Trimming The Bumper and Fender Liners on the 5th Gen 4Runner Wheel Well to Prevent Larger Tires from Rubbing
This is going to be a pretty straightforward trimming overview.
After our first major round of trimming and wheel well adjustments, we were clearing everything just fine but as time went on, little by little, more rubbing occurred.
After adding our roof rack with a lightbar, front bumper with a winch and lightbar, our front-end started to settle down a little more. Since our first few trimming attempts, I had always occasionally rubbed at full lock, especially in reverse.
Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I would start rubbing again.
With the new C4 Lo Pro front bumper with a winch and lightbar, we just added another 150+ pounds. This pulled our front-end down even more which was another kick in the ass to start trimming more from our fender liners as well as the 4Runners front bumper and inside the wheel well.
We wanted to take a few more steps and trim again.
This is pretty much the last stop for us until we go with the high clearance bumper cut mod.
Simply put, we are running out of fender liner to zip-tie the bumper against.
Trimming Your Bumpers Wheel Wells
Below are a few basic steps on trimming the bumper wheel wells and fender liners. You don’t need much for this install but the basics.
- Dremel (the one I use) – check price
- Painters Tape
The Dremel link above will come with everything you need but Home Depot also has a ton of Dremel accessories.
You don’t even really need the last two but painters tape will really help you guide a straight line.
Where to start trimming?
At the first sign of rubbing, STOP. Literally, put your 4Runner in park, stop your truck and hop out.
You may need to do this a few times to catch the exact spot you are rubbing but you get the idea whenever you hear that dreaded rub, just STOP and hop out right there. I have stopped traffic a few times doing this in my neighborhood, it’s OK, they can drive around you.
You also don’t need to follow my line, follow your own to fit your tires.
I am currently running the 285/75R17 Toyo Open Country AT 2s and they stretch out pretty far.
I really wanted to stop the rubbing once and for all, at least on city streets and around town. I know when I am off-road and stuffing the tires in the well, it’s going to rub but if I can at least prevent rubbing around town, I would be pretty stoked.
Step #1a: Line Painters Tape and mark Bottom Distance
Step #1b: Top Distance
Again this is all pretty relative because this is my second major round of trimming. Depending on how big your tires are will depend on how much trimming you need to do.
After running your tires and experiencing rubbing for a few months, you should have a much better idea of how much you should trim.
At first, I took 1.25″ off but that clearly was not enough. I am on another 1.25″ so hopefully we should be good now with the 33.8″ tires.
Step #2: Dremel with precise aim and be patient
Be patient and previous experience helps. If you have experience using a Dremel, you know they can get away from you. It helps you turn your tire away from the wheel well when you start cutting, not inside.
NOTE: WEAR EYE PROTECTION: This is absolutely not a joke, little shards of HOT PLASTIC will fly towards your face and even when they hit your arm or neck it hurts. I couldn’t imagine one going into my eye.
Don’t be an idiot, wear safety glasses.
Step #3: Exacto Blade – Trim Bumper
Using an Exacto knife, you can slice away the excess bumper. You can also somewhat cut a new line if your Dremel got away from you.
NOTE: Cut from the inside out. Angle your blade so you’re cutting more black off than white (or the color of your 4Runner). Use a fresh blade for this and it should cut like butter, making the lines better, smoother, and easier to cut.
Step #4: Exacto Blade – Trim Fender Liner (Before)
Step #4: Exacto Blade – Trim Fender Liner (After)
Step #5: Drill Hole in Fender Liner
Step #6: Drill Hole in Bumper
Step #7: Zip-Tie Bumper to Fender Liner
Bumper Trimming Final
It’s not perfect but hopefully, it will keep my mind at ease cruising around town.