Orthopedic seat, 1987 W124 250D

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New Member
Mar 26, 2012
1987 250D W124
Hey guys,

I have a taxi-spec 250D 1987, and it's got what seems to be an orthopedic seat. (driver's side only)

There's not a lot of material on this, apparently they were more common in the SELs.

Mine doesn't seem to work - if it does, then the amount of air going into the back support is minimal. I really doubt anything is happening as I adjust it, unless the nervous system in my back is completely broken.

Just wondering if anyone has any pointers on what is probably wrong? The central locking works, and if I've understood things right the central locking pump is the same one that supplies to the seats.

Could the controller widget thingy be broken, or are the hoses more likely? Anyone know how these seats work?
Like you say the air is fed from the central locking pump, and fills a air tank normally fitted by the pump (approx 6 inches square by about 3 inches deep) quite commonly the pipe feeding the seat/seat controller comes adrift or breaks, if this is intact another common point of failure is the air pipe behind the seats back panel comes adrift, check the pipes first then if all intact disconnect the seat feed pipe has air coming from it, with ignition on and the pipe disconnected you should feel air coming out, and the pump should be running constantly, though the later cars will shut the pump down if the system leaks not sure whether this will happen on your 124.
My only experience of ortho/multi contour seats is on the w140, and on those it's not uncommon for the bladders in the seat to fail due to getting crispy with age. One the w140 at least the lumbar position bladder is quite easy to change by just removing the seat back and un clipping it (it's mounted on a hard backing that fits on to the seat frame).

Taking the back off the w124 seats is very straight forward, if a little nerve wracking the first time you do it, so it might be worth a look.

Might also be worth checking for fuses? a long shot, but always worth doing the simple checks first.
make sure the pipework under the seat is all connected up. also as a test, disconnect it and you should hear a hissing sound if there is air going via the tubes.

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