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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I am new here and this is my first post.

A couple of months ago I started hearing a howling sound from my driver front side tire on my 1973 Duster 340. I did some quick checks and noticed that the top of the wheel was pushed out abit. I wound up replacing the lower ball joints and then I got a wheel alignment done. This did not fix anything and the howling noise is a little worse. Everything seems tight underneath and for the record the wheel is only leaning some times not all. Tires are not resto but have been on the car for three years and no issues. Suspension is stock. The howl is mostly when I turn to the right but some times when I am driving straight as well.

Can anyone offer any suggestions where to look next? Torsion bars?

Thanks in advance.

Tony
 

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I'd look at the control arm bushings. Slop there won't show so much when the car is stationary. Or the control arm bolts aren't tight and it's moving around. The torsion bar won't change the tire's angle. I think the alignment shop missed something.
 

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I second what valiant67 stated. I'd have the alignment shop take a hard look at the lower control arm bushings...........the ones directly in line with the Torsion bars. If they are bad; that can cause some 'interesting' driving/tire wear issues.
 
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If the balljoints are verified good, and the wheel bearings themselves have been verified to be good, yes, upper control arm bushings (they are in the fenderwell and you can look at the rubber condition, barely), so do this to do some checking. Jack one corner up under the lower control arm, not the frame. grab the top of the wheel and see what is going on.
 
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If all the front end/suspenion checks are good, don't forget to look closely at the tires for feathered edges as this is a common problem that causes that snow tire sound. I have had it a lot of times, sometimes because of lack of rotation and other times it's just because of the tire tread design which dictates a more agressive tire rotation style and air pressure adjustment. Every tire design today is so different than what we had in the past as with different suspensions. My 2011 Grand Cherokee did this feathering on the same tires my other 2 vehicles had, and nothing was wrong with the specs, just adjusted air pressure and rotated more often.
 

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You will not feel slop on the upper part of the front end unless the car is lifted by the lower control arm and the top A-frame is not bottomed out. That also applies to both ball joints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey...thanks all for the quick response. I know the lowers are good cause I just put them in and this was happening prior to that and the bearings are good...I just checked them when I did the lowers. The uppers are a little loose but they shouldnt be bad enough to do this and the tires were rotated by the alignment shop so I guess this weekend I will check out those bushings...the shop is looking into it too. They said they would contact thier equipment rep. Is it possible that the values are factory values and I need to tell to put in different one manually? I know that would not cause the lean but with newer tires will it throw off the values?

Thanks again
 

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With weight of the vehicle on the ground, it is easy to set a front end alignment and have it be within specs. As soon as the suspension is moving, weight shifts around and if the upper bushings are bad or ovaled out, then the tires are going to be moving in and out. One rare thing could be an inner fender that is loose or cracked, allowing the whole inner fender, which supports the upper control arm, which could also make the tire move in and out at different angles. As noted by 68RT, jacking the front end up at the lower control arm, grab the top of the tire and push and pull at the top of the wheel and see if there is any kind of movement or noises to verify everything is solid.
 
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I have had a few where the K member cracked where the lower control arm attaches. The crack allowed the lower control arm to "float" and caused very similar problems.

Thanks
Randy
 

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With weight of the vehicle on the ground, it is easy to set a front end alignment and have it be within specs. As soon as the suspension is moving, weight shifts around and if the upper bushings are bad or ovaled out, then the tires are going to be moving in and out. One rare thing could be an inner fender that is loose or cracked, allowing the whole inner fender, which supports the upper control arm, which could also make the tire move in and out at different angles. As noted by 68RT, jacking the front end up at the lower control arm, grab the top of the tire and push and pull at the top of the wheel and see if there is any kind of movement or noises to verify everything is solid.
I have had a few where the K member cracked where the lower control arm attaches. The crack allowed the lower control arm to "float" and caused very similar problems.

Thanks
Randy
Excellents points there, both of you!

People; including myself, sometimes forget that the last year of a longitudinal Torsion bar Mopar was 1981 (R body) and the last year for the A bodies sold here in the USA was 1976...........which is almost 40 years ago! In other words: metal fatigue is def a real problem in many cases.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok...thanks again guys for all your points. I jacked the car up by the lower control arm and shook the tire like crazy and there was no give. All the bushings look good to ok...I expect some to be cracked but nothing to bad. My next step is to take the wheel apart again to double check the bearings and to get a closer look at the control arms where they connect to the frame, as per Randys point.

Thanks again and I will post you guys what I find.

Tony
 

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The lower control arm will make the top of the tire point in, bottom of the tire point out. The upper control arm bushings or fenderwell being loose/flexing, would most likely make the tire point out at the top, along with a bad upper balljoint. Next thing is the wheel bearings, make sure the races are tight in the hub itself, they can spin, but usually that works like a loose balljoint or lower control arm bushing, bottom of the tire pushing out, top in. Did you check the inner fenderwell to ensure there isn't anything cracked, or any rusty/shiny metal spots that could possibly indicate a loose inner fender well, which is part of the structural design in the A/B/E models (probably more, just can't recall which ones).
 
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I had a similar issue with my 64' it was the upper control arm bushings.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks all....I have a little more direction on where to look. I hope to have time sometime this week to check it again and get a good look at those areas. I know the shop had to replace the bolt for the drivers side upper control arm but didnt say jack about the bushings and they mentioned that the upper ball joint was a little loose. If the ball joint was that bad you would think that they would not be able to do the alignment. I am hoping it is the bushings(as per saltydogs post)and not not the fenderwell being cracked but I will check for both when I get a chance between work. Then I will post my findings. Might just replace that balljoint at the same time and I think I will redo the bearings anyway...if I cant find anything wrong with the fenderwell.

Thanks again guys

Tony
 

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One thing that affects life of the bushing a great deal is how they are positioned when the bolts are tightened. Arm should be in the center of travel when tightened so that the bushing stretches equally both ways when flexed. If not, then the bushing overstretches when at maximum travel in the other direction from tightening breaking the bond between the center steel bushing and the rubber.
 

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Ok...thanks again guys for all your points. I jacked the car up by the lower control arm and shook the tire like crazy and there was no give. All the bushings look good to ok...I expect some to be cracked but nothing to bad. My next step is to take the wheel apart again to double check the bearings and to get a closer look at the control arms where they connect to the frame, as per Randys point.

Thanks again and I will post you guys what I find.

Tony
Jacking by the lower control arm will help mask if the K member is cracked at the LCA mounting point. There has to be no weight on the LCA when checking to see if it is loose where it attaches. Backing off torsion bar preload can help find if it has a crack, as the LCA mounting stud will have less torsional force affecting it, so "shaking the tire like crazy "might uncover "if" it is loose at the K member. .

Thanks
Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
20140810_161140.jpg
Ok...so I checked out what everyone suggested I check, thanks to everyone again, but I still didnt find anything. Everything seems tight and I do not see any cracks or damage. Since I am by no means a expert I have included some photos so if anyone sees anything I dont please let me know.

ps I know the shocks need replacing..lol.

So far this is the only one I can get to up load...I will keep trying.

Thanks Tony

Crap...I cant resize them small enough.
 
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