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where can i get a rear quarter?

Posted by b19spd 
February 28, 2011 02:03PM
i priced 1 from bmw and they wanted £272+vat! local body shop supplyer didnt list any and said it was a dealer only part! just wondering if theres any where else that sells them gotta get 1 for less than £272+vat!
February 28, 2011 02:17PM
Welcome to the club. Since banging up the right rear quarter panel on my iX recently, I'm also looking at replacing it. Unfortunately, as you have discovered, rear quarter panels are very expensive, and very time-consuming to replace. They are part of the whole unibody construction of the vehicle, so replacing them involves removing the rear window, cutting the C pillar, and welding the replacement into place. It's not a part you're going to pick up at a junkyard. I haven't found any place yet that sells them, but a guy who will probably be doing the repairs on mine is out looking for one. I'll report what he's able to find.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
March 01, 2011 12:16PM
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Dave_G
Welcome to the club. Since banging up the right rear quarter panel on my iX recently, I'm also looking at replacing it. Unfortunately, as you have discovered, rear quarter panels are very expensive, and very time-consuming to replace. They are part of the whole unibody construction of the vehicle, so replacing them involves removing the rear window, cutting the C pillar, and welding the replacement into place. It's not a part you're going to pick up at a junkyard. I haven't found any place yet that sells them, but a guy who will probably be doing the repairs on mine is out looking for one. I'll report what he's able to find.

Hey Dave, Is your 1/4 that bent it cannot be straightened? Got a few pix to send this way?, was there any damage inside the trunk or rear pan area??

I'm thinking Vermont may not be the easiest of places to get real body work done but I'd love to see what it looks like.

Cheers, Rick
March 01, 2011 12:43PM
I need a rear quarter panel as well. Can we get a group-buy going on here? grinning smiley

Actually, I'd be okay with a hack job on my own. My E30 will become a track rat, and I just want to avoid rust expansion and the general ugliness of it. I'm hoping I can find a car at a junk yard some day this summer and hacksaw a piece off. Maybe then I can smooth up the edges and take it to a body shop to have them slap it in place.

Is there a better place than not to have the two pieces meet? Is there a worst place?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
March 01, 2011 06:48PM
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Earendil
I need a rear quarter panel as well. Can we get a group-buy going on here? grinning smiley

Actually, I'd be okay with a hack job on my own. My E30 will become a track rat, and I just want to avoid rust expansion and the general ugliness of it. I'm hoping I can find a car at a junk yard some day this summer and hacksaw a piece off. Maybe then I can smooth up the edges and take it to a body shop to have them slap it in place.

Is there a better place than not to have the two pieces meet? Is there a worst place?

Just for your own knowledge guys, many cars wind up worse off at the other end of a repair or a replacement of sheetmetal. One must be careful what road he/she chooses in the first place and be wise enough to source out a good shop (with the right tools and people who know how to use them) to perform the right fix.

Pictures anyone?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2011 06:52PM by rkj.
March 01, 2011 06:53PM
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rkj
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Earendil
I need a rear quarter panel as well. Can we get a group-buy going on here? grinning smiley

Actually, I'd be okay with a hack job on my own. My E30 will become a track rat, and I just want to avoid rust expansion and the general ugliness of it. I'm hoping I can find a car at a junk yard some day this summer and hacksaw a piece off. Maybe then I can smooth up the edges and take it to a body shop to have them slap it in place.

Is there a better place than not to have the two pieces meet? Is there a worst place?

Just for your own knowledge guys, many cars wind up worse off at the other end of a repair or a replacement of sheetmetal. One must be careful what road he/she chooses in the first place and be wise enough to source out a good shop (with the right tools and people who know how to use them) to perform the right fix.

Pictures anyone?

I'll try and post a picture tomorrow. I don't think I'll be seeing my car before dark tonight.
We can all have a little "Who has the worst fender" competition ;-)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

March 02, 2011 08:02AM
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rkj
Hey Dave, Is your 1/4 that bent it cannot be straightened? Got a few pix to send this way?, was there any damage inside the trunk or rear pan area??

I'm thinking Vermont may not be the easiest of places to get real body work done but I'd love to see what it looks like.
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Earendil
We can all have a little "Who has the worst fender" competition ;-)
I'll show you mine if you show me yours. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out


Originally the sheet metal was pushed in all the way over the center of the tire until I pounded it out with a hammer so I could drive it without shredding the tire. There is no damage inside the trunk or rear pan area. It's just on the outer layer.

Rick, believe it or not, Vermont has body shops too. :smile: So far I've taken it to two places. The first is a large dealership with a body shop that does most of the insurance repair around here. The second is a fellow sports car guy who owns his own shop that specializes in rally cars, and is known for being one of the best roll cage builders around, but also does very good body work (repairing a lot of crunched rally cars and hillclimb cars). Both of them have said that the rear quarter should be replaced. The first place quoted $4400. The second place hasn't given me a solid quote yet, but has indicated that it should be somewhere in the $1800-2000 range.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
March 03, 2011 04:25PM
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Dave_G
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rkj
Hey Dave, Is your 1/4 that bent it cannot be straightened? Got a few pix to send this way?, was there any damage inside the trunk or rear pan area??

I'm thinking Vermont may not be the easiest of places to get real body work done but I'd love to see what it looks like.
Quote
Earendil
We can all have a little "Who has the worst fender" competition ;-)
I'll show you mine if you show me yours. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out


Originally the sheet metal was pushed in all the way over the center of the tire until I pounded it out with a hammer so I could drive it without shredding the tire. There is no damage inside the trunk or rear pan area. It's just on the outer layer.

Rick, believe it or not, Vermont has body shops too. :smile: So far I've taken it to two places. The first is a large dealership with a body shop that does most of the insurance repair around here. The second is a fellow sports car guy who owns his own shop that specializes in rally cars, and is known for being one of the best roll cage builders around, but also does very good body work (repairing a lot of crunched rally cars and hillclimb cars). Both of them have said that the rear quarter should be replaced. The first place quoted $4400. The second place hasn't given me a solid quote yet, but has indicated that it should be somewhere in the $1800-2000 range.

Hi Dave, That actually doesn't look that bad, I've certainly repaired worse but if you have a good person that can replace a 1/4 and not ruin the car, fine. One thing that makes a repair more difficult is when an owner punches things back in to shape so the car can be driven; stretching the metal and making the repair harder, but metal can be shrunk back in to place, even thin later model stuff (I'm a restorer of older cars usually with much thicker metal) like on our cars.

The one price of 4400 dollars is just absurd so I'm not going to comment on that and the other guy's price doesn't surprise me (does that include the sheet metal?) what with these times of 100 per hour rates :eyes:

I see the door/quarter gap is bad, is that difference in the 1/4 only. I suspect it is, another vote for replacement but not totally necessary even so. If the outer quarter was bent in that bad (middle of the wheel) the inner is going to need some reshaping too I would think, and by the time everything's back in place a new 1/4 always makes it easier to use as a guide for fitting other panels surrounding the hit.

The real issue is what the car is when it comes out of the shop, no matter what you've paid. Are all the welds tight and will it rust a few Months out? Unfortunately most weld in panels do have some problems and will start to show signs within a year or so, that's why, if it can be fixed, even if you have to bring it to a man with a straightening table it's well worth it if you intend on keeping the car. Many times it's just plain easier to repair something than to weld in a whole new section if it's not hurt that bad.

Yours is a close call, could go either way.

I didn't mean you had no talented people or good shops up there, sorry if I gave you that impression; hell, out here on the east end of the island I have to travel 80-100 miles for simple little things often, what a drag... But I have to go to where my people are for some things and I like living out here by the sea!

Good Luck, and keep us posted, Rick
March 04, 2011 12:52PM
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rkj
One thing that makes a repair more difficult is when an owner punches things back in to shape so the car can be driven; stretching the metal and making the repair harder, but metal can be shrunk back in to place, even thin later model stuff (I'm a restorer of older cars usually with much thicker metal) like on our cars.

I'm asking this for a friend of mine, who's restoring cars as a day job. One of the things he's working at is a Mercedes bus, which has been dented somewhere. Now he's looking for a really good method of shrinking the metal, so the stretching can be undone. He's done this before but says this one is a real challenge but wants (and needs) to do it as they can't find replacement parts. Do you have good advice for him?
March 04, 2011 01:09PM
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rkj
I see the door/quarter gap is bad, is that difference in the 1/4 only. I suspect it is, another vote for replacement but not totally necessary even so. If the outer quarter was bent in that bad (middle of the wheel) the inner is going to need some reshaping too I would think, and by the time everything's back in place a new 1/4 always makes it easier to use as a guide for fitting other panels surrounding the hit.

The worst damage is just to the quarter panel. The door is salvageable, but the door jamb where there are many tight right-angle folds in the metal is bent beyond repair. That's what is creating that gap, and that's why both places have recommended replacement rather than repair. According to them, it's just too difficult to repair that spot.
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The real issue is what the car is when it comes out of the shop, no matter what you've paid. Are all the welds tight and will it rust a few Months out? Unfortunately most weld in panels do have some problems and will start to show signs within a year or so, that's why, if it can be fixed, even if you have to bring it to a man with a straightening table it's well worth it if you intend on keeping the car.
Understood, but I'm putting a lot of trust in the guy that I'm bringing it too. I've known a few people who are artists with a welder, and this guy is one of them. It's the reason he builds so many roll cages around here, and why his shop is full of rally Subarus. I've seen cars he's built where he had to weld body panels, and his work is very, very clean, so I think I'll be in good hands.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
March 04, 2011 05:58PM
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Michiel 318iS
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rkj
One thing that makes a repair more difficult is when an owner punches things back in to shape so the car can be driven; stretching the metal and making the repair harder, but metal can be shrunk back in to place, even thin later model stuff (I'm a restorer of older cars usually with much thicker metal) like on our cars.

I'm asking this for a friend of mine, who's restoring cars as a day job. One of the things he's working at is a Mercedes bus, which has been dented somewhere. Now he's looking for a really good method of shrinking the metal, so the stretching can be undone. He's done this before but says this one is a real challenge but wants (and needs) to do it as they can't find replacement parts. Do you have good advice for him?

Hi Michiel

First off, let me clarify; I'm no tinknocker. I do a fair job of faking it and have done some interesting builds and restorations but my powers are limited.

The method I use for shrinking metal back to size is this, and keep in mind all areas are not the same and usually require a little bit of testing to see if the movement is going the right way, like you want it to go!

Some cars are stress formed so they will move in all kinds of ways, often not what you planned for!
A lot of Porsche' are stress formed sheetmetal cars.

First have clean metal (on the back side too, all undercoating should be cleaned off) and a pail of cold water and a nice fluffy rag (I use a nice section, about a square foot, of a bath towel). Also, we need a medium sized welding torch with a smaller-medium tip; this will be a gas welding outfit just like the old days (no mig here). I use a sort of small aircraft set-up with a medium tip and that's perfect. oxygen-acetylene

The basic drill is heat yourself up three or four dime sized areas in a circle or a close area group (one for a small move), poke the middle with the pick end of a body hammer (just one small, light shot), right in the middle of the cheery red area and then quickly cool it down with the wet rag; wiping the area even past the heated up part. When you quench your work the metal will suck itself right back in the direction you want it to go.

I would say, if he is a rookie at this try a few single areas on a piece of scrap metal, with one dime size area and practice like that until he gets used to what will happen and how things move. I have a collection of about ten body hammers and many dollies and files and a few hand made units I've built through the years. There are many ways you can move metal, some even cold.

One of my tricks (and this one I'm good at) is working with one my hammers (it looks like a hammer you'd use in the kitchen for tenderizing meat (it's got lots of diamond points all across the face, if you use this hammer with a dolly with the metal in the middle, you can make cold metal in to a round shape; expand it. This comes in so handy when you're faced with making parts of a fender or a fender end, a wheel lip and so on.

Is that site his, or where he works? Looks like some fun stuff.

Moving metal is great fun, I've worked with some masters over my 50 or so years in the business. If you have anything I can help with please don't be afraid to ask.

Cheers, Rick
March 05, 2011 10:04AM
Thanks, that's about the way he does it, he says he gets far in shrinking it but wants it perfectly.

That site is where he works, he's the sole mechanic there. At the moment he's prepping the cars for the season, then he'll be able to get back to the real stuff.
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