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Tob

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These are steps to replace a broken seat track cable in a ‘97-’02 Wrangler. Yours may be broken if your seat will not tilt and fold when you pull the nylon strap on the seat back.

Tools needed:
  • Ratcheting Wrench
  • 13mm OR ½” socket
  • ¼” socket and Torx T50 bit
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Replacement cable (OEM Part #04886308AA OR bicycle brake cable - See Step 7)
  • One ziptie
  • Cable splice and crimper
  • Wire cutters

Steps
  1. Remove the seat from the Jeep. The seat is bolted to the vehicle with three ½” bolts and one T50 bolt. Unscrew all four bolts and bring the seat to your workspace.

  2. Remove the seat belt clip from the seat. It is bolted to the seat by one T50 bolt. Unscrew it and set the clip and bolt aside.

  3. Unclip the seat back upholstery. At the bottom of the seat back, there is a long, black clip that connects the front and back of the upholstery. Unclip it by pushing in the tabs at the two notched areas, then working the rest of the clip out.

  4. Unclip the cable inside the seat back. Find the seat fold lever at the bottom right of the seat back. Unclip the cable attached to the lever by pulling the metal T-shaped end of the cable away from the white clip.

  5. Remove the seat back from the seat bottom. Roll the upholstery up on the right side of the seat back to expose a plastic panel. Unscrew the two Phillips head screws holding it in place and set the plastic aside. Now you can access two of the three ½” bolts holding the seat back to the seat bottom. Unscrew those two and move to the opposite side of the seat back to unscrew the easily accessible third ½” bolt. With three bolts out and the cable unclipped, you can now pull the seat back off and set it aside.

  6. Unclip the seat bottom upholstery. Flip your seat bottom over to work on the underside. There are two long, white, J-shaped clips attaching the seat bottom upholstery to metal rods on the seat frame. Unclip them by starting at the edge and working the rest of the clip off. Now you can access the other end of the seat track cable by pulling up the seat bottom upholstery and foam at the rear left corner.

  7. Replace the broken seat track cable. At this step, you can either purchase an OEM replacement cable (~$45 at time of writing), or you can improvise with a bicycle brake cable, which will be much cheaper.

    1. OEM: Unhook the U-shaped connectors at each end of the cable. Unhook the old cable hose from the two metal brackets at each end and cut the zip tie holding the cable to the seat frame. Route and connect the new cable as the old one was, and zip tie it in the same place.

    2. Bicycle brake cable: If there is still broken cable in the hose, unhook the U-shaped connectors and pull the old cable out. Route your cable through the lever underneath the seat and crimp an end piece onto it. Feed the rest of the cable through the hose and bracket and, once you have the right length, crimp an end piece onto the other end of the cable.

  8. Apply lubrication. To relieve some stress on the new cable and to preserve its lifetime, I recommend applying lubrication to all moving parts, especially the ones that haven’t moved in a while due to the broken seat track cable.

  9. Put everything back together. Pull the seat bottom upholstery and foam back to its original position and clip the two white J-shaped clips back to the metal rods. Reattach the seat back to the seat bottom by screwing in the three ½” bolts. Screw the plastic panel back on with the two Phillips head screws. Clip the seat fold lever back to the T-shaped piece at end of the cable. Pull the seat back upholstery down to its original position and reattach the two black clips at the bottom.

Missing nylon pull strap repair
If the original pull strap on your seat back is missing or broken, you can purchase the replacement part or fashion your own pull strap with household items. To replace the nylon strap with the OEM part, you must buy the whole cable that runs from the seat fold lever to the pull strap ( Part # 05019785AA ~$50 at time of writing). How to install that cable is not covered in these instructions. However, here are some tips to making your own pull strap.

With the seat back still detached from the seat bottom, you must get to the end of the cable at the pull strap hole in the upholstery. Use pliers or reach behind the upholstery to find the small metal cylinder attached to the end of the cable (you may have to get creative to get it out, it’s not easy). Pull it outside of the upholstery. Now you can make and attach your homemade pull strap.

Here’s how I made mine: I cut an old carry strap from a binder, which already had a loop sewn on one end. With scissors, I cut a V-shape into the loop and stuck the metal cylinder through the loop, with the cable coming through the hole made by the V-cut. At that point, I pushed the cylinder back to its original position behind the upholstery and used pliers to pull the strap through the black metal hole. Next, I used a needle and black thread to stitch a loop at the other end of the strap. Finding that I had made it a bit short, I decided to put a key ring through the second loop, which turned out to be a great idea.
 

Attachments

  • Seat track cable repair.pdf
    40.5 KB · Views: 312

JMT

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I wish I had this document for a 2003-2006. Do you know how different they are?
 
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Tob

Tob

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I wish I had this document for a 2003-2006. Do you know how different they are?
I don't, sorry. I'm pretty sure I saw a similar writeup somewhere on this forum for 03-06 seats though. I will say, when I pulled apart the 02 seat, it was pretty easy to see what was wrong and what needed to be reconnected without any outside help.
 
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Chris

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Great write-up, thanks for sharing this!

I converted the PDF into text and added it to the original post. That should make it easier for people :)

I left the PDF as well, just in case someone wants to download it.
 
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Alex01

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Great post. This is something I've been putting off since I bought my jeep.
 
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