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ML55, R129 SL
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Discussion Starter #1
My front seats are starting to wear and I was wondering if anyone here has ever tried swapping your R129 front seats for the newer R230 seats??

Is there any other seats in the Mercedes line up that uses the same seatbelt points as these seats??

Any comments?
 

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'91 500SL, '92 300E, '65 Mustang
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305 Posts
I bet they are nothing similar. Just replace your 129 seats, find a used pair, or get car seats!
 

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1999 SL500, 2004 CLK500, 2006 Cadillac SRX
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873 Posts
On alittle more positive note, I replaced the "old style" seats in a 1973 911 with the "new style" high back seats from a 80s 944 - they were virtually identical with the newer 911s, easier to find and cheaper. You might look through ebay at different models of Mercedes and try to find ones other than the R230 - like maybe the CLK. Usually the seat belt mounts are not the issue, you can probably use the receiver from off your stock seats - the main issue I found was the seat mounting points. I used angle iron, drilled holes to bolt the iron strip to the car floor, and drilled holes in the iron strip to bolt the seat to the iron strip. The other issue that you will be on your own is the electronics - my old Porsche had manual mechanical seats and no air bag.
 

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'03 SL Kleemann, 1997 SL320 Pano Top, Tesla Model X
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661 Posts
R230 seats into R129

You can make it work without too much trouble. I have attached a photo of an R230 driver's seat below. The photo does not show the small storage compartment in the front of the seat, or the 'massage feature' switch.

The R230 seats bolt flat to the floor with six bolts. Height and width of the seat are almost identical, although the headrest can go up higher on the R230.

Advantage of the R230 seats: sleak look, supporting your thighs on the side. Option of 'ventilated massage seat'. That means air being blown slowly through the perforations in the leather. Not as effective as some people might think, but it's a nice feature.

Disadvantage: more expensive and harder to find, and the seat does not flip forward with a handle. You need to use the button on top of the seat to tilt it electrically.

On the technical side, you need to ensure to have good backing behind your bolts where the seat is screwed down, because these bolts will catch your impact (through the seat belt) in case of an accident. For electronics, you should be able to use your old controller and run the wires to the actuators as it's done in the R129.
 

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2000 Obsidian Black Metallic Mercedes SL 320 V6
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4,527 Posts
Actually, instead of an R230 seat you'd be better with a W215 one which is very similar to the R230 one but when you tilt it forward it moves forward electrically without using any button or so. And with the same features too including massage heated and vented seats.

Just a thought tho.

Cheers.
 

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98 Brilliant Silver
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98 Posts
My front seats are starting to wear and I was wondering if anyone here has ever tried swapping your R129 front seats for the newer R230 seats??

Is there any other seats in the Mercedes line up that uses the same seatbelt points as these seats??

Any comments?
My friend this is not a project for the faint hearted. The 215 seats do not fit in the space provided in the R129. The seats will go in but they press against both sides so tightly that it is difficult to move them. That however is just the beginning of the problems. The wiring harness is very different and you have to change out the door switches. The switches for the R230 or the W215 will not fit where your current switches are. And then there is the additional complication of the vacuum hoses that have to be routed to each seat. The vacuum booster in the trunk has no place to plug them in so you have to replace it.

Have you looked into what this will cost you. I got some perfect seats out of a 2007 W215 for 1500 and that was a very good price. I bought the door switches and the wiring harness out of the same car and that cost me an additional $200. By the time I complete this project I expect to spend over $3000. If you are doing this for the sake of appearance, you may want to consider that. I made the change because the R129 seats hurt my back after an hour or so worth of driving.
 

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2000 Obsidian Black Metallic Mercedes SL 320 V6
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My friend this is not a project for the faint hearted. The 215 seats do not fit in the space provided in the R129. The seats will go in but they press against both sides so tightly that it is difficult to move them. That however is just the beginning of the problems. The wiring harness is very different and you have to change out the door switches. The switches for the R230 or the W215 will not fit where your current switches are. And then there is the additional complication of the vacuum hoses that have to be routed to each seat. The vacuum booster in the trunk has no place to plug them in so you have to replace it.

Have you looked into what this will cost you. I got some perfect seats out of a 2007 W215 for 1500 and that was a very good price. I bought the door switches and the wiring harness out of the same car and that cost me an additional $200. By the time I complete this project I expect to spend over $3000. If you are doing this for the sake of appearance, you may want to consider that. I made the change because the R129 seats hurt my back after an hour or so worth of driving.
elkabe it would be very interesting to see pics of your project once you finish it and if you want pics step by step.

Good luck.

Cheers.
 

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ML55, R129 SL
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
elkabe it would be very interesting to see pics of your project once you finish it and if you want pics step by step.

Good luck.

Cheers.

Agree!, i loved to see some pictures of the conversion and how it worked out. Thanks for the advise.
 

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ML55, R129 SL
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Discussion Starter #10
You can make it work without too much trouble. I have attached a photo of an R230 driver's seat below. The photo does not show the small storage compartment in the front of the seat, or the 'massage feature' switch.

The R230 seats bolt flat to the floor with six bolts. Height and width of the seat are almost identical, although the headrest can go up higher on the R230.

Advantage of the R230 seats: sleak look, supporting your thighs on the side. Option of 'ventilated massage seat'. That means air being blown slowly through the perforations in the leather. Not as effective as some people might think, but it's a nice feature.

Disadvantage: more expensive and harder to find, and the seat does not flip forward with a handle. You need to use the button on top of the seat to tilt it electrically.

On the technical side, you need to ensure to have good backing behind your bolts where the seat is screwed down, because these bolts will catch your impact (through the seat belt) in case of an accident. For electronics, you should be able to use your old controller and run the wires to the actuators as it's done in the R129.

Thanks for the advise. I didn't think about the flipping forward feature which I so clearly need for the kids.

I loved the R230 seats and felt it looks better then the R129s. I was considering to re-trim my current seats and was thinking if I could find a good set of used R230 seats for around the same price, I might do that instead. Looks like I have no other choice.

Thanks again for the tip.
 

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1991 SL500
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132 Posts
seat swap

wow, i want to know more about the r230 seat swap into my "91 SL500, that would be fantastic ! i find the sl seat doesn't support my upper back and my head is forward from the head rest when reclined.
 

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'91 300SL(sold) 2000 SL320 Edition '94 E220 T auto
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694 Posts
RETRIM RETRIM RETRIM OR HEADACHE HEADACHE HEADACHE !!!

God designed the R129 seats to be retrimmed. You can remove the seat back and base and still leave the whole (HEAVY) seat frame and seat wiring in situ.

So much easier than trying to put an R230 seat in. It would be a bit weird too to see R230 seats in there.

Just my 0.5....
 

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1997 SL500 Sport M119
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76 Posts
My friend this is not a project for the faint hearted. The 215 seats do not fit in the space provided in the R129. The seats will go in but they press against both sides so tightly that it is difficult to move them. That however is just the beginning of the problems. The wiring harness is very different and you have to change out the door switches. The switches for the R230 or the W215 will not fit where your current switches are. And then there is the additional complication of the vacuum hoses that have to be routed to each seat. The vacuum booster in the trunk has no place to plug them in so you have to replace it.

Have you looked into what this will cost you. I got some perfect seats out of a 2007 W215 for 1500 and that was a very good price. I bought the door switches and the wiring harness out of the same car and that cost me an additional $200. By the time I complete this project I expect to spend over $3000. If you are doing this for the sake of appearance, you may want to consider that. I made the change because the R129 seats hurt my back after an hour or so worth of driving.


Have you finished that front seat swap in your R129? I'm considering the same, please let us know how you made out!!!!
Thanks,
Mike S
Scottsdale, AZ
 

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SL500, GLC300
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1,689 Posts
i would like to know the outcome of this.
 
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