1997 E420 Passenger seat stuck in full recline position......

Hi All,
I am continuing to have glitches with my 1997 E420 Mercedes Benz.
I recently positioned the passenger seat in the full recline position so I could carry a long load home from Lowes. The trip went well and I
felt smug about using a MBz for hauling. Well, the seat will NOT reposition it self back to the upright position. The fuses for the seat are all O.K. because the seat will move in all the advertised function. The recline up / recline down works, but very little from the near-horizonal position it is in. I've moved the seat to all the extreme positions hoping for a Mercedes Miracle. The seat back will go further down to the full recline position and will come up for a short distance and stop. I'm guessing it will not come up as high as half of 45degrees which I can guess fairly accurate. As I fiddle with all the functions - even the headrest moves in and out, I'm beginning to suspect that the gearing mechanism (or something in side) has "slipped a cog" and is now operating in a different range of motion. When it come up and stops, it is a clean stop without any grinding, groaning sounds, or slowing down in speed. It behaves as if it is stopping as per design. This is just a theory, a weak one at that. I removed the back panel for the driver's seat and don't see anything accessible. Nor can I see anything that may shed any light on the problem. THIS IS THE PART WHERE I ASK FOR HELP FROM THE GROUP. If anyone has any ideas, clues, suggestions, or similar experiences about this, please let me know. This car is beginning to bug me because I'm slowly working my way through the E-CLASS LEMON LIST of malfunctions (see elsewhere on the internet) and I've only owned the car for 3 years. The engine is sound and is mechanically great. The headaches come from the accessories (turn signal stalk renewed, rear windows controls failed, driver's headrest motor renewed, part of the instrument panel has lights burned out, A/C fan speed switch replaced - only had two low speeds left, low fuel light comes on for no reason a time or two a month, and on and on and on.....
Please share any knowledge you have. My 5-passenger vehicle will only SAFELY accommodate 2-1/2 now.
Hez of the Pacific NW
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shouldn't have tried to haul that compact dishwasher in your Benz. :- D
fortunately, the seat comes out with relative ease. there are two bolts at the front of each rail. in the rear, you may need to slide off a cover plate (no tools needed) to reveal the bolts on the rails.
be careful when you unplug the various seat harnesses. label with blue painters tape. pull the seat and place upside down to examine gearing. the easier one to view is the seat up/down...which is at the rear of the cushion. i dont recall where the gear is for recline....but i can look later at end of week. (i have spare set of fronts at another location).
sorry to hear of the other ailments. not surprising....i've heard of these same manifestations from other 210 owners before. i have rear window door switches. if you need to replace seats, mine are charcoal in great shape. I yanked them so that th E55 multicontour/ortho seats could be put in.
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...this may help a little....
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/2065427-post1.html
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Hi All, Thanks for the feedback. Thanks to Raymond, Rob, Tiger.
I finally knuckled under and took the car to the mechanic I use. I watched him as he investigated the problem step by step. He pulled the seal (Yep, just 4 bolts and Raymond said and the seat belt connecting bolt; however, the 4 bolts have a funky head - male/out torx). Then, he removed the back panel (two screws) to locate the driving motor for the seatback adjustments. By partially peeling back the seat covering on the side panel, he found the single screw that secured the electric motor for the seatback adjustments. With the motor out of the way, he used a big scewdriver to "stroke" the driven gear and walked the seatback up to near-normal position. All was reassembled in reverse order and tested O.K. The steps above are pretty straightforward, but the mechanic has to do some pondering to figure out what the next step was. Eventually, he found his way. All is right for the moment. I was really impressed with the ease of removing the front seats. All you need is the specialty tool for removing the bolts. If I have any future front seat issues, I'll not hesitate to pull the seat(s) to better my troubleshooting situation.
Well, this adventure has ended happily and I'm bracing for the next failure. I'm still driving around with a stick propping up the rear/left door window glass. I'm still hoping a re-assembly "fix" will materialize with help from this group as posted previously.
Thanks a bunch for all the support and information.
Hez of the Pacific NW
raymond wrote:

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Hez - here's a nice collection of videos - try to save as many as you can. are you in Seattle, perchance?
http://w210.pietrzyk.net/Default.htm
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Hi Raymond,
Thanks for the great website/URL. I've bookmarked it and will refer to it as needed.
I live in Vancouver, WA (not the one in Canada; just north of Portland, OR).
Ciao .... Hez
raymond wrote:

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Hez wrote:

Wait! You ain't seen nothing yet! Have the front suspension spring mounts rusted off yet? You'll get a thrill when the front suspension suddenly collapses! Has the under hood wire harness fried yet? Another happy adventure awaits.
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Have you tried to assist the seat back upward as someone triggers the switch? Seat motor can only have so much power to move the seat up... especially if you somehow jammed it.
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