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Old 06-13-2016, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: west midlands
Posts: 38
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Rear Reclining Seats not working

Hi All,

I am trying to retro-fit reclining seats to my BMW X5 e53 4.8 2004. (U.K car)
I have installed the motors and the swicthes (tail gate ones) but nothing happens.
The 30amp fuse is present in position 77 in the fuse box above the subwoofer.
I have read the Relay swicth only need to be installed if I also use the roof swicthes.

I have the pan roof - i am assuming I do not need to do anything with the wiring (that is if it even exists up there)?

Do the reaer tailgate switches light up when the headlights are on? Maybe power isnt going to them?
Does this feature need to be enabled?

Any suggestions will be a good start.
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: west midlands
Posts: 38
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Problem solved.
On each side where the wires for the motors are, I found 2 plug/connectors which looked similar to the plugs/connectors which appear at the back for the tail gate swicthes.
So I just plugged 2 extra switches in these (1 per side) and now it works. Must be so that the circuit is complete or something.

So even though I cant have the roof controls/switches because I have a pan roof, I still needed to plug the switches in. So now I have 4 swicthes in total, 2 which are hidden. 2 which are near the tail gate
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:34 AM
Qsilver7's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Indiana, USA
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Just an FYI (in case I misunderstood what you wrote)...the rear reclining seats have switches on each C pillar when you have the Pano-sunroof (see center column in page from owners manual below)...as well as the the 2 switches back by the tailgate. It's similar to a 3-way light switch in your home...where you can turn a light on/off from 2 different locations.

That's probably what those 2 connectors on each side were for. Do you not have the switches on the C-pillars?

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Old 06-14-2016, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: west midlands
Posts: 38
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Yes just realised the C pillar (where the seat belt goes), there should be 2 swicthes here.
So i will move the switches up to this location.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:30 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,062
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Hi there! I am also interested in doing this retrofit job to my 4.8is 2004 made RHD X5. I just search in Realoem.com and found that lots of parts required to be installed, including the motors, C-pillar trims, trunk trims. Is the wiring pre-installed by factory or I need to install the wiring harness myself? The trunk retractable cover is also different, the seat belt in the middle rear seat is also different. I seems lots of parts I need to buy and install. Thanks for help!
--2004 E53 X5 4.8is - ECE version; right hand drive; Located in Hong Kong; ext. black sapphire metallic; int. leather black; adaptive dynamic bi-xenon headlights; 16:9 onboard monitor w/o navigation; 20" genuine BMW Y-spoke 214 wheels with Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport tires; Int. rear view mirror w/ compass.
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: west midlands
Posts: 38
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Still cant get the interior c pillar switches working.
The tailgate switches work.

I have installed the relay in the boot also.
I ahve ensured the window switch lock is not enabled.

Lost on what to try next.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:15 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Abbotsford BC CANADA
Posts: 313
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old thread I know, sorry, but was there a solution found to this issue??
I had a similar thing happen with my retrofitted reclining rear seats.
The switches in the rear cargo area work flawlessly, but the ones on the upper center console, sadly, don't work at all. the switches light up but do nothing!
any thoughts or solutions?? (checked Fuse 77 in the back as well as the relay in the back too.)
2003 X5 3.0i (02/2003) sport package, Sapphire black metallic / Black Dakota Sport seats. compass mirror retrofit, trailer hitch retrofit, Prodigy P2 trailer brake controller installed, PDC retrofit, Lumbar support retrofit. heated rear seats retrofitted. Running boards retrofitted and subwoofer install in progress. 4.8is Brakes installed front and back. Bluetooth TCU installed, Rear Fog lights installed. Retrofitted reclining rear seat backs.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: west midlands
Posts: 38
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Yes this was resolved.
The fuses in the rear were missing, so i just added them
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:44 PM
LVP LVP is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Ontario
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Reviving this old thread. I've managed to collect all the parts for this from a few wrecks.

One thing to note that I've found - vehicles with the pano roof have the switches in the c-pillar, while those with the regular roof have the switches mounted in the upper light console over the rear seats. The pano cars have the wires on each side it seems, but the non-pano cars have both sets of switch wires coming up from the rear on the left/drivers side (left-hand drive cars). So whenever I get around to peeling mine all apart, I'll post some pics. I'll probably have to feed the wires up from the side once I find where they're tied back to.

Parts I've snagged
- 4 switches (2 rear, 2 pillars; they are different switches - pillar vs rear)
- tailgate side trim panels
- cargo area carpeted trim panels and plastic covers (allows motor to move the attachment point)
- overhead light console panel with switch cutouts
- seat motors
- relay/fuse

Daily Drivers:
- 2004 X5 4.4, 01/2004 production, 345,000km
- 2008 535i, 265,000km

- 1996 328i, track/race car, ~300,000km

- 2001 Ski-Doo MXZ 600 w/800 engine, exhaust
- 1978 Ski-Doo Olympique 340 (vintage race sled)
- 1977 Ski-Doo Olympique 340E

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