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-   -   Urethane vs. Fiberglass (Body/Lip Kits) (

S2 08-24-2005 12:38 PM

Urethane vs. Fiberglass (Body/Lip Kits)
Fiberglass or Urethane, the question gets asked all the time and always comes up in threads based on exterior modifcations. I figured I would post up a thread on this since it seems there is always a battle between the two and there are very good reasons why to go with one and not the other. Basically I'll start by explaining some of the differences.

Urethane parts are made of reaction injection molded polyurethane, a material that is lightweight, flexible and resistant to rough weather conditions and everyday road hazards. Because of its flexibility and light weight, parts made out of urethane are usually easier to install. Wings West is an example of a company that manufactures a body kits using high quality urethane. There are several other companies as well, all are very 'reputable' in brand name.

Fiberglass is a material well-known for its resistance and rigidity. It is crucial to choose the highest quality fiberglass for your body kit. Many companies create bad quality parts containing wavy patterns on the fiberglass and unsatisfactory fit. Fiberglass components that are hand laid have no waves and are not brittle or weak. When a part is hand laid, the part will be uniform and will have an even amount of fiberglass throughout the component. Hand laid fiberglass takes the longest, and costs the most but are worth it. Unfortunately I have YET to find out any companies that make good quality fiberglass kits for the focus, and yes this includes JTAutostyle kits which have been 'rumored' to be a decent fiberglass kit. To this day, I don't know of ANY companies that offer high quality hand laid fiberglass kits for the focus, nothing common in North America anyway.

The biggest issues, more common, are below......

Urethane kits are FLEXIBLE so any slight impacts or bumps will not crack the kit.
Urethane kits are RESILIENT to weather so hot or cold, they can withstand the climate (rain, hail, snow).
Urethane kits are EASIER to install since they have some flex to contour to the body parts.
Urethane kits are EASIER to prep before the painting process thus costing you less at the bodyshop.

Fiberglass kits are NOT FLEXIBLE so the slightest bump and she's cracked.
Fiberglass kits are NOT RESILIENT to weather so they can get even damaged even easier due to this.
Fiberglass kits are HARDER to install cause they almost always require cutting, sanding down, etc to actually get the part to fit properly.
Fiberglass kits are MORE EXPENSIVE to prep and paint, due to the needed shop time to get the kit to fit properly.

What it comes down to in the end is you can 'usually' get a high quality URETHANE kit purchased, prepped, painted and installed for LESS then the cost of a fiberglass kit.

Another thing to keep in mind, NO brand name body kit company out there (commonly) uses fiberglass to construct their kits. That should say something if you haven't gotten the point already.


Boogyman 09-02-2005 06:40 PM

hehe, i had a fiberglass kit on my focus. As far as i know its still in the ditch by the railroad tracks. I now have a full poly kit and couldnt be happier. Ya it cost ALOT more then fiberglass, but i have a problem with my rear bumper getting waves it in and i have to rebolt it on to straight'n it out. any suggestions??

S2 09-03-2005 12:40 AM

Which kit is it, like which company?

Boogyman 09-03-2005 05:18 PM

Avenger kit i believe is what it was called. Ill post a pic of my car finially got new pics. I think the kit was made my west wings but not sure. I just liked the way it looked in the picture so i ordered it.

S2 09-06-2005 02:29 PM

Waves at the edges, example where the top part of the aftermarket bumper meets the hatch? Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but once you get those 'waves' your pretty much SOL.....

Might be a warranty issue with WW......

Boogyman 09-07-2005 07:26 PM

we fixed it. Made an exact plaster mold of the inside of the rear bumper We set it inside leaving about an inch clearance between the plaster and the inside walls with spacers. *3500lb epoxy held them fine, i was too sure how it would work but it did the job.* anyway then we filled the cavity with a superlightweight expanding liquid foam, put the pumper in our hot room. " wood heated room we have about 5x5 about 140 to 150F sometimes hotter. My mother uses the room to mold her wax blocks. but anyway. The heat softened the poly and the foam reformed it. Afterwards we let it cool down i stripped most of the foam out left in a little but not much waves were gone and now it looks good as new. Alot of work but it didnt cost me more then 20.00 for the plaster and 5.00 for the foam.

S2 09-07-2005 11:07 PM

That's awesome, happy it worked out for ya!!

silvermist 09-11-2005 01:56 AM

urathane has a memory if you heat it up is should go back to it's origanal shape as long as to don't try to bend it back into shape.

nystyles 10-08-2005 05:39 PM

yea i bought my kit a few days before jtauto came out with there urathane i was sooo mad [?|]

S2 10-08-2005 07:58 PM

Yeah JT AUTOSTYLE, strange company. Apparently they started with fiberglass, then upgraded to urethane and now there back to fiberglass. I had a member on here order a kit from them after consulting with me and after I contacted JT AUTOSTYLE myself regarding the material they made their kits out of. I was told urethane, told the member it's urethane, he got a fiberglass kit.....

Personally I have no clue why they would have went back to fiberglass.... very strange.

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