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hugo_nz

Upcoming lumbar and massage retrofit

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Why BMW sells a quarter-million-dollar car without lumbar support is just beyond me. The sports seats are comfortable enough on short trips, but even an hour-long motorway commute in the morning can become a pain...no pun intended.

I have been researching doing a lumbar retrofit using BMW parts. The wiring and install are both super easy, and the lordosis pad and pump cheap enough to get on eBay, BUT the biggest obstacle is the lumbar control switch on the side of the seat. In previous generations, this used to be a separate switch so retrofitting it was easy. Now, however, it is integrated on the main PCB of the switch cluster, meaning you have to either buy a new switch cluster from BMW or find one on eBay. I have not been able to find any sports seat with lumbar switches at all. Only the basic one (like I have) or the full monty for the comfort seats (which interface with the car differently so not an option).

Now, there are plenty of manual lumbar pump solutions out there using little hand pumps and what not, but I know myself well enough to admit that this option simply won't do. So, after some searching and negotiation with an overseas manufacturer, I have ordered a lumbar and massage retrofit kit. Comes with:

  • Air Pump
  • Controller
  • 6 air pods for massage
  • 1 lumbar pad
  • 2 wired switches
  • Power connector

Installation is a simple two-wire affair using an inline fuse, so no need to tap into the car's fuse relays. The cost of this kit is much less than retrofitting with used BMW parts, let alone new ones. I will update more on the progress once the kit arrives. If it passes muster I am considering importing a bunch of them for resale.

In the meantime, fed up with the lack of lumbar support I decided to install some padding today. I used an old yoga matt and installed between the seat cushion and wire-frame (exactly where the lumbar pad would be).

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Never experienced pain in any BMW seats (mostly 80-90's era).  I always found they fit me very well and aren't too hard or too soft. Ive done 6hr drives without stopping in E34 and E39 sport and comfort seats without lumbar and while i was a bit stiff from sitting i was never in pain.  

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Have comfort seats in mine, a bit of a step up from sport seats in the old F11 (with lumbar support) comfort-wise.  

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On ‎12‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 4:13 PM, hugo_nz said:

Why BMW sells a quarter-million-dollar car without lumbar support is just beyond me. The sports seats are comfortable enough on short trips, but even an hour-long motorway commute in the morning can become a pain...no pun intended.

Is your car NZ new or an import? The level of equipment that is provided ex-factory, even on the high-end models, is amazingly low. To bring the cars up to the NZ specification requires pages of features to be added, that is before you even start getting into the additional options that can be added on top.

I guess the reason being is that the same models are sold all around the world, so there will be countries that are happy to take lower base equipment and then up-sell the features.

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