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Auto Restyling
Introduction to Body Kits
Body Kit History
Body Kit Trends
Body Kit Materials
Body Kit Usage
Body Kit Brands
Body Kit Maintenance
Body Kit Buzz

Body kits and Dash Kits

Body kits and dash kits are both great ways to customize your car. Not only can they customize your car or truck, but you can really infuse it with your own style. Many people enjoy taking their standard stock car and turning it into something that will get noticed when they go down the street. Adding a custom bumper or side skirt to customize a vehicle can include aerodynamic components that will make the vehicle appear as though it is closer to the ground, sometimes known as ground effects, or by adding new fenders or spoilers, roof racks, auto graphics, and more. All of the items in and of themselves are somewhat simple but they can really add a lot to your vehicle so that you and your car get noticed as you go down the road. New cars, used cars, used trucks, and new trucks are all candidates for these kits. When it comes to body parts and wood grain dashes, your imagination really is the only limit.

Woodgrain can be a lot of fun to install on your own as well. The kit will customize the interior of your car just as you would customize the exterior. You can change colors, make things appear to be one piece, create a streamlined effect, or even add wood accents to add value and luxury to your vehicle. Dash kits are really popular in the street racing sub culture as customizing the entire car is preferred, and they really make a big statement. It is known that only the people that are really serious about customizing their cars would get a new interior of any type installed. Not only can it be a lot of fun to have your friends and even your rivals admire your dash trim, the interior of your new car or used car will look great!

You can find body kit and dash kits in a lot of places, but many customizing fanatics find that the best place to order is online. Ordering online at AUTOMEGA ® is a great idea because you will get to take a look at the kits you are ordering for new cars, used cars, new trucks and used trucks ahead of time. You will also find that there is a bigger selection available on this website than most and that things are relatively affordable. Here there are set prices, color pictures, and honest business dealings, whereas if you shop locally you never know what you are going to get. If you are tired of the long ordering times or back ordered items that you struggle with locally or with other websites you might find that you are much more satisfied with the products and the services at AUTOMEGA.

It doesn’t matter if you want to customize new cars, used cars, new trucks, or used trucks you can make them very unique with the use of a body kit or a woodgrain dash. The interior and the exterior of your vehicle can reflect your personality and really get noticed as you go down the street. If you pick the perfect bumper or fender for your car, it will not only get you noticed, but may also help you win competitions, and in many cases, your vehicle could even appear in a magazine or an online website. There are so many great things that you can achieve with aerodynamics, whether you are looking for fame and fortune in the car world, or just personal satisfaction or a mixture of the components. Body kits and dash kits can make your favorite vehicle even better because they have the ability to give the vehicle personality, and new cars, new trucks, or used cars and used trucks are more fun to drive!


Introduction to Body Kits and Ground Effects


You may see them zip down the road in a way that causes your teeth to rattle and your brain to spin. It is a “pimped” out ride with the looks of a race car and the performance to back it up. While these cars, different makes and models, are a huge hit with the younger generations, they are enjoyed by people of all ages with a similar taste - one of speed and styling. Yet it isn’t really the car that makes these beauties such a joy to look at, it is the entire body kit and ground effects package that transforms any ‘ol car into a car admired by all. If you have any interest in making your car look better, you just may be someone who needs a body kit make-over. AUTOMEGA is the place to turn to when looking for a complete body kit make-over or just a simple adjustment to make that subtle difference which will complete your car.

A body kit, by definition, is virtually any piece or accessory for a car that modifies the look of a car. It attaches to the outside of the vehicle and would usually be put on the front bumper, side skirts, and the hood, wing, fenders or rear bumper of the car. Usually this is done to promote the “race car” look and to scream speed and power and to command attention from anyone who can see it. A full body kit would include all of these parts - and possibly different materials for each. The greatest thing about creating a body kit for your own car is the factor of custom building it to your specifications. Mix and match different body components. No longer are you stuck in a position of taking delivery from your car dealership and having to be content with it. Now, as body kits are gaining prominence through movies (such as The Fast and the Furious” and its sequel), they continue to be seen on the road by those who wish to have similar looking cars with similar capabilities. With teen-agers flush from allowances and older folks pulling out their extra cash, having a car that looks like it was in a movie is not out of the question.

Of course, the end appearance of the car is completely up to the owner - but there are a few features you will surely consider:

  • It is highly important to keep the car symmetric. To keep with the sleek, fast look, it is wise to have the right / left and front / back ends with a similar flow.
  • Smooth lines and a lowered image are common characteristics of cars installed with body kits. These features make the car look incredibly fast.

In the end though, a car owner must decide for themselves if they want the traditional speed features or if they would rather experiment with other options.

Remember, a body kit is a great choice for any car and can do wonders in terms of making a car more attractive and sleeker.  Moreover, there are thousands of options in the body kit arena, so its easy to customize your vehicle the way you want to!

Starting Out - Body Kit History

Body kits for cars have a long history, but they started with the world of ground effects. Ground effects for a car involve many different parts of the vehicle, but the underside and bottom half of the car are the primary concentration. Race cars were the first to receive this treatment for the simple goal of lowering a car to improve race time through aerodynamics. By forcing the car downward, the air is forced to go up and over the car in a more efficient manner.

The first car aerodynamicist was Jim Hall. He was a pioneer in applying this science to cars. Previously, the technology had been exclusive for planes. Hall's project to revolutionize the aerodynamics of cars started in 1961, but it wasn’t until 1970 that he was able to take his concepts and develop a car that could actually compete, although not win, at many Formula One races. Hall had put as little room between the pavement and his car as possible. Recognizing that as the technology continued to develop, 1970 was also the year that Formula One banned such cars because of the advantage that it could have in the future. There were too many complaints about Hall’s car.

Following Hall there were several other designers (Peter Wright, Tony Rudd, Gordon Murry, among others) who took on the challenge of completing a car that could do what Hill had first envisioned. After the death of prominent racer Gilles Villeneuve, from an accident in a similar car, the aerodynamic bottoms of race cars was banned. But even though the ban has been held to keep drivers at a reasonable speed on the track, it hasn’t dissuaded street racers from tinkering with their own “race cars.”

Since the time of Jim Hall, street racers and enthusiasts have worked to build their cars from the bottom all the way to the roof with aerodynamic designs to give them an edge. Whether that edge means winning a street race or getting more looks and admiring stares, it seems to work.

The Body Kit Trends You See in the Industry

Body kits and ground effects started to boom on the streets of today after the arrival of the mega-popular movie, "The Fast and the Furious". The 2001 movie depicted the lives of street racers, those who chose to take their aerodynamic machines onto the roads and see which can go the fastest. Each car was shown with numerous “pimped out” materials literally covering the car. From the front bumper to the back, these cars were hot. Obviously, the sequel "2 Fast 2 Furious" kept the body kit scene alive and moving as people watched these flicks and rushed out to make their cars look similar in style and flair.

Following these movies were a string of street racing clips that started hitting the lower markets, yet appealed to anyone striving for more car videos. As the videos kept coming in, body kits continued to take off.

The biggest trends in body kits today are Lambo Doors, and car spoilers. 

Lambo doors are the fashionable sliding doors that are held by a bolt and turn vertically at a 90 degree angle. Lambos work best for two door cars (yet can easily be done on almost any car or truck due to hinges), enabling each passenger to step out as the doors mechanically move up. These are the doors that we introduced throughout the Fast and Furious movies, and they obviously grab a lot of looks upon stepping out of your vehicle. The doors are highly aerodynamic, and they are reminiscent of a race car or an expensive sports car.

Spoilers are the other major trend in the body kit market. When you think of race cars in NASCAR or street racing on city pavement, one of the first thoughts you are bound to have is the raised backs coming from the cars' tail-ends. These stylish attachments, better known as car spoilers, come in many shapes and sizes (depending on makes and models of the car), and they will give your car a faster look and a sleek air mover. Whether the car is used for drag racing or just driving through town, a back spoiler maintains the image of speed and fashion. A hood scoop would give your car a similar "Fast" appearance.

The body kit market, though, hasn't just been influenced by trends.  Another influencer on the body kit market is the emergence of popular Japanese cars. Cars from companies such as Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda,  and Suzuki are making some real waves in the body kit scene.

The Japanese car market has been providing many people with cars that are made out of the highest quality, sport and utility, at a pretty low cost - and increasingly, these cars can be pretty stylish! This international car market has expounded on the body kit enthusiasts even more so, as now they have a car that seems like it is made to be perfected. While many American made cars are fairly solid pieces of machinery, the majority of these foreign cars have the shape (body lines) already built in to assume a position of speed. Those involved with designing these cars had aerodynamics in mind and developed the cars to fit that profile.

If you are all about turning your car into a machine that has race car styles, then a Japanese car is probably the best place to start. Sure, you may never have the engine capabilities of a Jeff Gordon race car, but with the right body kit, you can have the look.

Body Kit Materials Used in the car industry

When dealing with the look and feel of a car, as compared to race cars that you may have seen, there are two basic materials used for body kits - urethane and fiberglass.

Urethane is the main product used to make a Wings West body kit which explains why Wings West has such a good reputation for high quality radically styled body kits. Urethane is also fairly resistant to small “bumps” and will resist denting. It's very strong and can take a good amount of banging around before damaging. The only downside to urethane (if it has one at all) is that once damaged, it will probably have to be replaced. Although urethane body kit prices can be pretty high, you will also find the quality is equally as high. Urethane is at its core is a hard but flexible type of rubber. When one of these urethane body kits are installed, you will find that they are much easier to install than a fiberglass body kit (hence: saves money on installation) and it will last you for a very long time.

Fiberglass, on the other hand is less expensive (roughly half as much for materials as a urethane body kit). There are several upsides, but mainly the price to consider about fiberglass body kits and products. Variety is one of those key factors. No matter what the car or what the style that is sought out, a fiberglass part can most likely be found to fit the need. Since they are fiberglass, a lot of the time a body kit can be repaired if the damage is not too extensive. Some of the more popular carriers of fiberglass body kits are AIT Body Kits and Kaminari. 

These are the two main materials used when selecting a body kit, and people can go either way when deciding. If you are looking for high quality and durability, then urethane is your best option.. If money is a concern or a specialty item is required, fiberglass is most likely the best solution for you. However, either of the products can be found on many cars, and many people will even choose to mix and match fiberglass and urethane, depending on the part, on the same car. Once painted, its pretty hard to tell without close inspection between fiberglass and urethane.

 

Parts and Positions for Best Usage of a Body Kit

The main points or positions of a car that allows for body kit products are the front and back bumpers, side skirts, hood and the wing or spoiler. If you are installing a full body kit but you are choosing different parts from different kits (like Blitz or Bomex) then you need to consider parts that have a similar style or look so that the parts flow together on the vehicle. A full body kit make over could deal with each component individually and make adjustments for a similar look. If the goal is to build a car that has similar features to a particular race car or street car, then it is possible when targeting choosing different parts.

The front and back bumpers are the first thing you see when you look at a car. Bumpers also serve as the first encounter between the car and the passing air that is flowing over it. If you have a car that doesn’t have the most aerodynamic bumpers - you can change them. That is where the body kit materials come in. The bumpers can either be replaced completely or a "bumper cover” can be installed over your existing bumpers. It is like a skin that goes directly over your stock bumper. Obviously, bumper covers will add weight to your car (you would not notice this at all unless you are racing your vehicle and weight is an issue for you). Another choice for you would be to add a Front Air Dam or Rear Skirt to your existing factory bumpers. Once an air dam or skirt is added to your bumper and painted it gives that appearance of an entirely new bumper, and many would think that you replaced the entire bumper. Looks and performance can go together- but at a price.

The side skirts of a car are what give it the sleek appearance- or a low profile one! Depending on your car, the basic contour lines and the existing side skirts will decide what needs to be done in this category. There are many different options with companies like Wings West and Xenon Body Kits delivering some of the best on the market. A car like the Nissan Almera benefits greatly from the addition of a lower side skirt because it gives the imagery of the car being placed lower to the ground.

Hoods serve as a great opportunity to give your car a “new” look. Some hoods have hood scoops built into them and are functional. . Universal hood scoops work well (and are easy to install) on any vehicle, especially Japanese brands such as Toyota, Mazda and Mitsubishi. Usually hoods are made of fiberglass material or you could choose to add a carbon fiber hood to lighten up your vehicle.

Wings, otherwise known as car spoilers usually sit on the trunk of your car and redirects where the air flows. The car wings alone will get your vehicle the looks and an appeal of a race car. This is probably why car wings are the most popular of car accessories.  

For many, aerodynamics really factor into the body kit decision. Keeping a car aerodynamic is what most body kit enthusiasts are all about. Aerodynamics involves letting the wind fly over and around a car with the least amount of effort and in the freest way possible. The biggest factors prove to be the spoilers, hood materials and overall car shape.  While most people just buy aerodynamic material to purely make their car more pleasing to the eye, many purchase with the intent of attaining higher speeds. Some items that are popular in this area are hood scoops, roof scoops and spoilers.

Hood and roof scoops allow for the look of a total transformation with the involvement of just a couple of minutes of installation time. The scoops are usually duel (two) or single (one) and rise up to several inches off a car. In the race car world, they would be useful for cooling off an engine rearing at 200 miles per hour. On the streets, they are more for show, as most cars come equipped with suitable ways to avoid overheating. While they won’t help with most cooling systems, a hood or roof scoop will make a car more aerodynamic as it allows wind to slide easily over the car making it easier to drive faster.

Wheels give a great look to any car and add special aerodynamics to give cars a sleeker look. (If you dont have custom wheel rims yet and you still have your factory "steel wheels" you can add a set of new hubcaps for a fresh look. They attach easily and are quick fixes to unattractive wheels). There are two primary options when it comes to custom rims. A car owner can either go with simple rims or go further and add a set of spinners as well. A simple rim set will include shinier rims (usually chrome) that are bright and that add life to the whole car or truck. Spinners take that to the next level. They spin in circles against the wheel direction that will make your eyes dazzle. A car driver should definitely consider wheel rims when doing a complete body kit make over. 

These are the biggest adjustments that you could make on a car with a full body kit installation. However, there are other considerations and smaller items that can be of use.

  • Pinstriping tape - put anywhere you wish, the sides, back or right over the top of the car to really give it a race car feel. Colors and graphics enhance the look.
  • Hubcaps- these covers are a great idea if you are already missing one or two to begin with (many people are) or if you just want a change or possibly spinners.
  • Rear window graphics - a very customizable option. You can have designs, pictures or symbols in the form of decals- just peel and stick!

There are numerous decisions that could be made to get the look desired and it is always possible to have any car looking the way you want with quality materials.

Body Kit Brands

Of course the beginning of your project is the toughest, yet most exciting part of any project. Choosing a body kit will determine how your car will look. You must decide ahead of time; there is no secret in this game- what you like is completely up to YOU!

AUTOMEGA offers the widest, most popular selection of body kits on the market. The major players in the game are: Wings West, AIT Racing, 3D Carbon, Aero Function, Extreme Dimensions and Xenon. To decide which kit is best for you, check out some of the examples in action. Look at body kits out on the streets, check out the movies, and search the internet for samples of cars that peak your interest. You may find yourself liking bits and pieces of several cars and compiling a suitable match for your tastes. Below is a quick review of the most popular brands.

Wings West Body Kits and ground effects are some of the most superior in the car world. They are known specifically for their great fit on cars, and they use materials made out of urethane. Wings West has an especially great line of bumpers and bumper covers. They do, though, carry nearly any body kit part.  The company is renowned for its work on Ford Mustangs, Dodge Chargers and Honda Civics.

AIT Body Kits are a brand of body kits and ground effects that has a tendency to develop cars into aerodynamic replicas of current race cars. AIT uses your car's existing lines and makes any parts that are attached flow with your current lines. They keep the entire car looking like it was built with the body kit in mind. If you want to ensure that the aerodynamics are of highest importance, AIT Racing is a great brand to turn to.

Aero Function Body Kits are another one of the companies on the body kit market that turns out quality and efficient materials. These premium Fiberglass Body Kit beauties are made entirely for show. But they do manage to put on quite a show. They are flashy, sleek, and they give the impression of topping the speed limit by more than just that customary 5 miles per hour.Aero Function is known for their Aero Function Body Kits, the Custom Body Kits and their quality is unmatched.

Xenon delivers first class body kits to many customers in need. From accessories to full kits, Xenon has products from flares to hood refinements. Xenon Body Kits are made of urethane materials and focuses on the overall end appearance that the car is going to have. 

Making a choice in brands will probably come down to the overall style you want your car to have.

Maintaining Your Body Kit (along with your car)!

Maintenance is probably one of the most underestimated parts of the car business. The car that you have bought has certainly cost you thousands, and the body kit that you accompanied it with is high priced as well. The best thing that you can do is maintain the work that you have done to keep the car looking in the shape it is now. You should always keep your car clean, wax it a few times a year, and park it in a garage if at all possible. No garage? Then get a car cover. You will protect your paint and all of the work that you have done to your vehicle if you can keep it covered. Want to protect it further? Add some Body Side Molding. It will also save you money in a long run, and will also help you get Top Dollar when you decide to sell.

Adding performance parts to a car will raise the overall value of the car - so there will be more to maintain. You should also keep tabs on your coolant level, change your oil every 3000 miles, change your transmission fluid every 20,000 miles and check your tires often, so keeping your car in working order should be a breeze!

Of course keeping the oil changed frequently, having proper air in the tires and maintaining the anti-freeze are important tasks that need attention to any car or truck. But when a car or truck is outfitted with a great body kit, making sure it always looks good is a task that car owners always strive for. A simple solution to this is by washing and waxing a car. Always wash before waxing and a car will maintain its true shine and charm. After putting on a full or partial body kit, keeping the parts looking good is the greatest feeling for car owners. Not only will the car receive more looks and admiration this way, the car will shine in the way it was originally meant to. And of course, it will appear even more aerodynamic then ever. 

Keeping a car maintained and smooth is an important part of the entire body kit package.

The Buzz Around Body Kits

Of course with body kit popularity rising with fashion and influence playing large roles, there are people talking about it.

Some dealerships want nothing to do with body kits or their accessories. Dealers on Wheels states, “We don’t build cars, sell body kits or parts.” While other companies specialize in the design of full body kits such as AUTOMEGA (www.customautotrim.com) who say they have the “the largest selection of high quality name brand body kits and ground effects including Wings West Body Kits, Kaminari Body Kits, Xenon Body Kits, Extreme Dimensions Ground Effects and Kits, all ship factory direct to you!”

There are even website forums that are dedicated to the topic of body kits and ground effects. Many forum writers post comments about their own tricked out rides and those that they have seen abroad, in movies and in person. These sites are good to pick up honest information from real people, however they can be misleading as some people could have a particular bias for no reason. The smart thing to do is to take what you hear on any website pertaining to the development of cars with a grain of salt because while there is truth in every matter, there is also fiction.

Conclusion

So whatever age you are, whatever your background in cars, fashion sense (or lack thereof!) or desires, if you want to improve the overall appearance of your car, truck or SUV, a body kit and ground effect make over is probably what you need. Whether it is a full kit or merely a single product it is possible to turn a car from ordinary to one that has the resemblance and aerodynamics of a race car.

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