Engine Bay Billet | Giving your engine bay some flash.

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It's been said that the last five-percent of a project vehicle is the hardest. That may or may not be true-it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you're just adding some trim pieces to the engine bay, then it's icing on the cake. For an interior dress-up, things can get a bit more complicated.

Street Scene F-150
To get started, check out the cool stuff added by the Billet Superstore to this customized Ford F-150 from Street Scene, a well-known sport truck on the show circuit. The vehicle was just about complete, but these beautiful bits of billet aluminum really enhanced the presentation. Be advised that this metalwork isn't inexpensive. Typical prices range from $35 for the fuse box cover to $185 for all of the fluid reservoir caps. The Billet Superstore is a full-line customizer that handles a wide range of truck mods, but this job was fairly straightforward and it took their crew only an hour or so to add them.

If you're new to this process, there are few things that will make it go faster. Before applying any part with an adhesive backing, thoroughly cleaning the surface that will be covered with MEK (methyl ethyl ketone), a strong chemical thinner that removes oil and grease. Careful when using this solvent, however, because it can be toxic.

Before you peel back the film covering the adhesive on the billet part, test-fit the part to the location. You may need to make a small mark with a grease pencil or other removable marker to help line up the edges properly. Once you're satisfied with the positioning, remove the film to expose the adhesive backing and press the part in place. Don't try to move it around after it's been positioned.

For billet pieces that fit over the caps on fluid reservoirs (brake, windshield washer, and crankcase), first test-fit the piece again. Then apply a generous amount of adhesive, which also serves as a filler for any gaps. It takes some time to dry thoroughly, so don't try to twist the caps right away.

For the knobs on the dipsticks (oil and transmission fluid), some pieces snap right on, but others might require trimming the plastic on the stock unit. Again, a bit of adhesive will fill any gaps and secure the knob on the dipstick.

The hood supports can be covered with billet as well. You first have to remove the part and disassemble it before sliding on the billet sleeve. Once you have all this jewelry under your hood, you'll no doubt be impressed by the glitter. Billet aluminum really dresses up the engine bay for show time.

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