Whilst fixing some bike wheels for the Driven project Rowan, a member of the team, mentioned that he had recently been having some problems with his nearly new (well at least in terms of my car history!) Mazda 3. Specifically he had a drivers seat mounting that had failed causing the whole seat to rock around with over and inch of play.
We decided that this should be a nice quick fix and a good excuse to whip out the welding gear. I have written this up purely becuase the terrible quality of these seats makes me feel that oithers will find theirs fail and may want a quick guide on what to do when this happens!
The seat came out quickly with 4 bolts in the corners, the most time consuming part was actually trying to disconnect the airbag/heated seat connector found underneath the squab (not so hard once you work out how the connector works, just play around a little).
Once we had the seat out we could assess the damage. Rowan had told me already that he had already had to use a jubilee clip to hold the rails on to the pins, this appears to be where the sprung washers have failed and gotten lost. They don’t seem to be easy to find in the correct sizes and a jubilee clip appears to function well enough for now. (Example photos are above of a ‘good’ rod connection to the rail and a slightly more custom one)
The pictures above show where the bracket has failed. It’s difficult to see from but this section connects the main seat base the rails. It is hard to believe this has failed. It is eaily 4mm thick steel and it hasn’t failed around a weld or joint. With a bucket of water on hand and using some leathers to protect the seat cushion I used my Black & Decker Powerfile to clean the metal (excellent tool) and then used the mig to set it back in place. Once the part had cooled we put the seat back together and back in to the car. In true haynes style this process was reverse of removal and just like that the seat was solid again.