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Thread: 69 Wildcat 4 way power seat

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    69 Wildcat 4 way power seat

    Team Buick Newbie, hope you can help. Original owner 69 Wildcat 4 door hardtop, pristine condition except for the following problem.
    Had some minor rust removed from rear window trim, body shop removed rear seat, they operated front seat to max forward position so they could work on rust. When returned two problems present. Power seat inoperable and oil light always on. Body shop declines any knowledge of problem but it is barely possible to drive due to seat position so I am sure somehow it is related to their work. Not looking for responsibility here as old cars have problems, just want to fix it.

    Checked oil light - lead is shorted somewhere as it is on even when disconnected from sender. My thought is that moving the seat to max forward (unusual action) may have pinched a wire leading to both problems. For both problems to occur simultaneously seems unlikely. The seat switch is non-responsive (no power?) Any suggestions where to begin?

    Thanks 10 Mile Geek

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    There is a test terminal on the ignition switch that is wired to the oil light same as the engine sensor. The ignition switch is supposed to test the oil light whenever the switch goes into the START position. One check would be to unplug the ignition switch then check the oil sensor lead at the engine. An ohmmeter will tell if the short is still present. If it is, one of those two wires going to the oil light is shorted to ground somewhere. If the short clears, the problem is in the ignition switch.

    The power seat (and power windows if present) get fed by a circuit breaker on the fuse block. A good test would be to see if there is 12V power at the circuit breaker output by using a test lamp or voltmeter. Also do power windows work? If a short to ground is present in one these systems the breaker will cycle on and off. Breaker should be warm if it is cycling on and off.

    If power is present at the breaker output, could just be the seat switch has become unplugged. Running the seat all the way forward should not harm anything as long as components are in good working order.

    At least these ideas should provide a good start.
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Wildcat seat problem

    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Mile Geek View Post
    Team Buick Newbie, hope you can help. Original owner 69 Wildcat 4 door hardtop, pristine condition except for the following problem.
    Had some minor rust removed from rear window trim, body shop removed rear seat, they operated front seat to max forward position so they could work on rust. When returned two problems present. Power seat inoperable and oil light always on. Body shop declines any knowledge of problem but it is barely possible to drive due to seat position so I am sure somehow it is related to their work. Not looking for responsibility here as old cars have problems, just want to fix it.

    Checked oil light - lead is shorted somewhere as it is on even when disconnected from sender. My thought is that moving the seat to max forward (unusual action) may have pinched a wire leading to both problems. For both problems to occur simultaneously seems unlikely. The seat switch is non-responsive (no power?) Any suggestions where to begin?

    Thanks 10 Mile Geek
    Hi Todd: Thanks for the information. The power windows work fine so I will have to trace out the power circuits. I had to have some surgery last week so I will not be "Monkey Wrenching" for a couple of months. Just so you don't think I ignored your suggestion. When able I will get in touch again. 10 Mile Geek

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    Wildcat seat problem

    Back working on the seat. Actually it is a 6-way seat with one motor. Common in a lot of GM products. I checked the power and it is fine, no problem with that or windows. Downloaded a description of the 6-way seats but it doesn't exactly match my Wildcat. Some colors different. Under the seat I have a terminal block with 6 wires. From front is (1) a single orange or red lead which seems to be ground. (2) a three way plug with orange or red 12 volt power and then two wires green and blue. These are all on a three way plug, and (3) two wires on separate terminals. All of these are connected on a metal sausage shaped can. I can't tell if this is a fuse/breaker/switch or just a large terminal block. I can send a picture. It is firmly attached to the seat bottom. Anyone have any idea what I am looking at? Present status is 12V power to 3 way plug but no response to anything after that. Like a fuse blown. Nada. Any suggestions.

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    The part in question sounds like the power seat relay. There are images available on the net by Googling "GM 5717528". It is something on the order of a horn or headlight relay.

    There were no ground wires brought to the devices. Grounds are tied to the cases and then made up when the device is bolted to the seat frame. There is a ground wire from the movable seat frame to the car body. That would be an easy fix to find that ground broken.

    To to go on from there, a lot of questions pop up:

    Do you have a '69 Buick Shop Manual, a '69 Fisher Body manual, or a Buick parts book?

    Is the seat a full-with bench type or a split 60-40 seat?

    Is the seat switch on the door armrest or on the side of the seat body?

    Does anything click, buzz, or spark when operating the seat switch?

    Hope you came through the surgery with flying colors.
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Wildcat seat problem

    Hi Todd: Yes, I survived and am now back beating my head against the wall !! Thanks for remembering.

    The part is indeed the GM 5177528. Relay.PNG Now that I can see it, it does look like a simple relay. For reference I will number the pins left to right, top to bottom. Pin 1 is the single pin left end, then the 3 pin socket (2,3,4) and the two connections , 3>5 and 4>6. I will check to see if the case is grounded. Pin one is a ground and pin 2 is +12V. I'll see if I can pull this relay and check it out. May just replace it on spec. Can't be too expensive. Ha Ha!

    I do have the 1969 Fisher Body Manual. Chapter 15 is daunting to say the least. 50 pages of an engineers worst nightmares.

    As to other questions. It is a 6 way bench seat with the switch on the side of the seat base. Center 4 way post and flanked by two two-way switches. No response from any of the switches. No buzz, click, spark, smoke etc. Just dead.

    See if I can extract the relay this weekend. Jack

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    Wildcat seat problem

    Because of seat position, max forward, max low, I have not been able to remove the 717528 relay for testing but I now think it is probably OK. Standing on your head must help thinking and these are my current thoughts. Todd's comment that pin 1 is not ground seem valid. I can not find a good pinout of the relay but automotive grounds are usually by body or a green or blue wire. The wire connecting to pin 1 is reddish orange which is normally +12V power. In fact a similar color wire on the 3 pin connector is +12V. Something is wrong here!

    My analysis: Red pin 1 wire is shorted and a fuse blown somewhere. I think pin 1 supplies switched voltage to activate the solenoid. As it is dead no solenoid = no seat movement.

    My speculation: Off the wall here! Problem started when body shop moved front seat max forward to work on the rear seat R&R required for some rust work. This was 3rd party so I didn't work with body shop. Seat (and oil pressure light) fine when delivered. Both non-functional when picked up. Not implying anything here, **** happens in older car restoration. But there may be a connection. I have read that some luxury GM sedans had rear power seat backs. If so the Wildcat wiring harness may have had a unused 12V feed stub somewhere on the upper back seat. R&R could have shorted this, blown the fuse with no one the wiser. How is that for speculation! Anyone have any comments? According to my theory there must be a blown fuse somewhere. Any idea where it might be?

    Remember Einstein never did an experiment in his life - just speculated a lot with mathematics! Anything is possible. Jack

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    we don't have the 69 chassis manual but the Wildcat should have been the same basic generation from 1965-70 and we DO have the 67 chassis manual:


    https://www.teambuick.com/reference/...ssis/index.php
    The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
    Vladimir Lenin

    Government schooling is about "the perfect organization of the hive."
    H.H. Goddard, Human Efficiency (1920)

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    Wiring on pin 1 of the relay goes to the motor armature. When the relay picks up, +12V power is fed to pin 1 from 2. Pin 2 is always hot with +12V and is fed from the circuit breaker on the fuse block. An ohmmeter will show an apparent short on pin 1 measured to ground due to the very low resistance of the armature (around 1 ohm or less).

    Pin 3 and 4 are the control wires from the switch. The switch applies +12V power to one or the other of these wires. One is for UP or FORWARD motion; the other is for DOWN or REARWARD. The visible jumpers to pin 5 and 6 send +12V power on to the forward or reverse shunt fields of the motor.

    The relay coil is connected between pin 3 and 4. The coil is energized and pulls in the relay if pin 3 or 4 receives power from the switch.

    The the motor runs as soon as power is applied to one of the shunt fields and the armature. Changing to the other shunt field makes it run in the opposite direction.

    The solenoids in the transmission are fed directly by the switch depending on which motion of the seat is selected. Solenoids are independent of the motor and relay circuits. That is why it is strange that clicking of the solenoids does not occur when the switch is actuated.

    Still it would be good to confirm the ground wire from the moving seat frame to the floor pan is intact. An errant body shop man's foot could have torn it loose, resulting in a completely inoperable system as seen here.

    Fig. 16-36 in the Fisher Body Manual is the best diagram for troubleshooting. Can't figure out any tie in with the oil pressure light problem. We can deal with that later.

    The only pictures of Einstein and a car I have seen show him in a Lincoln Continental. He must have not been a Buick man. Nonetheless between you, me, and the Fisher Body manual I think we can fix it. 😄
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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    Wildcat seat problem

    Hello Todd: Amazing how easy it is to speculate when you don't have any facts. Back on track now. I have checked ground and no problem. I also tried once again to hear the solenoids as if there is power they must be working. But try as I might, I can't hear them. Let's assume they work as when the seat worked they had the stated response. Thanks for pointing me to fig. 16-36, when I first went through I saw "transmission and clutch control solenoids and thinking this was referring to the autotrans moved on.

    I tested the relay by following the instructions p. 16-40 f.

    I use a v/o meter instead of a test light. One field/sol pin to ground, armature pin to ground via volt meter. +12 applied to other field/sol pin. I can hear relay close but no voltage to meter. Looking at the schematic I can't see, under this test regime, how any voltage could be expected at the voltmeter. I assume the relay is N/O and the applied voltage closes it, allowing voltage to flow from pin 2 to pin 1 and the motor armature. In this test setup there is no power applied to that circuit so how can I expect a voltage on pin 1?

    When I am not working on the Buick I also fix pinballs. Only difference is you don't have to stand on your head for pinball.

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