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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I'm rolling along, not moving too fast when plop! My seat drops about 2" in the rear. I think to myself. "That's not good...", and when I go to exit the car, my seat doesn't move back to let me out. At that moment, I realize that I have lost a seat track. Upon further investigation, I find a piece of metal that has totally separated from the seat track somewhere. It turns out that what it had separated from was the track bracket itself. Here's a shot of the broken area. This picture may not make complete sense to you unless you've dealt with the seat completely stripped down but you will have clarity by the end of this DIY.



Close up.




At first, one would think that I needed to lay off some bowls of Captain Crunch but apparently, this is a common failure. The pounding that the tracks take with people falling into the car (c'mon guys, you know who you are), is enough to wear these seat tracks out over time. It's not a poor design, it's your poor entry technique.

When faced with this failure, you have two choices. One is to replace the tracks with new ones, which is what I did. I got a great deal from Grabiak Chevrolet in PA where I do a detailing clinic but you will have to call around to see what you can get them for. Think upwards of $600 for new.

The other choice is to send your tracks off to be repaired. That can be done for around $200 at Dino's Corvette Salvage, or you can check for a used set at some place like Corvette Recycling or the Parts Taxi. I will say that they have changed the design slightly with the new tracks and they are much smoother and a lot quieter. They still plug and play so that won't be an issue.

In order to do this repair, you need to remove the seat from the car and remove the bottom cushion from the seat. Two things that I highly recommend that you go buy are some hog ring pliers and some hog rings. You'll thank me later. This is not a tool that you will use a lot unless you work in the automotive upholstery field but they are worth their weight in gold when dealing with the leather on your seats.



So let's get that seat out of the car!

There's no need for me to reinvent the wheel so I am going to point you to the Vette Essentials website for the instructions on how to remove the seat from the car. However, I am going to interject some things that I found to be helpful with more detail included. In their directions, they start with the passenger's seat which only has 1 power connector. The driver's side has two connectors and a connection for the seat belt but that's the only difference.

When you get to step 4a, it talks about removing the electrical connections that are plugged into the seat. They really don't have a good picture of how this plug is connected to the tracks so I will provide a couple of pictures here that should help. Explaining it in words is even more confusing.



Here a close up of the connectors that show the seat clips in and out:





Everything should go smooth until you get to step 10a.

Explaining how to remove that handle is difficult. Again, pictures are worth a thousand words. The easiest way that I have found to remove the handle is to stick a flat-head screwdriver down into the handle and to depress the spring. The handle will slip right off the shaft when you depress the spring. The spring is very similar to the spring that holds the roll up window knobs on cars from the 70's (I've never taken a window knob off anything newer so they may still use the same spring). Here's a picture of the handle and the spring which must be depressed:





Now the next thing you have to figure out is exactly where and what angle to stick the screwdriver down into the handle. Never fear, "pic man" is here!

Here's a picture of the handle on the seat as you will see it, and then with everything removed for clarity.





Coming down like so with a flat head screwdriver will allow you to depress the spring and slip the handle off the shaft. You'll need to slip the screwdriver between the handle and cover first, and then give it a slight turn so that you can hit the top of the spring.




Now there is a chance that your spring may be installed the way GM initially designed it to be. If you look at the bottom of the handle, you will see a slit where you can insert a flat head screwdriver and depress the spring if yours is opposite of mine. Somebody at the plant screwed up when they put that spring on the handle and apparently, that person built a lot of Corvettes because all the springs that I have seen are upside down like mine. :crazy:

From step 5 - Step 9b, it talks about removing the center back support of the sport style seat. I removed mine because I was doing something else with my seats. You may or may not have to remove yours depending on the design of your leather seats, however, I found it to be much easier if you do. There's not much to it so you should do so anyway. You do not have to remove the leather from the foam, just remove the center section.

Now when you get to step 11c, you have to be careful so that you don't break any of the post on the back of the cover. The main one that you need to watch out for is the one at the front of the seat. Look at the picture below:



Here's a picture of the spring loaded post.



Follow the Vette Essentials instructions down to step 15b and you will be able to lift the bottom cushion off the seat frame and start removing the tracks.



Removing the Seat Tracks

There are for bolts that actually hold the seat tracks to the seat. There are also some connectors that need to be unplugged in order to separate the two. Here is a shot of the new tracks I bought.



First, remove the old tracks from your seat by removing the 4 bolts that hold the two together (notice that I have removed all of the leather off my seats for another DIY project that I was doing).



Next, you need to disconnect the electrical connectors that control the seats. Start by separating the seat from the tracks in a clam shell fashion.



Next, disconnect the following connector.






Then disconnect the plug from this motor.






Disconnect this bag and harness by cutting the tie wraps.



Disconnect the harness from the two motors.



Important! Those motors control specific direction of movement so you don't want to plug the harness back up incorrectly. Only unplug one connector and then mark it and the associated motor. This will keep you from making an obviously annoying mistake.






At this point, you should be able to totally separate the seat tracks from the seat. This is also a opportune time to re-wrap all of your wiring with electrical tape. One thing to note about this picture is that I am in the process of changing out my seat belt receptacle so you may notice a extra connector that is not plugged up. That goes to the seat belt receptacle.




Now comes the tricky part. I have circled the 4 shafts on the new tracks that the seat is going to mount to.



Do you see how the rear mounting shafts are flipped upside down? That's the way I received my tracks. At first, I thought I had received the wrong part because I didn't know how to rotate the pressed fitted shafts but after inspecting my old & new seat tracks side by side, I realized that the part which had the shafts press fitted, actually rotated.



Here's a shot of my old tracks with everything orientated to accept the seat.




In order to rotate the part of the tracks that can't be rotated manually (without busting the new motors), I set the entire seat inside the car, plugged up the power and started playing with the controls. After a little trial and error (and looking at my old tracks), I figured out how to adjust the press fitted shafts so that I could properly attach the seat. Once I had figured that out, the rest the repair was simply putting it all back together.



That's pretty much it. You basically reverse the process to reassemble everything. :thumbsup:


Some things to consider when doing this repair. I reinforced my seats the last time I replaced the leather. You can see some of the things that I did in my C5 sport seat leather replacement thread. One of the most beneficial, and one that you can easily do at this point is to reinforce the bottom cushion so that the seat and springs don't eat up your foam. I used some heavy traffic carpet across the springs to keep from damaging my foam and allowing the bottom cushion to eventually sink too low. This big time saved my bottom foam.



After almost 4 years of use, my foam shows no sign of wear.



Unlike the original foam that showed plenty of wear.





So that's it folks! You now know what it will take to not only replace your seat tracks, you also have a few different options. Holler if you have any questions! :buhbye:


The Junkman :cheers:
 

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Nice write-up A.J

I'm going to get rid of my electric motors in lieu of

standard non-electric seats so these photos will help out

Thanks :thumbsup:


Bon
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I almost posted this twice. I didn't realize that I had already posted it. My mind is gone. :thud:
 

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I almost posted this twice. I didn't realize that I had already posted it. My mind is gone. :thud:
Breathe, again breathe deep. It would have been alright if you posted twice AJ, our cars have two seats anyhow right?:D

Look at it this way...things can only get better from here and we are all pulling for you..:thumbsup: i'm still sick though..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks man, I need all the help I can get. :thumbsup:
 

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LOL! Junkman2008, yours is the used track I bought !! As soon as I saw the first pic with the crack; dont sweat...I only needed the motor endlinks.:laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My broken one is still in the garage. Where did you get yours?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's a common issue. I know a few folks who are experiencing it. At least you found a use for one! :thumbsup:
 

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I need that Part

Junkman2008: I have the same problem with my 1999 C5. It is sitting at the upholstery shop waiting for me to find a part to fix it. I know I could get the entire rebuilt seat track like you did, but I'm trying to get off cheap. The part I need is actually pictured in the first photo in your posting. You labeled it "This is what it should look like." Do you still have that part. If so, I'd be interested in buying it from you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That is not a separate part that you can buy. Mine is broke so it will do you no good. It is press-fitted into the seat track and cannot be separated. You have two choices. You can buy another seat track as I did or send your broken tracks off to Dino's Corvette Salvage and have him fix it. He may have a set of tracks ready to go but you'll still need to send him yours.

If it wasn't for the tracks being press-fitted together, this would be a much easier and cheaper repair. Dino's repair is half the cost of a new set of tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pictures have been restored.
 

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For those of you that have had this issue but ended up replacing the motors etc...., make sure you save the old motors along with the plastic turnbuckles.
I did a writeup on here a while back on how to replace the plastic turnbuckles (although I didn't take any pictures because I had no idea what I was doing until it was done). Those plastic turnbuckles LOVE to break because they are plastic (which is really stupid). I should've marketed a metal one. I would've been rich. Those of you that can't keep away from the Cap't Crunch will have the problem earlier.

Junkman, This writeup and your headlight gear writeup need to be added to the stickies.

Once again, your generosity of sharing is unbelievable.
Makes me feel like an a$$hole for not taking pics of the turnbuckle repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
... Once again, your generosity of sharing is unbelievable.
Makes me feel like an a$$hole for not taking pics of the turnbuckle repair.
Keep in mind that I don't take pictures just for my writeup's, I also take pictures so that I can figure out how to put the crap I take apart back together again. :laughing:
 

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For those of you that have had this issue but ended up replacing the motors etc...., make sure you save the old motors along with the plastic turnbuckles.
I did a writeup on here a while back on how to replace the plastic turnbuckles (although I didn't take any pictures because I had no idea what I was doing until it was done). Those plastic turnbuckles LOVE to break because they are plastic (which is really stupid). I should've marketed a metal one. I would've been rich. Those of you that can't keep away from the Cap't Crunch will have the problem earlier.

Junkman, This writeup and your headlight gear writeup need to be added to the stickies.

Once again, your generosity of sharing is unbelievable.
Makes me feel like an a$$hole for not taking pics of the turnbuckle repair.
Great info thanks. I have a broken plastic turnbuckle, are they available somewhere? Seat goes forward and back, but willl not go up or down. Found broken pieces under the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You need a new seat track or you need to have your current track sent off and repaired. The difference is about $250. See my seat track repair thread.
 
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