Best Sheet Metal Sources

Discussion in 'E9 General Discussion' started by JetDexter, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. JetDexter

    JetDexter Active Member Site Donor

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    Hi guys,

    My metalwork is going well, and we have fabricated a lot of what we need. But of the metal sections I have purchased, not a one actually fit like the factory piece. It is as if they looked at a section, and fabricated it from memory :) This is from a couple of different sources, for floors, rockers, etc.

    So I wanted to get any opinions on the rest of the items I need. I still need Door Skins, Inner front fender pieces, and a drivers rear wheel arch (which I could just cut out of a donor car I have available).

    Any input would be appreciated. Thanks guys!

    Paul
     
  2. Markos

    Markos Parts Mule Staff Member Site Donor $$

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    Hi Paul,

    Do you need the whole inner fender or just the tops?

    For the rear arch, keep in mind that the fender is spot welded to the wheel well with 15-20 spot welds. Your used fender arch kind of looks like swiss cheese once removed. It is helpful if you can find the exact location of the spot weld. To find the spots, use a die grinder with a scratchy pad, not an angle grinder with a flap disk. The flap disk is too abrasive and will obscure your spot welds.
     
  3. JetDexter

    JetDexter Active Member Site Donor

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    For the fronts, it is mostly the top pieces, but those vertical sections that lead to the cabin are shot. We could fabricate what is needed, but certainly want to see what is available first . Here's a couple of photos. The second photo is mostly for fun because it shows what may be the most creative use of anything BUT steel and welding to do a repair: Rebar, Fiberglass, Duct Tape, Something that came out of a caulking gun and Gauze (which is probably just the duct tape lining, but it is funnier to think that they used Gauze).

    I would love to go to the expense to replace the front fenders, but the expense of even moderately bad replacements is so high, that we are planning to just patch them with a dozen patches. If anyone knows of a couple of donors, that would be awesome.

    Markos, that is good to know about the arches- will do.


    below.gif top.gif
     
  4. autokunst

    autokunst Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    It kind of looks like they used rattan to back the patch work - was this car from the tropics? :cool:

    Sorry - not poking fun, just enjoying the journey through your pics. I've discovered that my car is much heavier than it should be, and I am starting to wonder if there is some concrete buried between the sheet metal... The rebar would be right at home as reinforcement if so.
     
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  5. m5bb

    m5bb Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    Looks familiar.
    My RF has a bunch of fiberglass and filler in the top. Yuck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  6. Honolulu

    Honolulu Well-Known Member

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    The woven product, described as "rebar" by some, but correctly identified as fiberglass by m5bb/Gary Beck above (good on ya, Gary). More specifically, it's known to those who use it as "woven roving" meaning that the actual fibers in a strand are parallel rather than twisted or otherwise arranged.

    "Rebar" is a short term for "reinforcing bar" the steel rods used in concrete construction to provide tensile strength to the finished product. That material generally starts at 1/4" diameter and can go as big as 1.5" diameter.

    Let's not call it "rebar" which is steel, when it is woven roving in reality.
     
  7. autokunst

    autokunst Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    Charlie, yes the generic fiberglass in the pic looks like woven roving. But I think Jay was referring to the steel rebar that is also shown in the pic.
    rebar.jpg
     
  8. rsporsche

    rsporsche Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    better look deeper, might find Hoffa buried in there (in pieces)
     
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  9. autokunst

    autokunst Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    Ha ha - that would explain a lot about this car!!!
     
  10. JetDexter

    JetDexter Active Member Site Donor

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    Yeah- and there are a few short pieces of rebar running perpendicular to the long one- probably tied together with bailing wire just like in concrete work:). We haven’t dug deep enough to find out


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. JetDexter

    JetDexter Active Member Site Donor

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    Hi guys, just a bump to see if anyone has thoughts on suppliers for this metal. CSI, Inc in Pomona can supply everything. Ben over there has been a good and fair guy so far, but I wasn't happy with the rockers I got from him.

    I hate to spend a over two thousand $ on the 5 pieces each side that he is recommending, only to not have them line up properly :)

    Thanks again
     
  12. teahead

    teahead aka "Rob" Site Donor

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  13. autokunst

    autokunst Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    My amateur and not-fully-tested opinion is that none of the sheet metal available (I'll even include BMW in this statement) will perfectly fit our cars. They (the cars) have been twisted, racked, and stretched for the past 45 years or so and they are, frankly, not the same shape that they were off the line. I know there are bead aligment issues with the floor panels from some (if not all) of the sources. Some on the forum have manipulated these panels to re-align. There are stampings missing (that some have pressed/stamped in). All super impressive work. I plan/hope to do some if these same fabrication tweaks myself when the time comes. And I am of the opinion that it will be easier to modify a panel that is close rather than fabricate some of these shapes from scratch. So far, I have been amassing metal from WN and BMW. I'll document what I find when I get to that point.
     
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  14. HB Chris

    HB Chris Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    Ask him whose panels they are. He resells BMW parts but may have these made elsewhere or he is reselling W&N panels. He doesn’t make them himself that’s for sure.
     
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  15. teahead

    teahead aka "Rob" Site Donor

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    CSI I imagine is just tacking overhead to source them for you.

    Go direct to the source!
     
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  16. JetDexter

    JetDexter Active Member Site Donor

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    Thanks guys!
     
  17. JayWltrs

    JayWltrs Active Member Site Donor

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    Time spent searching the threads will be well spent cost/time savings & enjoyment. Posts and threads detail the benefits & fit of the different sources and some excellent photos of first-hand experience among the restoration threads, including some truly amazing metal work from some of these folks, including detailed approaches to work around or fine-tune fitment issues. Seriously, some of these folks have mad skills or experience and some take you through their mistakes so you can avoid them.

    There are specific suggestions on what parts to get from W&N and what to get from other sources--e.g., some floor panels you get from W&N and some from the "polish guys," and the threads explain/show why. [Edit: https://e9coupe.com/forum/threads/w-n-front-floor-panels.29773/#post-238511 ] Some just buy sheet metal and go at it. In addition to W&N, some of the sources I've bookmarked from these discussions, include:

    http://sklep.manufaktura-workshop.pl/index.php/czesci/bmw/
    http://www.alfaparts.net/bmwcs.htm
    https://www.jaymic.com/2-5cs-to-3-0csl/body-chassis-parts/body-repair-panels.html
    https://www.bmw-oldtimerteile.de/in...ieteile-dichtungen-anbauteile-4/results,21-40

    You can figure out everything you need and bundle for shipping, but it seems more likely to get hit with duty. And it seems there's no clear answer as to what the threshold is for what they tag or let through.

    Really excited to see this work out for you.

    Edit again: For the sporty option: http://zaprace.com/
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  18. JetDexter

    JetDexter Active Member Site Donor

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    Thanks so much Jay. Yes, I try to dig through those threads and grab bits of wisdom here and there, but as you mention, it seems that there really isn't a "best" approach or source universally. Just like the parts I have bought so far, they ALL required a pretty major amount of modification, and that's just the way it is. I don't necessarily subscribe to the view that it is because our cars have sagged, bent and so forth- as these parts seem SO different from the original (when comparing to a rare good and original portion of my car that is).

    Regardless, this is some good help as I continue to make these decisions!

    Thanks guys
     
  19. Gransin

    Gransin Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    I bought most (all?) of the metal parts that I needed from W&N, and I can't say they needed significant modifications to fit, some of them was even a very good fit.
    Then again, we all have different opinions about what's good enough and not, so while I think they were/are good, the next guy might not.
    And I'm pretty sure there are considerable differences from one coupe to the other, so what fits on the first might not fit as good on the next, and who really knows how much difference there might be between different production batches of the replacement metal.
     
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  20. Mike Pelly

    Mike Pelly Member

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    I have floor pans and I'm just 15 minutes from Newport Bch. If you want to see the product in person I'm willing to meet.
     
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