Home CAR GUIDE BODY PARTS Car body Kit Guide

Car body Kit Guide

body kit is basically a set of modified body parts or additional components that are installed on a stock car. It consists of front and rear bumpers, side skirts, spoilers, bonnets (bonnet scoop), and sometimes front and rear side guards and roof scoops. There are a number of companies that offer alternatives to the original look of the vehicle. Body kits’ components are designed in such a way to complement each other and work together as a complete design. Despite this, the ‘mix and match’ approach is quite often seen on cars, where the front of one body kit will be matched with the rear of some other car, for example.

Automotive body kits are usually constructed of either fiberglass or polyurethane, or in sometimes carbon fiber. Fiberglass is cheap and easily available, although it can crack upon impact. Polyurethane is popular because as it is flexible leading to more resistance to damage. Carbon fiber body kits are rarely seen due to the cost of the materials, and are also rarely seen on the street-legal vehicles.

Common body kit components are as follows –

  • Bumper canards
  • Custom hoods
  • Bumper splitters
  • Fender flares
  • Bumper lips
  • Fenders with vents
  • Bumper grilles
  • Front and rear bumper (car)
  • Hood Scoops
  • Bumper diffusers
  • One piece front end
  • One piece rear end
  • Roof scoops
  • Side skirts
  • Side scoops
  • Spoilers
  • Wide body fenders and quarter panels
  • Window louvers

Side Skirts

Side skirts are used to reduce the amount of air that comes from a high pressure area on the side of the car and goes under the car from the sides. Side skirts help in improving down force level.

The effectiveness of the side skirts depends mainly on how close the lower edge can be maintained to the ground.

Reason for the car side skirts’ damage –

  • Car Accidents

How to fix sagging side skirts

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Stubby Phillips-head screwdriver;
  • Pack of 3/16″ long-shank rivets.
  • Hammer;
  • Chisel;
  • Can of WD-40;
  • Rivet gun
  • Pair of pliers or channel-locks;

Start the process. Remove the metal screw at the front of the skirt which is on the lip of the wheel well. Then, proceed towards the rear, unscrew the screws under the car that hold the skirt in one place.

Once they’re all removed, return to the front, and under the car you there is a black push-pin that holds the skirt and the inner fender in one place. This must be pulled out.

It may actually be the toughest part of the job. Now you will be able to remove the front part of the skirt by lifting it off the metal tab that holds the top. Put the skirt in a proper manner, so that you don’t damage the paint. The rear part comes off in the exact same manner. Put it aside in a proper manner too. You might have noticed a long piece of steel resting in the front part of the skirt.

This was intended to hold the skirt and keep it from sagging. It has obviously fallen off, and if it is still in one piece, we will use it again. There is an identical bracket holding the rear part of the skirt in place, and this had gone AWOL (Absent from where One Lies) on my car too.

I had a spare one on the black SC, so I stole for my car. Before reinstalling the bracket, we need to remove the remnants of the old rivets that were holding the bracket on. Take your hammer and chisel, and chiselling towards the ground (so as not to risk scratching the paint), chop off all the old rivets that were there along the whole length of the skirt. There must be about ten or twelve of them. Once they have been taken out, take a handful of new rivets and the new bracket.

Hold the bracket at one end and install a rivet with the rivet gun. Do the same for the other end of the bracket, and then all the ones in between. You can see the rust on the stones as a result of hammering the old rivets out. Now that you have both brackets reinstalled, this is what your rocker panel should look like (minus the cancerous gaping holes). You can proceed to firstly reinstall the rear part of the skirt. Make sure it’s alignment is proper, and reinstall the plastic screws. Follow up to reinstalling the front part. It gets a little tricky here, as you hook the part in front of the door , and then make sure that the skirt is being hooked into the bracket all along the door. There might be a little fidgeting.

Make sure that the skirt is tucked in between the floorpan and the inner fender at the front, on the underside. Then, pull the skirt as far as possible towards the read to minimize the gap between the two parts. Reinsert the black push-pin and then finally screw in the plastic screws. Now, your car is finally repaired. It almost looks new, and even when you accidentally kick the skirt, you won’t hear that annoying metallic rattling sound. For half an hour a side, I think this is one of the easier things to do to make your SC look good.

Video of How to Repair the Side Skirts.

Bumper Lips

A splitter will create a boundary between the air moving at two different speeds. Air moving under a car flows much faster if there’s a large splitter on the front as the splitter “carves” the air and pushes a small amount of it under the car. The rest of the air has to go over or around, which creates a down force. Race cars often have big splitters as larger the size, more the down force.

A lot of street car owners add splitters to their vehicle to for the same look and benefits of a splitter that of a race car. However, there’s almost no point in having a splitter if you don’t have a rear diffuser with it. It helps to direct the air under the back of the car. You won’t see most of the benefits of having the big aggressive splitter unless you have a diffuser to guide the airflow under the car.

Also, race-style splitters cause a problem for street cars. They can shatter, bend, or crack as soon as they bang into a curb or speed bump even for the first time. That’s why many car owners choose a rubber lip like the All-Fit lip kit if people are looking to add an aggressive lowered look to their car.

  • Bumper Canards

Also called dive planes or dive plates, these are small triangle wings attached to the front spoiler of a car for the purpose of modifying the aerodynamic characteristics in a modest way. Canards help in generating downforce in two ways –

First, the canard redirects the incoming air’s momentum upwards, which makes a downward force on the canard. This is moderate since the velocity near the skin of the car is significantly slower as compared to the the free stream because of boundary layer effect. Dive plates are the most trimming devices, they are too small to generate large amounts of down force and are used to fine tune the vehicle handling before a race.

  • Bumper Diffusers

diffuser, in an automotive context, is a shaped section of the car’s underbody which helps in improving the car’s aerodynamic properties as it enhances the transition between the high-velocity airflow underneath a car and the quite slow freestream airflow of the ambient atmosphere around. It provides a space for the underbody airflow to decelerate and expand (in area, as density is assumed to be constant at the speeds that cars travel) so to make sure not to cause an excessive flow separation and drag, by providing a degree of “wake infill” or more precisely speaking, pressure recovery. The diffuser helps to generate downforce by accelerating the flow in front of it

  • Bumper Splitters

A car splitter is basically a modification to the bottom of the front bumper of the car. Splitters look similar to a flat scoop that extends out from the bottom of the front of the car. Splitters are usually cooked from carbon fiber or other similar durable materials. Splitters sometimes have support rods that are attached between the splitter and the bumper, to keep the splitter parallel to the ground.

So how does a car splitter which is simply a rigid extension of the lower bumper, can contribute to the car’s performance? Well, when a car reach high speed, air pressure builds up at the front part of the car. A lot of this high pressure, low-speed air gets underneath the car. Above the car, with only low pressure air exerting itself on top, the car experiences a lift and the front of the car lights up. This gives a reduced traction on the road.

A car splitter directs the high pressure air upwards, where it builds up around the bumper and then goes up and over the car. The high speed and low pressure air passes underneath the car. Together, this reduces vehicle lift and gives a net positive down force. This gives helps the car to gain more traction as it hugs the ground. A number of drivers combine a splitter with a front air dam or front bumper openings that makes the extra air into the brake ducts or radiator for cooling. In general, car body upgrades are for redirecting air to carry out various functions.

  • Fenders with vents
  • The main purpose of fender vents is to relieve built-up air pressure from inside the wheel arches which causes aerodynamic lift. Usually, there are air intake openings in the front of the bumper which direct air over the brakes to cool them. This air gets contained in the wheel arches and creates high pressure which results in lift over the front wheels reducing traction. Relieving this built up high-pressure system in the wheel arches leads to a reduction in front axle lift thus increasing safety.
  • An aerodynamic drag is also created by the wheel arches. Drag is the force of air that pushes itself in the opposite direction of the vehicle, reducing the efficiency. Some studies suggest that wheel arches account for up to 30% of aerodynamic drag of a vehicle. With fuel efficiency ratings becoming stringent on modern vehicles one can understand why this much attention is being directed towards the reduction of this inefficiency. Wheel arches increases fuel economy through the reduction of drag by efficiently routing air into and out.

One more benefit of fender vents is that they efficiently vent hot air generated by heavy breaking out in the air stream. Quickly relieving hot air generated from the brakes helps in making room for more cool air to pass over the brakes, thus increasing the overall efficiency. Finally, it is worth saying that trapped air in the wheel arches contributes to cabin noise also. Reduction of cabin noise is more pleasant to drivers on long trips reducing driver fatigue.

  • Fender flares

Fender flares are an accessory which is available for most trucks and SUVs in the market. It is just an extension of a vehicle, fitting directly over a wheel well and contoured to match the same body lines which is specific to a truck or SUV.  Fender flares are available in a range of styles, colours, and textures to match the look you’re want. This is an important & aesthetically pleasing accessory, and is legally required in certain instances if your car has large tires.

Benefits of Fender Flares

The benefits of fender flares are available in a wide range, but most customers purchase for one of four reasons:

  • To add styling to their stock truck
  • Abide by the law if the customer’s car has large tires
  • Hide any rust or body damage which might be around the wheel well
  • To replace the damaged fender flares that came with the truck

So what laws regarding fender flares?  It depends on the state, but the general requirement is that your fender flares at least have to extend out enough to cover the tread on your tires. Some states may require to cover full tire by the flares. We highly recommend to contact and inquire about the laws governing large tires and fender flares if it is applicable to you.

The reason for a law governing fenders and tires is because tires regularly kick up road debris and loose rocks while driving on roads and highways. You would never want your large tires to kick up a rock and crack a windshield behind you. The law serves as a safety precaution for everyone on the road.

Styles of Fender Flares

Once you’ve determined that you need (or just want!) a set of fender flares, the next thing would be to find the style that fits with your truck and your personality.  There is a big range of styles out there, and go by different names depending on the manufacturer. However, they can mainly be organized into one of the 4 buckets. Most number of sets can be easily painted, and in some cases can arrive pre-painted to your doorstep in any colour, and are available in both smooth and textured finishes. 

OE Style

OE Style fender flares are typically purchased by customers wanting to give their truck an upgraded stock look, or just want to hide a small body rust or damage. These flares are not made by the dealer but rather is designed to reflect the same “off the lot” styling. One point to remember is that some OE style fender flares that require drilling do not use the identical factory holes which is something to remember if you’re replacing your OE flares.

Street

Although the sizing can vary, Street Flares particularly have a bit of a smaller profile than the OE style fender flares, giving them a more sleek and a low-profile appearance while still protecting around the fenders and wheel well.  This is a great show-room style as most trucks on the road will have the OE style flares installed. 

Pocket / Bolt Style

For the trucks that want to be the boss on the road, the Pocket / Bolt Style is up your thing. These flares provide quite a bit of protection and extremely have a rugged and tough look. Trucks with the bolted look are easy to catch attention on the road. The flares have a number of pockets set in the flare with a bolt set in each one, giving it an appearance that the flares are bolted on. Don’t worry – typically these aren’t actually bolted (it’s just for looks) and have a no-drill installation, although you would have to double check on the set you’re interested in.

Extended Style

The Extended Style is for those in need of serious extension, but don’t necessarily care for the tough and rugged look of the Pocket / Bolt style.  Don’t be fooled – these flares are still quite tough, and make your truck look heavy duty, but don’t stand out quite as much as the bolted style one.  These are perfect for customers that just want to the job done or like an extended, non-bolted look.

Spoilers

spoiler is an automotive aerodynamic device whose intended design function is meant to ‘spoil’ unfavorable air movement across a body of a vehicle going in motion, usually described as turbulence or drag. Spoilers on the front of a vehicle are often known as air dams. Spoilers are often fitted to race and high-performance sports cars, although they have become quite common on passenger vehicles as well. Some spoilers are added to cars primarily for styling purposes and have little aerodynamic benefit and even make the aerodynamics worse.

The term “spoiler” is usually mistaked with “wing”. An automotive wing is a device whose design is intended to generate downforce as air passes around it, not simply disrupt existing airflow patterns. Rather than decreasing drag, automotive wings actually increase it.

  • Hood Scoops

bonnet/hood scoop, sometimes called bonnet airdam/air dam, is an upraised component on the hood of a motor vehicle allows the flow of air to directly enter the engine compartment, or appears to do so. It has got one opening and is closed on all other sides. Its main function is to allow a direct flow of air to the engine, hence the need for it to be upraised arises so as to effectively channel air to the engine compartment. It may be closed, leading to be purely decorative, or serve to enhance performance in several possible ways.

  • Roof scoops

Roof scoops are devices fitted to the surface of an aircraft to provide air pressure or ventilation from the airflow.

WINDOW LOUVERS

Window louvers are particularly shades for your car. They are a series of slats placed either on the rear window or the quarter window with the purpose to reduce glare and keep the interior of your car cool.

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