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Discussion Starter #1
So I got in my RK Sport hood and body kit. I have to say I am quite a bit shocked at how much work has to be put in just to get them paint ready.
Even with them taking 5 weeks to get the parts to me (when they claim 7 day turn around). They should have come in paint ready after 5 weeks!!!

Here is a top for folks that will go through fitment issues. Take off the passenger side lift piston. 2 pistons are to much and it causes gaping problems along the front edge of the hood specifically the passenger side by the headlight. It tweaks the hood. 1 piston is enough to lift the hood. If you can get 2 new lower power ones that is the best way to go, this is what I am going to do.

On my hood the width of the hood at the windshield is not wide enough and it doesn't sit down like it is supposed to, it rubs on the fenders something horrific. The curvs where the hood meets the doors is way off. The top of the hood where it meets the drivers door is about 1/4" lower then the door. I am going to have to do some serious build out to get the thing so the body lines match.

The bumper cover is riddled with pits. I had to sand the whole bumper cover down. This got rid of most of them. the last few remaining are to deep to sand out. I am going to have to fill them with a 2 part epoxy. and one of the side skirts fits like it should. and the other is to long and leaves a 1/4" at one of the fender wells if put on snug to the front or back. When the 2 side skirts are laid down next to one another the difference in length is easily seen.

and why in the world would they put the adhesive tape on the unfinished side skirt?!?!?!?! Idiots!

No packing in the box for the bumper cover and side skirt. Took 2 days with 3000 watts of halogens several inches away to get the thing so that the whole cover was flexible enough to get the warps out of it. I had to tie the thing off and use weight in spots to hold it close to the shape it was supposed to be in order to get the thing to the point where it could be put onto the car. and even after doing that they still went back to being bent partially. I had to do more heating and wedging foam behind the bumper cover to get it into it's final and correct shape. They got that expanding foam crap all over the hood. and the hood is supposed to have been a Gel coat finish.. NOT!!! it is a mixture of 2 different kinds of primer and the gel coat peeking out in places.Well I think it's primer one of the paints is gray and the other is white.

Be warned that there is going to need to be close to 15 hours labor to get the parts fitted and in a paint ready condition. Also I wouldn't exactly call the ram air functional. you might be able to get a slight breeze through it because there is no clear passage between the cross members and all of the stray fiberglass that can't be cleaned out without cutting the lame grill things they fiberglass into it over the openings. And even if you cut them out it would take a while to to get the stray fiberglass out because the openings are small


The hood looks good after a mountain of time is invested. If you are going to pay a body shop to do it then be prepared to spend at least what you paid on the part in labor to get the thing paint ready.


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I still have some more adjusting to do but it's close now. I am going to bondo all of the edges to get them right and to fill in the dimples cause by air bubbles when they laid the fiberglass.

I did get some of the other parts I ordered in and installed.

Werks strut brace and IC piping. You can see the intercooler in the photos above. I changed the mount for the intercooler. It is up about 2" higher then where it was made to sit. The intercooler hit the bottom of the bumper cover. and because I am not using the factory bumper cover braces that bolt in above the intercooler there was no need to have the gap to get the support bolts out.

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Got most of the turbo in. I am still waiting on some of the parts.
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Yeah, there's been a lot of stories about bad fitment of RK Sport parts on these forums over the years. But glad you had the time and knowledge to work around it. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Actually I am.. Stock hood and Stock GXP bumper cover with the fog lights and turn signals and the stock turbo. There is a dent in the hood but any good body guy would be able to get it out without needing to do any repair work other then getting the dent out. I know that a guy that pops out hail damage dents would have no problem getting it out and they would probably do it for < 100 bucks. There is not 1 scratch in it and no rock chips either. The bumper cover has scratches on the underside from rubbing when going into a steep parking lot or driveway and also has a cracked grille. Some [email protected]^ hit me when my car was in a parking lot and then didn't leave any insurance information of course. The cover is in really good condition. both the hood and bumper have been clear bra'd, it does need to be removed but it has protected the parts over the last 13 years. I may bring the hod to a place and have the dent pulled before I sell it and I will see if I am able to locate a grille for the bumper as well. They are both "Mean" Yellow. I know the hoods are really hard to locate and finding one that is in good shape is even more difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@TomatoSoup

bad fitment is one thing. This thing is not even close to being finished This is where a lot of time is going to have to be spent. It really annoys me because they took 4 weeks longer then they were supposed to. It should have come in paint ready condition after 5 weeks of making the thing. You can't tell me that they are that busy. I did get the parts really cheap from Summit racing, i paid < 600 for the hood and < 600 for the body kit and it was 100 to ship them. I expected to have to do some fitment work on the parts because of posts on here. I did not expect to have to sand and finish all of the parts to get them ready to be painted. There was 0 done to the parts in terms of getting them paint ready. they just trimmed off any excess from the molds and shipped them. They are probably using the molds they made when they first designed the parts and have never made new ones. The molds do go bad and need to be replaced. It appears as tho they don't know this or don't give a crap.

The company lies to you when called and asked where the parts are. They even went to the extent of giving me a BS tracking number and told me that the number will not work for a few days until it gets entered into the shipping companies computer. The shipping company was UPS Freight. How stupid do they think people are??? UPS will not pick the thing up until a tracking number has been generated and entered into their system.

Tell me that your running behind. I can live with that. I do understand that things happen. I didn't care for the run around they gave me.. and getting a hold of them was a HUGE pain, they don't like answering their phones.
 

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Wow! You have gone through a lot and done a ton of work. The RK hood does look amazing once it is finally painted and fitted. A friend in our Ontario club had one and I loved the way it looked. He did have similar fit issues. I was going to go this route. Before pulling the trigger I reached out to Norm’s Fibreglass and he agreed to make me the first one scoop hood. I got his GXP Front Splitter and I went with Race Mesh for the grills. Please post more pics once completed. (y) (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am doing a lot to the car all at once.

RK Sport hood
RK Sport bumper cover
RK Sport side skirts
Werks strut brace
Werks front frame brace
Werks rear frame brace
Werks oil and coolant lines for the turbo
Werks intercooler
Werks charge pipes
Werks CAI
Werks catted down pipe
Turbosmart dual port bypass valve
Tial wastegate
DDM Works Pro beam
DDM Works short shifter
Reinforced silicone couplers for charge pipes and CAI
T-Bar clamps
Custom tunnel (backbone) brace
Custom fenders
Custom rear diffuser/valance
Custom exhaust
Functional Cup holders (not in the center console)
Window switch relocation (both doors)
3 bar map sensors
BorgWarner EFR turbo
Moving wiring harnesses in engine bay
Stainless Steel braided sleeves on all of the lines in the engine bay.
Silicone upper radiator hose.
ZZP turbine housing modified by Werks
Drivers door (accident damage)
Drivers door glass (accident damage)
Drivers door window regulator (accident damage)
Drivers door mirror (accident damage)
Windshield (accident damage)
O2 sensor extender

and I am pretty sure there are things I forgot to list

the ZZP turbine housing is temporary I have a friend that works at a machine shop and I am going to have him make the adapters needed to install the dual scroll turbine housing. I may run the internal waste gate I haven't decided if I want to modify the dual scroll housing yet I guess it depends on clearance. I do not want to end up with a rigged waste gate setup to use the internal. If it looks like it is going to end up that way I will modify the housing and go external. The turbo is going to have to sit a lot higher then it currently does in order to use an adapter

I am doing everything all at once. I have most of the parts in and I have been installing them. I have been refinishing some of the parts to make them unique. I spent a few hours polishing up the factory exhaust manifold heat shield and I have spent a few hours on the strut brace as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Next tip for fitting the hood. Put the headlights in and get them squared away before anything else. As it turns out the curve of the hood is not right on the fender sides of the headlights. when you put the headlights in it pulls that outside piece into the headlight when you put the screws in. This will correct some of the gap where the hood meets the bumper cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Northern Sol
I will post photos of my progress. I just got the headlights in and I sanded the entire hood with 320 grit and then with 400 grit by hand. fun fun. There are some spots that I need to put some bondo on and some areas where they used a coarse file on that I have to fill the scratches.I would end up taking to much material off to get the scratches out. It is a heap of work getting this hood to fit properly and getting it so it's paint ready.

I am going to be making a front air splitter for my car. I am going to make it out of 1/2" clear acrylic. I will probably etch into it "Solstice". I will frost the leading edge of it and on the back edge put a light source . this will light up the etching and also the leading edge. I have to do some testing to see what kind of light is going to work the best. I wouce found a company that made a laser that would light of the whole edge perfectly event. Using LED's is hard because they have hot spots you need then touching each other and even doing that you end up with it not being perfect. IDK if they make a yellow laser tho. I have to see if I can find it.
 

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@Northern Sol
I will post photos of my progress. I just got the headlights in and I sanded the entire hood with 320 grit and then with 400 grit by hand. fun fun. There are some spots that I need to put some bondo on and some areas where they used a coarse file on that I have to fill the scratches.I would end up taking to much material off to get the scratches out. It is a heap of work getting this hood to fit properly and getting it so it's paint ready.

I am going to be making a front air splitter for my car. I am going to make it out of 1/2" clear acrylic. I will probably etch into it "Solstice". I will frost the leading edge of it and on the back edge put a light source . this will light up the etching and also the leading edge. I have to do some testing to see what kind of light is going to work the best. I wouce found a company that made a laser that would light of the whole edge perfectly event. Using LED's is hard because they have hot spots you need then touching each other and even doing that you end up with it not being perfect. IDK if they make a yellow laser tho. I have to see if I can find it.
Fantastic. I will follow your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I came up with a cool idea. My thought is to make a sequential switchback turn signal fog light and use the splitter as the lens I found an individually addressable RGBW LED strip that puts out just over 500 lumen per foot and it's 5 feet ish across the width of the car. that would end up being 2500 lumen across the entire thing. I would use a foot on either side as the sequential switchback turn signal.

The normal brightness for fog lights is between 1000 and 3000. I could set it up so that there was a foot and a half on either side that would be "normal" fog lights and when I wanted that extra brightness I could turn on the LED's in the middle as well. I would have to bevel the leading edge slightly so it would shine at the ground more and polish it up really good. maybe give the beveled edge a curve to it so it would possibly magnify the light like a lens.

I ordered an aluminum water tight holder for the LED strip and that holder clips onto the edge of a piece of 1/2" plexiglass. This will direct 100% of the light the LED's produce directly into the back edge of the plexiglass.

I ordered an amp step down (power supply) to go from 9-30VDC down to 5VDC for the LED strip and I also ordered 2 meters of the LED's I am going to use. write up some firmware for an Arduino to control the lights. make a couple of voltage dividers with some resistors add in there a 10K pull down resistor attach each of the turn signal hot wires to 2 digital input pins on the Arduino attach one of the fog light wires in the same manner to another pin and I am off and running!!!


I have to see what is available for a clear acrylic that is semi flexible and won't crack easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@kwil

When I make it good sir when I make it. I have lots of other things I am working on with the car at the moment. Still working on getting the hood to sit properly and look right.

This is challenging because I am not wanting to have to add onto the hood a huge amount. The drivers side where the hood meets the drivers door is going to need a lot of work to get right. I am going to have to build out the entire corner of the hood. It sits much lower then the drivers door and it sits way in compared to the fender and the door on the side. The fender is positioned properly because at either aide of the fender the alignment to the hood is correct they formed the hood incorrectly. There is also a huge gap between the hood and the door but the gap between the fender and the door is good and the hood to fender alignment in the wheel well is perfect. and also the hood to bumper cover is now perfect. They really messed up this entire corner of the hood. I may lay glass down on top of it because it is close to 1/4" off which is a HUGE amount. Probably take close to a half gallon of body filler to fix the corner.

I may lift the hood up to match as close as I can and add onto the edge where the hood meets the fender. This would require a whole lot less body filler but it is an edge that can have the potential to break off. maybe if I shred up some fiberglass and add it to the Bondo and make kitty hair. It's a pain to work with but it is quite a bit stronger then Bondo alone.

It would be difficult to extend onto properly with fiberglass I think. I am going to investigate that aspect of it as well.
 

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So their statement on their site that the hood is 'ready for prep and paint' is ore than a bit of an exaggeration? Great that you posted this so any potential purchasers will know that 'prep' means one heck of a lot more than one would normally anticipate.

Well done on having the skill and patience to sort all that out!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@wspohn

a person would end up paying as much as they did for the hood to get it paint ready. If they have patience and know how to use a metal file and sand paper getting it to be paint ready is not hard. it's just time consuming. and to be honest if the person that owns the car does it them selves they are going to be much more anal about how it fits.

One of the things I have noticed in almost all of the photos I have seen of the hood and or the bumper cover being installed and painted is there is a wavy spot in the bumper cover on the outside edges where the hood meets the bumper cover. I spent some time getting these 2 spots correct and I made metal pinch brackets that get bolted down on top of the bumper cover the entire length of where the bumper cover attached to the car at the top. I put kerf cuts in the cover under this bracket to allow the cover to bend properly so I could match the curve. I used a 1/4" file to make the kerf cuts.

I will supply photos of the bracket I made and the kerf cuts so others will know what needs to be done to both the OE bumper cover or the RK Sport cover is they want a perfect seam along the front of the car.

You can actually see this same warping/rippling with the OE cover and the OE hood on a lot of Solstices as well. This same thing would need to be done to correct the issue with the stock hood and cover.

You can see it in this photo.
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see where the hood meets the bumper cover right in front of the wheel well. It is not supposed to look like that. if you follow the body line between the hood and cover on the other side of the light the spacing looks really good but in front of the fender it is all messed up. It looks like a HUGE cap. it's not it's a shadow from the bumper cover being in further then the hood. This is why a kerf cut is needed and with the bracket pushing evenly down across the entire mount spot on the bumper cover it ensures it is not going to move at all.

In fact if you open the hood and look at the mount point all the way across in between the headlights you will see that the bumper cover is wavy gravy. I made a bracket that spans that entire section and it pushed the cover down flat against the mount point.

If there is an issue with the hood touching the bracket or screws it's not a big deal. The entire mount point is height adjustable and can be lowered a smidge so the hood clears the screws and bracket. This will not cause an appearance issue because by putting the bracket on the top edge of the bumper cover has now been rolled in and lifted. It should be sitting slightly higher then the hood so you do not get any rock chips along the leading edge of the hood. rocks hitting the edge of a body panel = NOT GOOD!!! most solstices have this happening to the passenger and driver door because of fender alignment.
 

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I was lucky and my coupe had good closing lines between panels between hood and bumper cover on both sides - maybe their quality control improved by 2009..



I've done two fiberglass cars (63 TVR race car and 65 Jensen CV8) and loathed working on them. Even using gloves and long sleeves, I itched for two weeks after the job was done! I'd never have made it as a boat builder!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ya get used to the fiberglass itchies. But there is is a trick to getting rid of them.. This is the process.

DO NOT TAKE A SHOWER!!!

use as hot a water as you can stand. and a crap load of Dawn or Pamolive.. any kind of dish liquid except that crap that doesn't clean the dishes LOL. You want to be really coated in it. you need to do this 2 times. while under the hot water wipe you body pieces down in the direction the hair travels. DO NOT GO THE OTHER WAY!! keep wiping until the soap is gone. only do this with your hand. Then do it a second time. On the 3rd turn the water all the way to cold.

The fiberglass bits get suspended in the dish liquid. the really super hoot water gets all of your pores as open as possible. you go with the grain if the air because you do not want to shove any strands up into a hair follicle . on the 3rd time the cold water snaps all of those pores shut as tight as they will go and allows you to get the last little bits of glass off of you.

This is a 100% guaranteed way to get rid of the itchies.

You do not take a shower because you will get fiberglass in places you really don't wanna have it go. Fiberglass has never really bothered me. Thick skin i guess. or maybe thick headed. CS riot control gas doesn't bother me either. Maybe there is something wrong with me.. must have had my head under the kitchen sink to often when i was a kid.. o_O
 

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Discussion Starter #18
and yes it does appear as tho you did luck out with your solstice. You do see what I am talking about as far as the warping of the cover??

I am also sure that locale has something to do with it as well. I live at 8500 foot in Colorado,m we have an average of 300 sunny days a year here and the sun is CRAZY strong. So much so that tires are almost a yearly expense.


I picked up 2 hood shocks today the OE ones are 15" compressed and have a 4.5" stroke and can lift 149lbs each. They also have a 3.8" socket on each end. I couldn't locate anything that matched the compressed length and the stroke and had a lower lifting capacity. I wanted to go with 75 or 80 lb ones but couldn't locate any. I did find a set that was 15" compressed it had an 8" stroke and was close to 40lb lifting capacity. I gave those a shot.. Boy is it close. Needs at most another 60lbs per piston. after that the hood would become hard to close.. the 40lb ones would have worked if the stroke was the 4.5" and not 8" the gas struts get their maximum at the ends of the stroke.

they are 40 bucks a pop and for about 20 dollars more for the pair I can get linear actuators to do the job.


Here are those photos I promised.

Lights are installed.
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This is looking down the drivers side of the car from the front. you can see the alignment problem with the door.

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looking down the drivers side of the car. See the door sticking out further then the hood?
Also look at the fender to hood.. the hood in compared to the fender. At the wheel well side it is not like this. it tapers in as you go down the car.
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Now here is the passenger side same type of photo. the lines look fantastic. So if one side is right and the other is in like it is.. the hood was made incorrectly.

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Drivers side. See how off the hood is at the top.and also look at the door gap. It's WAYYYY off. But pay attetion to the line on the fender. It is even

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and here is the passenger side. The alignment at the top is great. the gap is not really that far off.
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I have not done any work to either side of the car where the hood meets the door. This is how it came from RKSport. The front where it meets the bumper cover was also pretty far off as well. I have spent about 8 hours so far to get the bumper cover and the front of the hood into the state where you see it in the first photo. and that isn't even paint ready!!!!

It is going to take me another 6 hours or so to get the hood to line up properly with the doors. and then I have to sand out the entire thing all the way to 800 grit and also fix any blemishes in the surface as I find them. There are 4 or 5 I have to mess about with. I will know more as I get into the finer grits of paper. This process is going to take yet another 4 hours or so. Then it will be paint ready!.

so their claim of it being paint ready is so far off it's crazy. 18 hours just to get the hood and bumper cover installed and paint ready.. 18 hours at what??? 75 an hour if you find an honest body shop. that's 1350 bucks.. wanna know what I paid for the hood and body kit... just a tad under that.

I am no expert when it comes to body work. I know enough to get into trouble. I do not think of myself as slow but not fast either. I run at the speed that it should be done in to make sure that every small detail has been addressed properly and to get the absolute best fit.


WARNING: DO NOT SCREW THE HEADLIGHT SCREWS ALL THE WAY IN.
Be very careful with this. you can get tricked! on the drivers side I was able to get the stock screws all the way in without issue. On the passenger however.. They bottom out against the outer skin. If you screw them in thinking it is resin in the threads you will put a screw right through the hood. I put a nut on each screw and then ground the screw down. used a file to taper the end a bit and then took the nut off (cleans the threads) You might want to just bypass testing this and grind the bolts down by 1/8". This removes any possibility of a nasty problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
And here are the photos of the brackets I made. These are a first run of the brackets to get the basic shape. I will be making another set that will get put on after the car is painted. The last set will be all polished up and looking nice. I am going to change the screws out so they have a much larger head on them and they are flat head so I can flush them out with the brackets. The middle screw in the center of the bumper was rubbing the underside of the hood. I used a screw that had a much thinner and smaller washer on it and this helped greatly. but it still just barely nicks the hood. I am going to go flush with the screws. I did add a few more screws between the headlights to make things look better. I am also going to go with a piece of 1/8" aluminum instead of 1/16" for the center section. I have to come up with a way of keeping the aluminum from buckling when I heat it and bend it. I am sure the thicker material will help I will probably clamp scrap pieces on top and bottom while i bend it. I am also going to heat it more on the outside of the bend and I will pull it as I bend it. I should be able to stretch the outside enough to not have the aluminum bunch up on the inside.

So again this is a proof of concept so don't beat me up to badly on how it looks.


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and this is where that warp in the bumper cover happens.
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and this is what the bumper cover looks like with the kerf cut to stop that warping.
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You can see the gap in the cut is smaller on one end vs the other. It is not by a huge amount. It is enough to cause that wavy gravy effect in the bumper cover if the cut is not there. I made the brackets for the top of it to enure there was little to no movement.

actually you can see some of the wavy gravy in that photo. when I get everything tightened down and in place i get that wavy out.

I suggest spending the time to make the brackets it make the process of getting the front aligned a bucket load easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Oh I can say that the headlights fit better in this hood (after i made the holes for the lights correct) then the OE hood. The hood buts to the lens much tighter and you only see a thin line of that pattern they have on the very edge. Unlike what you see with the OE hood.
 
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