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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Problem: The driver's seat is stuck all the way back on the track, and the switch does not move it. This isn't surprising since at some point the wires on the motor controlling the main back and forth motion were severed. The seat has to be moved in order to get to the bolts holding it down.

Normally, a person can take these steps:

1. Unscrew the motor
2. Take the small, square ended, flexible bit out from where it turns the small gear box which moves the seat back and forth on the rails.
3. Put that bit in a drill, and use that as the motor.

When I do this, the bit turns freely in the gearbox. It's seated, it's just not encountering any resistance. This leads me to believe that the small copper "safety gear" inside the box has sheared all of its teeth, thus the gearbox is useless for anything other than holding the seat in place. I've read about similar behavior in the reclining motor gear box, but that one is easy to get to, whereas this one is a PITA.

With no way to move the seat so that I can get at the bolts attaching it to the floor, I don't see any way short of cutting metal that I can get the thing out of the car.

Thanks for your time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I've attached a RealOEM diagram that shows, but doesn't explain the parts of the rail and bar mechanism.
 

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no idea what you are talking about, gl lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, this blows. Doesn't affect me since I'm tall, but want to fix it all the same.
Gearbox is tiny, and fixed to the right rail, closer to the passenger, dead center of bottom of the seat. There is maybe 4'' of clearance working from back seat, so it's damn near impossible to get any useful tools in there.

Currently, I'm trying to figure out some sort of fabrication for a small, say 10mm wrench that is angled so I can get it into the rail and unscrew the bolts attaching the rail to the floor 1mm at a time without moving the seat. Anyone ever had a similar problem and found a tool that would work?
 

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Not sure if you can reach the wire harness branch going to the fore/aft slide motor, but if so you can probably get it to move by applying power to the correct wires. Sounds like your seat is basically FUBAR anyway so tapping into the wire harness (or even the slide motor pins directly) probably wouldn't cause any damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input guys.

I was thinking of giving a swing angle ratchet spanner a go. Problem is it has to be extremely thin (about 1-2mm thickness at most.) Think I may need to bust out the torch and get creative. As for getting to the wire harness, it's definitely doable, but if the gears are jammed it won't do any good. I think only approach at this point is to get into that rail and undo the bolts. Will post pics soon. On a military base and away from the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Been a long time, but I actually got the seat fixed. Worked it out with a combination of the original shaft in the drill motor and some pushing. Still a PITA though. If you have an older e46, look out for the seat wires becoming frayed or starting to sever.
 
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