Auto Upgrade Tips: How to Choose Right Type of Fender Extension
You've done it. You've already fixed the engine, tweaked the electrical system, and pimped the interiors. Now it's time to upgrade the exterior and install hot fender extensions straight from the store's rack. But how do you choose the right fender extension for your ride? Should you go for plastic, steel, or fiberglass extensions? Every type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages; the question is, which set you can live with?
Pros: Cheap, lightweight, and easy-to-install, plastic fender extensions recover quickly in cases of light collisions. They do not easily deform, making them perfect for new drivers who regularly scratch or dent their auto's body. You can get a set of plastic extensions for as low as $20.
Cons: Some experts say that plastic fender extensions lack dimensional stability and are unable to maintain consistent curvature. Chrysler switched their Dodge Intrepid's plastic fenders and installed steel ones on the model that followed Intrepid, Dodge Viper.
Pros: Automotive buffs prefer steel fender extensions because these can be easily shaped to fit the vehicle. DIYers who fix classic trucks and vintage cars and drivers of heavy-duty vehicles would prefer steel because it is durable and it matches the styling of old models. It is also cheaper than fiberglass. You can get replacement steel fender extensions for as low as $28.
Cons: Steel extensions can get really heavy; using these might affect the aerodynamics of your vehicle. So if you're trying to shave weight off your ride, using steel extensions is a no-no. These are also prone to rust if they are not regularly cleaned and maintained.
Pros: Fiberglass fender extensions are highly resistant to rust. These are also lighter than steel and plastic extensions, making them a great choice for hot rods and race cars. Some vehicles include Porsche Carrera Turbo RSR, Chevrolet Camaro, and Honda CRX.
Cons: Fiberglass extensions are expensive; cheap ones may cost you around $95. Some auto enthusiasts also say that fiberglass is difficult to adjust, making them difficult to install. They are less pliant that plastic and steel types. So in case you are thinking of getting one, make sure it is customized to fit your vehicle.
Once you've decided the type of fender extensions to get, make sure you know where you'll install the fender extension on the automobile so you can get the right one. And voila-now just choose a color/finish that matches the styling of your auto so it can get that hip and stylish exterior.
Auto Upgrade 101: How to Change Your Ride's Style Using Fender Extensions
Whether you're doing it to improve your ride's aerodynamics, upgrade its safety, or simply take its exterior's style up a notch, installing fender extensions is a task that won't take too much of your time. By following these steps, you can finish this project in a few minutes-even if you?re the type who rarely performs repairs on the auto.
Difficulty level: Easy
Things that you'll need:
- Ratchet and socket set
- Drill and metal drill bits
- 80-grit and 110-grit sand paper
- Rubbing alcohol
Step 1: Sand the fender extension to ensure it does not have a rough surface and jagged edge. Use the 80-grit paper to get rid of the imperfections and smoothen it using the 110-grit paper. Use the rag and rubbing alcohol to clean the fender area and the new extension. Get rid of mud, dirt, and other road debris on the fenders. Allow the fender and its extension to dry off before proceeding.
Step 2: Use your drill to create bolt holes on the fender. If your auto already has existing extensions, unbolt them using your ratchet and socket set. Follow the instructions provided with the new component (if any).
Step 3: If your new extension comes with a double-sided tape, apply the tape on the back of the replacement. Make sure that there are no wrinkles or bumps before peeling off the exposed side of the tape. Press the extension against the fender. Apply some pressure so the tape would stick.
Step 4: Bolt the fender extension to the body and secure it using the factory hardware it comes with. Repeat these steps for every corner.
- Before installing the extension on your vehicle, you can apply a primer and paint it according to your desired theme.