One of the things I’ve always hesitated about spending money on are lexan bodies. Sure they look great but at $30+ a piece (and $20 to get painted) they aren’t cheap – being on a budget I’d rather put that monies towards something to increase the performance/ fun of my truck (like tires/ batteries or other upgrades). But, the body is there for a reason… it must serve some purpose??
The purpose for the body is to show off your creativity and protect your investment from damage. Having a uniquely distinctive body will make you feel good and allow you to identify your truck in a crowd. More importantly (IMO) is the body’s function to protect your truck from some types of damage.
The types of damage the body protects against are rolls and upside down/ sideways skids. When these situations occur, the body is there to act as a shield for the guts within the truck. If the body where not there, anything that is exposed (such as wires/ electronics/ other truck parts) could make contact with the ground and take damage. This damage caused could be more expensive than the cost of the lexan body (especially if the electronics/ motor/ engine are involved). So, it is a kind of insurance.
Unfortunately, any sudden impacts will go right through the flexible body and find something more rigid to break/bend.
To get the most protection from the body, invest in one that is made with thicker material. These will be able to withstand more damage before cracking. Cracks/tears, however, are inevitable. When they do occur, you can prevent them from spreading by drilling/ reaming a small hole at the point where the crack ends. The hole just needs to be about 1/8 inch diameter. You can apply some flexible adhesive to the crack to mend it – be sure the adhesive is flexible when dry otherwise it will just crack around where the adhesive is applied.
So, although the lexan bodies are pretty expensive the cheap insurance they provide is more than worth it. Besides, like me, you may find that you enjoy prepping/ painting the clear bodies.
To save a few bucks, the next body I paint will be done using regular old spray paint cans instead of the specific polycarbonate paints. Let me know about your experiences if you’ve already tried this!