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From digest.v7.n435 Tue Oct 14 13:01:10 1997
From: Duane Collie <>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 09:56:52 -0400
Subject: Wood Refinishing E34 / Lens Cover

> From: Raymond Bahavar <>
> Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 23:28:17 -0500
> Subject: E34 parts source needed
> My 93 535i woodgrain trim surrounding the shift lever is cracked and
> needs to be replaced. My local (OKC) dealer wants $415 for the part.
> I'm hoping that someone might know of a source without having to shell
> out this ridiculous amount of money. In addition, I need the lens over
> the instrument cluster. Some edit (previous owner I guess) has sprayed
> a chemical without wiping it and has thus permanently spotted the lens.
> Ray Bahavar


You can cruise the BMW junkyards or refinish yours. See any Roundel for dismantlers and give 'em a call.

Here's how to refinish the wood (pull the piece out of your car, it pops out easily) You can repair any flaws in this for under $ 30.00. If the wood is buckled the piece is trashed and is not repairable.

  1. Get some microfine sandpaper from a body supply shop ( # 600 grit) and sand the topcoat. There is not much wood on the piece so you don't want to use heavy grits like #220 else you may burn through. The # 600 grit will resurface the wood and remove 95% of surface imperfections. Paste wax over the top. That will fix you up for minor re-working.
  2. If your wood is cracked, the width of the crack is relatively narrow (1/16" to 1/32") you can fill and repair what using Heavy-Bodied Sanding Sealer in a spray can. Lay in several coats (seven to ten) and sand using # 400 grit between coats until its level. When finished leveling, topcoat with a high quality nitrocelluose satin lacquer (3 to 4 coats) . Steel wool with # 0000 between coats and finish off with paste wax. Will look like brand new.
  3. If your crack is wider than 1/16" you can lay a hot knife resin patch in the crack and re-work as above. Hot Knife patches require some expertise to do a good job. You'll botch it up as a D.Y.I. project on your first attempt. Find a piano dealer or high end furniture store near you. Go find the head touch-up guy and I'll bet he'll do it for you for on the side for about $ 40.00.

The instrument cover is a form of plastic/plexiglass. Try some scratch remover (i.e., Mequire's) designed for convertible rear windows before you go through the trouble of tearing apart you dash. Be sure to apply back and forth, not in a circular motion.

Duane Collie
RM3DR1 < No wood!
National Capital Chapter

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