the seat.
The 12v power suppy makes all this much easier.
Shawn ended up ignoring the blue tape because he could move the rotors into place with the motor.
Remove two screws from the two "pontoons" that enclose the seat rail shish kebabs. Actually, the two Torx screws are what hold the kebab in place, through the holes on either side of the kebab holder.
Shawn writes:
The two Torx screws free the bottom part of the rails which lets them move freely. Then it is one larger torx screw at the end of the long screw the kabobs fit on to set that free.

Two small Torx screws free the kebab from the pontoon, one large Torx screw at the end frees the shish skewer- and the now released kebab.
Once the screws are removed, pull the rods out from the pontoons-
**be careful to note which skewer comes from which pontoon***.

Here is shown the rods from Shawn's 1.9 standard seats. One is obviously larger than the other. Not so with the sport seat rods, which look alike.
Sorry, no photo of the sport seat rods..
Seat Rocking Shish Kebab
Shish Kebab- from the Encyclopedia Brittanica:
a dish of small pieces of lamb threaded on a skewer and cooked over an open fire. The name of the dish is derived from the Turkish for spit or skewer, "shish" and "kebab", mutton or lamb.
Now you see where the shish kebab reference comes in.

The rod runs like a skewer through the the kebab-holder piece that screws onto the pontoon from inside, then through the bushing, then through a metal piece that actually stays still to move the seat then through the other bushing and back out through the holding piece that screws to the pontoon. It's like a shish kebab skewer running through the onion, pepper, lamb chunk, pepper slice and onion again.
Your misson is to change the pepper.
Note that only the left kebab is marked. ("L")
The Kebab disassembled
The metal chunk (lamb) sits in a 3-sided black rubber bushing (pepper) inside the metal piece that is screwed to the pontoon (onion)
The Blue Tape marks where the kebab should be replaced on the skewer
The white Doug Whalen bushings are intentionally made too thick because the thickness needed for a tight fit varies.
You have to sand down the bushings, made of Delrin, to fit tight in the metal piece with the kebab.
The fit is right when it takes a big rubber hammer to get it in, but it goes.
After and Before Kebabs
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While the seat is out, it's a nice time to remove the HUMP. The hump is a piece of foam that keeps the shape of the carpet on the wall behind the seat. Russell reports an increase of space of 1/4 inch for putting the seat back (leg room only) from removing the decorative foam.

The tools you see are the ones Shawn was using to remove the seat.
He dons work gloves to remove the door sill.
You grab the piece about 6 inches in on each side. Then you have to just do one quick/hard yank and it will come right off. Don't be timid about it or you won't get it off.
Pulling straight up, releasing three plastic grips. It never works that way when I try it or when JonT tries it or when Dave T tries it, but when Shawn does it... ba da bing.
After getting that piece up before you can pull the carpet out there are two screws that need to be removed. Then it just pulls right out.

Shawn pulls the carpeting gently from the floor and up the side
Just enough to reach in and displace the foam pad...even the foam pad has a BMW part number.

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Just for kicks, what is under the floor carpet

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Return of the Shish
The reassembled shish kebab is put back into the pontoon.
Shawn writes:
You basically just slide it back into place and get the bottom rod(s) inserted into the motors.
You need to be sure the kebabs are both at an equal position relative to each other. Using one of the cross bars on the seat rail is a good guide. If they don't match up you pull one kebab all the way out and spin it on the 'skewer' to make it line up with the other side. A little trial and error is needed here to get it right.
After they are lined up first install the larger torx bolt to hold the skewers in place THEN put the two smaller torx bolts in place which locks the pontoons. If you do it backwards most likely you won't be able to install the larger torx bolt as the pontoon will block the hole.



Watch the video to see how the long pointy part of the shish bends as it turns into the motor:
Seat Rail Motor Operation ~1.5 MGs




Shawn puts Emmy's Seat In (Video)
Subtitle: Why this is harder in a coupé. 1 MG Quicktime
Reconnecting the seat heater and seat power wires under the seat.

OK this is just plain uncomfortable any way you look at it.
Finished Project:
Shawn's Seat and Emmy's Seat



Replace seat belt and the 4 bolts.


*Make sure to test your seat heaters and seat movement*

As long as you have your head in the footwell...What a great excuse to install a Ron Stygar clutch stop. Actually, any excuse is a good one to install a clutch stop. A no brainer.
Apparently the last couple inches of the clutch throw is just pointless. Unscrewing the existing clutch stop- which I think just protects your carpet from being hit- and replacing it with a stop with a longer screw.
The bolt and washer you reverse from shipping, the washer goes against the carpet, the nut holds the stop at the spot

Shawn writes:
For clutch stop adjustment you basically screw it down as far as it will go. Then start the engine. Put the car in gear with the handbrake on and your foot firmly on the brake pedal. Slowly bring the clutch up till the rpms begin to drop from the clutch engaging. Turn off the engine. Unscrew the stop to raise it up to a little below where the clutch begins to engage. Test this several times with the engine running and it usually takes a few tries to get it right. I like to keep my stop a few turns below the friction point. When you get it where you like it tighten down the set nut. Then take it for a spin and get everything warmed up as the friction point might change slightly and you may need to screw the clutchstop down a little more. If after you install a clutch stop shifting into first and second gear isn't as smooth as it was screw the clutchstop down further.



Well gee. Now it is so much easier to be lazy when shifting. I can press the clutch to the floor in traffic and not be pointing my toe. Very very nice and simple.
"Hey Rach, wanna try a Doug Whalen Shift Knob?"
Uh, well, uhm, I heard about all these people who have problems getting their shift knobs off--... huh? That's it? You took it off?


Shawn writes:
To get the shift knob off without giving yourself a black eye you put the drivers seat back as far as you can go. Put the clutch in (handbrake on obviously) and reach over with your left hand and grasp the shift knob upside down so your thumb is closer to the bottom of the shifter. Now with your right hand do the same thing again with your hand upside down. Again here you want to just give it one quick pull and it will come right off. You want to sort of sit in the seat and twist your body a little toward the shifter. Just pull up hard with a quick jerk. Just like the door rocker panel you want to commit to it. DO NOT TWIST THE SHIFT KNOB. When it pops free your hands should naturally move to the left of your face without wacking yourself. Kudos to Ron Stygar for this removal method.
To put the knob back on you basically just place it on the shift lever itself and gently rotate it till you feel the tab in the knob lock into the groove in the shift rod. Then just give it a light pound with your hand and it should pop into place.


Using a Doug Whalen Shift Knob is so easy. Pull the collar back and pop it on. Pull the collar back and pull it off. No sweat.
The feeling of the crafted metal ball is very pleasant, the stick is shortened for an easier shorter throw.
These pics taken in JonT's car, sorry about the lighting, he doesn't really have fluorescent wood grain.
Jon and I got to try the feel of the shorter, heavier, rounder shift knob.
Brent sent this pic of a prototype Doug Whalen Engraved Shift Knob from the MidwestZ3.com recent drive.
Emmy is a very happy car now. I am unbelieveably relieved. The seat rocking was so annoying. The clutch stop is a blessing. I even have a little more room to back my seat up.
Can't leave the garage without looking under the hood of Shawn's gorgeous 1.9. Someday there will be a Downing Atlanta Supercharger for the 6 cylinder. Until that day, this is a close as I am going to get. And what's this? A tease for the next little Fogg DIY.... Fancy cam covers...


Stay tuned....
Last but not least... the one and only beige "dot" leather console lid. I have been trying to buy the leather for this project for about 3 years now, as well as hunting for beige dot leather sport seats. Funny, I used to think they were ugly. Blame Nathan Fong for changing my mind on the Dragon. At the beginning of this year I discovered that not only had they discontinued production of the heretofore unappealing beige dot leather but also there were only 2 of the seats left for the driver's side! Time to hurry up, belly up and pay retail.
Russell Schmoyer of Daniels BMW carefuly cuts the part numbers off the new sport seat boxes for me to keep.
For the record, they are: 52-10-9-070-635 and 6

A quick peak in the box, yep, that's it.
Wonder who got the other one?

It could have been a major hassle to install for my favorite BMW technician- Frank Nehrer at Daniels BMW.

Frank is back from competing representing the US in the BMW Technicians Olympics in Munich in February. Here is Frank with all the competitors... and an elephant.... Frank is wearing a suit and tie!
I will surely pay for this later
My car seats are standard, no heat. Prepared to wire the whole car, Frank was delighted to find the wiring pre-stashed in Emmy, just waiting for him to find it.
So I have my old standard seats- and all that rare dot leather. And so me and Frank ripped the leather seatcover off the foam on the passenger seat.

I sent the molted skin from my old passenger seats to the Leather Gods of LeatherZ.com along with a new console lid, and begged Jon and Andy to make a beige dotted purse from a sow's ear.
And so they did:
Before:
After:
I am only sorry I haven't taken better pics of it, but I will... many thanks to LeatherZ.com

And so Ladies and Gentlemen of Z3Land.... With that I have reinvented the interior of my car with the help of my Z3 buddies... Man does that car feel good now.
since October 8, 2002
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