Drivers seat side panel cracked
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  • 3 Post By billdaman
Cadillac DTS Forum - 2006 through 2012 Discussion, Drivers seat side panel cracked in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I just received a replacement "Shale" Drivers seat side panel to replace the existing one that has developed a crack. ...
  1. #1
    billdaman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2007 DTS
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    Drivers seat side panel cracked

    I just received a replacement "Shale" Drivers seat side panel to replace the existing one that has developed a crack. It looks like a PITA to do if the seat remains in the vehicle. Anyone have some knowledge on how to detach it from the front seat panel? Its a blind cross car attachment (unless you have a real small head and can look around corners). It looks like a tab needs to be pressed at the front intersection of the two panels as well as removing the fore /aft and up /down power buttons in order to remove it. Also a second blind cross car attachment at the rear of the side panel to a trim piece at the rear of the seat.

    If anyone has done the replacement would appreciate the advice, otherwise I will figure it out and post pictures. I don't see any trim removal instructions in the service manual!

    [B]
    UPDATE - Job is complete - Thanks Tom for posting the procedure for removing the Fore / aft and Up / down power seat buttons. I was concerned about prying them off!

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  3. #2
    ral1960 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Drivers seat side panel cracked

    I just went out to see if I could figure out what you're talking about, and noticed there are cracks in mine, too: at the massage button and another at the power outlet I didn't know was there. Hope they don't get worse, and hope the seat cooler lasts longer than my DeVille's. It also looks like a PITA to replace.What can you learn from the replacement part? Access to the front/side joint looks very limited by the seat stuffing.

  4. #3
    big greg is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Its because of a spring under the plastic that gets pushed up when u sit. Stupid. But it looks as if u pull the buttons off and it just snaps in.

  5. #4
    danog is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Drivers seat side panel cracked

    Front Seat Trim Panel Replacement


    Fastener Tightening Specifications: Refer to Fastener Tightening Specifications.
    1 Knob, Front Seat Adjuster
    Tip: Pull outward to remove.
    2 Knob, Front Seat Recliner
    Tip: Pull outward to remove.
    3 Cover, Seat Cushion Side Outer Trim
    Tip: Pull outward to disengage from the seat assembly and disconnect the seat switch electrical connector.
    4 Cover, Seat Cushion Front Trim
    Tip: Pull outward to disengage from the seat assembly and disconnect the electrical connector.
    5 Retainer Clip, Seat Cushion Front Trim Cover (Qty: 3)

  6. #5
    billbill1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1997 Deville, 2006 DTS
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    Re: Drivers seat side panel cracked

    For the interested.
    If your seat plastic is the same as mine,2006 DTS. The plastic is ABS plastic. Look on the back it will say"ABS".
    ABS is very "glueable" with plumbing ABS pipe cement. Remember it is a solvent glue, and if over used, WILL, melt your plastic part. DO NOT attempt to glue in place. This glue is BLACK, and very messy. With the part removed, put a small drop of glue the on back of part, for test. After 5-10 min. scrape into the drop, and you should find the underlying plastic soft. This is what solvent glue does, it melts the ABS together. It dries very slowly, when used in a patch. Any ABS plastic part, like an old broken trim part, can be cut up, and used for patch or support. Black ABS pipe and fittings, old or new, can also be cut up and used. WARNING, if you are impatient, on a slow glue up process, DO NOT EVEN START, with ABS glue. Use round tooth picks to place glue, not LARGE applicator in can. Pull out applicator, pick up small amount of glue, with tooth pick and apply to part. Glue ONLY on back of part. Go SLOW, one crack at a time. Work outside in a well ventilated area. Make a test glue up, with an old broken part, if possible.
    I went through this process, on my drivers seat, last week. The part had two supports broken, and several cracks. With the patients, I usually don't have. I glued broken parts back and braced where needed, with broken trim parts. This is a SLOW SLOW process. If you don't have the time, buy a new part.
    P.S. This was last Aug.and part has stood up well.

  7. #6
    big greg is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I tried on mine. The spring kept breaking it. So I siliconed it. But for 40$ I'll by the new part eventually

  8. #7
    billdaman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Drivers seat side panel cracked

    Quote Originally Posted by ral1960 View Post
    I just went out to see if I could figure out what you're talking about, and noticed there are cracks in mine, too: at the massage button and another at the power outlet I didn't know was there. Hope they don't get worse, and hope the seat cooler lasts longer than my DeVille's. It also looks like a PITA to replace.What can you learn from the replacement part? Access to the front/side joint looks very limited by the seat stuffing.
    Update: -
    Front Seat Side Trim Panel Replacement

    1. Purchase replacement panel (as low as 25$ on GM Parts Direct)

    2. Begin at Power outlet on the Front Trim panel, reach behind the panel and gently pull forward, you are trying to remove push in spring clips (I think there are three)

    3. Disconnect Cross car attachment at end of front panel to side panel


    4. Remove Up down and Fore aft power buttons (Lumbar stays). Use a large flat head screw driver to gently pry them off. Do one end first and then the other. If you are not careful these could definitely break so take your time.


    5. Identical to front panel removal, pull the panel outboard gently, and the 3 push in clips will detach.


    6. Cycle seat forward as far as it gos

    7. Remove seat belt escushion cover (It has up down slots so slide it up and then pull it off


    8. Remove rear seat cover (on lower corner of the seat track) by pulling it rearward. There is a spring clip that needs to detach to do this. The cover piece attaches to the side panel by 2 cross car slots and tabs. You need to finesse these two parts to pull them apart without breakage. I uses a small flat tip screwdriver to facilitate this , gently pulling up on the slotted portions to detach the rear cover
    URL=http://s18.photobucket.com/user/billdaman/media/12_zps0811d51b.jpg.html][/URL]

    9. Use that small flat tip screwdriver to gently pry the 6 tabs on the switch plate that captures the switches to the trim panel. Its ok to pry on the tabs as you will be discarding the panel. Just be careful to do one side at a time (on both switches) until you have freed the switch plates from the panel.


    Reassembly is the reverse of these steps. Be care full with those cross car slots that join the three pieces together. If you break them you will either have gaps or rattles.

    Note, some else posted here that the reason these panels break is that there is a metal bracket that's part of the seat frame that the panel hooks onto (Its actually an up / down locator for the trim panel as you are reinstalling it. I placed rummer bushings on either side of the clip so as to provide a cushion against hard contact between the panel and the sides of this metal bracket. Hopefully this fixes what GM didn't get right in the beginning.

    All in all about a 20 minute job. I would not do a repair with glue as it never would look right. Total cost of the repair was $33. The finished install makes the seat look great![/B]
    Chadillac182, danog and danog like this.

  9. #8
    ral1960 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2008 DTS Perf-Plat, fr 11 STS, 04 DeV, 76 Eldo Con, 74 Fltwd
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    Re: Drivers seat side panel cracked

    Thank you, billdaman, that's very helpful--especially to know the front comes off first.

    I suppose the Massage button we rich people have comes off from the back after the panel is detached.

    I can't wait to resume fiddling with my "new" car, but I have to do my taxes first, since I can't afford to pay someone to do them.

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