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Seat Recliner Disassembly

September 26, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair

Text and photos by Bruce Tuffli

[Download this article as a one-page printable PDF file]

These instructions are for 356A recliners, but B and C recliners are basically the same.


Remove small screws (arrows, fig. 1) from cover.

Fig. 1

If you are disassembling the side containing the seat recliner position lock lever (fig. 2), remove the spring by placing and twisting a screwdriver as shown to relieve some pressure, and pull spring out of its retainer with a vise-grip pliers. Remove the lever by unscrewing its retaining bolt using appropriate sockets or wrenches.

Fig. 2

Note which way spring is situated. You may want to take digital photos as you go along to facilitate assembly later. Pry up the spring with large screwdriver or pry bar (fig. 3). You may cover this with wadded-up thick cloth while prying if you are concerned about the spring flying, but it should stay pretty much where it is. If it doesn’t seem to want to slide up with pressure at this point, try placing pry bar under the spring where the white arrow is.

Fig. 3

With spring removed, pry up retaining nut lock plate with small screwdriver (fig. 4), again noting its orientation for reassembly.

Fig. 4

Unscrew the exposed retaining nut by placing a screwdriver or dull cold chisel into one of the notches in the nut and smacking it in a counterclockwise direction with a hammer (fig 5).


With the retaining nut removed, gently tap the end of the spring retainer stud to remove it.


Reassembly is the reverse of these steps. The most difficult part is the re-insertion of the spring. I am showing below a drawing of a special tool suggested by Vic Skirmants which makes this procedure much easier. Vic says, "I put two 5mm diameter pins in the end of a piece of steel bar stock — load the spring into the pins – insert spring tang into slotted bolt and crank spring around until it can be pushed into retaining slot in recliner."



Profile missing thumb
Douglas Martin
May 21, 2012 at 5:13 PM
would you have information on later 1965 the spring clips location
Profile missing thumb
Douglas Martin
May 21, 2012 at 5:13 PM
would you have information on later 1965 the spring clips location