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1996 SL500, former 1986 560SL
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When you first removed the element from the seat, were they glued onto the padding? Were there any signs of glue on them? I am trying to figure out how to get this done before having the seats removed again.
No glue. No need for it, the space is tight and each heater finger will not move after it is fished thru. You may want to confirm that heated seats was an option for MB Tex upholstery if you haven't already.
 

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W126 1985 280SE RHD - R107 1986 420SL RHD
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
No glue. No need for it, the space is tight and each heater finger will not move after it is fished thru. You may want to confirm that heated seats was an option for MB Tex upholstery if you haven't already.
I ordered the elements based on what the EPC showed as compatible with MB tex. There are a number of variations of these elements with different part numbers. The ones I purchased from Mercedes had a footnote on the system stating they are compatible with MB tex. Others are manufactured for cars equipped with velour (SLC), mix of cloth/leather (R107) etc.

Found this photo off the internet. I'm looking at the seat cover and I just cannot imagine how on earth I will be able to push the element through in between the leather and the padding.

Rectangle Wood Gas Tints and shades Bag
 

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W126 1985 280SE RHD - R107 1986 420SL RHD
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I am 99% sure that the seat heater never goes back to a higher setting automatically. You will have to turn it off all the way and try to "reignite" it. I think if the system has a certain amount of heating in the element and wiring it will stay at the lower setting.

Funny story. I had a shameless social climber friend hanging at my shop years ago (in the absolute heat of summer) when a "civic leader" customer needed a ride to his office. Told the climber to take the leader to his office in the 1984 500SEL I mentioned upthread, in order to help him get some face time. He came back drenched in sweat. I had forgotten the driver seat heater was somehow stuck on high and would not shut off.
Yes it stays on the lower setting after 5 mins of full heating. You can switch it back to full whenever needed from what I noticed, and after 5 mins it will revert back to low again. I read somewhere that it should switch off completely after 20 minutes? But it doesn't do so.

I hope the a/c was filled with R12! The heat on his back would've been compensated by the cool air towards him!
 

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1996 SL500, former 1986 560SL
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I ordered the elements based on what the EPC showed as compatible with MB tex. There are a number of variations of these elements with different part numbers. The ones I purchased from Mercedes had a footnote on the system stating they are compatible with MB tex. Others are manufactured for cars equipped with velour (SLC), mix of cloth/leather (R107) etc.

Found this photo off the internet. I'm looking at the seat cover and I just cannot imagine how on earth I will be able to push the element through in between the leather and the padding.

View attachment 2723951
Good job confirming that these parts are compatible with MB Tex ahead of time. When you have the seat covers off again, have a closer look and it will be obvious where you need to fish them thru now that you know where to look. (y)
Like I said before, I felt the same way when I was first looking at this task. It is do-able but it is a slow, tedious process.

I suspect the heaters will work better on the ventilated MB Tex versus the leather. :)
 

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1989 560SL
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253 Posts
Any chance you can remove the elements and check their heat outside of the cover assembly? If you gonna have to remove them anyway…
alos, suggest you buy one of those infrared point and shoot thermometers and get serious about measuring temperatures on yours and other peoples heated seats
 

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W126 1985 280SE RHD - R107 1986 420SL RHD
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Any chance you can remove the elements and check their heat outside of the cover assembly? If you gonna have to remove them anyway…
alos, suggest you buy one of those infrared point and shoot thermometers and get serious about measuring temperatures on yours and other peoples heated seats
Once I have the seat covers removed I'll check the temperature of the elements. Any idea of what kind of temps I should be getting?
 

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W126 1985 280SE RHD - R107 1986 420SL RHD
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Good job confirming that these parts are compatible with MB Tex ahead of time. When you have the seat covers off again, have a closer look and it will be obvious where you need to fish them thru now that you know where to look. (y)
Like I said before, I felt the same way when I was first looking at this task. It is do-able but it is a slow, tedious process.

I suspect the heaters will work better on the ventilated MB Tex versus the leather. :)
I visited the upholster, and mentioned that the elements have to be installed between the leather and the padding, and not between the horsehair and padding. Suffice to say the conversation disintegrated into the "I've been in this business for 35 years blah blah" circus show. He claims he's never seen heater elements installed above the padding (even in newer cars) and there is no way to do it.

I therefore asked him to come down from his high horse and he will be removing the seat covers, starting with the passenger seat first. I'll take it home and see what I can do. Biggest issue I foresee is the backrest. There is some sort of white plastic clip holding the leather to the horsehair and I'm not sure how I'll be able to guide the elements through it.

Are the elements long enough to cover the length of the seat and backrest? Or are they longer? If so what do I do with any extra bit of element?
 

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1996 SL500, former 1986 560SL
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It's been a while since I did this, but a few more details are coming back to me now. I still can't find the BW post that I did after completing this upholstery project many years ago, but I found some more of my pictures.

The picture I posted a few days ago was from fishing the elements OUT of the old upholstery. After I had the first element completely removed, I found that there is a small pouch sewn into the end of each heater finger and that is how Mercedes must have installed them (you can see the pouch in the ends of your new element in your picture also).

I did alot of trial and error with different devices, but had my best results with this shape bent onto the end of a stiff piece of large welding rod... and then to make the installation easier, I wrapped each finger with a layer of thin/slippery plastic and they pushed thru much easier (and then the plastic is carefully pulled out and reused on the next finger).

The elements are a few inches longer than the 560SL upholstery (original and reproduction) and the excess gets folded as in the last 2 pictures...
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
It's been a while since I did this, but a few more details are coming back to me now. I still can't find the BW post that I did after completing this upholstery project many years ago, but I found some more of my pictures.

The picture I posted a few days ago was from fishing the elements OUT of the old upholstery. After I had the first element completely removed, I found that there is a small pouch sewn into the end of each heater finger and that is how Mercedes must have installed them (you can see the pouch in the ends of your new element in your picture also).

I did alot of trial and error with different devices, but had my best results with this shape bent onto the end of a stiff piece of large welding rod... and then to make the installation easier, I wrapped each finger with a layer of thin/slippery plastic and they pushed thru much easier (and then the plastic is carefully pulled out and reused on the next finger).

The elements are a few inches longer than the 560SL upholstery (original and reproduction) and the excess gets folded as in the last 2 pictures...
These are great photos! Very useful and reassuring! I'll have the electrician unplug the element wires and take it to the upholster next.

Thank you very much for the help, much appreciated. Once I have the seat covers off, I'll update on the status.
 

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No problem. Sorry it took so long to find them and remember what they meant! :sleep: The plastic bag material was thin like a dry cleaning bag. When, you cut the bag into a long enough strip (ie 24" x 3")... include the corner of the bag at one end so that it will stay in place when fishing the heater fingers thru.

Regarding the function of the 2 position heater switch... My 1996 SL500 has similar looking & functioning switches and the owners manual says that "normal" operation is 1 light and "rapid heat" is the other position with 2 lights. It says that rapid heat will automatically switch to normal heat after about 5 minutes.

I tested it today and that is exactly what it did. I then pressed the button back to rapid heat and it did change back to rapid, but only for about 4 minutes for the second iteration. Seat bottom and seat back behave the same.
 

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1976 450SL, 1992 190e 2.3, 1984 300D turbo, 1966 VW bus
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The pleats slipped out the back of my seat cover in my w123. I ductaped the pleat to a yardstick, pushed it all the way in, and then pinched it to hold it in there while you pull stick out. It can be done, your upholsterer just doesn't want to do it. Slow process

Rectangle Slope Parallel Circle Font
 

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1976 450SL, 1992 190e 2.3, 1984 300D turbo, 1966 VW bus
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1,297 Posts
Hidden bluetooth amp with all media via my phone, frees up the slot for seat heater controllers from a mk1 TT.
Love the burl. Was that factory or did you add? Been thinking about adding wood to my car eventually. Mine is plastic. What do you think?
Land vehicle Vehicle Speedometer Car Motor vehicle
 

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1979 450SL UK spec
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Going off topic a bit here, but since you asked.

The front of the ash tray comes off, I think it was held on with double sided tape. The "handle" is held on with three screws. Sanded off the old veneer.

Wood Tool Office ruler Hardwood Wood stain


Wood Paint Rectangle Material property Art


Select a veneer sheet, I bought mine on ebay.

World Wood Newspaper Flooring Plant


Dampen with a water/glycerine mix, this makes it more flexible.

Brown World Wood Publication Font


Sandwich in brown/blotting paper.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Table Newspaper


Then flatten/dry.

Wood Flooring Hardwood Thigh Bumper


Glue and clamp to the pieces any way you can.

Art Machine Service Wood Creative arts


Food processor Plastic bottle Gas Wood Machine


Once dry trim the parts to size.

Brown Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor


Then varnish and assemble.

Brown Wood Amber Material property Flooring
 
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