First let me premise by saying that I'm a pretty handy guy. I've built houses from the ground up, rebuilt cars, bodywork, customized harleys, done house electrical, etc.......
So Frank gets his new undertail from HotBodies Racing yesterday and decides to dedicate the evening to installing it. The folowing is my experience and opinion of their product.
First, the manufacturer says its a 2 hour installation. Lets just say you'll spend 2 hours staring at their instructions trying to determine exactly where you are supposed to cut your plastic fender. Their photos were Shite! And they even had the gawl to warn you to measure twice, cut once 'cause you can't afford to make a mistake. Uncharacteristically, I chose to be patient and not just take a run at this hideous looking rear fender with a chain saw.
I even had them email me the instructions in the original PDF and printed it out on a high res color printer at work. Still looked like Shite.
Having searched the internet high and low for rear fender mods, I found a few "Cheap Man Versions" and used those as a means to make small modifications, cutting a little at a time, and remounting everyting in between to evaluate the results. Kind of like cut-mount-evaluate-remove-cut some more-mount-evaluate....etc.
As it turns out, I stopped short of installing the undertail for a few reasons:
(1) Instructions were shite....I still could not figure out exactly where to cut, and did not feel comfortable just winging it.
(2) Their solution for mounting the taillight was a flimsy piece of triangular plastic. Cheapo!
(3) They didn't design in a light for the license plate. I sat and contemplated running without a light, but in the end, I knew I would get pulled over by a copper.
One of the better "Cheap man Solutions" came from
You can actually get license plate bolts with lights in them from Summitt Racing. Search for REI inside this site and you'll find them:
So what have I done you ask? Basically I came up with a pretty cool compromise which still leaves me the option to go one step further and tuck the tail lights half way under the body, or go the whole hog and order and install a new undertail.
Basically, this is Phase 1 for me. Remove the rear refelector unit and replace it with the License Plate light unit. Surprisingly, you need only drill a large hole for the light socket to slip into plus one extra hole for the mounting screws, and its all centered (I Got lucky). This step eliminates about 4 inches of the fender/license plate abomination.
In the pic I only have the plate taped in place 'cause I haven't quite figured how much of the fender to hack off. Should it be just a strip to hold the top two bolts, or should I just leave it?