When it comes to modifying cars, one of the primary systems that people start with is the suspension system. While shocks, struts, and wheels are components that people usually focus on upgrading, often times tires are neglected or left until the end. Tires are undoubtedly the most important suspension component, as they affect everything from lateral grip to braking to acceleration (think rotational inertia). One of the most significant modifications you can do to your car is improve your tires, and this means both a softer rubber compound and wider contact patch.
When it comes to improving the rubber compound for grip, this is primarily a function of how large your pocketbook is. However, there are mechanical limits to how wide you can go with your tires before you start rubbing against the inside of your fenders. Staggered wheels and lowered cars will only exacerbate this issue. One way to eke out a little bit more space in your wheel well is to roll your fenders, which means to bend the lip on the inside of your fender out of the way so it doesn’t contact your tire. The correct tool to accomplish this job is a fender roller. It is very important that you use the absolute best fender roller available to reduce risk of damaging your fender.
Note: It is also important to have a heat gun handy to heat the paint where you are rolling your fender so that it remains pliable and doesn’t crack in the process.
The Best Fender Roller
When you look at the vast swath of fender rollers on the market, you’ll notice something rather interesting. You’ll notice that most of them look identical in construction with the exception of maybe the color and the decal. That’s because they are. There are a ton of “brands” out there that all buy the same tool from an overseas manufacturer and slap their sticker on it. They are all passable in quality, but if you want the best fender roller, you’ll have to diverge from this design in favor of the Eastwood fender roller.
To use the Eastwood fender roller, you must first remove your wheel. You then mount the fender rolling tool where your wheel once was and secure it in place using your lug nuts. Once complete, you position the high durometer rubber wheel against the underside of your fender. Once the rubber wheel is in contact with your fender, you heat the paint with your heat gun and slowly work the wheel back and forth, making sure to be gentle and watching your paint closely for any signs of cracking. As you move back and forth, the inner lip of your fender will slowly bend backward such that it is flush with the inside of your fender.
As far as build quality, the Eastwood unit is great. The frame is sturdy and the spacing is wide enough on the pins to virtually eliminate wobble. As far as fender rollers go, this is as precise as they get. The finish is a handsome blue and is resistant to scratching. The tool fits most cars and some trucks, so it is relatively versatile in terms of wheel size that it will accommodate.
As far as price goes, the Eastwood fender roller isn’t cheap. But if cosmetics are your game (yes, we all like that perfect stance) the last thing you want to do is perform body and paint work due to a botched fender rolling job so in this case the cost of a good tool is cheaper than the cost of the potential damage you could cause if you mess something up. As far as where to buy, we recommend you take a look on Amazon as they often have the best price. Overall we are confident that you will be happy with the Eastwood. Happy wrenching!