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Quarter Panel Replacement Cost

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    Quarter Panel Replacement Cost

    Hey all,
    I have an '87 325es coupe that has been sitting in my uncle's driveway for years. The quarter panel was dented a few years ago and caused the car to have it's 'salvage' status, but it was never repaired. It doesn't seem that any frame damage was done, it still drives like normal and it is not noticeable on the inside of the car. I was wondering if anyone on here has repaired theirs, and what it costed to do so. I am not looking to make this a show car, just presentable and it will most likely be a weekend car.

    #2
    Body work is very expensive. I would guess about $2,500 + to have a new Q-panel welded in and the side paint blended in. If you are not worried about it being perfect, but want it to look better, take it to a dent wizard/ding doctor and let them pop it out. If it comes out reasonably, then it could be worked with an air board and filler and painted at a later date - much cheaper.

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      #3
      I think that 1/4 panel can be pulled out and/or banged from the inside since it is reachable by removing the rear inner panel under the window. The only question is how far does the dent go lets say, into the door jam and rocker panel.
      dlm ny country

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        #4
        My son was backed into while sitting still Sat night and got almost this same dent, on the passenger side.
        Didn't touch the door face, the rear wheel arch, the window trim, or the sill. I'm interested in what dimrun said, because I assumed you'd have to cut the panel off from the door jamb to the center of the wheel arch maybe. Like the OP, we're not after a show car, just keep it and drive it.

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        Last edited by LateFan; 02-09-2020, 09:54 PM.

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          #5
          I went to a vintage car repair shop to get recommendations for body shops that can do real metal work. Got a couple of names they use. He said you'd be better cutting off the whole quarter panel and replace, rather than cutting at the wheel arch or someplace. No butt welded joints, no panel warpage. He said the metal is likely stretched and pushing it out might produce a lot of wrinkles to fill.

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            #6
            Click image for larger version

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            On realoem.com, your left side shows available, while the right side is NLA.

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              #7
              Mmoney - if it's useful to you, I learned quite a bit today. Our dent will be about $2000 to fix to new condition, clear coated to the front of the door and back to the taillight. I went to three body shops today. One was reluctant to say they could work the metal, and then fretted over all the labor to do a salvage quarter panel. What I didn't realize is the salvage yard will just buzz the whole quarter of the car and ship it as-is. They'll cut through the C-pillar, through the trunk opening to the bottom, through the door sill opening, through the B-pillar. Then your body shop will have to drill out all the spot welds and seam welds, spilt the piece apart, see if it's straight, strip it down, see if it's rusted....then cut yours off at the factory weld joints and start lining everything up to re-weld. Just a lot of hours of labor. Might run into several thousand $. If you can locate a new left side panel, there's a lot less prep labor on that part. I think the OE list price was only $380 or something.

              The other shops were like, no problem, that's not that big a deal, we can work that metal back into shape. The shop needs to have old skool metal workers, and skill at shrinking metal where it's stretched. One guy said he didn't think there would be much stretch at all, maybe just along that strong upper body crease.

              If it's not an insurance claim, that's quite a hit out of pocket, but probably worth it long term as E30 values go up.

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                #8
                Got another bid today from a good shop with a really good metal guy. $2700.

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