I took mine off, there was no excess leather in the way. Mine isn't hard to move, mine is frozen solid in place. It doesn't move at all. It's like it's welded in place. I tried manually pulling on the 2 cables and there is zero movement in mine. Anyone else have this problem?No need to lube it, the problem is that the excess seat back vinyl/leather gets bunched up in the lower mechanism binding it so the release lever is hard to move. Take the seatback off and do some trimming around the mechanism and it will be better than new.