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Common Kit Car Failures: Problems And Solutions

Kit cars make bold statements, give the builder a sense of accomplishment, and perform like a beast. But in the end, is it all it seems? Are there things you should know first? Let’s dig into the common kit car failures and whether they’re worth it.

Kit cars are great if you have the patience and technical know-how. It’s important to think about whether the construction will be street legal before you start to make it work. Since there is no direct answer, the following sections should help you decide. Let’s start with the value of the kit cars.

Do kit cars hold their value?

High-end factory-built cars to a target standard can be resold at a predictable value. Examples of these cars are Kirkham, Shelby American, and Superformance.

Another reason why these cars are so predictable is that these companies produce new cars at a fixed price. Thus, it is much easier to measure value. On the other hand, owner-built cars are a whole different story, as their prices are the opposite of stable and consistent.

The resale of these owner-built cars depends on many price variables. The most influential are the build quality and the type of parts used.

It also depends on the brand of the car and its demand in the market. For example, old second hand SCBAs still hold their value pretty well after all these years.

As factory-built cars hold steady, used cars may stabilize in some cases and appreciate in others. However, cars like Factory Fives typically depreciate continuously until they level off to just above kit price and qualify as low-end kit builds.

How to help the kit car maintain its value?

If you want your car to maintain its value, you should consider building it with high-quality paint and bodywork. High-quality components also need to be considered, as opposed to a car that is averagely built using a donor vehicle.

Ultimately, the value of a kit car is highly dependent on market value. For example, what a finished car costs compared to what you have spent to build it yourself.

If you’ve spent a lot of money buying components for a kit car that you plan to sell one day, you should be prepared to take a loss when you sell it. Since kit cars are not cars that are bought and built to be sold for profit, but for personal use, that should not be a problem. It’s just for you to keep in mind.

Here is a scenario; buying a quality built Cobra replica won’t cost you too many losses when you eventually sell it years later. Especially if you got it at a bargain price. However, buying a new Cobra will cause you to experience a serious loss when you resell it.

FFRs and other kit Cobra replicas, such as the Shell Valley, typically inflict the highest losses. Especially when sold by the original owner or builder. Keep your eyes open for owners who want to sell a great car because of financial problems (those are the best deals).

If you need a build with a more stable value, you should try these options; Kirkham, Shelby, Superformance, or Backdraft. The kit cars are not cars that are usually revalued. Although, with proper care and maintenance, the value of your kit could be relatively stable.

Is the Kit Cars a good investment?

Whether or not they are a good investment depends on the individual buyer. Also of the purpose for which it was purchased and the amount of satisfaction that said owner obtained from the vehicle.

How long does the kit car last?

The longevity of a kit car, like many other kit car issues, depends on a number of factors. Mileage is not the only indicator of longevity.

A kit car owner who drives a lot can have thousands of kilometers accumulated. However, a kit car owner who has clocked up significantly fewer miles may have other issues such as dry rubber parts or discoloration.

Like any other car, regular maintenance and the occasional replacement of parts are some of the demands that come with running a kit car. When the kit car has hit the 10 year or 150,000 mile mark, parts like the alternator, radiator, shock absorbers, etc. will require new replacements.

Keep in mind that even with the best maintenance, there is a good chance that a major part of the car will fail before the estimated time. It is difficult for your kit car not to have problems, especially when you use it on borrowed time.

Borrowed time kicks in when your vehicle usage has exceeded 200,000 miles.

4 Factors to Avoid Common Kit Car Failures and Extend Lifespan

Among these factors are the following:

1. Check your driving

Sometimes it’s not about the car, it’s about the driver: which means that to reduce stress on your vehicle, you need to monitor your driving and adjust accordingly. Take into account the area in which you are driving and the applicable traffic and circulation regulations.

This is so you don’t hit the brakes suddenly in a traffic situation or when approaching traffic lights and stop signs. Because this will wear out your brakes. And, so you don’t stress your tires and rims by hitting a speed bump or ditch hard.

Another thing to avoid is hard acceleration. When the engine is cold and the accelerator is fully depressed, it can cause the head gaskets to fail.

2. Learn a thing or two about how car engines work

One way to wear out the motor quickly is to overload it with several things running at the same time. For example, when you start the vehicle, you should let it sit for a while before driving.

Second, you should drive for a minute or two before turning on the heat or air conditioning.

This is one area where drivers are careless. There are those where car owners leave the heating or air conditioning running, whether or not the vehicle is on. And, when the vehicle is started, the heater or air conditioner starts running immediately at the same time the engine wakes up.

In any case, the windshield defroster or air conditioner should be checked every month, at least once, regardless of the weather. This is to ensure that the oil is circulating properly through the heating and cooling systems.

3. Pay attention to how you feed your car.

In the maintenance manual of your kit car there are certain instructions on fueling, so be sure to consult them. For example, not all kit cars are designed for premium gasoline, some are designed for regular. So aside from an obvious waste of money, you could be doing more harm to your car than good.

The wrong type of fuel could cause carbon buildup in the combustion chambers. Second, the amount of gasoline you travel with should not drop below a quarter of a tank level.

This can cause condensation and could practically damage the fuel pump.

Once the fuel nozzle closes, do not stubbornly force fuel into the tank. You could be hurting your car by trying to match the amount of fuel you put in your car or by trying to maximize fuel points. The evaporative emissions canister will be damaged. This could cause the check engine light to indicate an urgent need for repairs that will leave you with deep financial holes.

4. Always stay alert.

What is the usual life expectancy of the main parts of your kit car? In order for your kit car to last longer, you must include the life expectancy in your maintenance schedule.

Then be ready to replace it with new parts when that time comes. Waiting for those parts to fail before replacing them is not only bad for your car, but also endangers your life.

Once 7,500 miles have been reached, the tires should be changed. Depending on what your manual says, batteries should be checked annually. While the oil and other fluids in the car should be changed as regularly as possible.

Can the Kit Cars be used every day?

There is no particular reason why kit cars cannot be used every day, other than weather considerations. In the winter/autumn months, corrosion could occur on the car’s chassis. Another issue would be whether or not the vehicle is practical for daily use.

Many kit car designs come without a roof, while many others do (at a higher price).

If you plan to use your kit car on a daily basis, a motorcycle engine would suit you better (although not the best option overall). Also, the chassis should be used frequently with waxoyl.

If you opt for a car with a motorcycle engine, you should make sure that it is a well-built engine to avoid low oil problems. Motorbike engines are not flat, and while riding on some roads, oil overflows. This could cause engine starvation.

A bypassed sump or dry sump on the engine could prevent this problem.

How comfortable is it to drive a Kit Car?

How you make your bed is how you lie on it. The same ideology applies to kit cars. When built to taste, it’s like a perfectly cooked meal. All the sensations that arise when enjoying the fruit of your work.

  • The first point of comfort comes from the satisfaction of having built it yourself.
  • The second point of comfort is whether or not you understand the mechanics of the car you are driving.

This understanding may affect the adjustments you make for more efficient driving. All of these factors contribute to the overall comfort of your kit car.

Can the kit cars be used in any type of weather?

The kit cars are great, yes! But not in winter.

The snow season is too monotonous and wet. It will cause your wipers to fail and frustrate your entire driving experience with foggy screens, leaky roofs, and wet seats. All of this can cause a spike in your blood pressure.

You will also suffer from bulkhead leaks, knocked knees from panel vibrations or lack of space.

And let’s not forget impending traffic accidents or death. A drier and warmer or similar location and weather conditions are the best ideal place and time to drive a kit car.

According to reviews, most kit car weather problems are the roofs and windows. Therefore, get ones of superior quality.

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