Are you a visionary? A creative type? Someone that see’s what something could be before it’s done? Is that why you want to spend thousands on modifying your car but don’t know where to start? Finding out how to modify a car tastefully is a bit of a minefield, everyone has different tastes.
That’s why we have written a kind of basic format in an order that is best suited for those that can’t do it all at once and need to go in baby steps to get to the goal. After all, building a car isn’t a cheap ordeal.
If you’re still looking into ideas or still looking for a car and modifications check out some of our other posts here to help you decide where to start and what it might cost.
- Best Cars To Modify
- Affordable Fast Cars
- Best Cars For Stance
- 5 Of The Best Car Modifications
- How To Start A Project Car
Some of what we talk about in our posts are here to help you decide how you want to spend your money before you do so, this way you’re not wasting it on crap that doesn’t matter and you will have a good-looking car with minimal effort. We cut the bull and give our honest opinion. Let’s get to it.
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1. Get Dirty Low
First things first, nice and easy, just get low. Lowering your car is the fastest way to make massive changes to how your car looks. It gives it a sportier look by shorting the distance between the fender and the wheel. This sportier can alter the style of any car and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Lowering a car can be done in 3 ways
- Lowering springs
- Performance Air suspension
All 3 ways are great to get the car a little closer to the ground. The main reason behind lowering the car is to improve the handling and the aesthetics. The latter is shallow but who doesn’t check a car out and go “wow that is aesthetically pleasing!” Wow really? Just me?
Lowering springs are your cheapest option, they are a replacement for your OEM springs which are shorter, but you can run them on your standard shocks. They are a great easy way to lower a car upto 50mm and sometimes more, without worrying about adjustments or setups.
Coilovers vary in price and can be expensive if you go for a high end coilover like BC Racing Coilovers and ST suspension, which can cost around about £1,000 and upwards, but can cost as little as a set of good quality springs. These have adjustability such as damping or ride height, making them a bit more desirable.
Air suspension is becoming more and more popular in the car modifications culture. It’s completely adjustable ride height at the touch of a button and there’s even an app for that. There can be issues with bags though, you have to consider cold weather, bellow maintenance, the setup cost amongst other complicated issues.
Although all 3 options are great for lowering your car, it’s all down to how much you are willing to spend, how much work you want to put in / get done and what effect you are going for.
2. Phresh Wheels
After getting your car lowered, upgrading your wheels is a great way to completely alter the look of your car. You want to do wheels after your lowering as a car with upgraded wheels on stock suspension can look a bit like a monster truck with bigger wheels, riding high.
Plus if you do wheels, then slam it, you might come across a fair amount of rubbing on the arches unless you work out the distance between the wheel and arch. Most aftermarket wheels will have a more aggressive negative offset than your OEM wheels, meaning they will poke more.
So when picking a new wheel be sure to measure the arch gap, then compare the OEM wheels offset to find out what offset will fit best.
Finding a wheel to suit your car can be quite daunting but using Fitment Industries gallery of cars, it has thousands of cars you can look through, you can find your own, check out what offsets / wheel sizes look best for your car and find something to match, a bit like having other people try shoes on so you can see what they look like before you spend the cash.
3. Gather Horses
After working on some of the major exterior work of your car, you probably want to add a bit more power. Depending on your car, depends on how much power you can add and how easily. Modifying the engine can be as simple as remapping the ECU to as complicated as you want, like a stupid engine conversion.
The main goal for adding horses to your car is to keep it interesting, keep it fun and stop you from getting bored with your stock power, in addition to that, who doesn’t love the feeling of being put back in your seat as you hurtle your way to 60mph.
Some power mods you might want to start with are:
- Remapping your ECU
- Upgrading your exhaust
- Adding a performance air filter (although it doesn’t do much)
- Better tyres (more grip, better performance)
- Bigger intercoolers
If you own a turbo car, you can start going down hybrid turbos and bigger turbos. But for N/A cars, you could think about adding a turbo or supercharger, if your stock engine can take it, some can’t handle running turbos and superchargers, do consult someone before attempting to strap on an eBay special.
If your engine is naff but you don’t want to give up the car, ask around for engine conversions. There are some companies that will strap anything into anything, such as a Rotary in a BMW e36, literally, if you can think it, it can probably be done, just expect to spend a lot of money doing this, but you will love your car more.
4. Get Wrapped Up
So you’re nearly there, the cars dropped on it’s arse, it’s got some dope Rotiforms and it’s pushing close to 300 ponies, the only thing separating you from a totally custom unique car from everyone else is a colour change and not just any colour change, but a crazy colour change.
One of the most famous companies that do car wrapping is Yiannimize, owned by a guy called Yianni Charalambous, who wraps celebrities cars like Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik from One Direction, when they had their VW tour van transformed into the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo.
Other great ideas for wraps include
- Psychedelic Gloss
- Carbon fibre
These are just some ideas, you can also wrap the dash, just the roof, everything but the roof, Bart Simpson, whatever you can imagine you can wrap. Wraps are extremely durable too and can last for years, especially if properly cared for.
A wrap is your final steps, especially after body kits, splitters or any other external styling and really wraps your project up, pardon the pun.
This is just the start of your cars journey, there’s a million and one combinations to create something unique, you could be at it for the rest of your life but you would need an endless supply of money and time. But seen as we are here and both of those things are unrealistic, let’s make the best with what we’ve got and have a good time!
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Founder of Boost And Camber