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Tech Article

BMW E30 3-Series Seat Back Covers - Driver / Passenger fit

Last Updated: 01/10/2022
   
Parts Group: Seat cover
This article discusses the upper outboard seat back covers for the 2-door E30 with the main focus being on the difference between Driver and Passenger side. The information herein is based on my own car and used parts that I’ve bought from various junkyards.

The seats on 2-door E30 cars can tip forward. To make them do so, the outboard side of each seat, driver and passenger, have large black plastic handles that fit above trim bezels, that slide onto metal pegs that are part of the seatback mechanism for pivoting forward. On sports seats, the hard back seat backs have slits in them for these metal pegs. So do the seatback side covers. So, each outboard cover has a slit cut into the vinyl or leather.

To enable the driver to stand by the driver door, reach in and pivot the passenger seat forward without having to reach around to the outboard side, passenger seats also have the handle (albeit smaller and shaped differently) and metal peg and slits on the inboard side. That's why it matters, for sports seat seatbacks, whether one is buying a driver side or passenger side. If one buys mismatched parts then there's a slit where there is no metal peg, or there's no slit yet one is needed. Cutting a slit is viable; making it vanish is not.
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