VW Caravelle 2010 Executive new shape, armrest removal.
My wife and I were finding it awkward making our way from the front seats to the rear of our Caravelle past the folding armrests on the seats. As we seldom use the armrests, we decided to remove them.
The first thing to do was to remove the swivel covers. I tried pulling them off with my fingernails but they were not strong enough. Tearfully wiping the blood from my hands, I then scrabbled around in my toolbox I came across an old screwdriver. I popped the driver into a vice and bent the tip over to make a hook.
I then carefully inserted the hook behind the cover, easing it off by pulling gently, moving around the edge a little way, and then pulling again. By repeating the operation the cover came off.
This now revealed that the armrest was secured to the seat by a sunken bolt. The bolt head appeared to have a sunken star shaped recess to take a removal tool.
Looking amongst my socket sets I came across a spline bit that almost fitted but as it was a slack fit I was worried about damaging the bolt head so I ordered a:
Draper 12769 5 Piece Multi-Spline Bit Set - DIY & Tools
Buy new: £3.59
The long size M10 fitted perfectly with no slack.
I found that the bolts have a right-hand thread and that they are fixed in place with some fixing substance like Loctite.
Warning, if you want to copy me, proceed at your own risk!
The bolt on the front passenger seat came out with reluctance; I had to screw it out, then in a little alternately until it came out.
The bolt on the driver’s seat was more difficult. It unscrewed a few turns then stuck. I protected the surrounding area with cloth then squirted WD40 down the bolt hole with a tube on the can nozzle. I had to repeat this every other day until, after about a week I managed to get the bolt out.
I cleaned the bolt threads with a metric Tap & Die set.
It is now much easier to pass between the seats, but I still have to cover the square fixings on the seats to make it look tidier.