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Expanding on the Challenger Platform: Body Kits

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Body kits are compromised of front fascias, chin spoilers, side skirts, rear bumpers, and more! Some kits include all of the above while others are one or two matching pieces. Outfitting your Challenger in a unique look is a surefire way to make your ride stand out.

Challenger Body Kits >>

Buying and building a Challenger is the motive of many American car enthusiasts today. The third generation is extremely popular considering its perfect blend of classic style and modern performance. True to the traditions of American muscle cars, the Challenger is designed to be a perfect platform to modify to one’s personal desires. Though, the desire to stand out from the crowd may be left unsatisfied due to the popularity of the third-gen Challenger. Even in a small town, it seems you can’t drive more than a few square miles without seeing at least two or three of these beautiful beasts. This can get under the skin of those who like to draw attention to their prized ride.

What is a Body Kit?

Body kits have been a trend cycling around the automotive world for a few decades now. These kits take an average car and transform it into a standout performance appearing vehicle. Some are built to make sluggish vehicles appear as something they aren’t, but when paired with a car like the Challenger, they merely emphasize the car’s capabilities. 

Most body kits you will find for these cars will comprise of aftermarket bumper covers, for the front and rear of the car, along with rocker skirts to carry the vibe seamlessly from the nose to the tail. Not only will traditional body kits alter the appearance, but they can also work to enhance the Challenger’s slipstreaming abilities by diverting air from flowing underneath the car.

Traditional Body Kit Installation

Traditional body kits are very easy to install. They require the removal of the factory bumper covers on the front and rear along with the factory rocker accents fitted to the vehicle. Once removed, aftermarket equipment will simply bolt in place of the factory components. This process may take a few hours, but the difficulty of this job really is intermediate. With a proper kit, the parts should fit perfectly in place. In some cases,​ cutting and reshaping of parts may be required. It’s always good to be prepared to do so. It’s also worth noting that painting of the body kit may be required unless it’s ordered as painted to match.

How about Widebody Kits?

Widebody kits have been made incredibly trendy for Challengers by the Demon Challengers and a few custom Challengers built for the incredibly popular Fast and Furious franchise. These kits alter the appearance of the Challenger, not just from top to bottom but from side to side as well. Widebody kits also make it easier for owners to alter the stance of the vehicle and to add wider wheels to the package with fewer hassles from the law.

Widebody Kit Installation

Installing widebody kits is nearly identical to the process of traditional body kits but adds a few additional steps with the installation of fender flares. With ​stick-on fender flares, you can expect roughly the same amount of time of installation as you would with standard body kits. Though, if the widebody kit uses widened fenders to bolt in place of the factory fenders or cutting in order to install, you will spend a considerable more amount of time to wrap things up.

No Going Back?

With body kits in mind, you may be worried about the difficulty of reverting the car back to factory form. With kits that simply bolt in place, one can easily return to the factory equipment with minor difficulties in doing so. 

With kits that require cutting or altering of the sheet metal, the process is easier said than done. Before moving to a body kit, it’s wise to balance the desire to stand out and the comfort of protecting the beauty underneath the kit. Those who are considering a wide body kit are particularly subjected to this internal battle. The following are two of the big issues of returning a Challenger back to stock after installing one of these kits.

Stick-On Fender Flares: Widebody kits that employ the use of fender flares that simply stick on with double sided tape won’t have much of an issue when trying to return to the factory styling of the Challenger. It is important to mention that the paint underneath may not fade like the exposed paint will and this may require some blending to be done once the flares are removed. 

Cutting Fenders: Fenders that have been cut or drilled in order to be fitted with fender flares will be permanently altered. Sure, one can go back to the factory styling once they are installed, but this process will require an extensive amount of sheet metal work. Those considering a kit with flares of this nature will need to be considerate of this process before proceeding.

Materials Used in Body Kits

Body kits, regardless of the fit and finish, can be compromised of a variety of materials. There are two particular materials commonly used in body kits: carbon fiber and fiberglass. Both have distinct characteristics that separate them from one another. Deciding between the two isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Consider the characteristic advantages one has over the other. 

Fiberglass: Generally ranked as the lesser of the two, fiberglass is the typical material used in aftermarket body kits. This material is flexible, lightweight (not as light as carbon fiber) and easy to work with. Fiberglass can warp in harsh conditions and shouldn’t be the material used by those who have Challengers that will be spending some time in hot and cold climates. These kits will, however, be more cost effective when compared to carbon fiber kits. 

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Easy to Find

Cons

  • Can Warp in Harsh Conditions
  • Not as Light as Carbon Fiber

Carbon Fiber: The high strength and lightweight characteristics of carbon fiber components make them highly desirable for many Challenger owners. When used in place of fiberglass or even metal components, considerable weight savings are to be had. Carbon fiber won’t warp like fiberglass will, but when exposed to extreme cold the material becomes very brittle. This makes it very easy for carbon fiber to crack in the right conditions. Because of this, it’s not recommended to use this material on Challengers that will be exposed to harsh winters. If they are, climate controlled storage is a must. This material used in body kits will also drive up the price point considerably. 

Pros

  • Very Lightweight
  • High Strength

Cons

  • High Cost
  • Special Care Required to Prevent Cracking

Keeping Things in Shape

Maintenance of all body kits is done by being mindful of their presence. Wherever fiberglass or carbon fiber components live, keeping them out of harm’s way is the key to their preservation

With a Challenger fitted with a body kit, one will need to be careful not scrape the lowered pieces on curbs and speed bumps. Also, garage storage goes a long way to prevent warping and cracking of the materials used.

Fitment includes: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, SRT-8, RT, SE, SXT, RallyeRedline, ScatPack, Hellcat, GT, TA, Demon