How to Install BodykitsThis article assumes you have made the decision to install a body kit on your car yourself, rather than hiring the work done by someone else. If you are not sure, you may want to read Should I Install My Own Auto Body Kit?
The first thing you want to do is to ensure that you have ordered and received the proper kit to fit your particular vehicle year, make and model. Once you have done that (double check everything), you may proceed with the project.
The project itself involves several steps:
- 1. Preparation
- 2. Installation
- 3. Final Inspection
- 4. Test Drive
If you are only installing a single part such as one bumper or a wing, you’ll probably want to paint it before installation. If the components come with any instructions, read and then re-read them. And certainly do whatever research you think you need beforehand to become comfortable with your competence to do the job.
Make sure you have not only all the components you will be installing but all the required materials and tools as well. Materials may include cleaning material such as lacquer thinner, adhesion promoter, installation hardware, etc.
Use a quality lint free cloth to apply lacquer thinner (you may want to try a safe test spot first — if you have a lacquer paint job now, DON’T use lacquer thinner here) or grease remover to clean the surfaces where you will be attaching the new components.
Once clean, use another clean cloth to apply a coat of adhesion promoter where double sided tape will attach, if it will be used.
With the surface clean and dry, attach the component. Test fit the part first to ensure a proper fit. If necessary, modify the part by sanding or grinding. Note: even a part sold with guaranteed fitment may require some modification. No two parts can be exactly alike and every car will be slightly different from another, even when brand new. If the vehicle is several years old, its life and care will have an effect on the shape and condition of a body part, especially if it has ever been involved in any type of collision. If the installation involves double sided tape, such as a side skirt, apply that now (see our article How to Install Side Skirts or How to Install Bumpers).
When the part is properly aligned, finish the installation using whatever hardware is appropriate – self-tapping screws, speed nuts, rivets, etc. This, of course, will involve skills such as drilling.
Once all of the body kit pieces have been installed, it is always a good idea to do a final inspection of the vehicle. Check that everything is where is should be and properly attached. View the vehicle from every angle to make sure the parts look right.
You’re almost there! You will probably be painting the car at this point, so take the car for a spin and make sure everything feels and sounds okay first. If the car handles strangely or makes any funny sounds, by all means now is the time to take care of it. Then, after the paint shop, you can look forward to enjoying the reward of your hard work.
Please note: The above is made available as general reference and for informational purposes only. No liability is assumed. No guarantees are made as to the accuracy of the information or its applicability to any specific situation. Every vehicle is different and a body kit installation is custom work. Any person not properly qualified to do the work should only do so with the understanding that any liability for that work, and any subsequent result, is theirs alone.