Car enthusiasts are always looking for a way to have their car stand out from the crowd but buying off the shelf parts will only go so far. There is a good chance that someone else out there wive the same combination of parts. The best way to give your car a one of a kind look without fully custom fabricating is to buy something off the shelf and modify it your self.
Thats exactly what I did with this aftermarket spoiler that a friend put on his Sentra SE-R. Of course this look isn't for everyone but there is one flaw that is more than apparent. The endplates that this spoiler came with do not fit the rest of the part, and they had to go. Sure there are numerous companies that sell "custom" end plates that you can easily swap out, but again anyone can buy those same ones, what's unique about that.
After some brainstorming we came up with a design that he liked and sketched it out on a piece of 14 GA Aluminum.
With one edge of the metal clamped down on the edge of a bench, I used my Air Body Saw to cut out the first plate. I used the first, cut piece to trace the second one, so I would have two exact pieces.
The tricky part was determining the bolt hole locations. With the old end plates mounted we held up one of the new ones to its respective side and traced the old endplate onto the new one with permanent marker. We then unmounted it and marked off the bolt holes with the old plate lined up to where it was previously traced.
I determined the correct hole size my test fitting different size drill bits into the old plate until I found the one that fit the best. I then used a small drill bit as a pilot hole and then drilled the new plate to the proper size.
To get the holes in the same place on both pieces I matched up the first plate to the second and used a marker to trace the holes. I drilled these out the same as the first.
With both plates drilled I wanted to test fit them on the car to make sure the holes were in the correct spot and that both were matching.
I then went over both sides of the plates with 400 Grit sand paper to create a level surface to paint on. The sand paper also helps the paint adhere to the metal because it leaves small scratches allowing the paint to also have a mechanical bond with the metal. After both sides were completely sanded all it takes is a quick wipe down with PRE Painting Prep and they are ready to be primed and painted.
Before applying color I sprayed the end plates with EW Self Etching Primer with will create a better bond to the metal than just the paint would by itself. For color I used EW 2K Satin Black Aerospray, this two part catalyzed aerosol spray paint is like having real automotive paint in a spray can. Once it hardens it creates a much more durable finish that will not be affected by solvents like a normal spray paint would.
After they have been mounted on the car the difference is drastic, the shape of these fit the spoiler to now have a consistent look. No one else will have these endplates making his car truly one of a kind. With the right tools and a little creativity you can fabricate parts for your ride so it'll stand out from the rest.
Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To's, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects. If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.
- James R/EW
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