How to Create Wide Body Kitsby Pharaba Witt
Creating body kits out of fiberglass requires a little bit of skill, but with patience and a good plan you can make them – even if you are a novice. Making a wide body kit means expanding out past the normal width of a car or truck. Many SUVs and racing cars tend to have a wide body to make the vehicle more stable when turning. By building your own kit, the design will be entirely unique.
Look through various automobile magazines to determine how you want your kit to look. While you will add your own flare to the project, you need to determine the base idea from functional car parts. Looking at other kits will also inspire you about the overall look. Focus on vehicles with a wide base to visualize the height-to-width ratio.
Draw a design of how you want the kit to look. You do not have to be an excellent artist, but do give yourself a basic outline.
Remove the bumpers and trim from the vehicle on which you plan to use the body kit. This exposes the car's true body and provides proper measurements.
Cut high-density foam to the same size as the car's parts – or larger if you are expanding the body style. If you are adding extra height, layer the foam so you will have the appropriate size.
Secure the foam pieces with duct tape. Double check the size. You can add pieces of foam to give the body more depth or area to work with.
Draw the design on the foam using a marker so you can easily see the markings when you begin carving. This is where you draw any special indentations or “cuts” to form each vehicle part's shape.
Copy all designs to the other side of the vehicle. Take precise measurements of the drawing so it will be exactly the same on the other side.
Cut the design out of the foam. Work slowly so as not to cut too far. Follow the lines exactly so the sides will match. If you do cut too far, secure another piece of foam and measure the lines again instead of discarding the entire piece.
Remove the foam pieces from the vehicle to form your skeleton.
Spray the foam with adhesive spray. Work in small sections, covering each sticky portion with foil to keep the fiberglass resin from sticking to the foam.
Spray the foil with cooking spray to form an easy release for the fiberglass once it is set.
Work with one sheet of fiberglass at a time, soaking the sheet in resin and then laying the sheet across the outside of the foil/foam mold.
Use a roller to smooth out any air bubbles and wrap the fiberglass sheet around the body kit's edges. It should cover the entirety of the part you are working with. Because you are building a wide kit, you might need to seek out especially large pieces of fiberglass to work with. You can overlap the pieces but they will not be as strong if you do.
Dry the sheet completely and then pull it off very carefully. The piece will be fragile.
Spread a layer of fiberglass matting on the side that was formerly against the foil. Use the roller to push out the air bubbles and then add another layer of fiberglass matting. Add as many matting sheets as you wish to form the thickness you desire.
Sand the outside of each part with a rough grit sandpaper to flatten any lumps. Wear a mask and gloves to protect against fiberglass inhalation.
Brush or blow all the dust off the piece of fiberglass.
Cover the outside of the fiberglass with Bondo to create a smooth surface. You might have to apply multiple layers.
Sand gently with the rough sandpaper to create a surface to which paint will stick.
Apply paint primer to the body parts. After the primer is dry, apply the paint.
- Take measurements of the vehicle prior to purchasing the fiberglass to ensure you acquire large enough pieces.
- Work in a well-ventilated area.
Things You'll Need
- Automobile magazines
- High-density foam
- Duct tape
- Adhesive spray
- Aluminum foil
- Pan spray
- Fiberglass sheets
- Fiberglass matt
- Grit sandpaper
- Carving tools
- Measuring tape
- Electric sander
- Color-matched paint
- Wear gloves and a mask when working with the sander on the fiberglass to protect your respiratory system.
Pharaba Witt has worked as a writer in Los Angeles for more than 10 years. She has written for websites such as USA Today, Red Beacon, LIVESTRONG, WiseGeek, Web Series Network, Nursing Daily and major film studios. When not traveling she enjoys outdoor activities such as backpacking, snowboarding, ice climbing and scuba diving. She is constantly researching equipment and seeking new challenges.