How to install a bodykit on your driveway

Installing a styling kit to your car is one of the most obvious alterations you can carry out to the appearance of your car. It is a shame then that a reliable guide showing how to fit a body styling kit is hard to find on the internet, so I decided to create one myself.

Although the majority of individuals may believe a styling kit to be the reserve of young lads kicking around a group of vehicles on a Friday night in Pizza Hut car park, the installing of bodystyling kit is actually a lot more popular than you may realise. Furthermore, a bodykit is more often than not on the options list when buying a new motor, from virtually every manufacturer. From the Ford Focus with the styling kit upgrade that can be bought for the ST model, to the Range Rover Sport with an optional deep side valance kit. Body styling kits are available for virtually every motor on the highway.

Those people who fit an aftermarket styling kit (a bumper and skirt kit not supplied by the car manufacturer), many will choose to try fitting it on their own, usually as they can spend a lot less cash. Here, this article shows how this is completed.

A comment about fitting body styling kits

You must make sure that you only tackle the job of adding a bumper and skirt kit on your own if you have the required level of competency, because once altered in any way, a body kit cannot often be sent back to the company you purchased it from. Always remember that if you paint the pieces in any way whatsoever, you more often than not automatically assume full liability for the pieces and may forfeit the possibility to install the item correctly.

Installation of entire bodykit bumpers

Take off all factory bumpers, vehicle plates, mud flaps standard side repeaters and skirts that are being replaced, or they may obstruct the adding of the bumper and skirt kit. Remember that the pieces you have removed can be valuable, so sell them on Gumtree or keep the parts just in case you need to change your vehicle to standard.

Offer up to the car the bumper and skirt kit. It is advised that at least two people help with this stage of the process. To avoid marks caused when pre-installing ensure you tape off appropriate bodywork. Aftermarket kits often need to be sanded to ensure a close fit. Keep in mind if the motor on which the kit parts are being installed has been in an accident or been subjected to any other modification, it might increase the complexity of the pre-fitment process.

Remove the aftermarket bumpers from the car. At this point, the styling kit components can be sprayed if required, in which case please skip to the paint section below. Otherwise, please read the further installation steps and make ready the bumpers for paint retrospectively to the fitting process.

If grill mesh has been supplied for the bodystyling kit, please read the step by step guide below in the mesh section and complete the remaining installation instructions. Otherwise, please bypass this stage.

After panels are pre-fixed appropriately, mark holes to be drilled during the final fitment stage. This can be done with a permanent pen. Styling kits more often than not use the same fixing points as standard bumpers. For side skirts, usual mounting spots are positioned within the wheel areas. Fixing points for the rear bumper can usually be found on each side panel, beneath the tailgate, and in between the back lights.

After all appropriate holes are located, remove the bodykit bumper. Then, utilise a bit to drill appropriate holes. Take extreme care when working to avoid breaking your part.

Position the panel back on the vehicle. It is suggested that two or more people take part in this exercise. Reset the new holes to the appropriate place and employ factory mounting bolts to secure the bumper. Never over-tighten fixings, but position the panel up enough to guarantee a perfect fit. In most scenarios mounting might need the aid of strong tape, adhesives and counter-sunk rivets.

Adding bumper spoilers

Apply tape to the part of the bumper where the spoiler is planned to be fixed. Offer up the spoiler to assess fitment, then remove spoiler including the tape stuck the pre-existing bumper.

Now, the extensions can be colour coded if you wish, in such a case please refer to the paint part that follows. Otherwise, please execute the remaining fitting procedures and prep the bumper extensions for paint following the installation.

If mesh has been provided alongside the bodykit, follow the process below in the mesh guide and continue with the remaining installation stages. Alternatively, simply forego this step.

De-grease the region of the bumper on which the spoiler is planned to be mounted. An oil cleanser is suggested for this purpose. Follow the same step to de-grease the inner of the extensions being installed.

Use super grab double-sided tape to join the lip to the stock bumper. In general, the width of fixing tape advised for use is ½ inch in width. Run the tape across the inner of the valance, and line up and secure the valance to the bumper.

Utilise self-tapping screws under the wheel arches to ensure the adherence of the lip to the factory part. I suggest a pair of fixings in each end of the spoiler.

Installing mesh to skirt kits

Take off the panel to which the mesh is going to be fitted. It may be necessary to adapt the mesh in order for it to fit perfectly to any area of the bumper and skirt kit.

Manipulate the sides of the mesh to an angle to produce a lip around an inch wide to adhere to the inside of the side skirt.

Attach the aluminium to the body kit bumper using the lip made in the last step as the area of mounting. When planning this adhesive stage, you must allow time for the adhesive to secure the parts before fixing the panel on the vehicle.

Preparation for spraying

Dry sand the bumper using 300-400 grade sandpaper. Work until all protruding marks are toned down. If any gaps exist in the part, fill them with filler and allow to dry.

Gradually sand the filled regions of the bumper. Prepare until the bumper has a very smooth surface.

Before applying primer, the parts should be degreased. Apply isopropyl alcohol and clean the panels thoroughly.

The parts are prepared for priming when these steps have been followed. Once the primer has been brushed on, give time for it to dry. Then wet file the part. At this point, the body kit components are ready for paint.

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