Choosing between DIY or professional installation of an auto body kit will vary depending on the kit, materials, and experience at installing. Auto body kits are an investment for your car, as they upgrade its performance and style, as well as add protection to the car’s finish. Install a kit correctly, so you can get plenty of miles out of it and your car.
Choosing the Right Auto Body Kit for Your Car
Auto body kits can be designed for only a particular area of the car, such as adding a spoiler, or an entire auto body kit with every aerodynamic and protective feature.
Do your research and find out professional opinions about the best choice for you. Decide the style and performance you are aiming for, then narrow down the best materials for your choices. The most common materials when dealing with auto body kits are carbon fiber, fiberglass, polyurethane, and ABS plastic.
Choose to purchase your kit from a company that specializes in kits for your type of car. In other words, if you drive a luxury vehicle, find an auto body kit company that understands your unique needs.
Carbon fiber is an excellent and strong material that is not easily broken. Strong doesn’t mean it is easy to work with, however.
Thanks to its rigid structure, carbon fiber does not easily bend. Auto body kits created with it come coated in a tough, clear coating, which makes buffing out scratches and maintaining the paint job an easy task.
Still, other repairs can be difficult because of its rigidity. It can’t be bent back into shape very well.
Because of this, it is recommended that a professional body shop install carbon fiber body kits. DIY could lead to shattered body kit parts, not to mention the frustration of working with such a stiff material.
Fiberglass actually contains particles of glass, which is what makes it a strong material and excellent for body kits. However, it can be tough to work with.
Fiberglass arrives from the factory with many small pinholes and waves that are created during the molding process. A gel coating covers the fiberglass to allow it to easily pop out of a mold and protect it, and it’s the gel that creates the tiny holes.
This is normal, but those pinholes must be repaired through sanding before painting the auto body kit.
Because of this, fiberglass materials should be worked on by professionals, so your car has a professional finish when done.
Auto body kit fans—especially do it yourselfers—love polyurethane because of its flexibility. That flexibility makes a DIY auto body kit installation more realistic.
Sometimes, though, extra polyurethane material is added to pieces to allow them safety during transportation. That excess material needs to be shaven down before the auto body kit installation.
In that case, if you aren’t comfortable or familiar with that process, it may be best to leave it up to the professionals. A mishap in sanding down material could mean too much loss of polyurethane.
Plastic is great for bending and shaping during body kit installation, and almost all plastics can be easily painted. ABS plastics, however, need special care when sanding before painting.
The surface created from sanding the plastic becomes full of ridges, which makes paint adhering much easier. The problem is those ridges can quickly melt back into a smooth surface within minutes.
Technical issues like these should make a DIY enthusiast think twice about installing their own body kit.
There Will Be Imperfections in Most Auto Body kits
The auto body kit you choose will be created to perfection when you use the right company. Unfortunately, that kit will most likely be shipped, and there is no avoiding minor imperfections when materials such as these are shipped.
Bumps and bruises are bound to happen during the packaging and transportation of the body kit, no matter the material.
Trying to rectify these imperfections on your own when you aren’t a professional is pretty risky. Allow an auto body shop to bring your auto body kit back to perfection before installation and during.
Prepare Your Body Kit for Installation
Whether choosing professional or DIY installation, thoroughly inspect all parts of the body kit before installing.
Take each piece and lay it on the ground near the area where you will install it. Before ordering, everything should have been measured accurately and then measured again. If that was the case, all of the pieces of the auto body kit will line up correctly with the proper area of the car.
This extra step ensures you received each part in the way it was supposed to be measured and created before it is actually installed.
The Car May Need Modifying Before Installation
A full auto body kit consists of side guards, front and rear bumpers, spoilers, and paint. Often, for a car to accept these modifications, it will need some modifying itself beforehand. That way, all the kit pieces will fit and attach properly.
Again, we recommend that a professional performs these modifications.
Should You Decide To Install on Your Own…
As you can see, we highly recommend professional installation, but there is no way of knowing everyone’s skill level. With the right experience and skill, you may very well successfully install your own auto body kit.
Follow these steps when doing so:
- Paint the kit pieces before installation
- Remove factory pieces that must be removed before the kit can be installed
- Clean and degrease everything
- Attach the kit
Should You Decide To Use a Professional…
Professional installation of your auto body kit will give you peace of mind that the job is well done. Also, a good auto body shop will be there for you should you have any issues.
There are a few steps to follow when choosing professional installation of your auto body kit:
- Do your research and seek an establishment that’s well known for excellent body kit installation
- Drop off or have the car shipped to the body shop at the scheduled date and time
In conclusion, when it comes to DIY or professional installation of an auto body kit, the decision is up to each individual.
Obviously, professional installation will require very little from you when compared to doing the installation yourself. It is highly recommended simply because professionals deal with auto body kits every day.
Even so, you know your skill level best and may be able to complete an installation successfully on your own.
DarwinPro Aerodynamics offers the highest quality in luxury auto body kits. We can help you create the Rolls-Royce of your dreams with a Rolls-Royce body kit and many other luxury car options.