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From digest.v7.n652 Tue Nov 25 13:52:00 1997
From: "smcastle" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 06:48:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Heated Seat Retrofit

I've had this done to my E34 (front seats only). I bought the factory installing set which will do both front seats. The instructions said something like "this should be performed by experienced technicians only" or the equivalent, and since my automobile upholstery experience is zilch, I knew right away it was a job for my dealer.

So I take the car to the dealer, show them the kit, and their eyes glaze over. But they say they can get it done. I'm nervous, but leave the kit and the car with them. Turns out all they do is remove the front seats (easy) and transport them to a local auto upholstery shop. Two days later (upholstery shop has it's own special pace), I get my car back with seats reinstalled and perfectly functioning heaters. I looked carefully and decide I can't tell the leathers have ever been off the seats. They did a beautiful job, and now my wife loves me more because my car can toast her buns when the seats are cold.

The only challenge was getting the small plastic insert cover for the cutout where the switch goes. Took the dealer's parts department two attempt to get the right one, but I finally did. A couple of other notes. First, USA spec E34 five series cars have the factory wiring harness for the front seats installed at the factory, so doing the harness simply meant plugging the heating grids into the receptable waiting for them under the seats. Thus, the real "talent" part of the install is R&Ring the leather seat covers. Also, although rear seat heaters were an option in Europe, the USA spec wiring harness doesn't make provision for them. When I removed all the wiring harnesses from the E34 I parted out, I looked for this. It appeared that the cabling for all the neat Euro accessories (heated rear seats, electric rear sunblind, reear fog lgihts, etc.) were taped together in one big thick unfinished bundle. It may be different for a Touring; I don't know, but I do consider adding the seat heaters a worthwhile upgrade.

Steve C.

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