That's the reason I said probably, because it depends on his suspension setup. Some coilovers have less room up front. Also because I know 17x8.5 et41 rubs on stock struts, 18s gives slightly more room, so it will be really really close if it does fit. That 3mm that you have probably makes the difference.
The reason you had to roll the fronts is because 235/40 is slightly oversized.