How To Roll Fenders – Custom Jobs
The traditional fender or bumper (UK) is the protective metal on the front and rear of your vehicle and the wheel wells. This component was/is included to absorb the impact of collision from the front or rear.
This component is very important and on vehicles and yacht’s and can be customized to make the vehicle appear more masculine/beefy.
This is not the only fender on a vehicle and today rolling fenders is common to accommodate larger wheels on low profile vehicles. This is why we have arrived at the point where how to roll fenders is worth spending time investigating.
Custom vehicles are back in swing again – on many city streets you will catch a glimpse of low profile sporty looking cars. For vehicle enthusiast each glance is like page in a catalog and with modern machinery some are just like the unicorn. Customizing is a great hobby and owning the unicorn says quite a lot about the owner.
Regardless of your interest, unicorns, baby’s, or just a car, this blog will go through simple tips to ensure you know how to roll fenders. The goal being, you get that unique look and maintain the resale value of your vehicle after the modification.
Mainly because the variety of tools on the market today seems to be the reason some people are clipping or shaving the lip rather than easily having the same job done and simply maintain reasonably good standard of workmanship.
How To Roll Fenders - What You Will Need
While some of this equipment is not DIY stuff the process is the reason behind this blog – you get to spot the questionable techniques at the auto shop or can decide on the best machine to rent.
1. Fender Rolling Machine
Depending on one’s experience with metal sheets rolling fenders can be a simple DIY task. Nevertheless if you consider that during rolling fenders the dry paint is bound to chip/crack you want to be 100% sure you will end up better off than when you started.
The fender-rolling machine used for this task ensures the curve you are aiming to create is even and the damage is relatively low.
2. Heat Gun
The heat gun is used to get the metal malleable and make the entire task a lot shorter. At the right temperature the fender will be easily folded over and the paint will not be damaged as badly either – it gets gummy. Too hot and the paint may mar the finish – another tool you want to handle ONLY if you are certain.
3. High Lift Jack And Mounting
If you are working at home you will need to raise the vehicle. To get good space, adequate to fit in the rolling machine use the high lift jack and mounts. This way you can work on the front or rear wheels at the same time – then switch.
NOTE: You may have seen some good fenders done using just a baseball bat – do not experiment with this technique unless you are 100% certain. The success rate is questionable and the individual in question must have years of experience with fabrication – they are just bragging out loud.
Step 1 – Attach The Fender Rolling Machine To The Wheel Hub
This device is somewhat like a clamp that pushes outwards. Instead of two edges that grasp and push to the center, the machine can be attached and used to provide pressure outward around a curve.
Given this is the device that will ultimately shape/mould the fender you want to check and check again that it is properly attached and secure – it should not slip once the heating or folding is underway.
Step 2 – Fire Up The Heat Gun And Heat The Metal
Again this is not something for the inexperienced. You will often apply the heat using the gun to the inside of the wheel well.
It is an awkward position and you need to ensure the entire outward facing wheel well is almost evenly heated before the next step.
For best results you may want to use low-medium heat to begin with and heat sections by section to determine how cool the first section will be when you reach the end.
That way you can be sure from the onset you do not have to rush and the metal across the wheel well will still be malleable.
Once the experimenting is done and you have heated the lip enough – use the roller to run across and fold the lips evenly.
NOTE: You want to begin heating from the side the fender roller will begin. It makes more sense to heat this side less and increase the heat where you plan to finish rolling.
For best results complete one dry run – no rolling just checking the right temperature and determining how much time it will take to get an even finish.
When You Need To Roll Fenders
In addition to looking good here is why/when you absolutely need fender rolling.
1. Fit Larger Tires (Taller)
When customizing especially to a sportier look tires and ground clearance are among the must have finishes. With a rolled fender your new tires will never scrape the wheel well when in motion or running over uneven surfaces.
You want to have peak performance at all times. Trained experts will advise on what reasonable clearance within the wheel well must be – hence the need to fold.
2. Flattened/Slammed Or Ultra Super Low Profile
If you are going for the burger on the floor you need to have the measurements perfect down to the last inch. Often the bottom lips of the length and width may need to be folded as well.
You are seeking more stability and better handling.
Custom jobs can be the source of joy or future problems depending on how you choose to go about customization. Far as how to roll fenders is concerned this article covers the main points – with info on how to, when and tips.