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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Sat, Oct-27-2018, 07:48:17 PM   #1
Bmwpower603
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Default Bottom of fender rust advice

I have been holding back from fixing what is the worst/ only rust damage on my m3. This is all due to someone jacking up the vehicle from the front fender years ago, and never cared to repair it.

I brought the car to a Ferrari/ European car restoration shop. And they said they will weld a new piece to the bottom of the fender. And make a new “nailer” / tab for the fender to screw into. They said it would be $800 for materials , and labor.

Here’s some pictures.

My question is. IF I want to attempt to do this myself.. Where would I even start?

It seems to me that the toughest part of the job will be welding the metal nailer to the body, so the fender has something to screw into.

Is there a correct way of doing this? I bought some “gel” rust remover / as well as WD 40 rust inhibitor. (I know that won’t fix the issue) But there’s some rust that needs to be removed from the body as you can see in the pictures.

Once I remove the rust with the gel. Should I just spray inhibitor on it? Or should I prime it / paint it? Or prime it, and use some body film or something ?

There is also some minor rust starting on the jack points. . Is that worth removing with the gel? Or hitting it with inhibitor ? There isn’t enough rust to use a wire brush. And should that be painted with something?

Here’s pics of the Inside of the front fender




Last edited by Bmwpower603; Sat, Oct-27-2018 at 07:53:39 PM.
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Old Sat, Oct-27-2018, 08:13:03 PM   #2
Braymond141
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Default Re: Bottom of fender rust advice

New fenders from BMW are $228 each. Personally, I’d much rather lose the VIN sticker (which is a US only bullshit thing), than have the fender cut and “fixed”. You’ll still need that body side fixed though and cutting the bottom off the original fender does preserve the painted portion.

That area is common to rot in “rust belt” states. Even if physically perfect, the plastic fender liner is the issue as there is no seal.
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Old Sat, Oct-27-2018, 09:42:42 PM   #3
Earthwormjlm
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Default Re: Bottom of fender rust advice

Definitely replace that fender. There's no sane reason to try to preserve it. Use new parts, while they are still being made and are available.

It's much cheaper than the labor required to patch in new metal too.
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Old Sun, Oct-28-2018, 02:34:09 AM   #4
Bmwpower603
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Default Re: Bottom of fender rust advice

Realistically. When it’s fixed, if it’s done with a new fender. And a new metal tab/ metal nailer. How much does this de value the car?

Does it depend on how well it matches the other side ?

I paid $13,000 with these rust issues .. It will still need rust bubble on rear fender fixed as well . The car has 95k miles, and is mechanically perfect. Besides the 5th gear detent being a bit worn. (MAYBE a fluid change will help, or bushing refresh)

Last edited by Bmwpower603; Sun, Oct-28-2018 at 02:39:26 AM.
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Old Sun, Oct-28-2018, 03:03:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bottom of fender rust advice

I live in NH and have had my 99M3 since 2005 and drive it year round. My lower fender flaps are rusted out also. Even my triangular wings underneath are rusting through. I may drop everything under the car and cut out the rust and weld in new metal where needed and rustproof. Big job. Then new fenders. These cars are 20 years old now and the ones that have been driven need work, especially ones driven in salt areas.
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Old Sun, Oct-28-2018, 03:11:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bottom of fender rust advice

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Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
I live in NH and have had my 99M3 since 2005 and drive it year round. My lower fender flaps are rusted out also. Even my triangular wings underneath are rusting through. I may drop everything under the car and cut out the rust and weld in new metal where needed and rustproof. Big job. Then new fenders. These cars are 20 years old now and the ones that have been driven need work, especially ones driven in salt areas.
What are these triangular wings that your referring to? The little water drains on the outside of the frame rails?
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Old Sun, Oct-28-2018, 03:18:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bottom of fender rust advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwpower603 View Post
Realistically. When it’s fixed, if it’s done with a new fender. And a new metal tab/ metal nailer. How much does this de value the car?

Does it depend on how well it matches the other side ?

I paid $13,000 with these rust issues .. It will still need rust bubble on rear fender fixed as well . The car has 95k miles, and is mechanically perfect. Besides the 5th gear detent being a bit worn. (MAYBE a fluid change will help, or bushing refresh)
The car's value is already devalued from the rust issues.

As for how it is repaired, OEM replacement should be preferable to any prospective buyer, rather than hacking in new metal and welding it.

Welding in new material only makes sense if there is no source for OEM replacement available. It's quite foolish to pursue welding when you can buy a new fender for $200-$300.
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Old Sun, Oct-28-2018, 04:19:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bottom of fender rust advice

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Originally Posted by Bmwpower603 View Post
What are these triangular wings that your referring to? The little water drains on the outside of the frame rails?
No, just inboard of where the fenders end. Part of the car body. Pretty solid metal but they rust out eventually.

Last edited by pbonsalb; Sun, Oct-28-2018 at 12:11:25 PM.
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Old Sun, Oct-28-2018, 04:21:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bottom of fender rust advice

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Originally Posted by Earthwormjlm View Post
The car's value is already devalued from the rust issues.

As for how it is repaired, OEM replacement should be preferable to any prospective buyer, rather than hacking in new metal and welding it.

Welding in new material only makes sense if there is no source for OEM replacement available. It's quite foolish to pursue welding when you can buy a new fender for $200-$300.
Or a used fender for $75. Or a new aftermarket for $75.
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Old Sun, Oct-28-2018, 04:27:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: Bottom of fender rust advice

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Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
Or a used fender for $75. Or a new aftermarket for $75.


Correct
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Discussing ABS Pump Bleeder Nipple? in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)