Making room for wider wheels and tires or lowering your vehicle is a necessity if you want to save the paint on your fenders and also the rubber on your wheels. Many years ago we brought the fender roller to the automotive aftermarket and sold tens of thousands of units. Our fender roller even jump started some entrepreneurs into starting their own fender rolling service and we’ve seen and heard just about every trick and failure out there! We decided to put our top three tips for successfully rolling the fenders on your vehicle.
- Bare Metal Is Best- Paint has its limitations and while we do always suggest using a heat gun to heat and soften pain while rolling fenders, we’d prefer to do it in bare metal. If you’re into a major project make it a habit to get your wheels and tires you want to use mounted up and test suspension travel. If there’s any question on if your tires might rub; it’s time to roll your fenders. We suggest doing this work when the car is in bare metal and definitely before any body filler has been applied to the panel. Filler doesn’t bend and will crack if you try and roll a fender lip. If you have to roll fenders on a painted vehicle make sure you use a digital heat gun and infrared thermometer to keep the paint at the optimal temperature.
- Easy Does It- Rolling your fenders shouldn’t be treated like a drag race. Quicker won’t ever be better and if you try and rush the job you will either abuse the tool or damage the vehicle. Take small passes with the fender roller with moderate pressure. You want to slowly fold the fender arch lip into itself and it isn’t good to try and crank the lip over in one pass. We’ve seen tools break, fenders warped, and paint cracking out into the center of the panel when users attempt to go too far in a single pass.
- Only Do what Is Needed- The main function of the lip around the wheel arch is to add strength to the panel and keeping it from distorting around the arch. There is a point when you fold the edge too far into itself that it becomes weak and won’t help strengthen the panel. We’ve seen decreases in strength in bends over 45 degress. If you decided to fold the fender lip completely flat be aware that you are now doing the same as stacking two pieces of sheet metal together and it may now withstand and rubbing or vibration.