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Thread: How would a guy make this clip/bearing holder thingy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default How would a guy make this clip/bearing holder thingy?

    So workin on my car, fixing up the seats, found out I need a roller and a bearing cage for one seat rail. I have no idea what make or year the seat track is from. Plus trying to get parts for seat tracks seems impossible even if I did know what it is.

    So how would a guy go about making this bearing cage? My thought was to cut out the metal rectangle that holds the big roller and then weld some small tube to the ends to hold the balls. Sounds easier that what it would be I am sure.

    I would think this would be a good time for a 3d printer.







    Andy

  2. #2
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    Sep 2004
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    Look in Local Junkyards best bet.

  3. #3
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    replace seat rails with linear rails and bearings? Plus ground ballscrews and nuts for precise CNC control of butt position?

    Does it need to stay original, eg. for show or sale purposes, or can you improvise? if the former, that looks like a chore to make but something along what you suggested makes sense. If the latter, I'd find some seat rails from a junker and swap those in.

  4. #4
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    I'm also thinking of adapting seat rails from some other car.

    Or take along the WHOLE seat rail to a few junk yards and ask if they recognize it. The clip alone would likely not be recognized by any but the most long time and avid tinkerers. But the whole rail might mean something.

    Also check the whole rail for some sort of stamped on part number.

    If you end up making that part it'll be a near nightmare. The forms to make those bends and the need for trial strips to adjust the length to allow for the bending radii will turn the process into a few head scratching jigs that will take up a lot of time. But if you do decide to have a go at it I can foresee one jig that holds the flat clip and forms the end tubes around a pin. A second that the round fits over to line things up and the outer sharp 90 and longer radius 90 is done with perhaps a second fitted piece after those two that allows you to form the inner sharp 90. And I'd have to scratch my head a whole lot to figure out if the two tabs off the inside could be done first or last or in between without being in the way.

    Plus I would imagine that while not under a lot of load that there will be SOME pressure so you would want to make something like this out of a heat treatable steel then harden and temper back to a spring blue temper after all the bending is done. One scrap yard source for something of this sort would be the saw blade plate off an old ruined woodworker's hand saw. You'd want to anneal it back to dead soft before starting to avoid not only the risk of cracking the steel but also the nasty amount of springback that would fight the forming process if it were left with any residual hardness at all.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Sheet is cheap when you need 10,000 or more. Mill it from a solid chunk removing only what is required to make it work. Should be pretty simple. My brother broke the plastic rear hatch latch 3 times and asked me to make an aluminum one. I told him it be $75 to make it. He said to make 3, Porsche gets $250 for the plastic part and he’d sell the two extras!

  6. #6
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    I did have a couple rails here and took both apart and both had somewhat similar but different setups, unusable for my track. You can see what type they are till you take the rails apart which would suck doing over and over in a junk yard.

    I think I will try to weld one up out of bits and pieces. I am sure I will run out of words by the end of the endeavor. I just replaced the floor in the car and drilled holes for these seats/rails. I'd really not like to switch to new tracks again now.

    Stay tuned for the clown show.
    Andy

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyhlucas View Post
    Sheet is cheap when you need 10,000 or more. Mill it from a solid chunk removing only what is required to make it work. Should be pretty simple. My brother broke the plastic rear hatch latch 3 times and asked me to make an aluminum one. I told him it be $75 to make it. He said to make 3, Porsche gets $250 for the plastic part and he’d sell the two extras!
    I took it that the sort of soft cornered "L" on each side that connected to the outsides is done that way because it has to wrap around the often typical square upside down omega shape of the tracks. And that would be pretty hard to machine into a block.

    A combination of some bends and some welding would likely be the easiest option. Especially if you only need one or three.

  8. #8
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    I only need the one luckily. Otherwise I would have just ditched the tracks right off the bat. In fact I didn't know about this missing cage and roller till I was putting the seats in the car.
    Andy

  9. #9
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    Got it done!

    Not sure how but one cut on the part was crooked so it threw the bearing "holders" off center a bit. Still gets the job done. Wasn't to hard to make surprisingly and I just so happened to have brand new bearings the right size.



    Turned up (uh oh! machining content!) a new roller out of some mystery metal. It was darn near the right size already, just had to take .023" off and clean up the sides.



    Hard to get a pic of it assembled but there it is, doing what it needs to do.



    Both seats in and working! Took it for a drive to pick up the kids from school, daughter moved the seat forward right away no problem.
    Andy

  10. #10
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    oh I thought you wanted the other piece made - that's why I did not comment at it looked difficult...

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