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RE: Hawg Rings

-----Original Message-----
From: isham-research.freeserve.co.uk@pop.pol.net.uk
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 1999 7:00 PM
To: iain.atkinson@etl.ericsson.se; quattro@audifans.com
Subject: Hawg Rings

> I am going to replace a busted seat back release cable on my Coupe Q
> this weekend, and need some BTDT on taking the seat apart and the Hawg
> Rings, how to remove and reinstall. I have had a look through the
> archives but could find nothing of real help.

Oh, _THIS_ weekend.  Never mind.

I checked the archives, and they don't work for me.  I posted a long and
detailed account of a seat strip and quite deliberately used 'hawg rings'
as a relatively unique keyword.  It ain't there now.  Anyone got a copy?

I note the archive also indexes the 'previous post by author' field.
This specifically produces false hits, especially in the case of the
hog rings, since one irrelevant post is 'found' for each author who
ever posted anything with 'Hawg' in the title.

IMO this field should not be indexed.

 Phil Payne
 UK Audi quattro Owners Club
 Phone +44 7785 302803  Fax +44 870 0883933


I also searched the archives in vain this weekend, but dug through some of
my personal archives on another computer.  I've appended to relevant post
from Phil below.

I'll add my one useful tidbit of information, gained after rebuilding
several seats and repairing several seat heaters:
When it comes time to reassemble everything, using the "Hawg Rings", I use
safety wire and the matching pliers to pull everything together before
installing the rings.  Thread a pieces of safety wire around the larger
wires of the seat frame and cover, where the rings once were.  Twist the
safety wire until the desired parts are held together.  Install Hawg ring,
then clip and remove the safety wire.  I found it worked like the 3rd and
4th hand you wished you had, and didn't take up space and get in the way...
It all but eliminates the need for the "Hawg Ring Lunge".

That's it.  Good luck to all seeking roasty, toasty buns!

Stott Hare
85 Callaway 4ktq
89 100q
82 Scirocco 


The usual reason is a broken wire in an element.  I've done three of
these on my car now (163k miles) and they're fairly easy to do if
you take a bit of care and time.

The elements are wired in series, with a sensor in the bottom one.  I
suspect the control is some sort of Wheatstone bridge circuit.

Anyway - remove the seat and separate the seat and backrest.  On the
non-power seats, the plastic trims that cover the hinges are secured
by plastic plugs that are pushed in flush with the trims.  Push them out
and the trim comes off revealing the clips that hold back and seat
together.  You have to take the connector to pieces, among other things.
Note down carefully where the wires go.

Then remove the seat covers.  You'll need pretty strong side cutters to
deal with the 'hog RINGS' that secure the cover to the steel wires
passed through the cushions.  More of this later.  Clear out all the

The replacement element (I think #443 963 555S is used for all Audi
seats) goes inside the cover.  Lay the cover on a flat surface, surface
_DOWNWARDS_ (the microfiche doesn't say this!) and lay the replacement
element on top.  Note that the wires should come towards you - not
towards the seat cover surface.  Otherwise you'll feel the lump when
sitting on the seat.  You can see that you'll have to cut two slits with
a _very_ sharp knife in the cloth backing of the seat cover to thread
each arm of the element through - it comes out the other end and the tab
is folded over.

You actually cut through the cloth backing and the thin foam layer - the
element slides in right behind the old element, which stays in place.
Don't even try and think about removing it.  When you replace the seat
element (as opposed to the backrest element) you still need the sensor
in the old element.  Cut the slits at 45 degrees - otherwise you'll get
a small ridge in the seat when reassembled.

You need two tools for stretching the seat cover back on.  You _can_
use cable ties, but the official way is _much_ better.

a) The Hook.  You find these in blister packs for picking seals (such
   as brake piston seals) out of their hidey holes.  Most such packs
   have at least one strong hook with a plastic handle - sometimes
   they're double-ended.  Or you can make your own out of coat-hanger

b) The "HAWG Ring Pliers".  I use Mark-Line 12108 pliers - Snap-On YA808
   is not as expensive as most Snap-On stuff.

You also need a pack of HAWG RINGS - Audi's cheapest spare. N015 261 1
is around $13 for a pack of 100.

Put the cushion on the frame, and start stretching the cover over it.
Remember where you cut off the old HAWG RINGS?  The replacement
procedure is to load a ring into the pliers and hook the top of the
'C' shape into the seat cover wire.  Then get the hook and pick up the
wire embedded in the cushion.  Then LUNGE - pull the seat wire up, at
the same time as pushing down with the pliers, and hook the seat wire
into the bottom of the HAWG ring 'C'.  Then, with a smirk, just squeeze
the pliers shut.  Takes seconds with practice, and produces a really
tight seat.

It's called "The HAWG Ring Lunge".

The rest is straightforward.

 Phil Payne
 Phone: 0385 302803   Fax: 01536 723021
 (The contents of this post will _NOT_ appear in the UK Newsletter.)


> I will check the archives on this, but can anyone estimate the pain-level
> and cost involved in repairing the heated seat without assistance from the
> dealer or the shop -- vs. just paying for the element to be replaced?

The seat and backrest elements are in series - both go cold if one
fails.  The first thing to do is find out which has gone.

On the ur-quattro, only one replacement element is called for both seat
and backrest - 443 963 555 S.  Judging by the "44", it's the same for
the 5k models.

The ur-quattro microfiche talks about sliding the new element into place
by pushing it under the seat cover with a ruler.  The last time I stripped
a seat it was to replace the bolster, so I had the whole seat in
component form.  If you _do_ strip the whole seat, you will need to
acquire a pair of hog ring pliers, some hog rings (N 0 152 611 - packs
of 100) and become expert at the "hawg ring lunge".

Basically the seat is held together by "hawg rings".  There are wires
sewn into the underside of the cover, and other wires pushed through
the foam squabs.  You place a hog ring in the jaws of the hog ring
pliers, hook one end of it into the wire on the back of the cover,
hook the wire in the squab in a conventional 'spring puller' type of
tool, pull up on the squab wire and hook it into the other end of
the hog ring.  At this point, the hog ring is still C-shaped.  Then
you squeeze the pliers, closing the hog ring and then winding it round
on itself.  This pulls the whole damn assembly so tight that you can
hardly get the pliers out.

The trim pieces on the side of the seat, BTW, are held in by devilish
devices - clips secured by dowels.  If you look _VERY_ carefully in
good light, you will just make out the flush heads of three dowels.
Push them in to release the push-on clips.  It may be different in a 5k
because the seat doesn't need to hinge like a coupe seat.

 Phil Payne
 Phone: 0385 302803   Fax: 01536 723021
 (The contents of this post will _NOT_ appear in the UK Newsletter.)