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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sun, Nov-04-2018, 05:07:04 PM   #1
conniem3
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Default Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

I have a full set of cinnamon I'm waiting to install, but wanted to ask if anyone has swapped just the leather off the front seats.

I have manual, non-heated black seats. My cinnamon are power but also non heated. Instead of replacing the whole seat and dealing with wiring/yellow plug/getting power to work, I figured it might be easier to just swap the leather if possible. I'd also like to retain my manual seats anyway.

Has anyone done this / is there a DIY anywhere? I can't seem to find anything useful. TIA!

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Old Mon, Nov-05-2018, 01:48:30 AM   #2
nextelbuddy1
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Default Re: Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

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Originally Posted by conniem3 View Post
I have a full set of cinnamon I'm waiting to install, but wanted to ask if anyone has swapped just the leather off the front seats.

I have manual, non-heated black seats. My cinnamon are power but also non heated. Instead of replacing the whole seat and dealing with wiring/yellow plug/getting power to work, I figured it might be easier to just swap the leather if possible. I'd also like to retain my manual seats anyway.

Has anyone done this / is there a DIY anywhere? I can't seem to find anything useful. TIA!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
yes, the seat leather and foam assemblies can be removed form the seat frame no problem. the leather is attached to the foam via hog rings but the foam just rests on the seat frames. the leather has J hooks that attach to the seat frame and keep everything tight and snug. once you remove the back cover and the side cover and controls you will see the J hooks for the leather clipped onto the seat frame.

just be careful, frame metal is very sharp and will slice the hell out of your hand and fingers.

heres a video i watched that helped me when I did my seats.

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Old Fri, Nov-16-2018, 10:52:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

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Originally Posted by nextelbuddy1 View Post
yes, the seat leather and foam assemblies can be removed form the seat frame no problem. the leather is attached to the foam via hog rings but the foam just rests on the seat frames. the leather has J hooks that attach to the seat frame and keep everything tight and snug. once you remove the back cover and the side cover and controls you will see the J hooks for the leather clipped onto the seat frame.

just be careful, frame metal is very sharp and will slice the hell out of your hand and fingers.

heres a video i watched that helped me when I did my seats.

BMW E46 Seat Cover Replacement - YouTube
This helps, thank you!

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Old Fri, Nov-16-2018, 11:32:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

Its not super hard, but not as easy as it seems. Making it look good after swap takes some skill.
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Old Sat, Nov-17-2018, 02:16:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

I have replaced hog rings with short zip ties before when swapping seat leather.
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Old Sat, Nov-17-2018, 02:33:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

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Originally Posted by Texaz3 View Post
Its not super hard, but not as easy as it seems. Making it look good after swap takes some skill.
Planning to take my time on these, so hopefully it'll turn out OK. Will post pics when I'm finished, and hopefully a DIY too.
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Old Sat, Nov-17-2018, 08:56:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

I also have this job in my future. I'm watching your progress with great interest. Although I have the hog ring pliers arriving tomorrow I likely won't start swapping leathers until it's too cold to work comfortably in the garage.

Out of curiosity what are you planning to use for the new hog rings? Did you buy the ones from BMW or just a bag of rings from eBay/elsewhere?
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Old Sat, Nov-17-2018, 09:26:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

I have just done a leather replacement for my e36 and I used the hog ring pliers from amazon. Another option is you can use zip ties to in place of the hog ring instead if you don't want to buy the pliers.
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Old Sun, Dec-02-2018, 06:18:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

Progress report: I've reached the hog rings but not sure how I want to proceed from here. Haven't bought the hog rings and pliers yet so might just call it a night.

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Old Sun, Dec-02-2018, 06:21:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats

You can always use ziptie in place of the hogrings.
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Discussing Leather Swap on Front/Passenger Seats in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)