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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-21-2011, 07:04 PM
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crisscross crisscross is offline
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E36 M3 Aluminum Underpanel DIY

Ok, so as promised, I have made my own aluminum underpanel and DIY. I started off the project at the local metal fab shop to purchase my raw aluminum. I got a 2'x4' piece of .100 aluminum sheet. When I got home, I found a piece of cardboard to make a template.



(Free add for Pelican 'cause they rock!) I then took the template under the front bumper to sketch and cut my template for one side. Then I transfered one side to the sheet of aluminum, and marked my adjustment (see cardboard template).



Next I crawled under the front to check the dimension from end to end of the underpanel. Then, I transfered the dimension to the sheet of aluminum and created a control line:



Mine measured at 45 inches. After I created my control line, I flipped the template over to the other side and copied the design.



I used my grinder to cut the straight lines:



Then I used the jig-saw to cut the round parts:



And finally I touched it up with the sanding wheel on my grinder:



Now would be the time to paint if you so wish. I went to home depot and bought some hardware to attach it with, then simply held it up and drilled the holes through 6 points and attached the underpanel. I used nylon nuts to ensure vibration wouldn't cause my creation to fall off at 70 mph

Here is the finished product:



Overall, it seems plenty strong enough, and now I don't have to worry about my brake ducts falling out I didn't weigh the piece of aluminum, but it was about equal to the weight of the underhood insulation that I removed The piece of aluminum was about $40, and I spent about $5 on hardware, so this project offers a big savings over the underpanels out there on the market.

Feel free to ask any questions or critique my project.
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2011, 08:48 PM
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FenderBender FenderBender is online now
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Nice job.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2011, 10:38 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Nice work. No reason to buy one of the pre-made ones for something that's going to spend its entire life underneath the car getting hit by rocks, sticks, and other debris.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2011, 11:46 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
nothing.
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When i get my next car. and if its worth it.

Ill do this. :P
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2011, 04:52 AM
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what, no carbon fiber film??


nice job!

df
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2011, 07:04 AM
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crisscross crisscross is offline
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no carbon fiber.....I like the business over looks

Thanks everryone
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1995 BG M3(sold) 2000 TiAg 4.4l X5(sold)

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  #7  
Old 01-22-2011, 07:05 AM
EROC_328 EROC_328 is offline
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Nice, I have been wanting to do this for my non-m bumper.

Do you know what alloy the aluminum you used is?

Any reason you drilled new holes rather than using the factory mounting holes?
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2011, 07:09 AM
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crisscross crisscross is offline
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I'm not sure what alloy the aluminum is, I just got it out of the drop pile at the fab shop. I drilled the holes so that I could pick my mounting points and use larger than stock hardware. I put washers on both sides and used locking nylon nuts so they would hold better.
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1995 BG M3(sold) 2000 TiAg 4.4l X5(sold)

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  #9  
Old 01-22-2011, 07:16 AM
EROC_328 EROC_328 is offline
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Ok, thanks. I just looked for a piece of al. on mcmaster and it costs over $200 to get a 2x4 piece from them, so that is a really good deal on the al. you got.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#aluminum/=ap9czm

And yes, mcmaster usually overcharges compared to local places because their prices include next day shipping.
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2011, 07:17 AM
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Wow! I was thinking 40 bucks was a little much, but I guess I got a deal
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1995 BG M3(sold) 2000 TiAg 4.4l X5(sold)

-2000 F250 V10
-2004 GMC Yukon Denali

-I do the things today that others won't do, so I will have the things tomorrow that other won't have....
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  #11  
Old 01-22-2011, 08:45 AM
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You should be able to get aluminum for around what Alan paid. Just gotta find the right source, which shouldn't be too hard.
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2011, 09:00 AM
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Sheet metal/machine/fabrication shop will have it. Most likely 6061-T6 grade.

Nice work, CC! I'd paint or clear coat it, though, just to keep it from corroding.
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2011, 12:29 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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ill just use cardboard when i do mine.
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2011, 12:49 PM
EuroDriven EuroDriven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Sheet metal/machine/fabrication shop will have it. Most likely 6061-T6 grade.

Nice work, CC! I'd paint or clear coat it, though, just to keep it from corroding.
6061 would be over kill for this. You can just grab the cheapest alloy you find, in terms of a skid plate, I cannot imagine alloy would affect it by any significant amount, in terms of life or durability. I pick up a plate of aluminum about that size for about 30$ a few years ago. I just went in and said I need your cheapest aluminum plate. They would love to make money off their scrap since they are just gonna well...scrap it. Call a few metal suppliers in your area.
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2011, 05:42 PM
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im gonna do it with MDF.....
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2011, 05:49 PM
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My cousin has a fatass road sign in his garage that I want so I can do this...lol
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2011, 05:53 PM
EuroDriven EuroDriven is offline
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Hmm...I have a "Do not enter" road sign....
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2011, 05:55 PM
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a big stop sign would be money
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  #19  
Old 01-22-2011, 06:03 PM
EuroDriven EuroDriven is offline
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Yeah, some guy on the audi forum I am on has one, its nice because you don't have to trim the corners. I want to put it facing up so you can see it from under the hood.
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  #20  
Old 01-22-2011, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGutmannnn View Post
6061 would be over kill for this. You can just grab the cheapest alloy you find, in terms of a skid plate, I cannot imagine alloy would affect it by any significant amount, in terms of life or durability. I pick up a plate of aluminum about that size for about 30$ a few years ago. I just went in and said I need your cheapest aluminum plate. They would love to make money off their scrap since they are just gonna well...scrap it. Call a few metal suppliers in your area.
I didn't say you needed 6061. I said that's what you're likely to get if you buy from a machine shop, since it's the most commonly used grade. I machined and welded that stuff for 27 years.
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guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
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buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot

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  #21  
Old 01-22-2011, 06:24 PM
EuroDriven EuroDriven is offline
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Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
I didn't say you needed 6061. I said that's what you're likely to get if you buy from a machine shop, since it's the most commonly used grade. I machined and welded that stuff for 27 years.
Sorry, thought you mean you will most likely need 6061. No worries, I have been welding and knowing how to use a maching shop for 5 years now...
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  #22  
Old 01-22-2011, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by KaptinKP View Post
My cousin has a fatass road sign in his garage that I want so I can do this...lol
Drive up here and I'll help you make and install one
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1995 BG M3(sold) 2000 TiAg 4.4l X5(sold)

-2000 F250 V10
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-I do the things today that others won't do, so I will have the things tomorrow that other won't have....
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:27 PM
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  #24  
Old 01-22-2011, 06:39 PM
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No seriously
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Member #2 of the Boston Green Mafia BMW-CCA #457574

1995 BG M3(sold) 2000 TiAg 4.4l X5(sold)

-2000 F250 V10
-2004 GMC Yukon Denali

-I do the things today that others won't do, so I will have the things tomorrow that other won't have....
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  #25  
Old 01-22-2011, 08:35 PM
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Nice. I should do this with that speed limit sign that I "found."



It's only a 20 anyway.
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