W126 power rear seat top trim

An obvious issue on my 560SEL was how the rear seat was mounted.   There was an obvious gap between the parcel shelf and the rear seat.   The 560SEL came standard with a W126 power rear seat.   This either standard or optional on other W126 LWB models.   It seemed clear that when the self-leveling rear suspension was removed, the trim was not put back correctly.

On a car without the power rear seat, the backrest is fixed into position so there is no need for an additional trim piece.   On a car with the W126 power rear seat, there is a L-Shaped trim piece that keeps everything looking neat as the seat moves.   When the seat is reclined, the seat bottom moves out and the angle of the seat back changes.   The L-Shaped trim piece is hinged on the parcel shelf so it can move with the seat.   On my car, it was in the down position when the seat was installed.  This can be seen in the rather unsightly gap shown in the picture below.

W126 power rear seatWhen I was investigating why my power rear set is not working, I removed the seat bottom, but never needed to remove the backrest.   It was going to have to come out to fix this trim though.    There are three 10mm bolts that hold the backrest to the W126 power rear seat frame.   Once they are removed, the seat must be lifted up to allow the metal hooks to clear the frame.  It can then come forward.   The photo below shows the frame and the trim piece pushed up so the seat can be put back in.

W126 power rear seat removed

I found removal of the seat much easier than the re-installation.   It is probably quite easy with an assistant, but I found it hard to make sure the trim was up, and the seat hooked onto the frame properly.    After I got the frame on, the seat was sitting 1cm too high.   I tried 3-4 times to get it to position properly.   In the end, I found the remains of some rubber grommets stuck on two of the hooks in the seat back.   I think they probably go into the holes in the frame, but over time they had warped and were not stuck on the hooks, preventing them from engaging properly.   It is also important to make sure the seatbelts are not caught.

Once I had those rubber pieces removed, I was able to finally get the bolt holes to line up properly.   As my seat is not working, putting the seat bottom in is quite fiddly.  It is easy with a working W126 power rear seat, as you recline it to get access to the bolts.   Without the recline feature, you have to try and push them through tiny holes with the end of your fingers.   Its possible, but a real pain.

W126 power rear seat neater

The result of this job is the rear parcel shelf area looks much neater and back to how it should be.    A small thing, but something that I saw every time I went past the car.

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