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Fender Rolling for Tire Clearance

A quick and dirty way to make more space for big tires.

Our buddy Blane came by the other day to grab some axles for a project truck he is working on. Blane has a 1966 Ford F-100 that he's spent some time turning into a mild pre-runner for fun out in the local deserts.

The rear fenders are flared out with inner supports to help clear the tires, but Blane just added a new set of 39-inch BFG tires. When Blane found out we had a pair of Rockwells in need of a home, Blane told us about how he already has (at least) two other pre-runners and always wanted to build a mud-truck/TTC-truck/go-anywhere-monster truck out of his 1966 Ford. He's already collected a bunch of parts for the project.

We loved the idea, and because the truck that we planned on turning into the above fell through with a bad motor, we've decided that these axles would look darn good under Blane's truck. So we talked Blane into letting us help with the build, and we will cover it here once we get a chance to get started on it.

We talked Blane into coming over in the '66 Ford to pick up the axles, after all that would make for a great photo-op and the truck is still a truck after all. We loaded one axle and the old truck squatted low, two axles and the tires were tucked so far in the bedsides that we doubted the truck would roll. We unloaded one axle, and Blane used the heavy load of one axle as the perfect time to finish rolling the old truck's fender inside the wheel well. As we've said, Blane has some good plans for the old truck that include big tires, coilovers, and more, and we plan on covering the build for Four Wheeler. Until then, check out these pictures of the truck with the load and a quick how-to on rolling the lip of your trucks fender for tire clearance.

Overloaded

If you've ever run your hand up the inside of an old truck's wheel well, chances are you've felt the lip that's there to strengthen the wheel opening and prevent the tread of a tire from getting sliced on the edge of some sheet metal. That lip is great until you have tires that tuck into the wheel well and it grabs the side of the tire. That can fold the lip down, cut the tire, and generally wreak havoc. One quick and dirty solution is to roll that lip up forming a "U" of metal that will give another -3/4-inch clearance from the side of the tire. Truth be told, this is best done with a body hammer and a dolly, but that's time-consuming. This method is fast. First, shove a piece of steel between the body of the truck and the tire (while the tire is tucked into the wheel well). Then put her in reverse as the tube rolls from front to back, hopefully pushing that lip into said U-shape. You might have to do this a few times because old trucks are made out of real metal.