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How well do new doors fit? How about old doors?


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I've decided to replace a door.  I'm debating buying a new one or sourcing a used one in good shape.  


I assume a used door is a bolt-on and paint affair, if you find one in good shape.  New seems nice though (albeit more expensive), if its a bolt-on, drill the trim holes, and paint affair.  But, if there's some more substantial metal/body work needed, for example, like if the repro doors don't fit well, the cost of the additional metal/body work starts to make it look less attractive.  Also, if the gage of the metal is thinner on the new doors, that would push me away from it.


What's our collective recent experience with new replacement doors?


Is my assumption that a used door is a bolt-on and paint affair correct?

Edited by g_force

Josh (in Dallas)

'72 tii

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I can't speak to a new door, but old original doors will most likely be more than "bolt on and paint".  Considering they are 45 years or so old at this point, chances are they have existing dents, dings, and rust.  The few you might come across in pristine appearance might only appear that way, and might have repairs that will not stand the test of time.  So, best bet is a door that is faded with original paint, a few dings, but solid with little to no rust.    Bottom line is any used door needs to be looked over carefully inside and out.




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I was thinking of doing just this.  On my first 02, I found a new door at a wrecking yard that was in better shape than my door and I slapped it on and then had it painted when the rest of my car was painted.  Super easy.  On this 02, I was going to do the same thing but the place doing the body work said they would cut out the rot and repair the doors.  Also new sheet metal is available as well, so look into what repairing the doors would cost vs. replacing them.  If they are not too bad, you might be surprised that it won't cost that much to repair.  In my case, 2 door repairs was way less than even 2 used doors that would then have to be straightened and painted and certainly cheaper than 2 new doors.  Now if your doors are shot, then thats another story.  My doors had a lot of rot under neath the doors and one had bubbling rust under the paint on the lower part of the door.  

1976 BMW 2002 Fjord Blue Ireland Stage II • Bilstein Sports • Ireland Headers • Weber 38 • 292 Cam • 9.5:1 Pistons • 123Tune Bluetooth 15" BBS

2016 BMW 535i M Sport

1964 Volvo Amazon Wagon

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So I looked at W+N and they offer a new door for $500 euro.  Dealer discounted price for OEM is $566.  I didn't realize they were that reasonable.  Definitely a good option versus used with work.




Edited by cwlo
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8 minutes ago, cwlo said:

So I looked at W+N and they offer a new door for $500 euro.  That's not a bad price.  Anyone have any experience with this?



 I have zero experience with new doors.  But I have read that you must cut and reweld the tab between the inner and outer skins due to a twisting issue. This tab is located just behind the vent window frame.  Lots of reading here on this.


I'm so glad we can still purchase new sheet metal for our cars.



Jim Gerock

Ruby Red 73tii built 5/30/73 "Celeste"

Riviera 69 2002 built 5/30/69 "Oscar"

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I have recently fitted a NEW LH door from W&N and I DID need to cut the tab to remove a 'twist' in the door.  But, it is a simple task, if you have access to a MIG welder.  Just cut the tab with a slitting disc, clamp the door in the correct position and weld the tab in it's new position.  I also had to gently prise out the A pillar side, since the curve of the door wasn't so pronounced as the original.  Door now fits fine.


Interestingly, I also just acquired a RH door, which is also a 'NEW' door, although I got it second hand.  I have yet to test fit, but I should in the next few days, so I'll let you know how it goes.


There are repair panels available for the lower inner section and outer skin, if you prefer to repair your original doors.


To counter future rust problems, I will be epoxy priming the insides and giving the lower sections a coat of UPOL Raptor inside and out.  I am also resisting the urge to drill ANY holes.  I will be experimenting with adhesive tapes to secure the trim.  It's not the 1970's now !!!  holes, can't be a good thing, there are some good adhesives around these days.



Edited by 1Eighteen
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I just purchased and installed a new LH door.  I got it a my local dealer to save shipping charges, and they offered a 15% BMWCCA discount -- so $456 all in.  (oh and sales tax :(  )


I did have to massage the leading edge as 1eighteen described. For me it was the section of the door from the lower body line up to the sharp curvature.  I used a shaped wooden stick and a mallet to bring it out.  Fit was much improved.   I also had some twist -- the upper part of the door at the trailing edge was out about 3mm from the bottom, as it mated with my quarter.  I am not blaming the door, since I can't state for sure that my quarter panel is the true reference.  I worked out the twist by putting a 6" long wooden stick between the bottom seam of the door and the rocker panel and pushing at the top of the door.   Just push, check, push, check, push, check, and voila! it was perfect.  No welding or cutting required.


Then it took a couple coats of primer surfacer to get most of the door perfectly flat after blocking.  I had some ripple at the top edge from the spot welding of the seam at the top.  This took a skim coat of filler to fix.




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500 bucks for a brand new door. For a 44 year old car. Not bad at all when you consider all the bits that are NLA.

Along this conversation, to resist starting a new thread, how is the availability on the typically needed new panels- doors, nose, tail, etc... I saw ECS advertising an early nose panel for $750. Also says on back-order.

Steve J

72 tii / 83 320is / 88 M3 / 08 MCS R55 / 12 MC R56

& too many bikes

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Some additional info:


I purchased the later model door (41511822783) - with side impact reinforcements. All the holes for belt trim and knee trim were already there. There was even the factory sound deadening pad.   I did have to drill and file (for the correct shape) the holes for the side mirror.   The weight of the door felt the same as the one I took off, so I would expect no change to metal thickness. 


If you look on the WN site, they only list the door for early '02s, 41511841046 with no holes for knee trim (and probably no side impact reinforcements.   This door also seems to be available from US dealers, but is more expensive than the later door.


A used door will be much more work.  Strip paint inside and out, media blast any rust areas,  Possible minor rust repair.  There will surely be a dent or two to fix.  The sound deadening pad will be in pieces on the bottom.   There will be rust in the bottom seam.   I put over a hundred hours into a used door and I gave up, I just couldn't make the surface straight enough without going crazy with filler.    I had the new door ready for paint in three days.   A no-brainer if you are paying someone, although for sure a different calculus if you are doing all the work.


Yes, it is absolutely astounding that one can go to your friendly local dealer and order up a new door for a 40+ year old car. 



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I put used doors on my '72, and the body guy spent a little less than $500 to repair previous repairs and damage. Didn't notice until they were mounted that they extend about 10-12mm lower than the quarter panel when aligned with the top and the upper bend of the qp. Looking at others' '02s, I've occasionally seen the same "longer" doors. Is this an "early" vs. "late" issue? Variable manufacturing quality?

Edited by fjord-tii

'72 BMW 2002tii

'00 Porsche 911

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