DIY: Gen 4 Lumbar Suppport Fix - Page 2 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2018, 09:55 PM
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Hi everyone,

Long time since I posted here...but anyways -- I went to adjust my lumbar today and heard the pop, and then figure this would be the easy fix...

However, it took my about 10 minutes to realize the gears inside and attached to the cable motor actually cracked. The motor is actually riveted to the seat but I was able to take it apart (call it the lumbar transmission) and figured I could just cut the rivet and replace it with a screw and replace the entire lumbar motor assembly worst case. I have searched used auto lots and it looks like you have to replace the entire upper seat 500+ in parts to fix this $1 gear assembly. I am not the first person this has happened to!

Does anyone have any thoughts...or was anyone able to find a replacement motor (or even a 12V cable actuator motor would work?).

If I can't find this, I guess I'll set it at a comfortable level, pinch the cable, and forget about it. Or I have a good 3D printer...maybe I could glue and 3D scan the fixed part and print a new one???

I can post pics if anyone is interested...

Very Annoying!


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 04:09 PM
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Just did this the other day as well. Worked great and now I know that this will not break again. My back thanks you!

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 09:32 AM
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Hey Everyone - THANK YOU sooo much for this thread. My lumbar support broke a couple of years ago and I thought I would have to replace the whole seat to fix it - so I got a pillow for my lower back and have been suffering since then. I finally decided to research the problem and found this thread - I followed the guide and indeed, one of my clips was broken. I replaced the broken one (and the one that was still intact as preventative maintenance) with the quick links (less than $3) that matched the old clips in size. All I can say is WOW! My seat is comfortable again and I know the lumbar will hopefully never break again. I cannot thank all of you enough!

Red 2011 Outback 2.5i Premium w/ CVT:
I have tinted the front windows and removed dealer branding. Added tweeter kit, molded license plate bracket, 19mm RSB, Apple Car Play stereo, satellite radio, tow hitch, Powerstop brakes and rotors, and changed the front clip to the 2014 design.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 11:41 PM
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Good info here, thanks for the details and pics.

I have had three lower back surgeries over the last 40 years. This has led me to seek out different types of lumbar supports for my various car models.

The best lumbar support that I found can be installed in almost ant bucket seat, is fully adjustable and requires no levers or electric power.

I get mine from replacement air bladders for blood pressure cuffs. Something like this one

Get the single tube model. cuff in a size that matches closely the available location in the seat back.

You will also need a Blood Pressure Bulb & Valve like

install behind the back upholstery at the level where your pain is. Usually in front of the springs so it can inflate between the springs and the padding. Test fit and hand pump to the size that supports you best.

The install is pretty easy and can be easily removed.


PS, I also install 12v battery powered vibrator motors in a lower lumbar area and upper. Most have a lower lumbar heater as well ;^) Also easy if you can locate a used one similar to this one.
Many different makers with different features. I strip them apart and install the back part between the stock seat back springs and the seat foam.
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