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early seat rails and guides

Since the seat rail question has come up again, I thought I would 
mention a few things to think about if anyone is thinking of dealing 
with their seats.

Early Type 3s, up to mid 72, have seats that slide on two runners 
welded to the floor pan.  These rails are covered by plastic guides 
which are separate parts and serve to allow the seat to slide fore 
and aft without metal to metal contact.

These guides ALWAYS get broken, even if not abused, however they can
be REALLY messed up if you are not gentle removing the seat.  The
usual problem is that of getting the seat forward far enough that it
is just hanging on the front end of the longer inner rail and then
allowing the weight of the seat to bend that rail.  You need to
carefully suppport the seat at all times, and, if you are new at
this, a second person can be useful.

Once the seat is out you should assume that the rail was already bent 
anyway and straighten it using a straightenge and a pair of 
channel-locks.  You will be surprised how bad they can be even though 
they looked fine before you laid the straightedge against them.

Before reinstalling the seat, clean the rust out of the groves in the 
seat, and wipe some grease in there, not too much, just enough to 
lubricate a bit and prevent future rust.

When reinstalling the seat you need to be VERY careful not to ruin 
your careful job of straightening.

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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