COOP

New OEM Door Panels: Not sure about these...

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My original '72 tii door panels are very, very nice...but they are, well, the originals and hence not perfect.

 

A few days ago, on a whim, I plunked down $650 for some brand new, OEM panels, thanks to Roger's. Here are my observations:

 

Color: The new panels are more chestnut brown while the originals are more orange. Who knows how much of this can be attributed to 40 + years of fading?

 

Texture: The new panels are more matte and porous looking, while the originals are more shiny and slick to the touch. 

 

Finish: The New panels have a subtle, "veined" pattern in the vinyl that is clearly apparent (see pic), particularly in the lower section. This effect is totally absent on the original panels.

 

Ribbed pleats: The 8, ribbed "pleats" of the new panels' upper section have a distinctly "puffy" and "quilted" appearance. On originals, the pleats are totally flat. Who knows if the originals were once puffy too and have broken down after 40+ years? 

 

I'd certainly welcome anyone's input on this subject, especially from you "originals" out there who knew these cars when they were new. At this point, I'm not convinced that I'm going to keep the panels, given the cost : authenticity ratio.

 

Thanks,

 

COOP

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If I were you, and you were me, I don't think i'd settle for the "new" panels. Originality is king, and even more important than new, replacement parts, is that they fulfill more than just the requirement of "acceptable replacement". They actually have to match. 

 

Installing the new panels wouldn't sit well with me. Every time I get in the car, I would be reminded that the seats are a different shade from the door cards. Details like this would drive me up a wall. 

 

The new black panels are the same as what you describe, but the one detail that saves them and allows me to use them on a restoration is that they are simply black. It's very hard to mess up the color black. Saddle and Tobacco are very different, and thus require extra attention to detail.

 

Good luck. My vote is that you run the original-to-the-car door panels. 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, danco_ said:

If I were you, and you were me, I don't think i'd settle for the "new" panels. Originality is king, and even more important than new, replacement parts, is that they fulfill more than just the requirement of "acceptable replacement". They actually have to match. 

 

Installing the new panels wouldn't sit well with me. Every time I get in the car, I would be reminded that the seats are a different shade from the door cards. Details like this would drive me up a wall. 

 

The new black panels are the same as what you describe, but the one detail that saves them and allows me to use them on a restoration is that they are simply black. It's very hard to mess up the color black. Saddle and Tobacco are very different, and thus require extra attention to detail.

 

Good luck. My vote is that you run the original-to-the-car door panels. 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Ryan...I concur 100%. They're going back. I had high hopes but these are just not going to cut it. The original panels looks sooo much better.

 

BMW is really disappointing me (and yes, I get the counterpoint that I should be grateful that they're providing any support at all). They charge top-top dollar but produce inauthentic, low-quality replacement parts for our cars in most cases, chrome trim being another of countless examples. This is in stark contrast to Mercedes-Benz, whose Classic parts are even pricier but are absolutely spot on (I wish the folks at BMW shared the below philosophy). 

 

COOP

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I'm not convinced that all panels came from the factory with exclusively puffy or flat pleats... just looked at two saddle panels(puffy pleats) and two tobacco(flat). All are original. My guess is that they came from the factory (or factories) both ways. 

 

 COOP, i can't imagine that your old panels have flattened out over time and still remain tight.

 

  The new panels look like tobacco( tobacco leaf veins), which i thought were superseded by the saddle somewhere around 72, but not during the Model 71 updates.

  My 02 currently has tobacco rear panels and back seat, and saddle door panels, and i can see the difference from across a parking lot.

   Those have been on my wish list for some time, and at that price will likely remain there!

 

 Bob

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14 hours ago, danco_ said:

If I were you, and you were me, I don't think i'd settle for the "new" panels. Originality is king, and even more important than new, replacement parts, is that they fulfill more than just the requirement of "acceptable replacement". They actually have to match. 

 

Installing the new panels wouldn't sit well with me. Every time I get in the car, I would be reminded that the seats are a different shade from the door cards. Details like this would drive me up a wall. 

 

The new black panels are the same as what you describe, but the one detail that saves them and allows me to use them on a restoration is that they are simply black. It's very hard to mess up the color black. Saddle and Tobacco are very different, and thus require extra attention to detail.

 

Good luck. My vote is that you run the original-to-the-car door panels. 

 

 

 

 

+1

 

Ryan nailed it.

 

My original door cards would have to be much worse than your car's original door cards before I would find new cards to be "an improvement" to the car as a whole.

 

When some idiot says, "There's a tear or nick on your door card", the correct response is "They're original and they're 44 friggin' years old, idiot!"

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

Edited by Conserv

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You guys are AWESOME and SO on the money!

 

This is what happens when I develop a case of "itchy credit card finger." 

 

The panels are going back...

 

COOP

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5 hours ago, bob02 said:

My 02 currently has tobacco rear panels and back seat, and saddle door panels, and i can see the difference from across a parking lot.

   Those have been on my wish list for some time, and at that price will likely remain there!

 

Actually, the price of door panels has dropped a bit since they were reintroduced ~10 years ago.  Ask me how I know....  At least they weren't puffy!

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I'd stick with the original panels...looking at your pictures, I like the originals better.

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Well,

 

first from the photos I can´t see any reason why to replace the original panels. But of course that depends on the personal beliefs of the one who owns the car.

 

Second and more important I´d like to add some points to the general discussion on originality:

- A BMW 02 is a car of mass production from the 60s/70s. Over the years for sure BMW had changes in their range of suppliers but also at a given time a particular part didn´t origin from only one special company but a variety of different sources. Quality standards were by no means near to the level that is common today and with that the same part delivered from one company of course could have been a little different from the same part delivered by another company. And nobody cared about it as long as the part fulfilled its function.

An example: Back in the days some german BMW dealers didn´t only have paper brochures with photos to show potential customers the available paint colors and interior materials but also folders with little samples glued in. For e.g. NK looked like this:

 

Stoff KL Mustermappe Komplettseite 2.jpg   

 

If you now compare samples for the same upholstery code in let´s say a 1968 edition of such a folder with those in let´s say an 1971 edition, you sometimes might come to the conclusion that you look at a totally different and new quality of material. And by no means e.g. a distinct vinyl shown in a 1968 folder was 100% equal in each and every car produced in year 1968.

- BMW 02s are minimum 39 years old (last EURO 1502 produced in 1977) today and they definitely haven´t been a continous object of car enthusiasm or preserving treasures of automobile history over all these years. They were simply used cars somewhen in between and they were treated just like this - keep ´em running but keep down costs. The original BMW spare part needed was expensive or hard to get? OK, put in anything else that´ll do the work. Only a VERY small number of cars remained untouched without even the most minor mods, so that they can be taken as a real good reference for originality today.

- Don´t take used parts as an undisputable reference, even if they were taken out of parts cars already in the 70s and cautiously stored for the past 40 years maybe. Likewise don´t do that with NOS parts. You can´t stop the process of aging unless you keep everything vacuum-sealed in perfect darkness.

- Don´t believe in personal memories of people too much, even if they claim to be 110% sure about an issue. Ask 10 witnesses of a murder scene what they´ve seen 5 years after the incident has taken place - you will for sure get min. 15 different stories.

 

What I want to say is: You can´t restore a BMW 02 to a 100% new conditions because there can be no definite statement made, how exactly a car from a distinct year/month/day of production has to be in every smallest detail. One can only come close to "like new", because already back in the days the cars from the same day of production were not equal.

 

Last point: On a photo Steve has posted some days ago which is a scan from a 1968 sales brochure the door panels do look perfectly what you call "puffy" to me:

 

image.jpeg

 

Maybe try to find someone with a sales brochure from 1972 and watch out if you´ll find anything different.

 

Best regards, Lars.

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9 minutes ago, LarsAlpina said:

Well,

 

first from the photos I can´t see any reason why to replace the original panels. But of course that depends on the personal beliefs of the one who owns the car.

 

Second and more important I´d like to add some points to the general discussion on originality:

- A BMW 02 is a car of mass production from the 60s/70s. Over the years for sure BMW had changes in their range of suppliers but also at a given time a particular part didn´t origin from only one special company but a variety of different sources. Quality standards were by no means near to the level that is common today and with that the same part delivered from one company of course could have been a little different from the same part delivered by another company. And nobody cared about it as long as the part fulfilled its function.

An example: Back in the days some german BMW dealers didn´t only have paper brochures with photos to show potential customers the available paint colors and interior materials but also folders with little samples glued in. For e.g. NK looked like this:

 

Stoff KL Mustermappe Komplettseite 2.jpg

<img class="ipsImage ipsImage_thumbnailed" data-fileid="152074" src="http://www.bmw2002faq.com/uploads/monthly_2016_07/579b1a16b7a0c_StoffKLMustermappeKomplettseite2.jpg.1ccf72e9354c0c779d413082af0d83e7.jpg" alt="Stoff KL Mustermappe Komplettseite 2.jpg"/>    

 

If you now compare samples for the same upholstery code in let´s say a 1968 edition of such a folder with those in let´s say an 1971 edition, you sometimes might come to the conclusion that you look at a totally different and new quality of material. And by no means e.g. a distinct vinyl shown in a 1968 folder was 100% equal in each and every car produced in year 1968.

- BMW 02s are minimum 39 years old (last EURO 1502 produced in 1977) today and they definitely haven´t been a continous object of car enthusiasm or preserving treasures of automobile history over all these years. They were simply used cars somewhen in between and they were treated just like this - keep ´em running but keep down costs. The original BMW spare part needed was expensive or hard to get? OK, put in anything else that´ll do the work. Only a VERY small number of cars remained untouched without even the most minor mods, so that they can be taken as a real good reference for originality today.

- Don´t take used parts as an undisputable reference, even if they were taken out of parts cars already in the 70s and cautiously stored for the past 40 years maybe. Likewise don´t do that with NOS parts. You can´t stop the process of aging unless you keep everything vacuum-sealed in perfect darkness.

- Don´t believe in personal memories of people too much, even if they claim to be 110% sure about an issue. Ask 10 witnesses of a murder scene what they´ve seen 5 years after the incident has taken place - you will for sure get min. 15 different stories.

 

What I want to say is: You can´t restore a BMW 02 to a 100% new conditions because there can be no definite statement made, how exactly a car from a distinct year/month/day of production has to be in every smallest detail. One can only come close to "like new", because already back in the days the cars from the same day of production were not equal.

 

Last point: On a photo Steve has posted some days ago which is a scan from a 1968 sales brochure the door panels do look perfectly what you call "puffy" to me:

 

image.jpeg

 

Maybe try to find someone with a sales brochure from 1972 and watch out if you´ll find anything different.

 

Best regards, Lars.

 

Well said, Lars!

 

And I love that NK upholstery sample book!

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

Edited by Conserv

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Lars' book is very rare, Farb-und Ausstattungsmuster.  I know because I have the Sept 69 Edition which I stumbled upon about a year ago.  It also has paint cards and vehicle silhouettes to insert the cards into as well as the upholsterey samples.  It's my favorite piece of BMW Automobilia.

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