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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-09-2015, 07:05 PM   #1
mgunter
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Interest in Carbon Fiber parts/panels?

Hello,

I have a rusty E46 touring.

i have been looking into many options to get rid of the rusty panels (it's actually surprisingly hard to find rear doors for a wagon in Ontario). My car is in great mechanical shape but the rust bothers me so much. I have been thinking about making carbon fiber (or maybe even a less expensive composite material) replacement parts. I have done some research into the process and the costs involved and the molds are the most expensive part so it would only make sense to do it if I were to produce multiple parts from the molds.

So my question is, are people still interested in carbon fiber parts? For me it's not really about having the look of carbon fiber on my car but having rust free panels (that won't rust again) and maybe benefiting from weight reduction on the track. The other benefit of using carbon fiber parts is that I wouldn't necessarily have to paint the parts (at least not right away).

If I were to do this, I would be looking at making:
- Facelift sedan/touring fenders. I haven't been able to locate any who makes them except for at a company in Taiwan (I think) that won't return my messages.
- Door Skins (Front would fit both the sedan and touring and I believe the rears would fit both as well - I THINK it's only the window frame that differs between the sedan and touring rear doors - please correct me if I'm wrong). I need a donor door to play with to see how they are constructed and that I can deconstruct but I was hoping to make the outer door skins and use a structural epoxy to bond the CF skin to the metal door frame or construct the outer door skin with a lip so that it can be secured with hardware to the inner door. I would go this route so that (most of) the structural integrity of the door is maintained for use on the road (although it would come with a warning that they are for off-road use only for liability reasons of course) and also for ease of retaining all of the components inside the door and the window frame. I feel like the demand for this probably wouldn't be that high except for show car owners who love the look of CF and are feeling as adventurous as me!
- Touring spoiler. I know there are lots of touring owners on here and I feel like there might be some interest for this.

Hoods, bumpers, and trunks are available for our cars (unless there is interest in OE, non-sport bumpers or OE touring rear bumpers). Post on here if there are any parts that I haven't thought of that aren't already available that you would be interested in.

I am not looking for anyone to make any commitments but I just want to see if there is any interest in this to make it worth while. I would make the parts first for my car to show the quality of the parts (if they're going on my car I will make sure they will be top quality ).

Also, maybe someone on here with experience could chime in on any potential problems of selling carbon fiber body panels. As I said, they would all come with a warning stating "For off-road use only" but I don't know if that would relieve me of all liability in the case of an accident.

Thank you!
Michael
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:07 PM   #2
Geo31
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Good luck on touring rear doors. My car is in the body shop for repairs and they had to order a new rear door.

That said, I know where there are doors in Houston. I should buy them for back-up.
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:41 PM   #3
The Snake
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I think bimmian sells some CF panels... Take a look at them
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:50 PM   #4
Alex323Ci
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even if the mold to make didn't make it too expensive i think the shipping will get you. it's really hard to compete with the mass production coming out of China and their ability to sell so cheap. but more power to you, hope it can be done.

check out MAShaw.com as they do lightweight skins and parts for BMWs.
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:46 PM   #5
mgunter
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Well that's just it. I can't find those panels that I listed. I'm not trying to compete with any companies that make carbon fiber parts because no one seems to make them (unless I am really bad at searching).

I will definitely check them out and see if they have what I want.

I have thought about the shipping part of it. I haven't looked at the costs but high shipping costs are to be expected with large parts.

The other thing I didn't mention was that if I pursued this, I wouldn't be doing it to get rich. I would do it to improve my car and then sell them with a little profit to help with the cost of the mold.

Anyways...I'll leave this here for a bit and see what other people think. Lots of views but not much input.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:47 PM   #6
rcsummers
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carbon front and rear fenders that are wider than OEM!!!! but keep OEM lines.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:30 PM   #7
wked12
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Weirdly enough, I don't have much interest in creating panels for my car specifically but I'd be game to help out with making some panels. I've been wanting to try and make carbon fiber panels for a while, but have 0 space to do so with the combo of city living + HOA. Message me if you want to chat.
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