Car owners like modifying and customizing their rides just as much as homeowners do. You can purchase a louder exhaust, go for shiny new rims or improve your quality of tires. If you’re looking for easy ways to give your car that unique, personalized look, you should think about installing a body kit.
A body kit refers to a set of customized parts used to replace the stock components of an automobile. Most body kits include front and rear bumpers, side guards, roof scoops, side skirts and spoilers for the car. However, there are different types of body kits depending on which material is used, and each type varies in durability and performance-enhancement.
Our friendly experts from AusBody Works share their thoughts on how to select the right body kit for your car in this article. If it is your first experience deciding a body kit for your car, there are some things you might want to consider first.
Different Materials Make Different Kits
There are four types of materials normally used in manufacturing automotive body kits: fibreglass, polyurethane, carbon fibre, and composite. It is imperative to learn and understand what each material has to offer so you can make a wise decision as to which kind of body kit can best serve your car.
Fibreglass is one of the most common choices for body kit enthusiasts due to its affordability and simplicity. It weighs very little so it surely won’t slow your car down. On the plus side, the material has good resistance to high temperature, making it ideal for places where it’s often under the sun’s heat. Additionally, paint sticks easily to fibreglass surfaces, allowing you to coat your kit nicely with your preferred colours.
On the downside, fibreglass is quite rigid, which makes installation difficult as the parts are easier to break and shatter. Due to its sensitivity, fibreglass is only advised to select driving environments and people who are very careful with their cars.
Polyurethane is another usual choice for body kits, although it costs significantly more than fibreglass. It is easier to install and maintain because it has high flexibility, but it’s also on the heavy side and is likely to affect your car’s speed. Despite being extra durable, it also has a tendency to warp when subjected to severe heat, so your environment plays a big part in making this choice.
Carbon fibre is an epoxy-like material engineered to gain exceptional strength for its size and weight and got its name from its distinctive look as actual fibres being sewn on cloth. Its lightweight quality with advanced strength make it a superior choice for displaying show-type automobiles or running high-performance cars used for racing and other motorsports. Among the cons for this material is its high cost of production and uninspired designs – most carbon fibre kits come clear-coated and unpainted.
Lastly, there are body kits that use composite material. As the name implies, composite material is created by combining different sub-compounds to gain new characteristics the previous compounds did not exhibit individually.
Installation is Key
Installing the body kit is just as important as picking out the material and design to be used. Remember that no matter the material or design of your body kit, the end result will be completely dependent on the quality of the installation process. This is the reason why most installations are done professionally by taking your car and kit to a certified body shop.
Not all body shops can install any material, so keep that in mind when choosing which material to purchase. For instance, there are shops that specialize in installing fibreglass kits but are relatively inexperienced when it comes to carbon fibre kits. You need to make sure that you get both the right material and the right shop to work on your car.
Customizing your car is supposed to be fun, so try to do research first before making any purchases to ensure your body kit adventure is as stress-free as possible.
Body Kits Can Be Expensive
You need to understand that depending on your choice of material, going for a body kit might not be the most economical choice in customizing your car. While there are budget-friendly options available, those body kits are usually good for improving the aesthetic part only of your vehicle. Performance-enhancing body kits are built with stronger, more expensive material because they need to be engineered in a specific way to yield the best results.
You need to first identify if you are only looking to change your car’s overall look, or if you also wish to improve its driving performance. Once you have made a decision, you can better set a budget for your body kit expenses – remember that spending doesn’t end with just buying the kit, you will also have to pay for installing the kit to your car and for additional maintenance or insurance costs.