Rusted Front Headrest Removal

Discussion in 'E9 Projects and Restorations' started by bavbob, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. bavbob

    bavbob Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Any hints on how to get a headrest that has not moved for 35 years, to move? One side is loose, other won't budge. I have squirted PB blaster over 5 days and nothing. One person pulling the seat, another the headrest and nothing. Tried a wedge, nothing. Any insight appreciated.
     
  2. rsporsche

    rsporsche Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    i used a bit rubber mallet and hit on the bar in different directions and it eventually let go. took some pretty good whacks at it. i also used a wood 'drift' block at times
     
  3. Gary Knox

    Gary Knox Well-Known Member

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    I used a LOT of high quality penetrating oil (Penphite in my case) over a period of about 10 days, letting it flow 'down' the posts. Using the rubber mallet Scott mentioned worked for one of the headrests, and one side of the other. BUT even after another 5-6 days of applying Penephite, the 2nd one on the 2nd seat would not release. I had a spare headrest from another seat, so I removed the small vinyl cover on the side that wouldn't release, then used a cutting tool to cut the horizontal piece where the small vinyl cover had been. Removed the headrest and the one post that was free, then used large water pump pliers to twist the frozen post. It did come free and I removed it.

    I don't recommend this method unless you have spare headrest hardware!!! By the way, the older seats and maybe most European seats have 10 mm posts. My '74 has 12 mm posts. I do have a spare 10 mm headrest hardware assembly if you or anyone needs one.

    Gary
     
  4. bavbob

    bavbob Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Thank You for the offer and thoughts. My car is a Euro with 12mm posts. I have used the rubber mallet also, over the course of days and to no avail. I think the headrests are so over engineered and probably the strongest part of the entire car!

    Sons are home for college break, maybe the jocks who lift everyday can finally help their old man.
     
  5. dave v. in nc

    dave v. in nc Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Perhaps a question of no/little merit...Is this all happening while the back is attached to the seat portion? Still in the car? I just wonder (having previously also dealt with this issue..) if you wouldn't get better results pulling horizontally rather than trying to pull straight up on the headrest. And, when banging down, if two are still attached; it seems alot of the energy is dispersed in to the lower/seat piece, instead of directly headrest to seat back frame. ..if that makes any sense?
     
  6. aearch

    aearch Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    you can always remove the back of the seat
     
  7. bavbob

    bavbob Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Seat is apart. By back of the seat to you mean the vinyl portion with decorative trim?...that's off too. The stuck side is the same side as the seat latch so the guide tube is visible through that. Drilled two small holes then added PB plaster. Maybe hitting it from above and below will work.
     
  8. Gary Knox

    Gary Knox Well-Known Member

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    My seats were also dis-assembled, so the bottom of the backrest was on a concrete floor.

    Gary
     
  9. rsporsche

    rsporsche Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    actually taking the back of the seat off doesn't really help ... unless you are undoing the upholstery, removing the foam ... in other words, deconstructing the seat. the sleeve mounts are on the other side of the seat back shell than the removable seat back panel.

    i found that copious quantities of repeated PB blaster (or similar product) and the BFH (rubber) in many different directions ... including some that push it back in and then knocking it back out. hitting it sideways + down (both sides). it is not a fast procedure. i did that on the tan seats that came out of my coupe as well as the seats that i sent to Dan Mooney ... that one was the hardest.

    keep working on it ... it will come
     
  10. Peter Coomaraswamy

    Peter Coomaraswamy Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    Just to ruin your day, I had some stock e9 seats that I was dissecting for parts and I had a 4lb steel sledge hammer and a good swing and I still could not get the thing loose. A as a result I purchased some Recaro's out of an e21 and I have not had a problem :)
     
  11. rsporsche

    rsporsche Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    one question i have always had was - could you cut off the headrest and drive the rusted shaft through?
     
  12. bavbob

    bavbob Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    If I had a spare headrest, but they seem to be hard to find...Euro with black corduroy. Thing is perfect other than stuck. My latest attempt. I often altered medical stuff for home use, one of the few perks left being a doc. 25G, 9cm needle with a 3cc syringe loaded with PB Blaster inserted along the shaft.

    IMG_0103.JPG
     
  13. Gary Knox

    Gary Knox Well-Known Member

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    bavbob,

    The headrest itself and the plastic pieces on either side are easily removable and can be transferred to another steel frame. So - if you can find a 12mm post steel frame, you can then cut this one leaving enough angled stub on the frozen shaft side to be able to twist it, then remove it. The fabric and plastic then gets transferred to the replacement frame.

    Gary--
     
  14. rsporsche

    rsporsche Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    are the headrests the same from a 2002 (74 + earlier) and an e3? i would think the e3 would be the same
     
  15. bavbob

    bavbob Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    For my simple mind, I am assuming the headrest just comes straight out, no release mechanism......................cause 2 weeks of soaking and nada. There is one E3 headrest for sale on Ebay for 120 bucks, but that's about it.
     
  16. HB Chris

    HB Chris Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    The post fits into a metal tube and it’s easy to rust solid. What a pain.
     
  17. bavbob

    bavbob Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Since the stuck side is where the seat release is, I have a window to the tube. I drilled 2 holes in it one at HR post level and one below the HR post to soak the post from below in addition to above. I actually saw no rust. Punch and hammer thru hole at level of HR post also did nothing. I have never been check mated by a BMW before ( Audi yes).
     
  18. bill

    bill Member

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    +1 Gary Knox...I had my seats apart for reupholstering and after trying PB for weeks, hammers and all sorts of attempts to pull the headrest out I finally took it apart, cut the headrest frame in half and twisted the rods. Amazing how they freed up with twisting. Welded the frame back together.
     
  19. bavbob

    bavbob Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Took a 22mm open ended wrench and placed the "C" at the turn of the post, in its corner at the junction of the horiz and vertical parts. Seat on the ground, hit it with a hammer and it came free.........it is said that passing a kidney stone is second in line only to childbirth..........I think this beat out the stone, having experienced both.
     
  20. rsporsche

    rsporsche Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    great news Bob ... glad it finally released with the swift kick modulation process
     
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