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First let me start by saying by saying that I am sorry for the poor order of my pictures. I was learning as I went and didn't really have the time to make them too organized. Also, I will say this is no easy task. I am an aircraft mechanic and I would say this might be a little difficult for those of you that aren't too mechanically inclined. On the other hand, it's always worth trying. You can always take in to get fixed half way through and it would probably be cheaper than a dealer would charge for this. A Honda/Acura repair shop wanted $180 for this repair (I am sure a dealer would tack on around another $70 to that). It cost me NOTHING. This was done on a 2001 MDX by the way. Some of you might not have to take the seat apart as much as I did, as I found out that my cable was just disconnected from the top. In the long run though it will make this a lot easier if you do take it all apart.


First, you will want to take the little tab off the top recline lever (I forgot to take a pic of this but if you lift the lever in picture 16 it's the cover that covers the screws that the arrow point to in picture in 10. Pry to cover off with a small flat headed screwdriver (be careful not to damage the plastic with the screw driver). Then take out the screws.

Then go to the other recline lever on the side of the seat (pic 1). Take out the little screw in the knob at the end of the lever and pull the knob off. Pry off the stickers that show how the seat reclines (I used a butter knife for a lot of the prying, it will make it a little easier to pry without damaging the parts because it has a wider surface area). Then take out the screws under the stickers and remove the recline cover.

Then move to the bottom of the seat and pull back on the cover that I have my finger on in picture 3. It should just pull back. Then take out the screw (you will need a torx bit to take this out).

Then you will need to pull the cover off the back of the seat. This was no easy task. I ended up just ripping it off pretty much but the best way to do it is get under each tab that are circled in picture 4 and put a pair of pliers around the tab then pry up on the pliers with a large flat headed screw driver (you could probably just pry them up without the pliers but I never tried it.) They will pop out. I pulled mine out after I pulled the cover off but that isn’t the way it should be done. You can see in picture 8 how the tabs go into the back of the seat cover. Picture 9 has a close up of one of the tabs.

Once you get the cover off you will need to bend the metal rings (picture 4) that hold the seat cover to the seat. Keep them in the seat if you can because you will need to bend them back to put it back together. Then fold the seat cover back.

Remove the screw that the arrow points to in picture 6. Remove the little cap in picture 7. Remove the screw that is under that cap. Pull that whole plastic cover from the seat.

Now you are ready to disconnect the cable (picture 15). You can just pull off the cable end (the arrow is pointing to it). The upper part (where the other arrow points) is easier to pop out by prying with a screwdriver. Now pry the cable out of its area that is circled in picture 9. Be careful not to kink or break the cable then you will have to buy a new one.

Now you should be able to pull the whole lever/cable assembly out from the seat. Once you get it out it gets kind of tricky to take it all apart. If you buy this assembly from the dealer you can just throw the new one in and put it all back together now. My dealer quoted it at $36 and they had it in stock. However, if you are cheap like me and don’t want to pay anything you can keep going.

In picture 14 you can pull the spring with a pair of pliers and let it snap back through the circled hole into the lever assembly. Then you can pull the pin out that holds the lever to the bottom part. You can see the pin and spring pretty well in picture 13.

Once you get the handle separated from the lower part you will need to pry the cap part off the handle. You just have to pop it off, it snaps in two places. You can see in picture 13 how they go together. The handle is where mine failed. You can see it broke through the plastic on one side but the other side, where the cable didn’t go through, is still good. Never mind the gray stuff all over mine, I tried to JB Weld it but it didn’t work.

Now you can see in picture 11 that the cable can come through the lower part in two places. You’ll want to pull the cable out from the left side and put it in the right like in picture 11 (be careful not to break anything in this step).

Now it is time to start putting it all back together. Put the handle back together with the lower part by putting the spring and pin back in place. You will have to pull the spring back through and clip it back like is in picture 14. It isn’t easy. I used a pick to bring the end of the spring to the hole, then I used a small needle nose pliers to pull it out and snap it back into place.

Then you will need to hook the cable back into the handle on the side that isn’t broken. Now you can put the cap back on. It will just snap onto the handle part.

Now you can put the whole assembly back into the seat. Put the two screws in picture 10 that attach the assembly to the seat back in. snap the cable into place and test it all out.

A problem with mine is that the part circled in picture 15 didn’t slide back down when the seat was upright. I solved this problem by using multi-purpose grease and putting it everywhere that the part moved. To get some grease into the tight places I put it on a butter knife and squeezed it in (you can see what I mean in pic 15). Cycle it through a few times and it should smooth out. Then put everything back together the reverse way of it being taken apart.

Hope this helps. Sorry if my thread is confusing but this isn’t an easy task to explain.



 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I spaced the steps out. The pictures are like that because I didn't want to do 16 separate pictures. I put the pictures together before I wrote the thread. Since it took so much time to do all and type it up I didn't want to go back and rearrange the pics. The service manual for the car was pretty confusing as well, and not very in depth on how to take some of it apart. Oh well, I am just glad mine is fixed.
 

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hey epetes thank you so much you save me alot of money

i followed all of your steps and did this whole thing for free (that sounds good to say)

directions worked great

if i could do this anyone can (just make sure you have a torx bit i had to barrow one)

i had a little problem getting those metal rings off with out breaking. the plastic i broke some but hopefully it will stay on

When i moved the little wire to the other side the wire was a bit to long so one the end of it i attached 2 zip ties to take about 1/2 inch out of the wire and now it works ((after fixing)if i pulled the flap the seat would not come down but if i moved the side latch up like 1/2 a millimeter the seat would fold all the way down)
 

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Thank you

Thank you so much for documenting your repair. Between the pics and the description I had enough info to tackle a repair on the other second row seat.

One of the two cables on the other second row seat, the wider one behind the driver, tore out from the handle on my 2002. Since there are two cables on this side I bought a new assembly from the dealer ($120). I now realize if I had been a bit more ambitious I could have taken the narrow seat apart and switched the handles.

Basically the only major difference in the procedure on the wider seat versus the narrow seat is that you have to remove the narrow seat first, by unscrewing the 4 bolts that hold it to the floor, to access the side of the wider seat to dissemble it.

I used cable ties to reattach the seat cover rather than trying to reuse the metal rings. Easier, I think.
 

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YumVTEC said:
i hope the original poster does not mind, but I PDF'd his instructions and put the appropriate pictures under each paragraph so that I could give it all to my mechanic this week so he can fix my seat. thought i'd share the fruits of my labors.

http://t24ever.com/docs/tech/2001-2004%20Acura%20MDX%202nd%20row%20seat%20forward%20recline%20repair.pdf
I will go ahead and embed this here so that we will always have it in case your link ever dies. Nice work YumVTEC!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't mind that you created the PDF. I think it is pretty cool. Anything to help everybody out.
 

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Nice work documenting the process. Too bad my kids broke the right side on my 2002 a few years before your post, it would have saved me some time. I came up with exactly the same solution.

Last week my kids broke the left side. Since I had already done the fix as you described on the right side a few years ago, so I didn't have the option of swapping the L/R levers. And Acura doesn't sell just the plastic handle, you get the handle plus cables. Why? Inadequate design on the handle in the first place, and just insulting to package it with cables that aren't required. On a $40K vehicle, I expect better than this. Grumble.

I wasn't happy about the idea of handing $100+ to Acura for a crappy piece of plastic plus some cables I didn't need, and with my kids, it would just get broken again anyway. So I rummaged around in my scrap box until I found an appropriate piece of sheet metal, got out the drills and epoxy, and backed up the plastic with some steel. Won't have to worry about that ever again.

For the left side (wide) seat, you don't have to take out the right side seat, just slide it forward. Then you have to disconnect the seatbelt attachment for the center and left seatbelt buckles from the floor underneath the seat (13mm socket) and use a Torx T-30 to disconnect the seat bottom from the seat back (similar to picture 3) on both sides. The T-30 has to go on a socket wrench handle since there isn't much clearance between the seat and the side of the car. Then the rest of it is pretty much like the pictures and description, except there's covers and cables on both sides.
 

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Thank you for your guide. I was able to fix the 2nd row seat of Honda Pilot 2003 follow your guide. My seat is in driver size so i had to repeat the process in the other side. I did not replace the lever but decided to rebuild it by some super glue and epoxy. I used a aluminum string to form a skeleton then rebuilt broken plastic by epoxy around that area. Much better and durable than the original one.

Thanks again,
 

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IMG_1565.JPG IMG_1568.JPG IMG_1569.JPG
Thanks for the detailed instructions. I needed to repair my Acura 2001 MDX driver side recline latch. Problem was I could not find any used part for 2001. I took a chance with a used 03-08 Honda Pilot part bought on ebay for $50. Only problem is that the 2002 part was improved with thicker reinforced plastic so wouldn't fit the 2001 cables. Had to trim the plastic with an exacto knife and then the cable fit perfectly.
 
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