Our BMW Z3 is still going strong… but with a rocking driver’s seat!

Our Z3 passed again with flying colours the technical control… except for a rocking driver’s seat!

Unfortunately we missed with our pristine 1997 built Z3 the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Z3. Too bad. We would have liked to participate, but alas were not invited nor warned of the event.

Otherwise our Z3 is proving utterly reliable and a pleasure to use and drive. We put it now through the (in Belgium) annual technical control, and everything proved top notch. Except for the driver’s seat, which showed to have some rocking play in its rails. It’s an electronically adjustable seat, and it moves freely without any trouble in its rails, but it has some fore and aft play. We expected the repair to be rather straightforward, so we made first an appointment with our local garage. Then we discovered one needs new shims or bushings to eliminate the play, parts which a local garage doesn’t have readily at hand.

There are some YouTube videos on the subject, one is part 1 of the BMW Z3 Seat Shift Fix, and you find it with the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM4KSnA58EI, and there is a Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRxrPelM9G0, and even a part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fdDHzykwOo.

Another You Tube film is titled “How to Fix BMW Z3 Rocking Sliding Seat in Under Five Minutes Bushing Rails Bushes Replace”with the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3lmAyYGZvM

The last video I want to mention is BMW Z3 Z3M Seat Rail Track Runner Sub Frame Mechanism Bushes Bushings Rocking Repair Kit. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6PsUywdt74

Finally, there is a film in German, “BMW Z3 Sitz entwackeln”, with the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyfI28Spizg

It already starts with the seat removed, but otherwise it’s the same as the previous films.

Our Z3 got checked on a very wet autumn day, but the bodywork is well waxed to withstand the rain…

Anyway, the flaw of the slightly rocking chair has indeed been going on for quite some time now, and we have to repair I for safety’s sake. Since we don’t have the room nor the tools available and last but not least not (even) the parts available, we contacted our BMW dealer Jorssen Zuid to have the drivers’ seat repaired. The repair is rather intricate as the exact location of the seat attachment with its two bushes needs to be meticulously maintained, therefore it is of utmost important to measure and determine its location before dismantling. Otherwise the seat will be out of alignment in its rails and will pull sideways, leading to overcharging the electric motor, even with the slightest misalignment.  

We will keep you posted on the repair!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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