Seat Rollers & Buttons - Improve Your Fore/Aft Seat Movement
Do your seats drag or feel like there is
incredible resistance to movement when attempting to adjust them fore and aft?
Well, here's an often overlooked trivial
maintenance tidbit for those of us with 20, 30, 40 or 50 year old airframes. I
recently learned that the seats in my 1965 B55 are fitted with these little
plastic rollers that make contact with the seat rails of the airframe. These
little rollers take the full weight of the person in the seat and are
responsible for the sliding (or lack thereof) contact with the seat rail.
As you can imagine, after decades of
supporting a person's weight and sliding along the metal rails, these puppies
have probably gotten pretty tired.
There are two rollers per mounting point of
the seat, so a total of six rollers are on the bottom of each seat.
I found mine to be pretty tired, some were in fact not even rolling as they had a flat spot on
them. Needless to say, this makes for a very difficult adjustment of the seat
position on the rails.
The PN for the roller is: 118641 and was found
at RAPID for $1.19 each today (25 Feb 2011)
The little spring that keeps the two rollers
spaced properly is PN: 100943ZA016J for $3.65 each today (25 Feb 2011)
This is a relatively easy fix with a 3/8"
socket in 1/4" drive and a 3/8 wrench. Be sure to note exactly how your pieces
come out and their respective positions AND have your A&P check and
approve your work after you're done.
Simply ask your A&P to check these parts out
on your plane and have them serviced if they are in need.
HERE is a seat extract
diagram showing the roller and spring positions. The roller is #52 and the
spring is #55 in the diagram.
NOTE: This is for my B55 Baron. Bonanza's and
other Barons MAY be similar, always check your parts catalog for your aircraft
and SN to be sure to utilize the proper parts.
Below is another plastic "gliding"
button that appears in Beech seats to assist in smooth sliding
operation. It is Textron PN: 102-530087-35 which has appeared on F33 and
A36 Models and possibly others. 1977 F33 owner, Herb R., has found an
outstanding CSOB potential replacement option for the reportedly $38 per
piece OE item.
It is a SWISCO Sliding Window Glide PN: 87-132. Here is his verbatim narrative from BeechTalk:
I wanted to share with my fellow BT an annoying problem I've had that
I've tried to fix on my F33A but finally found an inexpensive solution
that will hopefully help you with this minor aggravation if you have the
same problem. While seated, if I moved, the pilot seat would rock back
and forth on the sliding rails depending on how I shifted my weight on
the seat while the seat was locked in position. The pilot seat was worse
but occurred on all 4 seats. Trying to fix the problem, I purchased the
rear nylon rollers as some on this forum have suggested but that didn't
help; the seat continued to rock back and forth. Come to find out,
there is a nylon slider button that rides under the seat on the front
rail. That button was worn away on the pilot side and mostly worn away
on the other 3 seats!!
I looked up the part number on my parts manual and go to the new
Textron website and come to find out they want over $300 for a little
nylon slider button!!!No way!
I go off and google an alternate solution. Long story short I believe
I've found a good source for an alternative. A company called Swisco
sells sliding window glide buttons and has them for $0.32 a piece! I
bought 20 of them just to be sure I have enough for years to come.
the order did come in I installed the buttons in all 4 seats along with
a flat aviation washer per button that's 1/32 thickness and 3/16 inner
diameter; washer acts as a shim. It fit perfectly in the empty hole
although I did use a small punch and hammer to drive the new button in.
Installed seats and no more rocking back and forth!!!! If you have this
problem with your seats rocking back and forth I hope this helps.
Depending on how your seats are configured with respect to clearance of
rail you can add more washers to shim them. I only needed 1 thin washer
as described above to get it perfect.
See the images below for his discovery.
You and your A&P/IA need to decide if this is a suitable replacement option for your aircraft.
Herb for a great CSOB find and contribution to keeping ownership costs
low for the Beech community with solutions such as this to keep
our birds in top form.