How to Remove the Gray Side Skirt from Your E36 (1992-1995)
Many people invest hundreds of dollars to repaint the gray
side skirts of the E36 (1992-1995). Here is a cheap way to solve the problem.
But before you proceed, you just have to know that the results are NOT as nice
as a brand new layer of metallic paint from the body shop. This procedure only
provides you with the matching color of your car (without clear coat). So the
choice is yours. DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK
What is needed?
About 10 pieces of steel wool pad, medium coarse grade
(from Home Depot)
About 10 pieces of fine graded steel wool pad or Brillo
pads (from any local supermarket)
A pair of good gloves (Don't want the steel wool to pierce
through and hurt your hand
A piece of cotton cloth
LOTS of time (estimated between 4 to 7 hours of hard labor)
Total Cost: About $10 & Time
Begin by using the steel wool pad on a not visible part of
the gray skirt (just in case you decide that this is not right for you)
Once you are confident that there IS ACTUALLY paint below
the gray coating and you think you can go through the 5-8 hours of labor,
then go ahead and use the medium coarse grade steel wool and small portions
of the gray coating. Scrub the gray coating and get the feel of how much
force is needed. Going too softly on it will probably take too long and
going to hard may scratch the paint. DO NOT USE A POWER TOOL unless you are
very confident and have a lot of experience with it.
After you start seeing some signs of paint, use the cloth
to wipe of the residue, you may use a slightly damp cloth to clean it up. If
a large amount of gray coating is still present, continue working with the
medium coarse steel wool. Remember to clean it every now and then
because it is full of the gray dust.
Once a significant amount of gray coating is removed. Use
the finer grade of steel wool or the Brillo pad to remove the remaining gray
Clean up the whole side skirt with the cloth and
immediately apply polish and wax to protect the paint.
**An alternative method is to use Castrol
Super Cleaner, although it gives the same results, there is no research or prove
showing that it will not harm your paint. Do it at your own risk.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
Do not finish the whole job in one day, you will get very
Do not use power tools
Do nut scrub the jack hole covers, these are not painted,
get some touch up paint to coat it.