I had done a lot of research on Dubtechnik side skirts and probably read every thread regarding the quality, fit, etc. before I purchased them. I was skeptical of the "bow" commonly found but I knew it could be fixed. And at $120 for the set, they were a steal. I am completely happy with my purchase and I would definitely recommend them. I did, however, have the common problems with shipping that Dubtechnik is so famous for. My skirts never made it to my doorstep, but an email and a phone call solved that problem. Overall: to Dubtechnik.
Here is a DIY for everyone looking to paint/install these side skirts. Just like my last DIY for factory valances, this will be “The Idiot’s Guide to Dubtechnik Side Skirt Installs.” Be aware that I use a paint gun to paint the side skirts, but you can purchase your paint and clearcoat in spray can form if you don’t have a paint gun available. If you choose this method, the quality may not be what you’re hoping for. *Note* This is simply a set of guidelines for you to follow. Do not hold me accountable for any mistakes you make.
Approximate Cost to Paint and Install: $120-$150
2 x Can of Dupi Color Filler Primer
1 x Can of Extra Solids Activator
1 x Can of Clearcoat
1 x Can of Urethane Reducer
1 x Pint of paint color of your choice (Paint codes can be found here: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1076723)
3 x Roll of 3M Super Strong Exterior Mounting Tape
1 x Tube of Window, Door, Molding, etc. Caulk/Silicone
1 x 8 oz. Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol
1-2 x Sheet of 400 Grit Wetordry Sand Paper
1-2 x Sheet of 600 Grit Wetordry Sand Paper
1 x Paint Spray Gun (hopefully you have one)
2 x 3 ft. 1x2” Wood (Used to fix the “bow”)
1 x Hot Glue Gun
1 x Person Capable of Helping You
*Important* Create a dust/clutter free work zone!
Step 1: Start by removing the lowest screw in the wheels well behind the front tires and test fit the side skirts to make sure they are going to fit properly. Drill a hole in the front of each side skirt once you have lined them up with the hole in the wheel well. You will use this screw to attach them to the car.
Step 2: Cleaning the side skirts with some water and a towel just to remove any dust particles on them from shipping. Now get out the Filler Primer and shake it really well for about one minute before you start spraying. Do about 3-4 coats. The last coat should be thicker than the previous. Let the side skirts dry for about 5-10 minutes between each of the coats. Let the Filler Primer dry for at least 30 minutes. It should look like this:
Step 3: Get out the 400 Grit Wetordry Sand Paper and a bucket of water. While sanding, make sure to keep wetting the sand paper. Sand lightly until you have a smooth, even surface. This shouldn’t take long since the side skirts are fiberglass. Wipe the surface clean with a rag.
Step 4: Do another 1-2 coats of Filler Primer. Again, remember to allow 5-10 minutes of time to dry between coats, and at least 30 minutes for the final coat to dry.
Step 5: Now use the 600 Grit Wetordry Sand Paper. Again, sand lightly until you have a smooth, even surface. Wipe the surface clean with a rag. You are ready for paint at this point.
Step 6: Mix your paint with the Urethane Reducer in a 1:1 ratio. The paint must be thinned before you apply it. Use a Paint Spray Gun to spray even coats on the side skirts. Do about 4-5 coats. Allow 5-10 minutes of dry time between each coat. After the final coat, let the paint dry for at least 1 hour. It should look like this:
Step 7: Mix your Clearcoat (4) with the Extra Solids Activator (1) in a 4:1 ratio. Clean out your Paint Spray Gun and apply roughly 4-5 even coats. Allow 5-10 minutes of dry time between each coat. After the final coat, let the side skirts dry as long as possible (minimum of 8 hours).
Step 8: You are ready for install at this point. First, clean the rocker panel with rubbing alcohol to remove and dirt and debris. Then, place a line of the 3M Mounting Tape a couple millimeters from the edge of each side skirt. When you are ready to proceed, remove the red strip covering the sticky part of the tape. Using your Person Capable of Helping You, start from one end (front or back) and mount the side skirts to the car.
Step 9: You have probably noticed the bow in the side skirts by now. The solution I thought would work best to this problem is to cut two 3 ft. 1x2” pieces of wood down to about 3 ft. 1x1.25” and place each between the under-side of the car and the side skirt. Adhere the wood using a hot glue gun. Apply glue to both the under-side of the car and the side skirt. Voila! No more bow!
Step 10: In order to ensure a lasting adhesion, it is important to seal the gap above the tape between the side skirts and the car. For this, run a line of the caulk/silicone along the top of the side skirts. This will probably be messy and frustratingly difficult to remove any excess, but you will thank yourself in the long run. Keep a bucket of water and some paper towels handy for assistance. The instructions are on the tube of caulk. *Note* Some of the caulk will probably end up on the car, so try to make the layer as thin as possible. This will be easy to remove once it has dried. Let this dry for a minimum of 2 hours.
Enjoy your work! I hope this DIY helped.
Modified by ApeX2 at 6:48 PM 5-9-2009