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Swapping Seatbacks


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MY '97 986 with 70K miles. The seat back leather on driver side is getting worn to the point where it might tear. Just from normal friction/wear and tear from exiting and entering the car. To prevent this I'd like to swap it with the seat back on the right side. Anybody ever attempted this? Obviously if it is not removable from the seat bottom (a one piece unit) this is not possible.

Thanks in Advance

Matt

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They look awful similar. All I can give you is a little rule of thumb in design for efficient manfacturing, whenever you can, use the same part in 2 or more applications and you've made some very significant strides in streamlining your production by reducing part counts, equipment set ups, SKU's, inventory's, tooling cost, etc etc.

Were it a car from any where but Stuttgart I would say absolutely they are identical. Porsche can be pretty clever about these things, (just look at the front half of your car), they also seem to make some outrageous blunders. I'd take the seats out and have a good look. Porshe probably sells a rt. and a lft but the difference may be insignificant.

Regards, PK

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Matt, I have recently replaced the driver seat center plastic back frame as the top 3 'hook's fractured from the top leaving the seat center cushion to fall out on occasion. That center section COMPLETE from Porsche is almost $1000.00. The plastic back frame was $9.00 and it took me 1.5 hours to complete the swap. Having done that their is the extended piece of leather that goes under the seat and attaches to the seat back frame. You will have to for ease of access take out the seat to get to the underside and see where that piece of leather attaches. It most likely like the center section of leather that transitions to cloth and hooks to that plastic backshell attaches the same way. Once located you should be able to 'unhook' it from the seat back and use the same center section on the drivers side. That center section is comprised of 4 distinct pieces, the outer leather wrap, the underlayment, the 1st soft foam layer, the second firm foam layer, the hard backing and finally the outer plastic frame that binds it all together. If you have any questions drop me a line here. You should also look at just having that center section serviced by your local auto upholstery shop. Once removed from the car they can easily match the leather and it will be easy for them attach it for you to the center seat back frame.

Good luck...

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  • 3 months later...
Matt, I have recently replaced the driver seat center plastic back frame as the top 3 'hook's fractured from the top leaving the seat center cushion to fall out on occasion. That center section COMPLETE from Porsche is almost $1000.00. The plastic back frame was $9.00 and it took me 1.5 hours to complete the swap. Having done that their is the extended piece of leather that goes under the seat and attaches to the seat back frame. You will have to for ease of access take out the seat to get to the underside and see where that piece of leather attaches. It most likely like the center section of leather that transitions to cloth and hooks to that plastic backshell attaches the same way. Once located you should be able to 'unhook' it from the seat back and use the same center section on the drivers side. That center section is comprised of 4 distinct pieces, the outer leather wrap, the underlayment, the 1st soft foam layer, the second firm foam layer, the hard backing and finally the outer plastic frame that binds it all together. If you have any questions drop me a line here. You should also look at just having that center section serviced by your local auto upholstery shop. Once removed from the car they can easily match the leather and it will be easy for them attach it for you to the center seat back frame.

Good luck...

Thanks for the advice mcmike27 - I've just had the exact same failure on my seat (hooks have broken away from the main plastic frame). Did you get the new frame from a Porsche dealer? Was it fairly obvious how to remove the cloth from the plastic frame?

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G, the fix is easy and just a bit tedious to repair. You will need the following:

1. Porsche part 996-521-551-01 drivers side seat frame double check the PET for the passenger side if necessary I think they are both the same. $9.95 each

2. Long nose needle nose pliers: you will need this to take off the metal pointed hooks that attach the plastic frame to the seat body. You'll see these when you flip the seat center back cushion forward to do the repair. Do NOT try and save these.... simple black cable ties will be used here to reattach the frame to the seat back.

3. Wire snips (dykes) to cut the old metal pointed hooks if you cant wiggle them out.

4. Black cable zip ties approx 20 to 30: see above....it's very easy to see where they attach when you take the old piece out.

5. About 1.5 hours of patience :)

Once attached just slide the 3 plastic hard hooks above the hard metal 'U' shaped bar attached to the seat back and hook all 3 plastic tabs and your set. Be patient here it took me 3 tries to get all 3 hooked. Once hooked you are good to go.

Mine has been perfect ever since I did the repair in the fall....and the dealer wanted close to $300.00 to do the repair. It's all labor and it's a snap to fix. Your fingers will be sore as those darn metal spiked hooks that hold the old seat back frame to the seat are a bugger...but once you sort it out and do 2 or 3 you'll see they come out pretty easily.

If you need any additional help let me know

m2

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