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Tech Article

BMW E30 3-Series Seat Parts - Bad Condition

Last Updated: 06/10/2021
Parts Group: Seat assembly
This article discusses the seat parts for the E30 with the main focus being on the condition. The information herein is based on my own car and used parts that I’ve bought from various junkyards.

Often times the seat fabric is in sad shape. Why would someone buy a part in so damaged a condition? I don’t know. One thing I’ve learned in the used-parts business is that people buy things for their reasons, not mine. I can at best guess.

One guess is: to repair it. The original seat covers and headrests are by now 30+ years old, and the fabric is almost always in sad shape yet the structural elements and vinyl are often still reusable.

I own a 1984 E30 BMW that I am fixing up. Its seats are in bad shape, but I have a friend who enjoys making custom clothing. I plan to buy her some seat fabric, hand her the old torn part, and say: "see what you can do." I expect she’ll remove the stitches, clean and treat the vinyl, and use whatever remains of the damaged fabric as a template for cutting the new fabric.
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