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Old 11-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #1
javi330
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Damage to Quarter Panel, Replace or Repair?

Greetings,

Let me get the sad story out of the way first - I bought this 330Ci like 3-4 months ago... Two weeks ago a truck hit it while parked in front of my building.

I took it to the BMW dealer and they insisted that the quarter panel MUST be replaced because there's no space to push the dents out and there are some clips in the bottom part that need to be replaced. They're charging the truck's insurance 8.000 EUR for the repair (new door, new quarter panel, new door handle, new trim line, painting the complete driver side). Fillers are not very popular in Germany.

Some collages of mine that work in auto body shops (I don't live anywhere near them anymore) are telling me that the panel doesn't need to be replaced and I shouldn't allow them to do so. One of them suggested the use of an "electric puller" in combination with a polyester filler.

So I'm bringing my issue to you guys to get as much opinions as possible before I make my decision. I don't want any fillers on my cars... But I really don't want my car to be cut if it's no necessary.

Your comments/assistance will be greatly appreciated.


























Last edited by javi330; 11-09-2012 at 06:13 AM. Reason: Better Pictures / Directly Uploaded
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
stevenluczynski
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If you're not paying for it, I would suggest let bmw do the repairs the way they want to.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
pawelgawel
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Id let them cut and install new 1/4... this way there is no bondo and the curves are perfect.. don't worry about getting cut. as long as its done right. Trying to pull and using fibers and bondo will never be perfect...

cut and weld in the new piece will be like new.

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Old 11-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
javi330
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Thanks for feedback.

Usually how I feel about things, but would they suggest that the panel needs to be replaced just to get more money out of the deal? Then again, I don't think they're in the need of an extra couple of thousands EURs... I just want the right thing to happen, I really like my car and it really bothers me that it will not be in it's original state anymore. Notice how I went at night to take the pics :p

I been told that replacing the panel could create problems in the future with rust and water leakage. That's why I don't want them to replace the panel if it's not absolutely necessary.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:59 PM   #5
dirty vert
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How much do you want your car to be worth? Steel is much better than bondo or fiberglass-- the old school crowd would do lead bodywork.....all metal. I would want my car fixed right.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:39 AM   #6
javi330
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I plan to keep the car until the wheels fall off. I'm not concerned how much the car is worth, I don't want future issues to come up.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:19 AM   #7
Brevik
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Really-how do they seam the new quarter without the use of filler?

Sorry dude, but you are just flat out wrong, just about every car on the road has some filler from the factory. There is no problem with filler as long as it is used correctly and not put over rust(which makes it pop) and yes it will look perfect if a professional does it.

Depending on the damage there may be more filler used to seam the quarter than it would be to pull the dents and lightly fill as needed.

OP- please post some photos of the damage, it is hard to say without.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pawelgawel View Post
Id let them cut and install new 1/4... this way there is no bondo and the curves are perfect.. don't worry about getting cut. as long as its done right. Trying to pull and using fibers and bondo will never be perfect...

cut and weld in the new piece will be like new.

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Bimmer App
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
javi330
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Link at the bottom of the original message has the pics.

The problem could be that the damage is where panel meets the door. I have no knowledge of vehicle's body work, again, I just want what's best for the car in the future.

I see as pickin the best of two evils:

new panel - good: would look 100% perfect / bad: possible rust problems in the future where the panel is welded, possible water leakage in the future / body no longer fully original

fill - good: no need to cut the panel, car would keep its original structure, if done well won't even notice it / bad: possible chipping and such in the future, shop might not get a perfect look, body not as rigid?
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:46 AM   #9
louie586
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javi330 View Post
fill - good: no need to cut the panel, car would keep its original structure, if done well won't even notice it / bad: possible chipping and such in the future, shop might not get a perfect look, body not as rigid?
I can definitely attest to that. My passenger rear quarter was hit and I had a new quarter welded in. In all honesty, the damage was not terrible and the shop even asked if I wanted to "forget replacing the quarter (aka bondo it) and spend the money somewhere else on the car" In the end I decided to replace the quarter panel since there was rust developing in the wheel well.

However, my tail light trim (the metal strip below the tail lights) was repaired with bondo. My cousin backed into me (in my driveway, really low speed) and ended up chipping off a piece of the trim! I'm pissed the collision shop didn't cut out and weld in a new metal strip... I hate people that cut corners. That's another thing you really need to watch out for with shops and bodywork. If they're lazy, it's going to come out like ****. You need to make sure you trust the people that are working on your car. Most of them won't care because it's not THEIR car... they don't have to stare at the imperfections all day long like you do.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:10 AM   #10
javi330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louie586 View Post
However, my tail light trim (the metal strip below the tail lights) was repaired with bondo. My cousin backed into me (in my driveway, really low speed) and ended up chipping off a piece of the trim! I'm pissed the collision shop didn't cut out and weld in a new metal strip...
Did they replace the entire panel? As far as I know that the tail light trim is part of the panel. At the same time, I believe that's one of the areas where they cut to remove the panel. It could be that they didn't cut corners but more like you were unlucky and got hit right were the new panel was welded. I think some filler is used in the weld points. Any clarification would be great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by louie586 View Post
You need to make sure you trust the people that are working on your car. Most of them won't care because it's not THEIR car... they don't have to stare at the imperfections all day long like you do.
Not too worry about that. The car will be fixed in the main BMW dealer of a big city here in Germany. I believe they'll do a great job, but there's always the human error factor.

How long ago was the panel replaced? Any issues (wind noise, discoloration or rust at the weld points? Did he car look any different than before?
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:37 AM   #11
louie586
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javi330 View Post
Did they replace the entire panel? As far as I know that the tail light trim is part of the panel. At the same time, I believe that's one of the areas where they cut to remove the panel. It could be that they didn't cut corners but more like you were unlucky and got hit right were the new panel was welded. I think some filler is used in the weld points. Any clarification would be great.



Not too worry about that. The car will be fixed in the main BMW dealer of a big city here in Germany. I believe they'll do a great job, but there's always the human error factor.

How long ago was the panel replaced? Any issues (wind noise, discoloration or rust at the weld points? Did he car look any different than before?
Yes, they replaced the entire panel. This was exactly one year ago. I also believe the trim is part of the panel, but you're right... it's basically where they welded the panel on. That is PRECISELY where I got hit too - the very end of the quarter panel right by the tail lamp.

Obviously there is going to be filler at the weld points, I expected that. In very strong, direct light you can see a faint line where they matched up the quarter panel to the rest of the body (on the car's "C" pillar). This may be simply because they didn't use enough filler to cover it. You'll also be able to tell from opening the trunk. There is a small amount of quarter panel visible under the trunk lid and you may be able to notice it was repaired if the job is sloppy or they forget to paint that portion matte black to match the rest of the trunk.

No rust or problems arising from the replacement thus far, and only a few problems with workmanship. Unfortunately the whole car wasn't repainted and the paint isn't an exact match. In bright sunlight, you can tell that part of the car was repainted... The black they shot on the quarter takes on more of a gray tone compared to the Jet Black/Schwarz 2 paint. If I ever have the cash, I'd love to repaint the whole thing.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #12
javi330
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Damn... Good to know I'm not the only unlucky bastard. Thanks for you feedback!

I still would like the opinion/recommendation from folks that do body work and such. The dealer will paint the whole driver side, a mismatch would be from the bumpers, roof, hood, and trunck and I'm ok with that (as long as is not THAT noticeable). It just sucks that I will not have a fully original ZHP... Even some comfort would help.

Again, the thing is, what would be the best thing for the damage. Repair the panel or replace it. What would you guys go for or recommend? If I go for either or, what are some tips to avoid any issues in the future? Is the damage not that bad that I should repair vs replacing?

Any and all feedback is appreciated as well as bluntness (with knowledge/expirience)
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #13
floydlloyd85
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The panel directly below the tail light is part of the rear panel. Not the quarter panel. I work in a body shop. The small line at the corner of the tail light shows where the join is.

Last edited by floydlloyd85; 11-08-2012 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #14
javi330
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floyd, what would you recommend then? replace or fix?
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:41 PM   #15
floydlloyd85
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Well if the dent is small enough it can be filled. There is no reason it shouldnt. Its better than upsetting the factory fitted panel and seam sealed joins. Which down the line may cause corrosion. And the area at the top of the panel near the quarter glass will be filled anyway to cover the weld. Quarters should only really be fitted if its neccessary . Id love to see a picture id be able to say for sure. But fitting a quarter panel, if not done correctly could screw things up.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:53 PM   #16
Stinger9
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I looked at your pictures. One year after my '04 was new, I had almost exactly the same damage to my car. I looked around for a really good shop and they pulled and filled. Looked beautiful right from the start and seven years later, car still looks new.
Check out the pic in my garage of the close up of the driver's side. Taken this summer.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:01 PM   #17
floydlloyd85
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Cant see the pics because im on a phone. But if filler is used correctly and the undercoat is given enough time to set and sink then it will be fine. I have used some on my bonnet for a little dent near the front. The paint finish is still like glass and i can see no chips or inperfections whatsoever. I done all the work to my car myself. I resprayed it and tidyed up any other wee bits of damage around the car. It was done a couple of years ago. And the quality remains like it was the day it pulled it out of the spray booth. If you know a trustworty body man that you know does good work. You should not have any problems.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:19 PM   #18
Megalocnus
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I'd have them replace the quarter panel. Don't worry too much about cutting the panel. It may be a good idea to make sure they warrany their work though.
Besides, 8K EUR for this repair doesn't sound like overpriced to me. Which part of Germany are you in?
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:16 PM   #19
Mflara20
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I never thought of this!! I have the exact same issue, I hit my quarter panel while in a snow storm here in Chicago. Do you know how much would it cost to "bondo it"?
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:24 PM   #20
Stinger9
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Pics?
And who's doing the work?
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