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Thank you for choosing to buy from Custom Parts Limited. Regardless of weather you have purchased an Autofashion, Anima, Orimental, Majic or any other item I am sure that you will be very pleased with your styling product. These notes will help to get the best from your product. If you have any specific questions about the fitting of your fibreglass then please feel free to phone or Email after you have read the following guide.
Please also pass on this guide to your bodyshop or other fitting service so that they can contact us themselves if they need help and advice with the fitting of this product. We are always pleased to give help and fitting advice when we can, as we have fitted every product sold.
The products that we supply are manufactured from fibreglass. This material is extremely versatile, and is very DIY friendly, meaning that products can usually be fitted and prepared at home if you have the time and patience.
All products are by their very nature non-original (non OE, not Original Equipment when the car was new) parts that are likely to require some trimming and modification to fit. This is mostly due to the manufacturing tolerances of the car to which they are being fitted, and those of the product in question.
Bumpers normally have mounting blocks built into them although these will not have fixings in them. (BMW E30 bumpers, XR2 bumpers, and all Mini bumpers do not have mounting blocks). Items that need accurate fitting are normally left with slightly extra fibreglass on them for you to trim to provide a snug fit to your particular car. It should be remembered that many original bumpers have gaps between the bumper and bodywork – these are normally but not always reduced on custom bumpers.
Some bumpers and other components have moulding lines, which require preparation prior to paint. All Spoilers have moulding lines which require sanding before paint.
Most of our products are made with a glossy black Gelcoat finish, which requires very thorough and complete sanding prior to painting. Therefore scratches and scuffs to this finish whilst unsightly do not constitute a fault, and simply disappear without extra effort during the correct preparation of these items.
We do our utmost to ensure that air bubbles in the products (which can occur during manufacture) are kept to an absolute minimum, but you should check carefully before the product is painted. Air bubbles will normally form around sharp edges and corners, and normally present themselves when you are sanding the product. Any air bubbles should be thoroughly dug out, and then filled with bodyfiller (this provides an excellent permanent repair since filler is made from the same polyester resin that the bumpers are made of)
Thorough preparation is the key to any quality job – this is never more so than with bodywork and specifically with custom bodywork. You will not be able to achieve a quality finish with these types of products if you intend to scotch pad and paint, as you can sometime get away with on steel – the paint will peel!
Fitting will vary from component to component, but the general instructions below should give a good indication of the jobs likely.
Most items are fitted by a combination of: self tapping screws (we use 8 x 1" for most jobs); rivets (vary wildly depending on job); and on products with return flanges-nuts and bolts (we use M6 x 25 for most, but you need M6 x 75 for headlight lens fixing). The secret with fibreglass is to drill the correct size hole for the job, and not to do the fixings up to tight or this will simply cut through the fibreglass.
Most bodyshops use only 2 pack products these days, and that is the best for fibreglass. Many 2-pack primers are suitable for use with a well sanded and prepared fibreglass substrate, and these are the primers to use – YOU NEED NO SPECIAL PRODUCTS TO PAINT FIBREGLASS. It is not necessary to use plasticisers and adhesion promoters for fibreglass provided the products are PROPERLY prepared – please speak to your supplier for specific product details. Colour sanding after painting should be carried out with care – since the heat from the polisher can build up to dangerous levels, which can cause heat distortions, and burns.
Many bodyshops use ovens to cure paint quicker. Extreme care has to be exercised when curing paint on fibreglass panels – so much so that many bodyshops air dry fibreglass. Ovens can be used with the following provisions:-
There are numerous bonding products available. The general rule is that if you are painting the product and then fitting it to the car, you should use a flexible polyurethane (not silicon) sealer/adhesive to bond the product onto the car, to secure fixings, and to smartly fill/seal gaps. If you intent using filler over the top to blend out the joint then you should not use highly flexible sealers which will cause the paint/filler to crack. Instead you should use a rigid bonding paste (available from Boat Yards) or "Stevens Bridger" available from most discount motor stores, and good accessory shops. We actively discourage the Use of David's Isopon P38 – which is not well suited to this task – it is too brittle.
Once again may I say thank you for using Autofashion. Once your car is finished please feel free to send photos of your finished car – the best may be used on our website and in our adverts (in exchange for Custom Autofashion Discount vouchers).