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Bumper Covers vs. Airdams

When vehicle manufacturers design the bumper of most trucks and SUVs, good looks aren’t always their top priority. Protection, impact resistance and government regulations all factor in to how the bumper must look. More often than not, the result is the bumper looking oversized and not very exciting. However, when you’re cruising around town, what’s the first part of your vehicle most people see? The front. So, if you’re like most truck owners, one of the first things you’re going to want to do is clean up the look of your stock front end.

Nowadays, the top choice of most truck owners is the smooth, clean look of a custom bumper cover or air dam. And, because they’re easy to install, ready-to-paint and come in such a huge variety of styles; enthusiasts of virtually all skill levels can get the job done on their own.

What’s the Difference?
Before you make your selection, perhaps we should cover a little background info. There’s a fine line between what’s considered an air dam and what’s considered a bumper cover. To further confuse matters, many bumper covers include a built-in air dam. And, to throw another wrench in the system – sometimes air dams are referred to as valances.

Confused? These stats should help you make an informed selection between these two worthy contenders:

Bumper Cover

Vital Stats – Bumper Cover
Coverage: Covers entire stock front bumper and conceals the holes left behind from front license plates.
Install: Attaches over stock bumper with hidden screws and double-sided tape. Drilling required.
Look: Adds smooth, sporty style to the front of your truck or SUV.
Benefit: Provides an easy way to dramatically change the look of your vehicle.

1. Remove your factory lower valance and front plate bracket (if vehicle is equipped with one).

2. Place the bumper cover over your factory bumper and test for proper fit. Drill two holes on each side of the hidden portion of the bumper cover indicated in the instructions and secure it to the factory bumper using the hardware provided. Remove and paint to match.

3. Thoroughly clean the entire stock bumper to promote the adhesion of the double-sided tape.

4. Apply pressure to adhere the tape for a tight fit and secure the cover using the hardware provided.


Vital Stats – Airdam
Coverage: Mounts beneath stock bumper. Some styles cover a portion of the lower front bumper.
Install: Bolts on beneath your factory bumper.
Look: Lowers the nose of your vehicle for contemporary, aerodynamic styling.
Benefit: Modern looks. Also reduces wind drag for improved fuel economy.

1. Remove your factory lower valance and front plate bracket (if vehicle is equipped with one).

2. Place the air dam beneath factory bumper and test for fit. Remove and paint to match if desired.

3. Secure the air dam to the holes indicated in the instruction using the hardware provided.

4. If installation requires the use of double-sided tape, thoroughly clean the bumper to promote the adhesion of the tape. Finally, apply pressure to adhere the double-sided tape to the bumper.

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