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Thread: Metal Door Sill Refresh

  1. #1

    Metal Door Sill Refresh

    Using wet 220 grit sand paper and a light touch, I was able to remove most surface imperfections in the metal door sills on my Z8. While not perfect, I would characterize the improvement in appearance at 90+%.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  2. #2
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Good information. Thanks.

  3. #3
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    I think that the 220 paper is a bit fine and will tend to flatten the texture. I think I used about 100 grit some time ago and was able to match the texture.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the feedback on the grit! I went back to the BMW embossed sills with both 100 and 150 grit, and to my eye the 150 grit was the best match. I then removed the upper sills, and applied the same approach with good results.

    Materials:
    150 grit sandpaper
    WD40
    Simple Green cleaner
    Metal polish
    Allen Wrench

    Method:
    Lower BMW embossed sill was kept in place, sprayed WD40 on sandpaper and applying a light pressure sanded the affected area (feathered in). Removed the lubricant with Simple Green cleaner and followed up with metal polish. For the upper sills, removed the three screws with the allen wrench, mounted sill on workbench, sprayed with lubricant, and sanded the entire surface with light pressure for ~ 2 minutes. Cleaned sill as previously described, and re-install.
    Last edited by EDEZ8; August 27th 2011 at 13:46. Reason: change aluminum to metal
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  5. #5

    This post needs some before/after photos

    for contrast.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
    2003 (last one?) Z8 - Hellrot / Sport Rot
    Original Owner - Munich Tourist Delivery
    -- Others --
    1988 M6 - 32K mi. - Original Owner
    1989 DINAN 750iL - 73K mi. - Original Owner
    1998 M3 - 63K mi. - Original Owner
    2015 X5 (F15) Diesel - Daily Driver

  6. #6

    Photographs

    Here's the before, during and after shots. I was targeting the semi-circle flat spot on the lower sill (found on both sides), and with the sandpaper grit dialed in, I just went for it!
         
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  7. #7

    Well done.

    I have a couple of small scratches and this is just what the doctor ordered. Thanks for the photos.
    C.A. Cardenas (AKA Dan)
    2003 (last one?) Z8 - Hellrot / Sport Rot
    Original Owner - Munich Tourist Delivery
    -- Others --
    1988 M6 - 32K mi. - Original Owner
    1989 DINAN 750iL - 73K mi. - Original Owner
    1998 M3 - 63K mi. - Original Owner
    2015 X5 (F15) Diesel - Daily Driver

  8. #8
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    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    38

    cleaning interior aluminum panels

    any suggestions on products to use to just clean the interior aluminum accent panels? I am thinking of the sill panels, the door accents and the various aluminum knobs and switchgear.

    thanks

  9. #9
    The metal door sills as described above are stainless steel, and polish up well with Simichrome Metal Polish. Simichrome works well too on the chrome exterior pieces including the tailpipes. I've never tried to polish the aluminum bits in the interior because I thought they were coated. As a result, I've only used a mild cleaner.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  10. #10
    I'm pretty certain they are anodized, so I wouldn't use a strong cleaner like Simichrome on the interior controls, but it work great on the exhaust :-)
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  11. #11
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Very well done!

  12. #12

    Removal of lower BMW sills

    I learned last week when at Peter Pan, that the lower sills with the BMW logo are easily removed by inserting a credit card between the metal sill and the body. Sure enough I popped off the lower sill on the driver side with an old credit card. The lower sills are held in place with Velcro and and three black sticky pads. I have a new sill on backorder for the driver side, apparently a new batch will need to be made. Until then, I was able to restore the sill out of place to a much higher degree then when it was on the car.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  13. #13
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    I noted on EDEZ8's post, #6 the cresent moon shaped depression on the outer sill. My Z8 has the same mark. Is this seeming flaw intentional or, occurred on all Z8's or an unintentional few? I've had 2 2800CS's with a skip in the vinyl door panel embossed texture. I doubt that Germany is into Japanese Wabi philosophy of flawed beauty. Just curious.

  14. #14
    I was curious too about the "crescent moon" on the sill.

    There's a rubber seal on the door that rubs against the sill that over time driven results in a polishing of the brushed metal finish. There is no indentation on the sill, at least for my car. The sandpaper technique previously described restores the look of the sill by removing the polished crescent moon shape.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  15. #15
    My car (AH60536) has the same mark. Must be pretty common.

    Bill

  16. #16
    Z8 Novice Juan's Avatar
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    Jan 2015
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    Mine as well

  17. #17
    Refinished the sills today based on the information above. Mine especially on the driver side was very scuffed (I wonder who did that...). While they do not look like brand new, they are 95% better than they were and I am very happy with the results. Left the half moon though as it seems to "belong" there.

    Great advice as in many other areas of these pages!
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S