LR4 Front Fender Modification for Larger Tires

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BigOinker

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This might get winded, so you can skip to [The Point] below if you like…

[Back Story]
When I first bought my LR4, I immediately went to the local wheel & tire shop to replace the factory wheels.

The salesman said, "What color is your LR4?"
"Fuji White," I replied.
"It just so happens that we have some 22" Fuji White wheels." He explains.
"Do tell..." I inquire.

So he sells me on some 22" Fuji White Redbourne wheels that a local LR dealer had ordered, but they painted the wrong color white (apparently there's more than one) and so they cancelled the order. Basically I paid for the wheels and they threw in the custom paint job for free to get them out of their showroom.

Two big mistakes here...white and 22”. Probably the single worst automotive purchase I've ever made. First, white (for obvious reasons) is a total pain in the ass to keep clean (but when they're clean they look damn good). Second, as you all know it's just about impossible to get any decent rubber on a 22" rim on Land Rovers.

Now, ever since I’ve been wanting a taller tire for three reasons - a smoother ride, more offroad capability, and let's face it, it looks goofy with low profile tires. So occasionally I’d go out to the garage and look at the inner fenders to see what I could do to make more room so larger tires wouldn’t rub. There’s a part of the frame on the rear of the inner front fender that would need to be cut or modified, and the forward fender liner would need to be cut/altered/removed. And I always figured that some sort of lift would be part of this equation also. Well I’m not one to just start cutting up a Land Rover, so I’ve never pulled the trigger on any of this. But ever since I bought those wheels, I've been kicking myself because I've basically been limited on tire size. Or at least so I thought, until the other week when I came across another LR4 in a local grocery parking lot...


[The Point]
I saw this LR4 that was lifted (Johnson rods at least, maybe GAP tool also) and was rolling 285/45/22 Nitto Terra Grapplers. I was checking it out and he had done exactly what I’ve been thinking about doing to make room in the wheel wells. So I took some pictures (see below) and thought I’d pose a couple questions here. I don't know why but I didn't take an overview shot of the vehicle at the time, but it looked dope.

- Has anyone else made these modifications to accommodate larger tires?

- Would there be any adverse effects of cutting the frame where it’s cut? (I thought about cutting it like he did and even welding a plate to maintain strength/rigidity.)

- Other than a proper alignment, is there anything else that would need to be done to make this work?

- Any other reason why this wouldn’t work? I mean, this guy did it…

Thanks in advance. I know the wheel/tire debate has been beaten to death here. Just thought this was worth a look as a possible viable option for larger sizes.

- Tire Size
28545R22%20114H.jpg



- Rear of the driver's front wheel well with frame cut
IMG_0361.jpg



- Driver's front wheel fender liner cut.
IMG_0362.jpg



- Passenger's front fender liner cut.
IMG_0363.jpg



- Rear of the passenger's front wheel well with frame cut
IMG_0364.jpg



- Johnson Rod
IMG_0365.jpg


- My ride aka Stormtrooper
Stormtrooper.jpg


Stormtrooper2.jpg



This one added for kicks...
Peasant.jpg
 

DaytonaRS7

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the fender liners in the those photos. dont do that. your opening up your engine bay and partially hidden componenets to significantly more water and debris infiltration.

the frame modifications are acceptable, but incomplete. a plate should be welded to close off the holes in the frame and also reinforce.
 

ktm525

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I don't understand why you just don't find some 18 or 19" wheels and move on? You have already acknowledged the 22" mistake. The cost difference in tires alone would probably pay for a good chunk of your 18/19 purchase.
 

f1racer328

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Just buy Tuffants or Compomotives in 18” and put a real tire on them. Ridge Grapplers or KO2s.

The other LR4 you found would be pathetic off road. Also I’d never cut my wheel well liners. Opening the engine bay up to debris like the other person commented is a horrible idea, and it doesn’t look professional. Looks like someone just took a hackzall to it lol
 

BigOinker

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the fender liners in the those photos. dont do that. your opening up your engine bay and partially hidden componenets to significantly more water and debris infiltration.

the frame modifications are acceptable, but incomplete. a plate should be welded to close off the holes in the frame and also reinforce.
I totally agree about opening up the engine compartment to debris. Was just thinking of this as kind of a starting point and possibly fabricating a modified fender liner or some sort of shield on the inside of that cut open space. Definitely don't want dirt/mud getting in there. And yeah I would definitely finish the frame modification with a plate.
 

BigOinker

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I don't understand why you just don't find some 18 or 19" wheels and move on? You have already acknowledged the 22" mistake. The cost difference in tires alone would probably pay for a good chunk of your 18/19 purchase.

Just buy Tuffants or Compomotives in 18” and put a real tire on them. Ridge Grapplers or KO2s.

The other LR4 you found would be pathetic off road. Also I’d never cut my wheel well liners. Opening the engine bay up to debris like the other person commented is a horrible idea, and it doesn’t look professional. Looks like someone just took a hackzall to it lol
My regret with the 22's isn't necessarily about off road performance, but more so about ride harshness and the inability to get a taller tire. Yes, I would like to have an all terrain tire even though 95% of my time is on the road. Also, I tend to like a little bit of personality and individuality. If I wanted the same ugly steelies I had on my '73 Scout, then sure I'd get some Tuffants or Compmotives. But by that train of thought, I should have just stuck with the ugly AF stock wheels.

And this post was more about throwing out a possible option for larger tires in general, regardless of what wheels you have.
 

f1racer328

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My regret with the 22's isn't necessarily about off road performance, but more so about ride harshness and the inability to get a taller tire. Yes, I would like to have an all terrain tire even though 95% of my time is on the road. Also, I tend to like a little bit of personality and individuality. If I wanted the same ugly steelies I had on my '73 Scout, then sure I'd get some Tuffants or Compmotives. But by that train of thought, I should have just stuck with the ugly AF stock wheels.

And this post was more about throwing out a possible option for larger tires in general, regardless of what wheels you have.
Have you looked at 20” wheels then? Turn 2 inches of rim into 2 inches of sidewall and I’m sure it’ll make a big difference.

I’m not sure how I feel about cutting frame horns, since they serve a purpose in a car crash.

Cutting the wheel liner is awful in my opinion. There’s guys running 275/55/20 tires and seem to just require lift rods + the frame horn removal.

The largest (diameter) you can get on an LR4 is about a 31.5” tire. I know the LR3s can handle about 32”, and then that’s about it.

Too much **** is in the way. I don’t think you really have a choice. If you read through the 18” tire thread there is a lot of discussion about lift rods and cutting frame horns and what not, but the wheel wells on these cars are just too small. I suppose if you don’t off road you may be able to get away with some rubbing.
 

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