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Is it possible to pull the front headrests off a 1990 164 with leather seats? If so, how do you do it? I need to fit some sheepskin seat covers which have a separate headrest piece. If it can't be done I will have to get one piece covers I guess.
 

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Yes, you can remove head rests by first removing (slide down) seat back. To remove seat back use a short stubby phillips screwdriver and remove two screws at base of seat back. then slide down seat back to expose cavity inside.

Locate head rest posts and remove two circlip (snap rings). Now you can pull up and remove head rests.

Since you are installing sheep skins on both seat and head rest you can just slide seat back back up. leave screws out, install head rest and leave circlips off.

Just be sure you reinstall head rest so it folds forward not backwards. Black Beauty came to me with driver's head rest folding backwards so not very safe. So I had to remove it as described and reverse it.

Note: If you run seat back forward so it folded towards steering wheel you can access screws and circlips easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Steve. I knew you would have an answer.
 

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Mine came off allot easier but that may be due to one of the previous owners tampering with the headrests.

Anyway, once headrest pulled all the way up, rotate each of its legs individually to release it from the clip. The legs have a cutout at their bottom that releases from the circlip once at the correct position.

When reinstalling, rotate legs again to make sure they drop down so the cutout aligns with the circlip and then rotate again to lock in place.

Worked for me, YMMV.
Hope this helps,
Ralph.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My headrests turned out to have a spring loaded button on the end that pops out into a slot so they will only go one way round. Unfortunately we can't use the seat covers because my wife's head is touching the roof with the added thickness of the padding. Our car has a sunroof which lowers the headroom considerably even with the seats on the lowest setting. I don't suppose there is a way of getting the seats lower is there?

Thanks again for your help Steve.
 

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Shows to go ya not all head rests are mounted equally doesn't it.

As for lowering seat further some later models appear to have lower seats. I think it was a production change.

I could not seat comfortably in an early 164S as my head hit roof so I sold the car.

Now my non-sunroof 164B with fabric seats I bought new, I have plenty of head room and I can seat fine in my 91L with sun-roof and leather seats.

I tried a new early 91L in 91 that had leather and sun roof and I had same problem as 164S - seat was just to high, too.

Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is interesting. I will keep an eye out for lower ones. Of course it would help if the leather was less stiff.
 

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That is interesting. I will keep an eye out for lower ones. Of course it would help if the leather was less stiff.
I think that is why I can set so well in mY 91L because SEAT LEATHER SOFT AS BUTTER. It has new Alfa Logo embossed leather with pattern very similiar to the 164S but without big bolsters.
 

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Shows to go ya not all head rests are mounted equally doesn't it.

As for lowering seat further some later models appear to have lower seats. I think it was a production change.
Yes - I agree with this.
The three 164s I've had from '91 and '92 all had wider, flatter seats than my '89. I have experience also of the leather seats in an '89 vs. the leather seats in a '91 and there seemed to be the same shape difference there too. Sounds like there are some of this earlier style in the USA so my guess is that the change must have happened some time in '91?

The earlier car has seats that feel narrower and more squidgy - thicker padding - which does raise the seating position a little. Reclining the seat helps of course, but then you end up with the usual long-arms, short-legs Italian position. Because I have no sunroof there isn't a big problem with it but I think the later seats might be more comfortable, particularly the 'corduroy centre' cloth type ('92-on). Thicker and softer isn't necessarily better, firm support is good.

-Alex
 

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I think part of my problem is I like to feel in driving control of my car so have the seat back in "the upright and locked position" and not laid back Lazy Boy recliner style and leaned over on an arm rest.

Don't need no stinking arm rest or cup holders in an Alfa Romeo!

OBTW I drove a new Fiat 500 Sport today (with arm rests you can fold out of the way and cup holders). Nice little machine and it feels bigger inside than the outside looks.
 

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I think part of my problem is I like to feel in driving control of my car so have the seat back in "the upright and locked position" and not laid back Lazy Boy recliner style and leaned over on an arm rest.

Don't need no stinking arm rest or cup holders in an Alfa Romeo!
Haha, fair point, we differ there as I tend to lean on the arm rest. Bad for one's back, I should point out.

OBTW I drove a new Fiat 500 Sport today (with arm rests you can fold out of the way and cup holders). Nice little machine and it feels bigger inside than the outside looks.
Funny you should mention this, as tomorrow is a fun day for me - I pick up a FIAT 500 rental car at London Heathrow and will drive it to the south-west of England. Being a rental it will probably be the base model (1.2L, cloth seats) but I'm looking forward to seeing how it compares to other small cars I've driven - particularly the yellow 2001 Punto I used to have, which had a very choppy ride but a nice rigid body and precise steering. Will be interesting to see if FIAT have improved the ride quality with the various tweaks over the years.

I wonder if the US market will be getting the TwinAir model. This is very much a car for the times with low-CO2 (under 100g/km) 2-cylinder turbocharged 900cc engine, 85HP. Unlike other 'retro rides' I expect that model has a fair dose of the original 500's engine character and there is probably no other car that sounds quite like it. It actually costs more than the 4-cylinder model and anecdotal evidence from the FIAT Forum suggests the 69HP 1.2L is more economical in some conditions. So I'm betting the rental will be a 1.2L, but if it does turn out to be the TwinAir I'll be even more excited.

Actually if history repeats itself I guess I will end up owning a 500 in four years! I drove a Punto as a rental car in 2003 and was sufficiently impressed to buy that yellow one in 2007.

-Alex
 
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