Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Automotive - Beetle Seat Release Mechanism

A
bout fifteen years ago I bought a 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle with the intent of restoring it. I never really drove it since almost immediately I had it torn apart and sorted in many (many) bags/boxes and spread across two provinces. Now I am tasked with the challenge of reassembly.

When I purchased the car it didn't have any front seats, another reason why I never really drove it. Over the years I was able to find a pair of 1974 seats quite cheaply. Granted they need some restoration and reupholstering but I had all the parts I needed - or so I thought. Recently, when it came time to fitting the seats in the car, I realized that I was missing the mechanism that holds/releases the seat so it can be adjusted forward and backward. I searched my stack of various VW manuals as well as the Internet to try to identify what these pieces looked like or even what they where called - no luck.

Finally by getting little bits of information from various sources and people, I managed to piece it together, so to speak. Turns out that the mechanism is more a part of the floor than the seat. Like most things on a vee-dub, the mechanism is elegantly simple, yet clever, and consists of only a few parts:
  • lever (attached to the floor/tunnel)
  • rod
  • spring
  • pin

Unfortunately I still don't know the official names and part numbers of these pieces.

There is also a cosmetic piece (113 867 231 driver side, 113 867 232 passenger side) that covers the lever box. This black plastic piece, one per side, snaps over the ugly metal cage that is attached to the tunnel and houses the lever.

So that's it. Hopefully this blog helps someone else who is staring at their Bug floor and scratching their head. This mechanism should be the same for all 1973-and-newer Super Beetles.

Oh, and when putting the spring on, be careful not to let it slip and hook your finger. It will likely hurt and bleed a lot. Just trust me on this.

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