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I spotted a GXP in the wild of South Phoenix today. It had an interesting bumped configuration I'm not familiar with.

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Man Oh Man, every time I see a solstice with an RK sport bumper cover installed on it they always look like pOOp. nothing is aligned correctly in the front. Granted it is a royal pain to get it all to fit correctly and it takes quite a bit of time.


You see the gap between the fender and the hood and how it gets narrower as it gets closer to the wheel well. This is because the bump stops near the hood hinges are not adjusted high enough. When they get adjusted up there will end up being a large gap between the hood and the bumper cover. This is a pain to correct because of the number of times the cover has to be put on and taken off. The adjustment bolts to lift the cover to it meets the hood are behind the cover. It has to be taken off to make the adjustment.

I had to add onto my hood in order for it to close the gap because I had lifted it as far as it would go.

This is a correct hood to bumper cover alignment.


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it took me no less then 10 hours to get the fit like that.
 

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I spotted a GXP in the wild of South Phoenix today. It had an interesting bumped configuration I'm not familiar with.

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I saw one at Walmart a couple weeks ago in Austin, TX. It was silver with black wheels and a furry leopard steering wheel cover. I didn't get any pics, but I feel like my detailed description more than makes up for that.
 

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I do not like the RKSport front as well, I think it looks out of proportion, ie poor visual design. Makes the car look like it's worth 1/10th of its value. Or they crashed it and got that instead of a stock style replacement. My personal 2¢ of course.
 
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ConeHugger01 I heartily agree with you. To each his own with these cars, but I find most mods cheapen the appearance, and even some of the mechanical / unseen mods are not appropriate either and lead to new problems.
 

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Not a fan of the RK front end. I do like some of front end work from Norm's though.
 

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I personally I like the way the RK hood and bumper cover look. It actually does look good when everything is aligned properly. The problem is I have not seen 1 where the time was spent to align it correctly..(except on my car). but then again he Solstice is riddled with body panel alignment problems from the factory.
 
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protect the IC from what? anything that is going to be large enough to damage the IC worse then bending a fin would go right through whatever it is that I cover it with. The fins can be easily bent back with a pair of needle nose pliers. I also think that adding a mesh detracts from how it looks.
 

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That is Brian's car. He just had the starter replaced.

That car has been rode hard and put away wet as they say. He once passed me at well over 100 mph, driving with his knees and taking my picture.

He drives the living crap out of that car. Its on its second motor. Built by DDM with all the stronger internals and a bigger turbo. The owner is not into pretty, just pretty fun.

He can and has driven circles around me. If this were a pretty face contest then he would not enter. He got the replacement body panels after running through a HAIL storm a few years ago that was so deep, it pulled the fenders, front bumper cover and rear bumper cover off the car. What a mess. He got what he could get, painted it to match and installed it on the car. Good enough.

I had to blow the photo up to see the "bumped configuration" in the OPs entry. That is not actually a bump. Like a lot of Kappas the rear window glass separated from the canvas. When we glued it back into the car, it was not perfectly aligned or it moved slightly before the glue set as he drove off into the sunset at a high rate of speed.

I have seen three different club carts with the RK hood. Two were less than perfectly aligned in my calibrated eyeball, but they liked them so I was happy for them. The third example fit very well but was basically remanufactured and a LOT of time and money invested to achieve near perfection. Its not easy. Heck, even my Norm's hood had significant body work done to it because of the anal retentive shop I used. No, no no its not going to get painted thill its perfect.

Is there really a right or wrong with gaps? If you are ok with it and pay the bills, then those are your gaps. I spent a couple of days with my old hood and got it aligned pretty well. I spent several days with the new glass hood and never got it as close as the metal one, but you know what? I don't care. Its good enough for me. And I have not once had an individual come up to me in the 14 years I have owned the car and offer criticism for the gaps. :)

Maybe KG will come and play with my gaps some day. He is the ONLY person I would trust with that kind of work. I may have to add a guest room to the garage though . . . . .
 

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The rear tires looked over sized for the wheel width.
Does looked pretty roughed up. But sounds like owner is having loads of fun which is what matters right?
Someone should point the owner to the fender gap document!
 

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Thanks for the kind words @rob the elder

An you are correct about fitment. It all depends on the owner of the car and what their expectations are. Getting the bumper cover alignment correct with the hood was a royal pain in the a** to do. I had to manufacturer parts to hold the cover properly so it wouldn't move or sag from temperature and time. I have to fix the rear bumper cover because of the rippling that is caused by how it's attached.

One suggestion for anyone that owns a Kappa is to align the fenders properly. This is yet another one of those things that takes time to do because of the massive amount adjustment that can be made. The hood should not come into contact with the fender at all, there should be 1/4" of gap between the hood and the fender if your car doesn't have the weatherstripping. If it does then it should be just touching the weatherstripping. The fender should also be adjusted 1mm to 2mm out from the door. they should not be flush, doing this keeps rocks from beating up the leading edge of the door.

I am going to be shimming my door hinges to close the gap between the door and the quarter panel and closing the gap between the door and the fender. having the fender adjusted out that couple of millimeters is what is going to make it possible to lose the gap and not have the door hit the fender when it gets opened.


What I did to get the gap so close at the hood to bumper cover is I put a piece of wax paper on the bumper cover and closed the hood on it. I chipped up some fiberglass into small pieces and mixed it with the resin. I added the catalyst and applied the mixture into the space. when It hardened I opened the hood and removed the wax paper and shaped it. I mixed chopped fiberglass into some Bondo and went over the edge filling in problem areas and I also did the underside of the hood making the edge thicker. I used the same process to get the hood to fender gap correct. this was because of the extremely poor fitment of the RK sport hood. I actually had to widen the hood by close to a 1/2" near the windshield because it was made to narrow. I also used a laser level that shot a cross to get the hood level and to locate the center of the hood, this allowed me to make a really large compass to correct the curve of the hood at the windshield. It too was really far off.


The pencil line is the same curve as the windshiel. you can see how far off the hood was trimmed. You don't really notice it until you stare at it for a while.

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There is still one other problem with the hood I have to correct and it can be seen in the photo. most people are not going to notice it. Lets see if there is anyone that can see what the problem is.
 

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In the photo above there are numbers written on the hood. those numbers are measurements of the left side and right side of the hood. they aren't the same. That is not the problem that I am going to correct, I may as well make the hood from scratch if I was to correct that problem.
 

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Above will explain the body fitment problem with the fender. In order to get the fender alignment correct the bumper cover needs to be moved up. If you bring the leading edge of the fender down in order to get the hood to fender gap correct you then make the gap between the fender and the door wider at the top. Right now the door to fender gap looks good so that shouldn't get messed with at all. You can see how easily an improper panel adjustment can cause problems with another panel that is not even adjacent to it. the bumper cover needs to move up a couple of millimeters and the hood stops at the front need to be adjusted up a couple of turns to correct the fender alignment.
 

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There's nothing that shout ghetto like poor body panel fitments. Reminds me of the old riced-up Civics and Neons with cheap kamikaze bodykits.
 

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I went with RK sport because I didn't want to wait 1+ years to get them from Norms Fiberglass.

And even with a cheap body kit it can be fitted/adjusted so it looks right. The Kappas simply have way to many adjustments that need to be made in order to get everything to align properly. Who is going to think to lift the entire bumper cover in order to get the body gap at the hood and fender correct. The Solstice is the first car I have ever seen that has an adjustment to raise and lower the entire bumper cover.
 

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When I get my car painted I will video the assembly and the adjustment process for the body panels. I will also show the brackets I made that stop the front and rear bumper covers from buckling and how to get rid of the flat spot in the front bumper cover just below the headlights.
 

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I like Brian. We need more Brians in the Kappa world.
 
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