Buying and installing a body kit is a massive commitment. Comprised of both bumpers, side guards, paint, and spoilers, choosing to install a new body kit is not a decision that can be taken in an afternoon, as it is a big investment of time. It also takes some research on every different part of the process, from discovering a car’s measurements, to choosing the right kit, ordering it, preparing it, and ultimately installing it.
If you’ve been thinking about a career as an auto body estimator, it’s possible that you will be tasked with calculating the cost of labour and parts for new body kits throughout your career. As such, it is important to know all the necessary steps for installation. For a quick rundown of the five steps, read on!
1. Auto Body Estimators Know That Parts Need to be Prepped for Installation First
Experienced auto body estimators know that the first step to successfully installing a body kit is to prep the pieces for installation. This can include painting each separate piece before it is attached, if painting is part of the process. In addition, a key part of this first step is to go over the dimensions of each new piece to make sure that they all will align perfectly with the car and that a mistake hasn’t been made with the order.
2. Remove All the Pieces That Will Be Replaced
The second step that an auto body estimator needs to account for when costing a body kit installation is the removal of all the pieces that need to be replaced, including the bumpers, spoilers, and side guards. Depending on the nature of the car, this may either be a relatively quick and painless task, or a difficult one that will require several specific tools. As such, it’s important to consult with your repair team and determine the tools they are likely to need, and how long an installation typically takes for the specific model involved, so that you don’t prepare an inaccurate estimate for the client.
3. An Auto Body Estimator Will Know That Exposed Surfaces Need to be Cleaned
The middle step for the repair team is to make sure that all exposed surfaces are clean before the kit is attached to the car. This is done to ensure that grime and dirt doesn’t build up over time and cause damage to the pieces that are about to be installed. To do this, the most effective method is to apply degreaser to each individual part, which can take a little time—an important thing to know when a client comes in asking you to install a new body kit.
4. The Body Kit Needs to Be Lined Up and Laid Out In the Proper Spots
The penultimate step for professionals with auto careers is to lay out all the new parts from the body kit in the exact spot where they’ll be installed onto the car. This step can only occur after the surfaces of these new pieces have been prepared and cleaned, and the old pieces have been removed. By doing this step, the team can make sure that all holes, screws, and pieces are accounted for and in the right place for the final step.
5. Collision Estimators Will Know That Each Piece Needs to be Attached
The final step is, of course, to attach each piece of the kit to the car. As a general rule, most teams will start with the front bumper and tweak it until it lines up properly with the grille and headlights. Following that, the side skirt needs to be installed before the rear bumper finishes the project. Once everything is properly aligned, the job is done. If not, the team may need to make some slight adjustments.
Successful auto body estimators need to be aware of the five steps outlined above, as well as the parts, tools, and labour hours involved, to prepare accurate body kit installation estimates for their clients.
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