#liquidvinyl PHOENIX, AZ

Auto Body Q&A


Why Carbon Fiber is light and strong?

Carbon Fiber is comprised primarily of carbon atoms which is lighter than metal atoms making a carbon fiber part much lighter than a metal part. Carbon fiber is in the same material group with the same properties as diamonds. As you probably know, diamonds are the hardest and strongest material in the world. Carbon fibers have a 2D mesh structure with entwined carbon fibers making it incredibly durable. While the carbon fiber mesh provides the strength, the remaining material in carbon fiber is a lightweight resin which is considerably lighter than metal.

Why are carbon fiber parts more expensive?

Carbon fiber is more expensive for three primary reasons:

  1. The primary raw materials used to manufacture carbon fiber are very expensive to procure.
  2. The construction of carbon fiber is complex and require several materials to product the final product.
  3. The manufacturing of carbon fiber is labor intensive and requires a skilled composite technician to create.

What is a spoiler?

A spoiler is an automotive aerodynamic part installed on a vehicle to reduce turbulence and drag. The word spoiler comes from the concept that the devices “spoils” the undesirable air movement across the body of the vehicle. Spoilers are often found on high-performance sports and race cars as they provide performance benefits to vehicles at high speeds. While high-performance cars are the primary vehicle a spoiler is used on, they have become a common feature on many passenger vehicles due to their styling benefits.

Do body kits fit over the existing bumpers or do they replace them?

Most body kits require you remove and replace your factory bumper covers with the aftermarket body kit. Typically, you use the same factory hardware that was used to secure the factory bumper. If your new body kit includes front and/or rear fascia’s or lips, those pieces will attach to your vehicle under your existing bumpers.

Are ground effects the same thing as a body kit?

Yes. Ground effects are the same upgrade as a body kit. Body kits are also referred to as spoiler kits, aero kits, and bumper kits, they are all the exact same thing.

What’s the difference between poly-urethane body kits and fiberglass kits?

Poly-urethane body kits are made from a rubber material which is flexible and engineered to hold up during an impact. Fiberglass body kits are made from fiberglass as the name implies and are generally less flexible and durable in the case of an impact. Fiberglass kits are more resistant to extreme weather conditions and are generally easier to paint than poly-urethane and a relatively inexpensive. Both kits have positive qualities and are widely used through the automotive aftermarket.

What is the difference between a wing and a spoiler?

Wings are generally found on race cars, particularly open-wheeled race cars, are used to produce down force for racing applications. Spoilers on the other hand, are generally much smaller and sleeker and are intended for more of an appearance modification than a performance application.

What is “grade A“ carbon fiber?

“Grade A” is generally a marketing term used by manufacturers to stress the quality of their parts. There is no official standard upon which carbon fiber products are graded. There is a large quality difference between various manufacturers of carbon fiber so the Grade A term was created to try and differentiate premium brands from cheaper brands. Generally, the adage of you get what you pay for is a good guide for choosing quality carbon fiber parts. At Apex Customs Phoenix, we recommend purchasing your carbon fiber parts from SEIBON carbon rather than places like ebay to guarantee you’re receiving a product that will stand up to the demands of an automotive application.

How do I judge the quality of carbon fiber products?

There are three key questions to ask when you’re evaluating carbon fiber products.

  1. Is the product I’m purchase made from multiple sheets of carbon fiber or one continuous piece?
  2. Is the finish on the product a clear coat or gel-coat?
  3. Is the carbon fiber integrated into the mold when manufactured or is it wrapped around the skeleton?

The best carbon fiber products are made from single piece carbon fiber sheets, they use a clear coat finish which is shiny and durable, and they are built into the mold rather than wrapped around the skeleton. Clear coat carbon fiber generally guarantees a shiny, durable, and “wet” look to the part where the gel coats will be cloudy and look dull. Carbon fiber that is wrapped around a skeleton is prone to breakage and splits unlike carbon fiber that is integrated into the mold.