Planning to restore an off-road vehicle that's filled with rusty patches all over its body shell? Then you need to invest in an aftermarket body tub. However, not all tubs are created equal. To get the most bang for your buck, you need to choose wisely. But with so many options nowadays, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. To help you figure out the right aftermarket part for your needs and budget, consider these tips:
1. Choose the right tub material.
Body tubs for Jeeps and other vehicles are made from a variety of materials known for their rigidity and durability. However, each material type has its own share of pros and cons. Here's the lowdown on the most common materials used in manufacturing tubs: fiberglass, aluminum, and steel:
Fiberglass . A fiberglass tub is durable yet lightweight. And because it's not metal, it won't corrode. It's also more affordable than its aluminum and steel counterparts. However, exposure to extremely cold temperatures can make fiberglass brittle and prone to stress cracks. So if you live in a place or you plan to take your restored vehicle to a place known for its subzero temperatures, a fiberglass body tub is not the best option for you. A fiberglass tub is also not a good option if you want something that you can easily repair yourself since this material is high maintenance and may require professional work.
Aluminum . Aluminum tubs look like the real ones, so they're perfect for restoration jobs. They're also highly durable and won't rust. They're more expensive than fiberglass types, but they won't crack when exposed to subzero temperatures. But just like fiberglass, aluminum may require professional work to keep it in top shape.
Steel . If you've got the extra cash, then invest in a steel body tub. It's the most expensive type but it's also the most durable. It won't crack when exposed to subzero temperatures and can take more dents than aluminum and fiberglass types. However, it's prone to corrosion, so make sure you put a protective coat or finish on a steel tub to make it last longer.
2. Consider your vehicle's purpose.
If you use your vehicle for off-road trips, it's regularly exposed to harsh driving conditions, extreme weather, and heavier road debris such as small rocks and wayward branches. To make sure your vehicle will stand up against these damaging elements, invest in a steel body tub; it's highly durable and is easy to maintain. After all, dents, cracks, and stains are all part of enjoying the rugged outdoors. Now if you use your vehicle as a daily driver, then a fiberglass tub is the right way to go. This type is strong enough to withstand elements in the urban jungle but won't cause a dent on your pocket.
3. Take note of your vehicle's original tub material.
For restoration jobs, it's best to stick to the original tub's material to achieve a more authentic look. So if your vehicle originally had a metal tub, an aluminum or steel tub should help you restore your ride to its former glory.