VIN Plate and Rust Repair

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528i-1981
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VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by 528i-1981 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:16 pm

Under the front right wing I found some rust that was on its way to ugly. I ordered a new wheel house from ECS Tuning and will have that welded in. The VIN plate is located on that section. That sucks for preserving originality and identity of the chassis. Any suggestions other than a Brother label-maker? Has anyone else dealt with this? With the shock towers being a big rust zone on E12s and the VIN is directly adjacent, I’m guessing lots of this same metal has been replaced on other cars over the years.
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by 528i-1981 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:42 am

Update for posterity - US front wheelhouse NLA but Walloth Nesch has early E12 wheel housing that is not a direct replacement due to the various mount points etc, but entirely serviceable for the shock tower and upper lip.

For the VIN plate I had a seller on Etsy hand-stamp an aluminum blank. It’s not OEM but it’s pretty good.

Imagel

Replacement stickers for the engine bay are easy to find on eBay. The Emissions sticker is also available from autodatalabels.com.

-Eric
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

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maybeillbuyit
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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by maybeillbuyit » Thu May 02, 2019 10:39 pm

Wow thats a fairly large repair, you have a body shop doing all this? Or you doing it yourself? Good luck either way.
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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by Mike W. » Thu May 02, 2019 10:51 pm

The one that's stamped in the sheet metal? If you're in that far I'd cut it out and weld it into the new part. Easy compared to the rest of it. And it doesn't sound like there's any deception involved. I have heard of that being done to change VINs, which is not ok IMO, but you're keeping the same number on the same car so to me at least it's all fine and well. Probably even legal.
Mike W.



1980 528i, 3.5 euro, 5 speed conversion
1981 528i, 3.6, Recaros and more. Project
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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by 528i-1981 » Fri May 03, 2019 4:30 am

Thanks Mike - the tag is definitely separate from the sheet metal, although it's thin and the stamping may also show up on the sheet metal under the tag. I'm not sure this is true for earlier E12s. I will try to have it cut out as you suggest and see if it can be cleaned up and/or if the tag, which appears to be aluminum, can be separated from the underlying sheet metal. I don't have any experience in this kind of work, so I'm open to any suggestions. If it gets mangled or ruined, at least I have my Plan B.

-Eric
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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by Mike W. » Fri May 03, 2019 11:46 am

Is it then the one that's about 2" X 3" and held on by what appear to be pop rivets? Kind of black and silver with the VIN stamped in? In that case I'd just drill out the pop rivets and rivet it on the new part.
Mike W.



1980 528i, 3.5 euro, 5 speed conversion
1981 528i, 3.6, Recaros and more. Project
1998 328is, quick and efficient, but not satisfying
2000 528iit, Vacation mobile/wife's grocery getter

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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by 528i-1981 » Fri May 03, 2019 1:04 pm

No rivets visible. Appears to be bonded. It’s 5 3/32 x 11/16 (hat tip JCat). JCat's is the same as mine (also 1981). It’s not like the squarish replacement ones that CoupeKing sells for E3s or E9s with printing on it, which are cooler. This is a screencap from a video, so forgive the quality:

Image

Dave - I have a body man doing the cutting and welding.
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by 528i-1981 » Fri May 03, 2019 1:31 pm

528i-1981 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:16 pm
Under the front right wing I found some rust that was on its way to ugly.
We're all friends here, so I'll open the kimono.

Image

My body man says he's seen much worse especially around the strut towers. It wasn't at all obvious while replacing the struts.

PS. Notice those manifold gauge lines? I finally got the AC back together and I'm blowing 36 degrees (on R12)!
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1981 528i Manual

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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by Lock » Sat May 04, 2019 1:05 am

That's a good idea. My sticker on the door jamb has only 7 digits for the VIN (which is what it's registered as), but by the shock tower there's a full 17-digit that's pretty much hidden under thick paint so it's almost unreadable. I figure my '79 was on the border of introducing 17-digit vins but when it was imported/complied they ignored the first 10 digits. Stamping out one of those plates using the numbers under the paint would be good for 'updating' the VIN with the DMV.

Also congrats on getting the R12 system working. With a recharge and some maintenance mine went from nothing to amazing so I'm sure yours still has life in it yet.
1979 528i 5-speed conversion G260/6

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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by 528i-1981 » Mon May 06, 2019 4:23 am

I visited the car this weekend and upon closer inspection the number is indeed stamped directly into the sheet metal of the wheel housing. It is not a separate piece after all, it was just evidently painted an aluminum gray at some point and I was deceived. That does raise the possibility, as Mike W suggested, of cutting it out and welding it into or onto the new metal.
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

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Re: VIN Plate and Rust Repair

Post by 528i-1981 » Sat May 25, 2019 7:42 pm

Here's a web page that goes into detail on the VINs on E12s.

http://www.e12.de/chronicle/detail/03a08012.htm

It's in German so plug the URL into Google translate.( http://itools.com/tool/google-translate ... translator )
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

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