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ASKED BY:

Jim Miller

FSC MEMBER:

Yes

CATEGORY:

Body

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Question

Hi, I have an 1981 bmw 528i.  The e12s are hard to find parts for. My car needs floor pans mostly driver side. The damage was from a previously leaking water valve under the dash.  I have checked my local dealer and on real oem.  They are not reproduced. I was thinking  of cutting floors out of an e28 and trying to fit them. I think the gas pedals are different on how they attach to the floor? Any ideas? Its hard to find a shop that does any rust repair near me. The rest of the car is clean. Inside is like new and I have euro bumpers I need to still put on.

Answer

Hello Mr. Miller, I’ll try to answer your question as succinctly as possible as it is a complicated repair.

The first and most important thing that I can tell you is that if you do not have any metal fabrication experience, please do not attempt to do this yourself. Judging by the description you gave me, there seems to be significant damage which may be structural. If so, the complexity of the repair may need to be addressed by someone with structural experience. Failure to address the structural issue could jeopardize the body of the car resulting in possible weakening or warping.

With that said, I have found a website that has this type of parts. Reference this website:https://www.wallothnesch.com/en/body-work/bmw-518-m535i-e12.html They are located in Europe.

I’ll talk about the second and third options together, as it is a guess or judgment call between the two. The second option is to find a donor-car that has a very similar shaped pan and cut and fit that into your car.

The third option is to make one from scratch. The deciding factor between the two is going to be labor time. You’ll be faced with estimating how long it would take to do option one or two. Go with the one that is easier.

I said guess for a reason, even if you are a professional, this kind of work is always going to be a guess. Take that into account when speaking to shops about getting the work done. I suggest making a template of the area that needs to be repaired, it will come in handy later. Construct it out of something like thin sheet metal or even fiberglass. Use materials that will be easy to mold, and will hold that shape. Take that with you to a junkyard and try it on different donor-cars until you find the correct one. Compare that price with making one from scratch. Now you have your answer and you also have the template needed for the repair.

Another website to consider is, http://www.fritzsbits.co.uk/services/the-range, they also make a custom, made to order floor pan.
I do want to make something very clear, I do not personally recommend the sites above, I have never used them, they are just resources in response to your question. Please do your own research and use your best judgment if you choose to do business with them.
I can provide you with a local source that I do use and recommend for this kind of repair. Hoffman’s Tuning239-561-111811400 Metro Pkwy # 4, Fort Myers, FL 33966. Another local shop that I have not personally used but my customers with classic British cars have used and are happy with is H and H Kustoms 239-267-885017400 Alico Center Rd, Fort Myers, FL 33967.

Take pictures and share them with us. Best of luck. I hope this helped.

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