Adding a body kit to your vehicle can increase its aerodynamic efficiency by keeping the airflow underneath the vehicle to a minimum. Increased aerodynamic efficiency leads to improved fuel economy by decreasing the amount of drag created by your vehicle. You can purchase body kits at any online retailer or even a local retail store. However, the cost of purchasing a body kit off the shelf can be high. You can build your own customised fibreglass body kit at home with a little time and patience. Although working with fibreglass can be tedious, you can save money by making your own at home.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Polyester primer
- Moulding wax
- Polyester resin and hardener
- Plastic mixing cups
- Fibreglass roller
- Fibreglass mat
- Razor blade
- Wooden mixing stick
Study the designs of the body kits made by commercial manufacturers for a frame of reference. Special attention should be paid to the areas where the front and rear bumpers along with the side skirts will attach to the vehicle. Study the connection areas on your vehicle, as well, to ensure a good fit upon installation. You also will need to keep the clearance height on the vehicle in order to keep your vehicle high enough off the ground to comply with state and federal laws. Aside from those guidelines, creative freedom is yours.
Sculpt the foam block to the exact specifications of your design. Use a razor blade or a knife to cut out the bigger chunks and 180-grit sand paper to smooth it all down. Once sanded, cover the foam in Bondo and allow it to sit for two hours. Use 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface of the Bondo. Make sure there are no unintentional bumps on the Bondo before proceeding.
Spray polyester primer directly on top of the Bondo in three equal coats. Follow the directions on the label for drying times. Once dry, use 220-grit sandpaper to sand down the surface of the primer. Continue to sand with finer grit sandpaper. Stop the sanding process by wet sanding with 1000-grit sandpaper. Allow the mould to sit for four days while waxing it once a day to fill any of the pores in the primer and to ensure a smooth surface for your body kit. After the four-day period, cover the mould with tooling gel and allow it to sit and get tacky.
Brush the resin on top of the tacky tooling gel in one even coat. Separate the fibreglass mat into single strands of fibreglass and lay it on top of the resin. Use a fibreglass roller to remove air bubbles in the resin. Repeat this step six times to ensure a thick body kit.
Remove the body kit from the mould by using a wooden mixing stick and gently prying it out. Use a razor to shave off the pieces of fibreglass sticking out of your body kit.
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