What Is Fender Rolling?

Did you just buy your car a new set of larger wheels? Congratulations! Now you have to figure out how you will fit them beneath the fenders. Depending on the wheel size and offset that you chose, it’s possible that the wheel will end up rubbing against the fender, which will make turning the car much tougher. This is where fender rolling comes into play.

Fender rolling is when you, or a certified tire installer, use a fender rolling device to roll the inside of the fender. Doing so makes the fenders and the fender wells wider to accommodate a larger and wider wheel size without it rubbing.

According to Low Offset, “Most commonly, it is the fender lip that needs to be folded up. If you take a closer look at the fenders, you’ll notice that the lip forms an “L” shape. The goal is to roll it up in a “U” shape to get rid of its sharp edge.”

By doing so, you’ll keep the fenders, tires, and, most importantly, your new wheels in good shape.

A white lowered Honda S2000 with rolled fenders.
A white lowered Honda S2000 with rolled fenders. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Can you roll your car’s fenders at home?

A fender rolling machine attached to a wheel hub.
A fender rolling machine attached to a wheel hub. | grassmotorsports.com

Yes, although it takes a lot of patience and the right tools. The folks at Low Offset advise that the process could take up to 4 to 6 hours the first time you do it. So be prepared to take the day off from work.

Here is what you need to get a fender-rolling project started:

  • Heat gun
  • Fender roller
  • Floor jack
  • Rags
  • Old toothbrush

The process of rolling your car’s fenders

Once you get all of the tools together, you can start the process. First, you’ll need to jack the car up with the handbrake engaged. Take one of the wheels off and then attach the fender roller to the hub.

Remove the plastic clips and the fender liner so that you have access to the fender lip. With the rag or old toothbrush, clean out the inside of the fender. You will need to heat the inside of the fender to around 140 degrees Fahrenheit to make the fender pliable enough to roll.

When it’s up to the proper temperature, you can use the fender roller to slowly work the fender back and forth to widen the inner lip. Remember to take it slow and make sure the angle is correct.

What’s the difference between rolling and pulling a fender?

A fender rolling machine
A fender rolling machine. | Amazon

Another common method for fitting larger wheels and tires in a car’s fender is to pull the fender. This uses the same process as fender rolling, but fenders a “pulled” outward to make even more room for the larger wheels. Remember that it’s important to go slow with this process, as rushing could lead to damaged fenders.

How much does it cost to get your car’s fenders professionally rolled?

If you’re too timid to roll the fenders yourself, you can always have a professional shop do the job. According to Drifted, it can cost around $50 to $70 per fender to have them done professionally. We think that’s a pretty good deal considering the cost of a fender roller will set you back around $150. And if you only plan to roll the fenders on one car, then it might not be worth buying one of those rigs.

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