Wednesday, May 12
Why Japan VIP does it better
Do they have specific shorter coilovers, adjustable control arms, and more suspension tweaks..? The answer is yes, but there is one huge illusion the US have barely begun to explore.
That is Radius fenders.
The US builders stress on wheel sizes and offsets. People share wheel specs on blogs and forums so others can rock the same look. But instead of calculating on how to make the wheel fit the body... why not make the body fit the wheel...
That is where Japan outshines the US. Builders in Japan order the wheel sizes and tire combo they want to run. Once they have that, then they will do exterior surgery to make the wheel/tire combo work on that body. Surely it is not for the armature in the home garage. Radius fender work requires cutting and welding knowledge. Followed by paint and body work.
Speaking to a good friend in Japan, on average it will take 1 whole month to do radius fenders on just 1 car. The cost will be upwards of $10k US.
This process is truly the art-form of creating that Perfect-Stance.
IMHO, it is just a smarter way of thinking. You can rock a 20x11 on a gen2 GS without fender mods, but the lip size is pitiful. Looking at the silver GS, how was this builder able to achieve that amount of lipage and yet still be right at the fender line.. Radius fenders.
How is this achieved?
You will create a new fender arch typically 2-3" inch higher into the body. That means cutting parallel slats to the fender, pull, trim and weld back filler pieces usually in many triangle pieces. This is master metal craftsmanship at its best. No bogus glass/bondo here.
All the top builders are highly trained in metal fabrication. One of the first skills they will learn is working with custom Radius Fenders.
Notice the first step is to have the set of wheels/tires ready. Then front fenders come off. Clearly, this example is way more extreme, where as the builder has cut off a significant section of the rear quarter panel to expose where the rear tires will have clearance. Many times, an extreme Radius Fender will effect the rear door jams. More metal would have to be cut and custom fabrication will be need for the extreme drop.
On the white LS430, clearly a custom fender flares have been formed on the rear and front to accompany more extreme wheel/tire combos.
This will be the next level of VIP tuning here in the US.
Radius Fenders. Who will step up?