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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Wed, Jan-09-2019, 10:17:39 PM   #11
M3AN
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

Once you take the leather off and remove the bolster material you'll see what I mean and you'll also see that it won't stretch the leather (inside and outside will move the same amount). You bend them with force, basically there's a metal blade (wing) attached to the frame that the bolster slots over and the leather over that, you can bend the entire thing in.

Semi-related in case you haven't see it: http://www.bmwe36blog.com/tag/remove-seat-cover
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 12:24:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

I've had the seat apart before, and just couldn't think of a way to bend them in equally. They seem extremely strong. Perhaps a long clamp with a squeeze trigger to gradually bend them inward. How did you do it?
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 12:30:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

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I've had the seat apart before, and just couldn't think of a way to bend them in equally. They seem extremely strong. Perhaps a long clamp with a squeeze trigger to gradually bend them inward. How did you do it?
I've not done it. I hadn't thought about how to do it but it won't be impossible. I think there are holes in the wings (IIRC)? If so perhaps a block and tackle approach to pull them together?

Edit: threaded bar between the wings with washers, bolts and an impact wrench might also work.
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 10:00:59 AM   #14
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

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Once you take the leather off and remove the bolster material you'll see what I mean and you'll also see that it won't stretch the leather (inside and outside will move the same amount). You bend them with force, basically there's a metal blade (wing) attached to the frame that the bolster slots over and the leather over that, you can bend the entire thing in.

Semi-related unless you haven't see it: http://www.bmwe36blog.com/tag/remove-seat-cover

I was just looking over that link - wow, what a gold mine of info. Thanks tons for that share.

When I had the upper leathers off, and cushions off the frame, I tried pressing in on both side bolster wings at once, which appear to be re-enforced steel, but was afraid I might damage if I pressed any harder because I couldn't be sure where along its curved shape it would begin to flex beyond the point where it would return to its original shape/curve. I don't know. Using and long adjustable clamp (if it could get a bite on them) seemed like a more controlled and precise way of doing it, if it's a PITA or easily breakable (by design?).

IMHO, I'm no expert in this arena of seat design and safety functionality, I'm just a guy who likes a challenge. Something to put ones mind into and forget about life's problems for awhile. My e36 M3 is just that in my world. I'm sure at least a few of us reading here know all too well what it's like to pull back and refocus on something else that is very engaging of the mind, when everything else in your life is turned upside down. In my experience, it helps a lot if it's something I love doing because it's easier to keep my head on straight when other life-problems would otherwise be rumbling around in my head all day. One of the reasons I like the forums so much is the exchange of detailed knowledge, and a willingness to share with those that have the same interest, or just a genuine hunger for knowledge. You guys help me out more than just sharing knowledge, it gives me something to do at a time I really needed it. So thank you all for that because I appreciate every contribution.
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 11:07:07 AM   #15
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

You might be overthinking it, you're not going to "snap" off the steel wings by pressing them in a little.

You're not trying to make a precision adjustment here, just lie the frame on it's side, brace it appropriately and use your body weight (or soft mallet**) to bend them one by one. Surely you're only looking for half an inch or so on each side?


**I personally wouldn't use a mallet, just throwing it out there.
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 05:40:16 PM   #16
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

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...Edit: threaded bar between the wings with washers, bolts and an impact wrench might also work.
Problem with this is that you won't know if you will pull in each wing simultaneously or one bending more than the other.

I think I would just put on an extra sweater.
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Old Fri, Jan-11-2019, 04:18:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

^ lol @ extra sweater.
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Old Fri, Jan-11-2019, 09:40:43 AM   #18
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

Overthinking for sure. I have an inventive mind, and do that all the time when conceiving/constructing new ideas. I can miss the obvious or come up with a bad idea sometimes, but the challenge as I see it is to figure out how to accomplish both objectives. Maybe not in the same league as the active bolsters found in a high end late model BMW mentioned at the top of the thread, but mechanical manual adjustment of the wings - no bolster air bladders at all, only lumbar. Fabricating something to articulate the wings like a jaw using a worm drive gear and motor on each side to force them inward.

Sure would be nice to swap a e92 M3 sport seat into a e36 m3, if that is even possible, but while that would be ultimate comfort for me, it's also probably some kind of horrible sin to mess too much with a cream puff '99 m3 in estoril/dove. Better to keep stock appearance when doing upgrades imho.
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Old Fri, Jan-11-2019, 02:34:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

You could also cut the sidewings off the frame and refit them with some hinging mechanism.

Thinking outside the box now.
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Old Sun, Jan-13-2019, 04:04:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe s

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Originally Posted by M_Parallel View Post
You could also cut the sidewings off the frame and refit them with some hinging mechanism.

Thinking outside the box now.
I haven't abandoned the box, but am also looking outside the box. A good friend owns a machine shop with CNC machines to cut anything you design in CAD. Wings could be cut out of, say, aluminum, and hinge them to the frame with some way to bend them inward. The worm gear I mentioned earlier is what comes to mind - probably driven by a small motor with gear reduction to give it enough torque to drive the worm gear forward to push the wings inward. I'm not an engineer by any means, but almost went into mechanical engineering because of practical passion-projects like this one where that knowledge would be useful to determine a better way to articulate the wings inward and outward smoothly and powerfully enough to overcome the outward weight and width of the torso so it fits snug. An engineer could probably take one look at this concept and tell me in 5 mins what kind of mechanism would work the best. I would take a stab at it myself only because I like the challenge of fabricating in general.

I'm surprised, with Robot Wars on TV for many years, and educational robotics kits coming to classrooms in schools across the nation, there ought to be someone out there that has done this design with a different seat/car. I mean you could probably build a simple robot project that controls the power to the motors to move them left/right actively with a g-sensor - press your torso to the left in a hard right turn to compensate for body-slosh and reduce fatigue. I'm day dreaming here of course, but this comes full circle to the previous poster's comment about the active bolsters BMW uses (without use of air bladders) in one of their high end models. If you haven't watched the BMW video on that, check it out on youtube. Really amazing. How f'ing cool would it be to replicate some of their new technology into the low-tech e36 m3? Subtle changes that don't detract from the original beauty of BMW engineering and styling.
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Discussing Vader seat retrofit adjustable lumbar and side bolsters from '07 e92 328i coupe sport in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)