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Discussion Starter #1
I need to replace the side bolster bladder on my o4. Does anyone know how to do this and how much it might cost?
 

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Smokin Vendor
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Mine are gone also but have an extended warranty with Platinum coverage. The dealer quoted $1000. They are expensive as you can go to Ecklers web site and sells the whole bag kit for $800. If you have under 70,000 on it get an extented warranty first as with fidelity $50 deductable and have them fixed as will knock off $1000 from your $3000 premium.
 

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There are threads describing how you can fix them for around $40.
They use blood pressure cuffs.
I thought I was suscribed to a thread on this site, but I know there are a couple out there at least on some of the other sites.
 

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Smokin Vendor
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I found this by goggling "how to fix c5 seat bladder below, If you google it you will see photos also:

easy fix! I Can't take credit for the idea, I got it from another forum member. I can't remember if pics were posted earlier, if not here are a few!

Parts needed:
Blood pressure cuffs, one for each bladder to be repalced. 2 per seat for side bolsters, 2 per seat for lumbar support. I got 4 to do both side bolsters in both seats. They can be found at Walmart, they will usually have some on the shelf. If not here's the link http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5533954
Vacuum tight tube couplers, one for each bladder 3/8" to 3/8" is just the right size. I got these at Advance Auto.

here are the parts:



These are extra large blood pressure cuffs which I got for about $10 each from Walmart. They turned out to be about 4 times the size of the bladders but worked perfectly. Smaller cuffs might be easier to stuff into the bolsters though. These are replacement cuffs only so they don't have regulators or pumps, just the part you need. As it turns out they have a T fitting about 2" down the air tube, pop that fitting off and its ready to be used. The T fitting actually would work great for connecting it to the side bolster air lines, but you'd have to plug the 3rd opening.






You don't have to take the seats out, just fold down the center section. There are instructions on vettessentials web site I think. Pull the zipper out from between the seat cushions and use needle nose pliers to unzip it. Then pop out the 2 plastic clips and fold the center section down. Then there are 4 more plastic clips to remove to gain access to the side bolsters.





Once you have this apart and start looking at the bladders you'll quickly find the problem:



There are plastic elbows which connect the air lines up to the bladders. The air lines are fine, the pump works great, the bladder itself holds air, but these stupid little fittings rot out and break off. from what I've heard I think this is the cause of almost all seat bladder failures.

Cut off the remains of the broken fitting



Pull the bladder out of the seat, they are stuffed up under the side bolsters but easy to remove.

Connect the blood pressure cuff up to the air line using the 3/8" to 3/8" vacuum tight fitting. I'm using a 3/8" - 3/8" T fitting with a 1/8" 3rd connection with a plug on that extra line. This is just because I happen to have them sitting around, find a 3/8" to 3/8" air fitting when buying the parts.



Then just wrap the blood pressure cuff up and stuff it under the side bolster where the factory bladder is. I did not secure it in any way, the seat itself will hold it in place.

Put the seat back together and enjoy having your side bolsters back! My car came with them broken so its the first time I've gotten to enjoy them. I don't know what made me wait so long to do this, it was very easy and took about 30 minutes!
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Last edited by mcgilles; 03-22-2009 at 11:01 AM.

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03-21-2009, 10:16 PM #2
CUlookin
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Wow, cool idea to fix these! What was your BP when you did the mod, or were you too excited to check?


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03-21-2009, 10:45 PM #3
jdmvette
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damn cool idea!
 

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Google this search string:
"So, I have been working on fixing a few things that have quit working on my car over the years."
make sure to use the quotes and you should only get one or two results. Probably one of them being this thread.

This is another repair, but using different bladders.
This actual comes out cheaper than buying the cuffs from Walmart.
When it comes time to replace mine, this is how I plan to do it.
 

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Boy realmsteel that was good information. As a matter of fact i wanted to make sure what was wrong with my bladders before taking it to the dealer. It was so easy i cant tell you. I unzipped the top of the seat and pulled the front lining back, then popped the 3 circle snaps that hold the fabric around the side bladder and there it was! I did put air into it and it does have a hole in the bladder seam. but since it is warrenty covered i will have it fixed but i must tell you it took me all of 2 minuite to take the bladder out. Really great information you gave!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mine are gone also but have an extended warranty with Platinum coverage. The dealer quoted $1000. They are expensive as you can go to Ecklers web site and sells the whole bag kit for $800. If you have under 70,000 on it get an extented warranty first as with fidelity $50 deductable and have them fixed as will knock off $1000 from your $3000 premium.
Ouch, seems like a"thousand dollars" is the magic number for my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Google this search string:
"So, I have been working on fixing a few things that have quit working on my car over the years."
make sure to use the quotes and you should only get one or two results. Probably one of them being this thread.

This is another repair, but using different bladders.
This actual comes out cheaper than buying the cuffs from Walmart.
When it comes time to replace mine, this is how I plan to do it.
I'm going to try this. Thanks,
 
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