When fitting wider wheels and using a lower suspension setup, there is a possibility that the tires of your car will rub up against the fenders when you tackle corners, or when traversing undulating sections of road. Carrying passengers and heavy cargo might also cause this annoying rub. If you choose to do so, you can fold the inner lip of the fender in. This is actually a very common thing to do among the folks who like to ride low. Here’s how it is done.
* Wheel-arch reforming tool
* Spare lug nuts
What You Need:
* Heat gun
* Jack, jack stands, and wheel chocks
* Time—this shouldn’t be a rush job
Important Things to Check:
* Make sure you are committed. This procedure is very difficult to reverse.
* Clean the fender wells very well before doing the roll.
* Make sure the shocks of your car aren’t actually dead. You might not even need a fender roll.
How to roll fenders with a wheel-arch reforming tool
1) Park on a flat surface and put wheel chocks on for added safety. Lift the car with a jack and remove the wheel below the first fender that will be rolled. Use a jack stand to support the lower suspension arm because the hub has to remain at a level similar to when the tire is on. Remove any fender liner if necessary.
2) Attach the wheel-arch reforming tool to the hub. It fits on like a tire does. Tighten and secure the lug nuts using the same torque as you would when attaching a wheel. Now, adjust the tool so that it hits the fender lip at a mild angle first. Do not attempt an extreme roll right away. But before getting to work, you have to heat the fender first to keep the paint from cracking. Do not keep the gun pointed in one place for an extended period as this can cause the paint to bubble.
3) Roll the fender gradually and use common sense. Keep applying heat. Do a progressive roll. Pay attention and keep adjusting the angle, but only slightly. If more clearance is needed, push further in, but slowly. Are you done? Repeat this at each corner of your car and say goodbye to fender rub.
* Be certain that it isn’t a suspension or wheel bearing problem that is causing the annoying noise.
* The inner lip of the fender was designed to not only keep the panel strong, but to also drain water and road dirt away. When rolling the fender, there is a chance that dirt can get trapped in the folded lip, and this might lead to rust. Do your research.
* There are DIY methods to roll a fender using baseball bats and what-not. We say use the dedicated tool instead.
Note: This article originally appeared in Top Gear Philippines' February 2015 issue.