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Sunday, March 11, 2007

How to Install a Body Kit

If you're interested in saving some money you can install a body kit yourself instead of hiring a professional. Here are some basic instructions on installing a kit yourself:

Before Starting: It is important that you understand, before starting, that you know how to properly clean and prep the surface where you will be installing the new parts. Here is a quick guide:

Use a cloth and either grease remover or lacquer thinner to clean and thoroughly remove dirt and grime from the surface area of the car where you be applying the double sided tape. Once your finished cleaning, use an adequate amount of adhesion promoter to apply a thin coat to the surface where you will be applying the tape. Make sure the adhesion promoter has enough time to dry before attempting to install any parts.

Now that you understand how to prep the surface we can begin the installation. First you will need a few tools.

What you need for the installation:

* the body kit (of course)
* grease remover or lacquer thinner
* clean cloth
* adhesion promoter
* double faced tape
* drill and drill bits of various sizes
* sander or grinder
* you may need additional screws depending on the vehicle and body kit.

It is recommended that you have all of the parts painted before installing them on the vehicle, unless, of course, you intend on painting your entire vehicle.

Installing the front bumper: To install the front bumper, first remove the existing bumper, making sure to save and hardware such as screws or attachment pieces. If the styrofoam insert does not fit into the new bumper you will not be able to use it. Make sure to pre-fit the new bumper on the vehicle to see if there are any alignment problems. After confirming the fit, you will need to make adjustments to the new bumper by sanding or grinding until you have a proper fit. Once the bumper fits correctly, use the old bumper as a guide/template and duplicate any holes on the new bumper by using a drill. After finishing drilling, you can use the existing hardware to complete the installation of the new bumper.

The installation procedure is pretty much the same for the rear bumper and side skirts. Just follow the same steps as described for the front bumper.

For More Detailed Instructions:

If you need a more detailed installation manual you can also reference this PDF which is meant for a TRD kit for a Toyota Tacoma, but is still useful for installing body kits on other vehicles.

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