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Nose panel replacement process from our customers
Below are a few comments from several of our customers in reference to Mini panel replacement!
Has anyone replaced the front nose panel on a Mini?? If so, any pointers?? I was going to just cut off the section from the bumper lip and below and only replace that. The new panel looks so nice I hate to cut it up now. The subframe is presently out. Considering having it powder coated. Sure was hoping to be able to drive the car this summer. Thanks, Jeff
I have replaced the nose panel, I also did the wings and A panels at the same time, but no reason you can't just do the nose alone if the rest is ok. Remove old nose by drilling spot welds or grinding old panel off from flanges, clean up flanges so you can plug weld new panel to them. Suggest install the sub frame as the nose panel locates to it and will be your starting point. Install bonnet so the fit at front is proper. Use clamps and then tac welds to hold it together. Do not tac the big flanges to the inner fender area until you have the nose aligned with the wings under the headlights. You may have to do a little bending here and there to get it right. Then plug weld it all together. I always try to get some paint or primer in the seams and then perhaps a wipe of seam sealer to keep the moisture out between the wing and nose at the gap. Not a bad job.
As an alternative to tack welding, you could use 3M panel joining compound. This will surely be poo pood by the purists, but it is what most new car manufacturers use instead of welds. It actually holds stronger than a weld, completely seals the joints between panels, remains flexible forever and will never allow moisture to penetrate as the space is completely filled. Plus it is more forgiving when positioning and assembling panels.
You would have to get it from a body and paint supply 3M distributor.
And yes, when my front panel was removed, and the old rusty (and some broken) tack welds were ground off, the new panel was installed with panel joining compound. It is now better than original, and will outlast the rest of the car.