Rob Kinnan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
February 26, 2018

Two of the most annoying things in any modified car are overheating and rubbing tires. Overheating can cause all kinds of problems, from blown head gaskets to cracked cylinder heads or engine blocks, and at a minimum the embarrassment of pulling into a car show with a Mustang that’s boiling over with steam coming out from under the hood. Tire rub is less publicly visible but just as irritating, making you cringe at the sight of every speed bump. Neither conditions are pleasant ways to drive your Mustang.

We always try to stuff the biggest and widest tires we can under a car, but if you’re not careful and don’t pre-measure everything before buying wheels and tires (such as with the CCTek tool we show elsewhere in this issue), you’re probably dealing with some tire rub issues.

If the tires are just kissing the inner edge of the fender lip, you may be able to get away with rolling the lips instead of buying new wheels and tires. For years, people have used wooden baseball bats wedged between the tire and fender lip to roll the inner edge up and away from the tire, but a far cleaner way to do it is to use Eastwood’s Fender Roller Tool. Simply bolt it to the wheel hub and adjust the arm so that the urethane roller wheel on the tool contacts the fender lip, and then roll it back and forth to roll the lip up out of the way of the tire.

Rolling a typical Mustang fender lip is only going to give you maybe an extra half-inch of clearance, but in many cases that’s all you need. Ideally, this would be done before paint, but how often do we choose the wheels and tires for a painted car and have rubbing issues? Yes, the answer is “usually.”

1. Eastwood’s Fender Roller Tool sells for just under $60 (at the time of this writing) and is fully adjustable for height and in/out of the wheelwell.
2. The tool comes with these cupped washers to properly locate the tool to the wheel hub with your lug nuts.
3. The tool mounted to the hub.
4. Using the adjusting levers, orient the tool so the urethane roller wheel is contacting the fender lip with a decent amount of pressure. Before you start rolling the fender lip, make sure to use a heat gun to heat up the outside edge of the fender to avoid cracking the paint—but don’t get it so hot you start melting the paint!
5. We’re showing the tool mounted to the rear end, so either put the transmission in Neutral or disconnect the driveshaft so it’s easier to turn the axle. There is a lot of back and forth turning and adjusting the tool to compensate for fender opening changes, so take your time and steadily increase the pressure between the roller wheel and the fender and it’ll slowly roll the lip up and away from the tire. If you look closely, you can see how much we rolled this fender, which gave us just enough room to avoid the dreaded tire rub we had.