Structural Sectioning Procedures: BMW/Mini

Ask I-CAR receives many technical inquiries referring to sectioning. The collision repair industry wants to know where can you section, does the OEM have a sectioning procedure, and where can I find the sectioning procedure? Most OEMs allow sectioning to outer body panels and the front and rear rails. Sectioning reinforcements is not as common, as most reinforcements are replaced at factory seams.

Parts are made from various materials including HSS, UHSS, aluminum, and carbon fiber. These parts also have complex designs to collapse or transfer collision forces in a specific manner. Introducing a sectioning joint to many of these parts will alter how the part reacts to those collision forces. For this reason, sectioning a part is only allowed if supported by vehicle maker repair information. Let’s see what BMW/Mini says about structural sectioning.

Vehicle-specific BMW/Mini repair manuals offer procedures for sectioning of various parts. However, it is crucial to pay attention to the various sections pointed out through the entire procedure. For example, in the front lower rail sectioning procedure for the 2016 BMW X4, one of the first notes states, “Place vehicle on straightening bench.”

This first note section also includes links to the Body General and Repair Stage 3 portion of the manual. The Body General section will provide information on before beginning repair work, safety regulations, handling components, cavity sealing, plus more. Repair Stage 3 focuses on “Repairs that are carried out by bonding and riveting with the use of a straightening bench or welding.”

The type of sectioning joint used will be dependent on the specific repair procedure being referenced. Also use the vehicle-specific body repair manual to determine which type of welding is required for the repair you are performing. Failure to follow OEM procedures will sacrifice the safety and quality of the repair.

BMW vehicle-specific body repair manuals can be found at and Mini vehicle-specific body repair manuals can be found at

For additional BMW/Mini Information, check out the following pages:
BMW OEM Information
Mini OEM Information

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