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Nerk
03-28-2012, 06:47 PM
I know this is a common problem,... every single E30 I've seen has had rust damage where the license plate lights are...

Whats a good fix for that,... so far... I've pretty removed the lights... they actually broke off when I tried unscrewing them... I sanded/grinded the rust where I can with a dremel, sprayed a bunch of rust converter to try and catch whatever rust I was not able to grind off...

my next steps are, I think I'm going to fab some shims with sheet metal and just epoxy them on the inside, use some body filler to smooth out the edges, prime/paint and somehow mount some new lights...

any tips or suggestions? seems pretty straight forward to me, but am I missing something here? I'll post some pics up when I get the chance...

this has been bugging me for a while now, really want to get this fixed this spring before it gets too hot and humid in the summer to paint...

e30tOny
03-28-2012, 08:41 PM
this sale ended....but there are more places to get them

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-E30-license-plate-lights-rust-solution-inserts-/160397268668

&/or fabricate your own

http://www.sunspotedm.com/57.jpg

Ceeker
03-28-2012, 09:00 PM
I know this is a common problem,... every single E30 I've seen has had rust damage where the license plate lights are...

Whats a good fix for that,... so far... I've pretty removed the lights... they actually broke off when I tried unscrewing them... I sanded/grinded the rust where I can with a dremel, sprayed a bunch of rust converter to try and catch whatever rust I was not able to grind off...

my next steps are, I think I'm going to fab some shims with sheet metal and just epoxy them on the inside, use some body filler to smooth out the edges, prime/paint and somehow mount some new lights...

any tips or suggestions? seems pretty straight forward to me, but am I missing something here? I'll post some pics up when I get the chance...

this has been bugging me for a while now, really want to get this fixed this spring before it gets too hot and humid in the summer to paint...

that is one way of doing it. I did that to one side of mine. I took existing bmw sheet metal and fabricated a section but tracing the good one. I used my dremal, shaped it and mounted it with epoxy from the inside. I didn't even need any filler as the metal sat right up against the body. I even cut the notches out for the screw plugs to fit. with some fitment and fine tuning I threw the new lights in.

the other more thorough way is replacing that section all together or removing the entire panel from the spot welds and putting a new one in.
definitely more expensive.

Nerk
03-28-2012, 09:14 PM
yeah, I saw those on ebay... but if you look closely, on the inside, its not a straight 90 degree angle, I'm gonna do something similar, but try to match the angle a bit better...

e30tOny
03-28-2012, 09:17 PM
.
the other more thorough way is replacing that section all together or removing the entire panel from the spot welds and putting a new one in.
definitely more expensive.

*smoke*[got my smokes]*mw*

Ya...Ernie is right*th-up*. Just sold my 318is, guy who bought is replacing the complete rear panel, he has a friend at the "steeler", OEM replacemenet is under $200


http://realoem.com/bmw/diagrams/s/e/7.png

richie_s999
03-28-2012, 09:24 PM
or you could buy this panel from me to fix it

e30tOny
03-28-2012, 09:30 PM
...nice*th-up*

Ceeker
03-29-2012, 09:34 AM
or you could buy this panel from me to fix it

I asked you about that didn't I, I could have sworn I asked about that..but maybe my memory is fading...??? I am wrong here??? LOL I must be wrong or something...LOL..yeah that must be it...

Nerk
03-29-2012, 02:35 PM
Hey Ceeker, still looking for those convertible door panels, just talked to Alex at ACP, he still has them up for grabs... tried to PM you earlier this week, but you box was full...

I know, completely off topic... but its my thread! I can do what I want! :)

and yeah, ideally I would love to replace the whole rear panel, but thats $$$, and welding, and painting and rebuilding... oh my....

almost got my plates completed... gonna try and finish it up on friday, I have the day off... Right now, my attention has been shifted to my PS pump, it leaks when I dry steer, and when I say leaks, I mean, its pissing it out...

e30tOny
03-29-2012, 02:40 PM
E30 Pammy could fix that:D

http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140685

Ceeker
03-29-2012, 02:43 PM
Hey Ceeker, still looking for those convertible door panels, just talked to Alex at ACP, he still has them up for grabs... tried to PM you earlier this week, but you box was full...

I know, completely off topic... but its my thread! I can do what I want! :)

and yeah, ideally I would love to replace the whole rear panel, but thats $$$, and welding, and painting and rebuilding... oh my....

almost got my plates completed... gonna try and finish it up on friday, I have the day off... Right now, my attention has been shifted to my PS pump, it leaks when I dry steer, and when I say leaks, I mean, its pissing it out...

pm sent - my inbox has room. :-)

Nerk
03-29-2012, 04:57 PM
E30 Pammy could fix that:D

http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140685

HAHA, I actually replied to that thread back in the day :)

e30tOny
03-29-2012, 05:46 PM
ya...I remembered cheers:D

everlast
03-30-2012, 01:01 AM
Quick and easy fix: remove all the interior panels, clean it up the best you can with a wire brush, and treat it with POR-15. Follow all the steps for that product.

I had an E30 that was missing a lot of the metal from the area, so I got some flat plastic ABS, fixed it to the area with adhesive and attached the lights to them. Honestly, it looked great and didn't rust in the next three years I had the car.

Nerk
03-30-2012, 12:52 PM
interesting... never thought of plastic... hrmm...

e30tOny
03-30-2012, 01:24 PM
interesting... never thought of plastic... hrmm...

Ya...you could also use in full or combination:

Dual compound fast drying epoxy/steel sticks

you can smooth the stuff at early stages with water,

it's the greatest all purpose stuff I have ever had the pleasure to use

http://www.polymericsystems.com/epoxies-adhesives/epoxy-putty-sticks/faststeel.htm

http://www.polymericsystems.com/images/faststeel/steps-1s.jpghttp://www.polymericsystems.com/images/faststeel/steps-2s.jpghttp://www.polymericsystems.com/images/faststeel/steps-3s.jpg

everlast
03-30-2012, 01:33 PM
Yeah, lots of solutions. I just wanted to avoid drilling into the metal. On my current E30, I treated the area with POR-15 even though it wasn't bad but fortunately the rubber receivers are intact, I can use the factory fasteners.

e30tOny
03-30-2012, 01:35 PM
you can use this stuff too....all this stuff available at "crappy tire"....stick & patches <<<<<$20
you can even tap screw threads into that "steel epoxy" stuff

cheers

Ceeker
03-30-2012, 02:32 PM
everything you need is available out there. you just need to be a little handy and creative. The longer you spend on it, in most cases the better the job turns out. :-)

aberg83
04-22-2013, 12:46 PM
Sorry to resurrect an old thread but this is exactly the fix I'm working on for my e30. Nerk, did you end up finishing the job? How did it turn out? Any pics?

Unfortunately in my case, the holes for the lights rotted out beyond the outside edge of the new gaskets I'm putting in, so I'll need to patch this somehow to look nice.

I have the Bondo kit pictured earlier in the thread with the steel mesh filler piece. Just not sure how easily I can put that over the hole and leave a nice opening for the lights and screw holes.

everlast
04-22-2013, 01:03 PM
Try my ABS trick that I posted. You could use anything of that sort, and it will look a lot prettier than slapping in bondo and mesh. Just be sure to treat the rust completely before doing anything.

Nerk
04-22-2013, 01:28 PM
Yup, worked out quite well actually...

I did get some custom paint match done since the previous owner had it painted to not an original colour, but essentially what I did was created some shims to go inside of the trunk, used some rubber cement glue to hold them in place, then I used some plastic filler to make the outside edges smooth, primed and paint, screwed in some new lights and done...

I'll post pictures when I get home from work...

Nerk
04-22-2013, 01:29 PM
and yes... treat the rust! or it will just come back....

I cleaned as much as I can, then used some rust converter in the tight spots where I couldn't get to.

aberg83
04-22-2013, 01:30 PM
I think I can visualize what you're suggesting. Rather than a single piece with a hole cut for the light housing, you used 4 shims on all 4 sides and left a hole in the middle the right size for the housing?

aberg83
04-22-2013, 01:45 PM
Try my ABS trick that I posted. You could use anything of that sort, and it will look a lot prettier than slapping in bondo and mesh. Just be sure to treat the rust completely before doing anything.

Do you have any pics of your ABS trick? Where did you get the flatstock ABS?

everlast
04-22-2013, 01:48 PM
I sold the car years ago. I used ABS plastic from a cut up garbage can. :D

Nerk
04-22-2013, 01:54 PM
uhmm... just 2...

Nerk
04-22-2013, 03:35 PM
ok got pics...

here's the before...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70447165/licenseplate/20120417_204455.jpg

Here's the shim installed with some rubber cement

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70447165/licenseplate/20120419_232533.jpg

Here's some plastic filler to make smooth edges on the outside

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70447165/licenseplate/20120420_224018.jpg

Primed...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70447165/licenseplate/20120422_184213.jpg

painted...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70447165/licenseplate/20120424_204339.jpg

finished product

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70447165/licenseplate/20120425_185736.jpg

aberg83
04-22-2013, 03:50 PM
Very nice! I believe I will follow your lead. Was it Bondo that you used to smooth out the edges?

Nerk
04-22-2013, 04:10 PM
I think it was called liquid metal or something...

Also, I made my own shims with sheet metal, not sure how those ones that were pictured earlier in the thread worked, but I know with mind, its not quite a 90 degree angle...

anyhow...

with a dremel, some patience and a vice, they're very easy to make...

everlast
04-22-2013, 04:11 PM
Very very nice work!

aberg83
04-22-2013, 04:23 PM
That is very nice. I will try to do the same. Should be easy enough to cut the openings using tin snips.

Nerk
04-23-2013, 01:02 PM
I like using a dremel... I find I have more control, cleaner more precise cuts etc..

Sure it takes a little longer, depending on how many cutting discs you break :)