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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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Old 01-20-2020, 06:48 PM
OakTone OakTone is offline
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Splash panel substitute?

The big odd-shaped splash panel / belly pan on my E60 is disintegrating. It’s stupidly expensive as a new part and seems impossible to find used on eBay (at least on this continent), unlike the more common front center panel.

I’m not excited at the prospect of paying $250 for an OEM plastic cover in a spot on a 14-year-old car that literally *nobody* will ever see unless they have the car on a lift. Any suggestions for a cheap substitute? We’re lucky to have a dry climate here in California, but it does rain in winter, so I’d rather not leave it bare.


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  #2  
Old 01-20-2020, 06:52 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Never thought of it as an appearance issue.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:07 PM
BabyUnicornTaco BabyUnicornTaco is offline
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Are you sure that picture is correct? I think what you pictured is metal. Do you need the metal cover or the plastic one?


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Old 01-20-2020, 08:10 PM
twh twh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OakTone View Post
The big odd-shaped splash panel / belly pan on my E60 is disintegrating. It’s stupidly expensive as a new part and seems impossible to find used on eBay (at least on this continent), unlike the more common front center panel.
Is there no way to repair it? Some aluminum sheet metal and some pop rivets for a tear should work.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:51 PM
tstiglich tstiglich is offline
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Have you tried car-part.com?
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:21 AM
kd7iwp kd7iwp is offline
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I am soooo with you on this one. I looked long and hard for one since only about 1/3 of mine was left. It's even supposed to have a little air scoop in mine (for the transfer case I guess?). My dealer wanted $410 Canadian for one. I eventually found one from a RWD that more or less lined up but lacked the air scoop and a few screw holes. It would not line up at the front since subframe is different so I got a thin sheet of aluminum and with rivets i sandwiched the two plastic pieces with the aluminum. Seems to hold up fine and this way the replacement panel covers the rear 2/3 and my original covers the front part where it correctly attaches to my subframe. I was so annoyed by how expensive the piece is. Also seemed like I found three different part numbers and an error on realoem where it listed two parts for the automatic though I believe it meant one was for the manual. It also is really difficult to find the correct photos online as many have them listed with the wrong part number. All this to say, I appreciate what you're doing and good luck.
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:26 AM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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I replaced mine at dealership prices. It was around C$300. Meh.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:48 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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I replaced mine with some sheet metal. Traced what was left of the old one, marked the holes, and cut it to shape. It fit easily.

I used stainless but if i did it again, I'd go aluminum.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:49 AM
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mr magoo mr magoo is offline
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Freight kills

Hi I went through the same process. 2010 E61 535iX. Mine was torn down the middle. Don't remember dragging across anything. Tranny area wiring exposed to NE salt and slop. I fount a cheap one for $125, but shipping such a large object was steep so I bought from a local dealer $185.
Watch out for the fasteners. I forgot what I needed and ended up paying the dealer $60. It did save me time, though.
Just do it.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:20 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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I've seen after markets for the engine belly cover on ebay. dont recall tranny. I will be replacing my 2004 tranny belly cover in the near future. it is in good shape, but I am in the process of restoring my car to factory condition. it has one or 2 screw holes that are torn from abuse at the shop. I hate when mechanics tear stuff up on your car and dont tell you. I have the new one in hand, but have a few other items to get out of the way before replacing. not sure what it would cost to ship, but would sell it to you cheap to cover my time plus what ever it costs to ship . my new cover is a bit different than the old, make sure it would fit. the new ones have a different oil access panel. that is about it from what I have noticed. just received it a few days ago. if you buy from pelican, and load on some other parts, they don't kill you on shipping. check them out too.

EDIT: BTW, the new ones are not entirely plastic. They are sort of fiberglass/fuzzy coating. Can't describe it all that well, but it would be shame to get oil on it. Its so pretty.
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2020, 10:47 AM
scottalexander scottalexander is offline
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Regarding your transmission shield, its time to get innovative.

There are plenty of construction wholesalers that sell heavy weight plastic sheets.

Buy a nice weight plastic sheet and superimpose the existing transmission cover over it as a template.

With all the money you'll be saving you can buy a brand new jig saw to cut out and customize the new plastic sheet.

The newer transmission covers are also sprayed with anti corrosive under coating spray. Buy some of that spray. Waa laa you just saved a ton of money and beat BMW at their own game.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2020, 05:39 PM
OakTone OakTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyUnicornTaco View Post
Are you sure that picture is correct? I think what you pictured is metal. Do you need the metal cover or the plastic one?

This thing is plastic, “underfloor coating” in BMW-speak. It has the “trap door” for oil changes that nearly everyone’s E60 seems to be missing.

You may be thinking of the metal reinforcement plate that bolts to the subframe. It’s normally hidden by this piece in the wide front part. Both have a cutout in the middle for the oil filter housing and drain plug to stick down on the V8s. (The metal piece is imprinted with a stern warning never to drive without it in place.)


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  #13  
Old 01-21-2020, 05:53 PM
OakTone OakTone is offline
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Originally Posted by twh View Post
Is there no way to repair it? Some aluminum sheet metal and some pop rivets for a tear should work.

Good idea. The long tongue pointing toward the rear of the car is OK. The wide front part around the OFH is in the worst shape. It crumbles easily. I think it’s cumulative damage from oil leaks over the years (shocker). In fact the reason I’ve been under there is preparing to tackle the dreaded alternator bracket gasket job.

The main hassle is trying to get fasteners to keep it in place and not just tear through the plastic, leaving the thing flapping and clattering in the breeze at speed. A little reinforcement might do the trick if I can figure out where to best fasten it.


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  #14  
Old 01-21-2020, 06:08 PM
OakTone OakTone is offline
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Originally Posted by scottalexander View Post

Buy a nice weight plastic sheet and superimpose the existing transmission cover over it as a template.



With all the money you'll be saving you can buy a brand new jig saw to cut out and customize the new plastic sheet.

This is the purest DIYer approach: Pay a lot less for raw material and end up with a new power tool in the process. Win/win!


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  #15  
Old 01-22-2020, 05:54 AM
mtnbimmer mtnbimmer is offline
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Amazon has cheap Chinese plastic substitutes. I bought one as a short term solution. After you receive it, you know why the factory one costs more but it works.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:04 AM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2020, 08:39 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OakTone View Post
The main hassle is trying to get fasteners to keep it in place and not just tear through the plastic, leaving the thing flapping and clattering in the breeze at speed. A little reinforcement might do the trick if I can figure out where to best fasten it.
I'm lucky I work in manufacturing. Sheet metal and fasteners are basically free for me. Find a sheet of aluminum, not plastic. Our standard thickness here at work is 0.051", which is nice and rigid. I reused the existing mounting holes and supplemented with some tinnerman clips when required.

https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/me...61-flat-sheet/
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:43 PM
OakTone OakTone is offline
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Originally Posted by mtnbimmer View Post
Amazon has cheap Chinese plastic substitutes. I bought one as a short term solution. After you receive it, you know why the factory one costs more but it works.


Yes, I got one of these a while ago to replace the front center splash panel. It was so flimsy it was hard to even fasten in place. Waste of time and money. Ended up getting a good price on a used OEM panel on eBay. Haven’t had the same luck with the belly pan.



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  #19  
Old 01-22-2020, 06:55 PM
OakTone OakTone is offline
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Originally Posted by Kurt_ View Post
Find a sheet of aluminum, not plastic. Our standard thickness here at work is 0.051", which is nice and rigid. I reused the existing mounting holes and supplemented with some tinnerman clips when required.

Sounds like a good plan. I’m a novice when it comes to fabbing replacement parts, but aluminum is soft enough that even I should be able to work with it.


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