What You Should Look for When Choosing a Conversion Kit
Whether it is for replacing a dented cover, or putting on a totally new look, a bumper conversion kit can definitely give your car a new and improved look. These kits are a huge investment. Any lead to help you pick a good set among a bunch of pretenders will go a long way.
The first thing to check for a conversion kit is its compatibility with the current setup of your car. We're not just talking about looks. Consider also other aftermarket body parts you have, the fit, and installation method. Here are some points to consider.
- Material: Conversion kits are usually made of plastic or fiberglass moldings. For the sake of consistency, pick a kit material that is the same with other body parts of your car ? whether stock or not. If your other bumper is plastic, get plastic. If it's fiberglass, get fiberglass. Both kits are light and easy to handle, so there's no major difference between one over the other.
- Mounting: A kit compatible for your car should have the same screw holes and clippings as your stock bumper. Any holes for lights and other accessories should be placed already. Other than that, make sure that it is designed to fit cleanly to the body of your car. Don't settle for an installed kit with hanging lips, or extended sides.
- Contents: It's not a kit if you will only get a bumper. Get a kit that provides you with everything you will need for installation: brackets, extra screws, clips, etc.
- Priming: Pick a kit that's primed and ready to be painted. This layer of primer removes one step in the preparation of the bumper for your car.
- Warranty: Different makers offer different warranty periods: usually between 1 year and 5 years.
Hopefully, these points will help you pick the perfect set for your car, and your ride will become way sexier than before. With a bad kit; you better prepare yourself to be humiliated because of how hideous your car looks.
DIY Installation: Bumper Conversion Kits
Bumper conversion kits are cool add-ons for car modification. For a part intended to take the impact of bumps away from the main chassis, the designs of these are a great improvement to the common, bland style of stock bumpers. Give your car a facelift with new bumpers by following this general installation guide.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Screwdriver set
- Wrench set
- Air saw
- Painting kit (if necessary)
- Bumper conversion kit
Step 1: Park your car and turn off the engine. Raise the car and remove the tires of the bumper you will replace.
Step 2: Open the hood and locate the wires that are connected to the head/tail lights (this would depend on which side you are working on). After disconnection, take off the lamp unit. Do this to avoid any lighting accidents due to bumper mishandling.
Step 3: Locate any screws and clips that connect the bumper to the main frame. Depending on the model, some screws may be hidden behind plastic liners. Make sure you remove and keep these safe. Detach the old bumper from the body.
Step 4: Ask a helper to lift the new bumper molding with you. Place it on the body to check the fitting and alignment. If you must make any adjustments, trace the areas on the bumper you need to cut out. Use an air saw to trim these parts off. Also compare the drill holes and clipping areas of the new bumper and the car's body. Use a drill to make new holes. Make sure that the bumper has smooth edges to give it a clean look.
Step 5: If the bumper has a layer of primer, or you need to paint the bumper to another color, do so after trimming. Let it dry.
Step 6: Install the new bumpers on the body, tighten screws and attach clippings. Add any other accessories that come with your conversion kit and follow the instructions specified on the manual.
Step 7: Reconnect the lights to the electrical wires and return the tires. Do a final check to see if the bumper fits well to the body now that everything is returned. Once you are satisfied, lower the car and admire your work.
The removal and installation process, minus the waiting time for the paint to dry, will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Some kits would suggest replacing other parts of the car instead of trimming the edges of the new bumper. Check the manual to see what your kit recommends.
- When making new holes, make them as accurate as possible to the original to ensure its fit.