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Rusty rear wheel arches

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    Rusty rear wheel arches

    hey all--
    finally getting around to thinking about doing this rust repair on my '90 325i vert. have zero experience with this and have been reading a bunch of board posts but am still unsure about my options here.

    do i need to replace the whole rear quarter panels? have been in touch with a couple of parts cars selling both rear quarter panels for around $400. then will need to find a bodyshop near NY to paint match and weld?

    will these help me at all?

    anyone advice from anyone who's done this would be greatly appreciated! thanks.

    pics attached]
    Attached Files

    Before you start buying parts, you need to find out what is steel and what is rust.

    The only way to do that is to carefully start scraping at the brown places. If the brown rust turns into shiny steel, it doesn't need to be replaced, just sanded and prepared to be painted.

    GO SLOWLY. Don't tear up a bunch of good paint.

    After you do this, you will have a better idea how big of a patch do you need.


      It looks fairly advanced based on the second photo. You can check the area from below and also look inside the inner fender by.removing the trunk carpet liner.

      I thought I had a problem with my ‘92 Vert in the same area and it turned out to be all surface without any penetrations. Yours looks somewhat more serious.

      Regardless, and as twright says, “GO SLOWLY. Don't tear up a bunch of good paint.” If you do need sheetmetal, I have read that Classic Euro Parts is a good source.

      You can learn a lot from e30. Zone on how e30s rust. The English are experts in rust, apparently. I’ve never seen so many cars welded back from oblivion as I have seen on the UK e30 sites.
      Last edited by jgilber0; 07-05-2021, 04:37 AM.
      Jon (OO=[][]=OO)
      1992 325ic white, stock with a 5-speed swap
      Palm Beach County


        Welcome! I've done some extensive rust repairs on my car as well. From the looks of this, your driver's side is going to be more involved since it looks like some minor crash damage might have been the root cause of the rust, whereas the passenger side looks to be naturally rusting. That being said, depending on what you find when you start digging into it and what parts are available, you're likely not going to need entire quarter panels. Smaller portions of the arch/ small pieces of sheet metal formed and welded in by hand would probably do just fine. Body shop rates are probably going to be up there in cost, but get a few estimates and reevaluate. The cost is what inspired me to buy a welder and figure it out on my own. Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
        (OO=[][]=OO) For Life