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Old 12-08-2019, 10:28 AM
ktm400 ktm400 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 9
Default Rust...

hi all,
i'm noticing quite a lot of rust bubbles appearing on the inside lip of the all 4 wheel arches. I know this is becoming a more common problem as the cars get to 20+ years, but what is the best solution??
I had them rubbed down and re-sprayed a few years ago but this clearly wasn't a long term solution. i guess i have 3 options:

1) Rub down and respray every few years, but rust will likely get worse and cost a few hundred £ every few years.
2) Get the panels removed, rubbed down, rust proofed and resprayed. I had a quote for this work and came into £'000s. Not sure if they were taking the P. Has anyone on here had this done and advise on expected costs?
3) Replace the panels with new parts (BMW or are there non-OEM options?) and resprayed. Any idea what the 4 panels will cost? Do they need rust proofing or will the new parts already be treated? i guess this will cost a couple £'000. Has anyone done this and advise on costs?

I've owned the car for 10 years, have had the boot sub-frame strengthened and have no plans to sell it so would like to get this sorted properly.

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Old 12-08-2019, 01:58 PM
c_w's Avatar
c_w c_w is online now
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North West
Posts: 8,608

If it's rusting from under the paint, repainting won't really fix it unless it's extremely well treated (gone). The good news is practically all the panels on the coupe bolt on and off, so things like rear arch (rear 3/4), sills and front quarter wings can be replaced. Before fitting new parts I'd get ensure the insides are stone chip protected and give a good coat of spray waxed.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:19 PM
kwoffa kwoffa is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Kingswood,Surrey
Posts: 3,270

You can use normal Z3 panels on the front,,,(not wheel arches ) ie the small oblong ones..and the rear arches are not as expensive as you think....wheni had mine done,,,,i also replaced bothe sills,which shocked me how bad they was once taken off ! box section behind them was sound tho ! i am afraid once the old tin worm gets in there you will be chasing until renewed...
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Old 13-08-2019, 11:07 AM
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Dave P Dave P is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 26,000

As said replacing the panels is the long term answer.

current dealer prices for front side panels is £269 inc vat before any discount, rear side panels £377. inc vat before any discount

Currently there are no left side rears in stock but due in to Germany stock in or around 9th October

You should be able to get a decent discount from your local dealer on body panels
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Old 13-08-2019, 11:10 AM
Dave P's Avatar
Dave P Dave P is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 26,000

Sills are about £150 each side

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Old 14-08-2019, 12:45 PM
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rsk289 rsk289 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 416

I took the wings and outer sills off my S54, removed any surface rust and sprayed in problems and behind the panels with 2K aerosols. I sprayed the sill boxes and covers with Dinitrol 3125, and the inside of the wings with 4941.
Each year thereafter I used a small(ish) paintbrush to paint a coat of 4941 on the inside and outside surfaces of the lip return on all four wings, especially the rears. This stuff is remarkably tough, but other options are available. There was no sign of rust reappearing when I sold it in January, 5 years on.
Unfortunately the E36 period for BMWs was not noted for good rust resistance.
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bodywork, panels, wings

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