While it might seem rather cliché, but cars really are an extension of one’s personality, especially more so for car enthusiasts.
People enjoy personalising their belongings, that’s a fact, why else, do you think that so many companies are coming up with services for customers to personalise its products?
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, how would you like to customise your car? We reckon you’ll want to make some changes to the exterior – that’s what everyone notices first. If that’s the case car bodykits would likely have crossed your minds. Well, here’s a guide to what you should be looking out for.
Things you need to know before even getting a car bodykit
Before you head to the workshop and choose a bodykit that you like, you need to understand that any major bodywork changes will require some spray painting work, which means additional spending and downtime is to be expected.
You should aim for a full respray if it is a full bodykit that requires bumpers and car body panels to be changed out.
You wouldn’t put on a tuxedo and leave your slippers on, likewise, there are several parts that should be sorted before bodykits are considered. The number one item to tick off that list are rims and tyres, the original, bland looking wheels mated to a fully bodykitted car will surely make for a goofy sight.
If you are going for a performance-oriented look, you should also consider lowering the suspension of your car. In fact, just lowering your car and getting a nice set of aftermarket wheels should enhance the looks of your car and give it a fair bit of personality already.
Types of car bodykits:
Add-ons and lips kit
These are some of the simplest and least intrusive car mods that you can do. In fact, lip kits are often offered by manufacturers for cars of different trim, or for special editions, sportier car variants and facelifts.
Aftermarket lips kits exists in many different forms, from simple universal stick-on lips, to elaborate lips that are designed for specific cars – there are even lip designed to be installed on to a particular trim or variant of a car.
These are usually subtle add-ons that can fly under the radar, creating an enhanced look without being too loud. Depending on the material and type of lip, these can typically be had from as low as $50 up to couple hundreds of dollars – in certain cases, there wouldn’t even be a need for a paint job.
Full bodykit with replacement bumpers
The next step up in the world of car exterior styling would be bodykits that include major pieces, such as bumpers and panels that replace the original items. By replacing entire panels, radically different designs can be achieved. Larger air intakes, vents in your fenders or more muscular lines can all be achieved.
These replacement parts are unpainted and will have to be colour matched to your car’s existing bodywork. It might also require some customisation work to get the best fitment, with minimal panel gaps as well. Hence it is important to approach a capable car workshop in order to achieve the best results.
While most of such kits are reversible, finding the space to store all the original parts can prove to be a challenge. To get a full bodykit and a decent paint job, you should expect to spend more than a thousand dollars.
As the name suggests, widebody kits increases the width of your car’s body. It originated from race cars where wider, stickier tyres as well as a wider track are desired for an increase in stability and handling prowess.
Widebody kits often requires extensive customisation, and for a functional kit that allows wider tyres, they will likely require parts of the car’s body, such as the rear fenders, to be cut – an irreversible process.
Additionally many race-derived widebody kits can also be illegal on the roads. Kits with sharp edges or are excessively wide (never go wider than the side mirrors on your car) will be illegal. It is not uncommon for such extensive bodykit modifications to cost you a five-digit figure, especially if you want it to be properly done.
Material of bodykit
Bodykits are made out of different materials, and depending on your usage, preference and budget, some will make more sense than others.
Most bodykits are made of fibreglass or Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP), these are relatively lightweight, and a popular choice for most customisers and craftsmen.
Lately there are also Polyurethane (PU) bodykits and lips available as well. These can be heavier and more expensive than FRP parts, but it comes with an important benefit.
The PU material is flexible and can hold up to slight bumps – a PU lip will be slightly marred when it gets dragged against a hump, but a similar FRP part will likely crack or break off.
Another desired material would be ABS plastic, these are often used by the original car manufacturers as well. While not as flexible as PU, ABS can achieve a superior fit and finish and better, finer details. The downside is that it’s one of the costlier materials.
Carbon Fibre is another material used on bodykits, usually found in the higher echelons of motorsports. It is stronger and lighter than FRP, but similarly brittle. You will often see it on race cars and exotic supercars, if you want something affordable, you’d better steer well clear of Carbon Fibre.
Source: Asia One