by Herb Mosley- C.A.T. in the January 1996 RootesReview
Primitive by some standards, that seat mechanism is pretty well designed, but may need some attention after a few years of neglect. Two-driver families can find repositioning the seats a real struggle.
Spraying oil at the rollers and tracks is just not enough to get them operating smoothly. Wear and age can cause the runners to rust and lose their plating, and the rollers can pick up the dirt and corrosion that falls down there. What’s needed is a complete disassembly and cleanup, and fortunately, it’s easy to do.
Since the seat could come off the rails in moving forward, you want to be sure to retain the front rail dimples, which limit its forward travel. Position the assembly upside down. Use a punch and a 1/4 inch bit to drill out the rear retaining dimples on each side of the bottom rails. (Remember, the release handle points to the front and the two rails are bolted down and are stationary.)
Strictly speaking, you don’t need to restore the rear dimple you drilled out when you disassemble your Tiger or Alpine’s seat positioning mechanism. Once it’s in stalled, you can’t move the seat back far enough for it to come apart, so just be sure it’s drilled and reassembled correctly.
Clean out all metal chips, then drive the idler rail toward the front to clear the rear roller. Remove the roller and continue driving the rail past the front roller. Remove roller and rail. Similarly, release the catch assembly and remove the second rail and its rollers.
Examine the areas of contact. Rust and dirt collect on these surfaces to jam or otherwise limit the fore and aft travel of the seat.
Use a wire brush or file to get the areas of contact clean and smooth. Clean the rollers, but exercise care with the rubber. Compress or form the lower portion of the channel so the rails slide smoothly and do not bind.
Clean the locking mechanism and verify easy movement. Recheck and verify operation, then paint with a good rustproof paint. Once the paint is dry, recheck the fit of the rails and channel. Lubricate as appropriate, but remember that any surplus will collect dirt.
Reassemble the mechanism, starting from the front, so the drilled end of the rail goes on first. Position the front roller between the front dimples, then continue driving the rail to the rear. Insert the rear roller between its dimples and bring the rail and channel flush. Verify easy movement. Continue with the other side, holding lock from engaging.
For final installation, snug the four attach bolts, then move the seat back and forth and verify easy movement. Tighten bolts and again verify easy seat movement; finally, torque the bolts to 10-15 foot-pounds. In this way, the retaining bolts can’t jam the rails against the channels as the mechanism is installed.
With disassembly of your seat mechanism this easy, there’s no excuse for any struggle to reposition the seats.