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March 28, 2018
We know our body kits can transform your car into the stylish, head-turning vehicle you want. For this simple reason, and to guarantee the finish you deserve, we always recommend that you get a professional to install them.
While it might seem like an opportunity to save time, or money, the reality is that body kit installation is not for the typical home DIYer.
Body kit installation involves a number of stages (heating, reshaping, shaving, filling and painting). A detailed knowledge of each material is required in order to properly carry out each of these processes.
You need someone who can expertly manage fitment gaps, minor cracks and imperfections that can occur during the installation process.
An understanding of paint preparation requirements is a must (these vary a lot depending on your body kit material and can make or break the finished look).
A professional auto body shop fitter will test fit each component of your kit to avoid problems.
They will fill in any micro-cracks with epoxy (and make decisions about when epoxy should be used and when filler should be used).
Just like finding the right body kit is important, so is finding the right company to install it. Ask them questions: find out what kind of work have they done before. Make sure you find someone you trust before you go ahead with installation.
If finding a suitable company is not an option and you're wondering how to install a body kit yourself, we’ve outlined below a general body kit installation guide for you. Depending on what type of kit you’ve ordered, these guidelines can help you to understand the installation process.
Polyurethane is popular because it can be coaxed into position with less fear of cracking than fibreglass. However, it needs to be test fitted as often the parts are made with excess material to lower the risk of damage during transit (meaning shaving or filing down is required for a perfect fit).
Fit the front lip onto the bumper of your car so that you know how it lines up.
Prepare it for painting if required: a combination of sanding and priming is best, and many recommend a specifically-formulated urethane-stripping solution followed by a wet-sanding process.
3M double-sided tape can enable a firmer hold: apply to sanded-down (and thoroughly cleaned) inner edges of the lip, then fit pieces on.
Applying heat will help polyurethane mould onto the car for a closer fit. If you find the lip is bent out of shape through installation, use a heat gun (or even a hair dryer) to heat it and it will return to its original shape.
Once you’re satisfied with the fit, apply the screws provided in your kit (both underneath and on the sides of the bumper).
Fibreglass is unforgiving when it comes to installation – breakages and cracks are commonplace. It is prone to shattering if attempts are made to shape or coax it into place, especially without the right techniques. Before painting, small pinholes need to be addressed and wax and grease-removal is required too.
Fibreglass should be sanded (using 120- or 180- grit sandpaper) before priming, then again after priming (using finer paper like 180-, 220- or 320-grit). A word of warning though – every single millimetre needs to be sanded, and it needs to be done carefully (sanding through to the gel can weaken the material and contribute to a poor paint finish).
Maxton Kits, made of ABS Plastic, are some of our favourite kits. The great thing about Maxton kits (apart from their killer looks) is that the finish lines up with the curves of the car really well, giving them a very stylish overall look.
Installation is relatively straightforward with the bolts provided in the kit, but for all the reasons outlined above we still recommend you get them professionally fitted.
Now that you're armed with the critical information you need to choose a body kit that's perfect for your car, all you have to do now is buy one. Ausbody Works is Australia's fastest growing online retailer for car body kits.
AusBody Works offers high quality, stylish, yet affordable ABS & polyurethane body kits with aerodynamic design that have been imported into Australia. We are also the proud exclusive supplier of Maxton body kits in Oz.
If you have a question about the best body kit for your car, then reach out to our team today and we can help answer any questions you have.