This is somewhat related to a video I posted on Instagram a few days ago. Sometimes you’ve got a perfectly-fitting set of tires on your car for that nice, tight clearance. But, you eventually get some new tires, and suddenly you’re rubbing, even though the tires are the same size as your previous set. This is exactly what happened this evening on Henry’s Prius.
At a glance, it appears like the front wheels/tires clear the fenders easily. But in reality, it’s touching. It becomes increasingly apparent when cornering. The long-story-short is that a 215/40/18 Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 is a bigger tire than a Nankang NS-25 in the “same size.” It can be a bit confusing at first, but when running a tight fitment, I always recommend people consult with me first if they’re thinking about switching tire brands or models — or else something like this could happen.
However, we were not defeated, and after some additional inspection and considerations, Henry decided that the best solution to this problem would be to trim his fenders. And so, we got straight to it.
A considerable amount of time was taken on this project. But we really wanted to make sure this came out nice and tidy. With a body kit that looked as rare and expensive as this one does, I’d feel extra guilty botching this up.
In the image above-left, you can see the shape of the fender lip. The black part of the lip is where the tire rubbed away the paint. We decided to use this as the baseline guide for trimming. The image above-right shows the fender lip after trimming carefully using a dremel with a few cutting and smoothing attachments. Now all that’s left to do is clean up and add a bit of touch-up paint.
The result was a ride quality with much less rubbing — I think Henry still has a tiny bit of contact sometimes, probably during sharp turns while hitting bumps. The next recommendation from here would be to either add a little bit of negative camber or get smaller, better-fitting tires, something similar in size to his old Nankang NS-25s (or just a new pair of NS-25s). This was a special request, but it turned out ok! Maybe I’ll add fender rolling and trimming to my list of services one day. What do you think of that?