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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of a friend backed into my passenger side and left a large dent in both the front and rear passenger door at bumper height.

The autobody shop quoted $2200 (majority in labor for welding tabs, pulling out dents, only about $390 for painting) for the insurance to pay to fix it.

But.... I just found a local donor car with both outer door panels available for $40 a piece. Should I pocket the insurance money, and pay out of pocket for them to use the donor car doors instead of pulling out the dents and just paint? If it works, it would save me a huge chunk of money :)excited:$1500 - door panels) that could be used elsewhere. Is this even possible? How hard is it to remove the outer door panels (all my searching only resulted in the removal of inner door panels.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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A friend of a friend backed into my passenger side and left a large dent in both the front and rear passenger door at bumper height.

The autobody shop quoted $2200 (majority in labor for welding tabs, pulling out dents, only about $390 for painting) for the insurance to pay to fix it.

But.... I just found a local donor car with both outer door panels available for $40 a piece. Should I pocket the insurance money, and pay out of pocket for them to use the donor car doors instead of pulling out the dents and just paint? If it works, it would save me a huge chunk of money :)excited:$1500 - door panels) that could be used elsewhere. Is this even possible? How hard is it to remove the outer door panels (all my searching only resulted in the removal of inner door panels.

Thanks in advance for any help.

yes. using body parts from another E46 with the same color as your car that has not been repainted or repaired previously is a great idea. I've done it to many cars including my old 740i. The paint matched perfectly and the fit 100%. Darker colors match up easier.. colors like silver or white might need repainted to match to your existing paint.
 

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Not sure what the "outer door panels" are that you're referring to. Typically you just buy the entire door from the junk yard and replace your door, transferring over everything (window glass, interior panel, electronics) from your old door to the new one. If someone has actually removed the outer sheet metal from the rest of the door, you'd have to go ask your shop how much work it would be to replace that. I've never heard of that being done though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
probably won't work out

Not sure what the "outer door panels" are that you're referring to. Typically you just buy the entire door from the junk yard and replace your door, transferring over everything (window glass, interior panel, electronics) from your old door to the new one. If someone has actually removed the outer sheet metal from the rest of the door, you'd have to go ask your shop how much work it would be to replace that. I've never heard of that being done though.
Appreciate the quick responses. Yes, that makes more sense that there isn't an outer panel and that it would be swapping doors and components. Only problem is donor door is black and my car is oxford green metallic II. I probably wouldn't end up saving much money if any, though, because the majority of the labor costs from the shop are for door dis-assembly and re-assembly. Plus, the paintwork would be a bigger job with replacing the door.
 

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Same thing happened to me, friend backed into my door. I bought a black door from a member here and swapped it all over myself. Saved me over 1500$ from a bodyshop. The door is all one piece also, the outer door panel should not be off.
 
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