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Old 06-06-2008, 11:42 AM   #1
rwcmick
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Default Why Seat Recline Knob?

Why do some cars ,like the Astra, have a seat recline knob as opposed to a lever? It is quite tedious the slowly ratchet backwards.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why Seat Recline Knob?

There are a couple reasons. First is safety. Racheting type recliners rely on a pawl to engage a slot. In a rear impact, that pawl can shear allowing the seat to collapse, causing the driver to lose control. Recliner mechanisms have gotten better over the years, but the chance of failure is greater.

"Knob" type recliners use an offset roller to adjust the seat back. Since the gearing is very low (lots of turns to go from full upright to fully reclined) the chance of failure is very low.

The second reason is adjustability. Rachet-type recliners have a set number of positions. Rollers are infinitely adjustable. Same concept with manual fore/aft adjustment vs "power seats".

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Old 06-06-2008, 12:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why Seat Recline Knob?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnRaycer View Post
There are a couple reasons. First is safety. Racheting type recliners rely on a pawl to engage a slot. In a rear impact, that pawl can shear allowing the seat to collapse, causing the driver to lose control. Recliner mechanisms have gotten better over the years, but the chance of failure is greater.

"Knob" type recliners use an offset roller to adjust the seat back. Since the gearing is very low (lots of turns to go from full upright to fully reclined) the chance of failure is very low.

The second reason is adjustability. Rachet-type recliners have a set number of positions. Rollers are infinitely adjustable. Same concept with manual fore/aft adjustment vs "power seats".

"Stop complainin' and git crankin'"
Brilliant response! I was thinking the same things. I'd prefer to have a 'knob-type' in my SC2 because the seat is either too upright or too reclined. This is another of the lovely Euro-quirks that make the Astra so cool.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why Seat Recline Knob?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnRaycer View Post
There are a couple reasons. First is safety. Racheting type recliners rely on a pawl to engage a slot. In a rear impact, that pawl can shear allowing the seat to collapse, causing the driver to lose control. Recliner mechanisms have gotten better over the years, but the chance of failure is greater.

"Knob" type recliners use an offset roller to adjust the seat back. Since the gearing is very low (lots of turns to go from full upright to fully reclined) the chance of failure is very low.

The second reason is adjustability. Rachet-type recliners have a set number of positions. Rollers are infinitely adjustable. Same concept with manual fore/aft adjustment vs "power seats".

"Stop complainin' and git crankin'"

Wow, That really makes sense, never though about it before.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why Seat Recline Knob?

I remember liking the seatback adjustment knobs on my 80's era Volkswagen Golfs. Seems like this has always been a euro feature that many Americans loudly complain about and some quietly appreciate.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why Seat Recline Knob?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwcmick View Post
Why do some cars ,like the Astra, have a seat recline knob as opposed to a lever? It is quite tedious the slowly ratchet backwards.
after having the lever style recliner break in my 92 SC -- I'd take the knob any day. also the knob gives more adjustment compared to a lever.
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