How to Change the Body of Your Toyota

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How to Change the Body of Your Toyota

Whether customising the car for some much-needed personalisation or repairing it due to an accident, body kits are a great way to change the body of your Toyota. For people who enjoy racing a car around a track, body kits are also used to improve the speed, especially if the particular Toyota model has a heavy body. While changing the car body is a no-brainer for many car enthusiasts, it can be incredibly daunting for those who are new to it.

Not only are there many parts to consider, there is also the matter of finding the body kit. While there are still some who prefer going through speciality car shops, many today prefer shopping online due to the wide selections and great prices. Those who are serious about changing the body of their Toyota, however, should know that there are many things to understand before undertaking the project. Taking into account the information below allows you to identify, understand, select, buy, and install the body kit for your Toyota of your dreams.

Be Acquainted with the Body Kit

The body kit refers to a series of modifications to a car's exterior that drastically alters its look. For those who are unfamiliar with what the entire kit entails, the table below discusses the various components and their respective car position and material.

Component

Description

Position

Bumper

Protects car from impact sustained during low-speed collisions

Front; rear

Side skirt

Gives the illusion that vehicle is closer to the ground; creates better flow of air; improves speed stability and fuel mileage

Side

Spoiler

Directs airflow to keep the vehicle from experiencing "drag" or turbulence; typically found on race cars; may also be installed for cosmetic purposes; known to improve fuel mileage

Rear

Wings

Keeps pedestrians from being sprayed with mud, sand, and other liquids; also protects the car body from bumps and flying debris; makes the vehicle body look wider

Front; rear

Headlamp

Affixed on the front of the vehicle to shine light on the path ahead; prevents accidents by letting other cars know of one's presence

Front

Bonnet

Often replaced by those who want to drop the weight for race cars and high-performance vehicles; also helps improve petrol mileage

Front

Bonnet scoop

Also referred to as air dam; found on the engine bonnet; allows air to flow into the internal combustion engine; helps to improve fuel mileage; may be functional or decorative; often used by high-performance vehicles

Front

Scissor doors

Opens the door vertically instead of horizontally; door associated with Lamborghini vehicles but may be installed on many other cars; some scissor doors can open both horizontally and vertically

Side

Mirrors

Helps driver see the rear portion of the vehicle more clearly; may be replaced by heated mirrors with turn signals; comes in a wide variety of designs

Side

Boot Hatch

May be replaced with something more lightweight to improve mileage and race performance

Rear

Choosing among the different types of parts that may be replaced on your Toyota's body is based on individual preference. Some people prefer purchasing entire body kits for their vehicle, while others prefer to tweak until their particular degree of personalisation is achieved.

Identify the Toyota Model and Year

To begin with the task of changing the body of your Toyota, it is important to first determine the vehicle's model and year. Doing so eliminates all the body kits that are not compatible with the car. While some cars have to be changed out of necessity such as a car accident, for example, many are kitted out by car enthusiasts for racing. To identify the make and model, look for the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) located on the firewall of the engine compartment.

Generally, these identification numbers give the vehicle's manufacturer, country of origin, engine, category, series, platform, body, model grade, year, check digit, and plant, among others. Since it first began in 1933, Toyota has released over 200 car models that were produced in millions all over the world. Some of the popular Toyota models are the Yaris, Avensis, Aygo, RAV4, and the Corolla. While mixing and matching from body kits for different models has become common practice over the years, this is not something a beginner should do.

Understand the Different Materials

After deciding on a budget, it is now time to look at the various materials. Below is a quick look at their different characteristics and corresponding prices.

Material

Description

Price

Fibreglass

Made from fine glass fibres; composite material; lightweight; rigid; affordable

£

FRP Composite

Also referred to as as poly-fibre; fibre-reinforced polymer; compact; stiff

££

Polyurethane

Created from resin-based polymer; organic; durable; flexible; tricky to repair

£££

ABS Plastic

Composed of thermoplastic material; petroleum-based; typically used in OEM bumpers; durable; hard to repair

£££

Carbon fibre

Manufactured from carbon filaments that are weaved together; enclosed in a clear resin

££££

Selecting the type of material used often boils down to budget. There are pros and cons to every choice. For instance, while carbon fibre body kits makes the car lighter, it is not the most durable choice. If durability is your primary concern, go for ABS plastic or polyurethane but know that if damaged, it can be hard to repair.

Set a Budget

Setting a budget is important when changing the body of your Toyota. In fact, knowing what you can afford just makes choices in terms of body kit materials and accessories simple and easy. Additionally, it also protects from overspending. Because while some people can afford to have all the body changes done in a single go, others have to spread it out over a period of time. Setting a budget often forces the person undertaking the project to plan for the expense as well.

Get It Installed

After purchase, body kits may be a do-it-yourself project or installed by a professional. While it costs more to have it done by a shop, this is the best option for those who do not possess this particular expertise. For those who plan on installing this by themselves, the following are some basic tips and instructions in installing the front bumper, side skirts, and rear bumper.

  • Read the instructions that have come with the body kit and prepare the kit as instructed
  • Remove the OEM part and store hardware for future use
  • With a paper towel, use lacquer thinner or grease remover to clean the car surface
  • Pre-fit and make adjustments by grinding and sanding the area
  • Use the OEM part as a template by making sure that it lines up correctly before drilling holes
  • Get adhesion promoter and apply it on the car to keep the adhesive in place
  • Before placing the double-sided tape, give the surface a swipe using a lint-free cloth
  • Stick it firmly onto the car surface

    Extra steps like screwing the piece on may be required

Shopping for the Toyota Body Kit on eBay

Searching for Toyota body kits on eBay is simple. You can begin by going to the eBay homepage and typing the product you wish to buy on the search box found on every page. For example, you can enter "Toyota body kit". Those who are looking for something more specific, however, should consider adding extra words to the search term. For instance, you can type "Toyota wings" or "Toyota Corolla bumper" to narrow down the search results. If you still find that there are too many results for your liking, you can further filter out irrelevant results by clicking on condition, price, location, and more on the sidebar of the search results page.

After deciding on the item that you wish to purchase, the next step is to evaluate the seller. Find out, by looking at his or her feedback score, if past clients have had a happy buying experience. It is suggested that you only choose to deal with sellers who have scores of 99 per cent and above. However, if you are willing to take a chance, especially if the product is not available anywhere else, you can also choose to deal with sellers that do not fit the criterion. If you plan to do so, make sure to communicate frequently with the seller by using eBay's function to "Ask a Question" of the seller. For those who do not want to spend on expensive postal fees, you can also choose to purchase from sellers that allow the buyer to collect the body kit from their home or shop.

Conclusion

Body kits are a great way to make your Toyota stand out from the crowd. Those who are looking to change the body of their Toyota should consider following these five steps. First, it is important to know as much as possible about the body kit. Body kits can include anywhere from the basic bumpers and side skirts to including spoilers, wings, headlamps, hoods, hood scoops, scissor doors, mirrors, and boot hatches, among others.

The next step after deciding what to do is to identify the year and model of the Toyota. After which, it is to get a deeper understanding of the different materials that body kits are composed of. These are fibreglass, FRP composite, polyurethane, ABS plastic, and carbon fibre, among others. Fourth, make sure to set a budget. Lastly, buy it and get it installed. Those who are looking to change the body of their Toyota should certainly consider buying a body kit on eBay. Here, you can browse and shop from the comfort of home or from the convenience of a mobile device.

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