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‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved
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Pepperbilly
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 3:07 pm    Post subject: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Have something to add to the mystery and lore of these cars. Was working on my front seats when I became stumped. In the seat back in the lower corners I found these shafted bevel gears in a round housing. Visions of early 4 cam Porsche Spyders in my head, lol! But these parts were not connected to any levers. Then it finally hit me. When the redesigned seats were introduced with the tilt/reclining mecanism VW just left the old seat design guts alone. It’s not in the way of anything. I am sure this saved them money in retooling. Anyway, that’s what I found and what I’ve surmised. Fun discoveries!

Bill
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

That mechanism......the bevel gear rack with an outer knob.....which runs a chain drive on the inside to recline the seaf back.....is the only seat back reclining mechanism I have ever seen in a 411 or 412.

How do yours recline?

And to be sure.....I am not speaking of the mechanism that allows the seat back to tilt forward so people can get into the back seat. This is just for seat back recline position.

Ray
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Pepperbilly
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

It’s a wierd deal. The seat back itself does not recline as you would normally think. The two adjusting levers that are protruding thru the side of the seat base take the place of any rotating knobs. One is simply fore and aft on the floor track. The other is magical. When you lift that lever the entire seat (cushion and backrest) moves up and down, whatever height you desired. It is all connected to the large triangular pivot stand at the front bottom. That is the piece you have to disconnect from in order to service the battery. Maybe this was a wagon only deal? I was always intrigued by this mechanism. When you make the adjustment with your body motion it always felt much like a rocking chair.

Bill
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Pepperbilly wrote:
It’s a wierd deal. The seat back itself does not recline as you would normally think. The two adjusting levers that are protruding thru the side of the seat base take the place of any rotating knobs. One is simply fore and aft on the floor track. The other is magical. When you lift that lever the entire seat (cushion and backrest) moves up and down, whatever height you desired. It is all connected to the large triangular pivot stand at the front bottom. That is the piece you have to disconnect from in order to service the battery. Maybe this was a wagon only deal? I was always intrigued by this mechanism. When you make the adjustment with your body motion it always felt much like a rocking chair.

Bill
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Ah!.... Laughing ...actually those two knobs were on all 411 and 412 imported to the US.

Yours is missing the seat back recline feature....which was an OPTION. It was not on every car. That is what uses those bevel gears

The knob in the front is NOT the seat back recline mechanism. It is the seat BASE tilt...up and down...so it brings the forward edge of the seat under your knees...up or down. As you note...the one in the rear locks the track slider.

If you collect the knob and shaft and chain assembly from another car...you can add the feature to yours.

My seats....and the seats on every 411/412 I have owned...except for one wagon...has had all three knobs. This means that they have base tilt, seat back tilt....which means the seat back lays down almost all the way so you can sleep in it if you want....and of course the slider lock.

Ray
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Pepperbilly
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Ahhh, an option! Did not know that. This was the only 412 in the family and the only one I ever worked on. Assumed they were all like this or just a wagon thing. So added to everything else one could have a reclining backrest. Certainly was a very complex seat for a VW. A “luxury” car with luxury complexicity. I loved them but the complexities of this series made them hard to work on and that was reflected in anemic sales… I think. BUT when everything was working as it should these were precision machines.

Bill
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:19 am    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Pepperbilly wrote:
Ahhh, an option! Did not know that. This was the only 412 in the family and the only one I ever worked on. Assumed they were all like this or just a wagon thing. So added to everything else one could have a reclining backrest. Certainly was a very complex seat for a VW. A “luxury” car with luxury complexicity. I loved them but the complexities of this series made them hard to work on and that was reflected in anemic sales… I think. BUT when everything was working as it should these were precision machines.

Bill


Over the years.....I have owned two four door sedans...a 1972 411 and a 1973 412. I have owned two wagons. A 1972 and a 1973. I have owned 2 two door coupes.....a 1972....which I never got to drive....too damaged so I stripped it for parts......and my current November of 1973 412 two door coupe.

My first 411 four door had all the stuff. I was very used to adjusting the seat back.....but the one thing the four door seats do not have is the seat back tilt forward to access the back seat. No need. It has back doors. But.....if you are rebuilding a four door seat, when you get the covers off you can see the mounting holes/stampings to install the parts to make it tilt forward.

My first wagon was the 1972 411. I bought it in crappy primer with graffiti on it....no engine or trans. I had been hit in 1973 gold 412 four door and the front end ....was pretty much gone. Swapped the entire drive train and much of the suspension from the four door.....into the 411 wagon.

I was immediately surprised and perturbed.....that now my front seats have the upper sliding latch to let the seat back fold forward....and get into the back seat......but no longer had the seat back knob adjustment.

Up until this point in time I had never had the seat covers off to see the guts of these things. I went looking at seats in the junkyards. Around this point in time......I bought a 1972 411 two door coupe with 4 speed......and its seats.....had ALL of the functions.....but were trashed....so I got to look inside and see what made everything work. I realized.....that just like all of the other options on these cars......VW (NSU/Audi really)....had installed the under pinnings in the seats to allow a common framework for all of the versions on one frame.

This is the same for things like power brakes......all the knock out stampings and braket mount points are already there. Same for left and right drive. Same for manual to automatic....just need the parts....mounting points and holes are all there. And same for the rear sway bar. All of the mounting points and threaded holes are already there.

Ray
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Pepperbilly
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

It does not matter to me that It does not recline. But, I always thought it was kinda strange. Was always able to get the position that was comfortable anyway with my 6’3” frame. My seats are in pretty nice shape. The covers are still great short of a few tears I have to patch on the sides where the seat belts dug in. The driver’s cushion padding needs replacement…no big deal. Not sure how to deal with the bottom springs. They are a bit rusty due to the damn battery fumes. I don’t want to weaken them by blasting. You have some good ideas for prepping and coating them?

Bill
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NurseryWalt
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2021 1:52 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Our 411 Sedan which I learned how to drive on, had the big round knobs to adjust the seat backs. It was nice for precise positioning, but very slow if you wanted to put the seats all the way down. I did not know that some were manufactured without this feature. Very interesting Type 4 World!

Walter
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Pepperbilly
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Just found out from reading my owner’s manual, the wagon did not offer the recline feature. Interesting.

Bill
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:08 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Pepperbilly wrote:
Just found out from reading my owner’s manual, the wagon did not offer the recline feature. Interesting.

Bill


But....as you have found.....for the most part......"most" of the guts that make them recline are inside already as well as the mountings for teh parts.

So if you find a two or four door 411/412 in the junkyard with trashed seats....you can take those parts and convert your wagon.

Or....if you find good seats from a sedan...just swap them into your wagon.

The trick...the real difference....is that wagon and two door coupe seats ALSO have the tilt forward option so you cn get into the back seat.

That can also be grafted from one to the other. Ray
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

But the question remains why it was not offered on the wagons? Must be that the rear seating was positioned further back in the others. That’s my take on this.

Bill
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Pepperbilly wrote:
But the question remains why it was not offered on the wagons? Must be that the rear seating was positioned further back in the others. That’s my take on this.

Bill


Lets be sure we are speaking of the same thing. The seat tilts forward so you can get in the back....but the front drivers and passenger seat backs do not recline. I think we are speaking of the same thing.

From what I have found on my 2012 Golf mk 6......its "probably" because you have a rear seat that folds FLAT. And...if the driver or passenger seat backs are too far reclined....the rear seat scrapes and snags on the seat back when you try to fold the seat down. I would bet.....thats it. I have this problem on my Golf. Wink

But back in those days....I would bet that VW simply sidestepped that small adjustment one would need to make ....but not allowing the adjustment.

As I noted...my second wagon had a tilt back drivers seat. I am guessing that the previous owner snagged it from a wrecked car.

Ray
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

It would be interesting to compare measurements between the sedans and the wagon. Maybe there is a difference from the seat back to the leading edge of the rear seat bottom. Problem is I don’t have access to anything other than my wagon.

Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2021 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Pepperbilly wrote:
It would be interesting to compare measurements between the sedans and the wagon. Maybe there is a difference from the seat back to the leading edge of the rear seat bottom. Problem is I don’t have access to anything other than my wagon.

Bill


The differences in the cars total chassis length are pretty small on the outside.

The differences in distance between the back seat and the front....between sedan and wagon are not the issue. The issue is that in wagons.....the rear seat back folds down....forward. The sedans do not.....and the back seat assemblies are totally different between the car types. There is no real comparing the two as they are not the same parts.


This is the only "useful" reason i can think of for not allowing a seat back recline mechanism.
A quick test to see if this "maybe" had been part of the thought process.....is to slide the seat back all the way.....and then see if you can fold the rear seat back down without hitting the front seat backs. Ray
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2021 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Yeah, I think you are right. It’s all because the rear seat back folds flat. That reduces the space needed for the front seat if it were reclined….it would then not be totally flat as they instruct in the manual after removing the headrests.

Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: ‘73 Front Seat Bevel Gears mystery solved Reply with quote

Trying to save my seat bottoms. Gonna need new padding material…hate working with this old horse hair! Thought i’d snap a few pics of the old seat sensor before i remove it. Back in the day most of these got disconnected because of the problems it caused. Remember those issues very well!

Bill
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