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Technical Discussion

How to Prevent Rubbing

Article | 03/05/2020 by Cory Smetzler

How bad is rubbing, really? It depends on the severity. Minor rubbing is sometimes considered par for the course with the tradeoff being substantially increased performance as a result of a much wider wheel and tire setup. Major rubbing can be a big annoyance, and should definitely be dealt with to avoid irreversible tire or fender damage. Our goal is to provide fitments that allow for wide, aggressive tires that will not rub under any driving conditions. Most tire rubbing occurs during suspension compression such as hard cornering or driving over large road imperfections. Every chassis has some room to go wider than the factory setup without additional modifications. However, when it comes to maximizing the potential of your chassis, you’ve gotta pay to play. This means that in order to run wheels and tires that are far wider than stock, you will almost certainly need to make some additional adjustments.. There are three main types of rubbing that can happen when pushing the limits of tire width.

Type of Rubbing Recommended Solutions (In Order of Preference)
Fender arch rubbing - The outer shoulder of the tire rubs the inside of the fender arch sheet metal. Roll or pull the effected fenders, add negative camber, or reduce tire size or add fender flares
Fender liner rubbing - The outer shoulder of the front tires rub the front plastic fender liners while making full-lock turns. Add front negative camber, reduce tire size, or remove fender liners
Suspension rubbing - The inside shoulder of the front tires (or the lip of the wheel itself) rubs the front suspension components, which can prevent mounting the wheel at all. Add spacers, change spring configuration by either removing helper springs, or by using a shorter main spring, or adjust ride height, reduce tire width and/or diameter

Cory Smetzler

Cory has been Domestic Fitment Expert at APEX since 2018, helping owners figure out the proper wheel fitments for their Camaro, Corvette, Mustang, Challenger, Charger, Cadillac, and Tesla vehicles. Prior to joining APEX, he worked as Service Advisor at an automotive performance shop. Never one to sit at a car show, Cory has had a lifelong passion for performance driving. His extensive track experience began with HPDEs in 2015. He soon got the itch to start competing in time trials, which he has been doing ever since. Among the cars he has tracked are three Mustang GTs (2005, 2006, 2011), a 2016 Fiesta ST, and his current ride, a 2010 Corvette Grand Sport with APEX SM-10RS wheels. Fun Fact: Apparently Cory’s love of speed isn’t limited to the racetrack; after not training at all, he recently ran a 5K and placed 7th out of 210 competitors.

Have questions about wheels for your domestic vehicle? Use our contact form and ask for Cory