- PRE-PAINTED WINGS / #BMW-E46 / #BMW / #BMW-E46-Wings
The E46 has always suffered from rusted front arches and to have a pair of wings put on your average example by a bodyshop and painted, is going to be prohibitively expensive. The accepted method to do this on a car is to paint the wing shuts, bolt it to the car, paint both the wing and into the door to blend the colour and then lacquer both panels. That’s into 500 quid, at the very least plus.
But, these days, few E46s warrant that sort of expense unless it’s a 330Ci Clubsport, or a nice, late-model Convertible. But look on eBay and there are companies selling pre-painted front wings. There isn’t much variance in BMW colours, so the usual suspects – Titan silver, Black Sapphire, Topaz blue, etc, are pretty easy to match.
The better pattern wings also fit pretty well so, if you can fit the wings yourself (not hard), then this is the answer. Prices are around 100 quid each for saloon and Touring wings, and £115 for Coupé and Convertible panels.
Clayton Auto Salvage Ltd is a good example of a number of suppliers selling on eBay and, when you can have a new, painted wing delivered free for 100 quid, it’s rarely worth trying to find a rust-free original. Fitting isn’t too bad, although the top Torx bolts can be a real bitch. The rear, A-post bolts are easy with the arch liner pulled back, and plenty of masking tape around the door, sill and bonnet edges.