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Thread: Door panels

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Door panels

    Currently in the process of piecing together a DD/autox e36 m3 coupe. I removed the oe door panels because of their condition and would like to replace them with aluminum panels. I've done my research and results were pretty vague. Pretty much I'm looking to just cover the guts of the door while KEEPING the window motors. Would I be better off fabbing a set on my own, or is it worth buying the pre made ones from bimmerworld?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Depends on your budget, but I think I'd buy the panels from Bimmerworld. I'd never be able to get a clean cut like they do and I wouldn't want unclean edges especially around expensive nomex suits. So for the $200 I'd go with their product.

    Here's a thread from a guy who did an install:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...-Panel-Install

  3. #3
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    Wait, the Bimmerworld doors still require you to cut out the hole for the door handle? Basically they just cut out the general shape of the panel in aluminum and charge 200?
    997 GT3, F80 M3 6MT, E90 M3 Sedan DCT (for sale), 03 330i ZHP, 2016 WRX STI Limited

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by EOSphoto View Post
    Wait, the Bimmerworld doors still require you to cut out the hole for the door handle? Basically they just cut out the general shape of the panel in aluminum and charge 200?
    Yup, and the door handle cut-out is the most difficult part of the whole thing IMO.

    There was a template going around for a while and I believe I put it in a drawing file of some sort if anyone is interested in digging it out.

    Carlos.

  5. #5
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    im assuming that the bimmerworld panels can be used with the window motors still in place? it says on the website that additional cutting may be necessary, but it seems to have worked out fine in the link that was posted a few posts up

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizarre11 View Post
    im assuming that the bimmerworld panels can be used with the window motors still in place? it says on the website that additional cutting may be necessary, but it seems to have worked out fine in the link that was posted a few posts up
    I'd give them a call. I've always found them to be very knowledgeable and helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I just finished a set of panels for my car. I used 1/16" extruded ABS plastic. It's easy to work with, cheap, and looks good IMO. I picked up a 4'x8' (a 4'x4' sheet is enough for 2 panels) sheet for $30 at a plastic supply place in town. I think I spent another $20 on nutserts and screws but ordered way more then I needed. The nylon door straps are super cheap too ~ $0.20/ft.

    I made a cardboard template then cut the plastic out. Overall it was pretty simple, just took some time to get the first panel how I wanted it.

    There is a flat plane from the top of the door to the bottom so there isn't a problem clearing the window motor. The only problem I can foresee with aluminum is there being a gap between the aluminum and the door handle. The ABS was flexible enough to use a fastener to make it flush.

    Personally, I'd say it's worth trying to make your own set.

    Here is how mine turned out:

    image-1130681659.jpg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by clopez95m3 View Post
    Yup, and the door handle cut-out is the most difficult part of the whole thing IMO.

    There was a template going around for a while and I believe I put it in a drawing file of some sort if anyone is interested in digging it out.

    Carlos.
    This is what I could find which is the drawing I used to write a simple CNC program. It's dimensioned to make the programming easier not as an engineering drawing.

    -Carlos.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tjunge View Post
    I just finished a set of panels for my car. I used 1/16" extruded ABS plastic. It's easy to work with, cheap, and looks good IMO. I picked up a 4'x8' (a 4'x4' sheet is enough for 2 panels) sheet for $30 at a plastic supply place in town. I think I spent another $20 on nutserts and screws but ordered way more then I needed. The nylon door straps are super cheap too ~ $0.20/ft.

    I made a cardboard template then cut the plastic out. Overall it was pretty simple, just took some time to get the first panel how I wanted it.

    There is a flat plane from the top of the door to the bottom so there isn't a problem clearing the window motor. The only problem I can foresee with aluminum is there being a gap between the aluminum and the door handle. The ABS was flexible enough to use a fastener to make it flush.

    Personally, I'd say it's worth trying to make your own set.

    Here is how mine turned out:

    image-1130681659.jpg
    Hey man - totally resurrecting an old post here... any tiny chance you still have those cutouts? Or at least a rough shape that I could copy. I saw the post below, but not sure if a can blow that up to actual size without mucking it up. Definitely thinking plastic over aluminum.
    Keep right, except to pass. // DD E90 330xi 6MT ZSP/ZPP/ZCW - Project E36 328is


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmurray View Post
    Hey man - totally resurrecting an old post here... any tiny chance you still have those cutouts? Or at least a rough shape that I could copy. I saw the post below, but not sure if a can blow that up to actual size without mucking it up. Definitely thinking plastic over aluminum.
    Mike, i just sent you a text.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Southeastern ct
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    1994 325is
    Thread Revival... I drew up the clopez95m3 image into Solidworks and plan on getting a few quotes from a local sheet metal fab shop that has water jet capabilities. Some of the panels on the market have competitive pricing versus DIY water or laser cut so i will compare.

    Questions still at this point:
    1) bend angle to cover the gab towards the window sill? i may have seen 15 deg on one of the threads. will send DM to clopez95m3.
    2) 18 gauge (.0403") versus 14 Gauge (.0641") Al Plate...I know the BMWCCA rules for Spec E36 states a .060 Min requirement for door panel replacement. will .040" have to much "wobble" and play because of the smaller thickness?
    For whats its worth:
    18 gauge (.0403") 3003-H14 Aluminum Sheet metal = 3.23 lbs ea.
    14 gauge (.0641") 3003-H14 Aluminum Sheet metal = 4.81 lbs ea.

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