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#1 Old 04-30-2010, 10:08 PM
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Pinpointing road noise

I'm fairly certain this road noise is coming from my front left tire (driver's side). I was in a head-on t-bone a few months back, and the bumper got pushed into the tire. As they were putting it up on the tow truck, the cop told me to look away because my awesome tire might pop (which would make me cry). So when I'm just cruising around on neighborhood streets there's nothing wrong, but when I get up to around 50 mph and over, the tire starts making a medium pitch whine. It doesn't pull either way, and it stays fairly straight, so I don't think I've got any alignment issues, but I'm also no pro at alignment problems or suspension systems. The nitto terra grapplers have a tread pattern than sort of blends into the sidewall (as the picture below can illustrate), and where the blend happens there are horizontal scars in the tire that almost look like they belong, except when you compare it to the part of the tire that's correct. When I go over a bump at highway speeds, the medium pitch whine gets more intense, until the weight shifts back to normal. They basically just sound like I've got enormous mud tires on, and it didn't used to be this loud at all.

Is this just a balance issue, or do I have possible alignment/suspension problems?

Pic of tire before accident:

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#2 Old 04-30-2010, 10:34 PM
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Here's a few "after" shots.

Pic 1 is the smaller area of the damage:


Pic 2 & 3 shows the horizontal lines:



This camera doesn't handle night shots too well. It's a cheapo $100 job I bought on clearance a couple years ago.

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#3 Old 04-30-2010, 10:45 PM
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I am thinking it is a tread wear issue and can't be truly fixed until you get new tires. . .

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#4 Old 04-30-2010, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jeepstudchris View Post
I am thinking it is a tread wear issue and can't be truly fixed until you get new tires. . .
The pics look a little deceiving in the dark. There's quite a bit of tread left. They're less than a year old.

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#5 Old 04-30-2010, 10:49 PM
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are all the pics of the same tire, if they are look at your weights in the 1st and 3rd pic i think thats the problem, its not balanced they moved some how, after th accident did the tires get messed with?

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#6 Old 04-30-2010, 10:52 PM
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are all the pics of the same tire, if they are look at your weights in the 1st and 3rd pic i think thats the problem, its not balanced they moved some how, after th accident did the tires get messed with?
Same tire. Pic 1 and 2/3 are in different positions. One scar is 180* opposite side of the others, so I backed it up to take a better picture. The first one is on the other side of the truck. I just didn't have a before picture of the driver's side. I highly doubt anyone touched the weights, or they probably would have brought up the tire scars to me.

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#7 Old 04-30-2010, 10:54 PM
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yeah but look at the weights in relation with the valve stem

98 ram qc 4x4 360 with .30 overbore everything els stock 86 ram d150 with a bad 318 and in the carhold a 67 plymouth satilite 383 b&m slap shifter with 4.10 rear gears blue truck #195
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#8 Old 04-30-2010, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by chode View Post
yeah but look at the weights in relation with the valve stem
Edited the above post to clarify.

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#9 Old 04-30-2010, 11:00 PM
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just reread 1st post i thought it was pics of the passanger side maybe move driver side tire to passanger rear see if ths sound moves good luck

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#10 Old 04-30-2010, 11:23 PM
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Balancing and alignment will have nothing to do with each other. Looking at the tire pics, you have an alignment issue that it slight. I can tell that you have a slight cupping issue. That is indicative of a tie rod end failing. Get a tread depth indicator(real cheap at a parts store) and measure the tread depth 1" from both edges of the tire. A good alignment should have no more that 1/32 of tread were difference. If your vehicle is out of alignment you will have a greater difference of wear from the outside to the inside of you tires. Get a level and place it from the 6 o'clock to the 12 o'clock position. Your tire will not be perfectly vertical. But look at the difference between both of your front tires. That will also give you an indication that your alignment is off. There are 3 adjustments that can be made that effect the alignment of a vehicle. Camber, vertical direction of the tire. Toe, the horizontal direction of the tire. Caster, the front to rear position of the tire. Camber caster are hand in hand. You can't adjust one without adjusting the other on control arm suspensions.

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#11 Old 05-01-2010, 02:11 PM
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Well I just got back from discount tire and NTB.

Discount told me it's probably a slight alignment issue, but I sort of felt like I was getting the blow off. So I ran next door to NTB. NTB put it up on a rack and gave it a good once over. They told me that my upper and lower ball joints are getting toward the end of their life. They apparently aren't at the dangerous level, but they're getting there. They quoted me $1500 for upper ball joints/UCA, lower ball joints, outer tie rods, and an alignment. I'm definitely not spending all that on the repair, but I wanted to get the opinion of my DT brothers before spending money on this.

The truck's got 87k miles on it, and I wouldn't guess that the front suspension has ever been worked on. If I wanted to do this myself, what all am I looking at, and what's my shopping list (assuming I know very little about the front suspension, so bushings and stuff like that)? I'd prefer to buy aftermarket that will perform better than stock, having seen several people on here say the dodge oem stuff is junk. I've been reviewing Moog parts on summit's website, but want to make sure I only get what I need, and get everything I need. Will I need specialty tools to do the repair itself? I assume an alignment will be necessary once this is done. If I were already looking at a 2" leveling kit, would I be better off buying something else involved in this fix (like an upper control arm that gives some lift)?

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#12 Old 05-01-2010, 07:39 PM
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Update.

I jacked up the front end and put my arms at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock and tried to wiggle it. I couldn't budge it a bit. I took the wheel off and started familiarizing myself with everything. On visual inspection, nothing looks bad, but I don't really know what "bad" looks like. I cleaned the entire area up pretty good with some simple green and considered rotating the front to the back axle, but my garage is full of junk, so there's not much room to move around. I'll probably drop it off at discount tire to get a free rotation on Monday. I suppose that'll be the ultimate test.

Here's some pics:









And a better pic of the tire scar in the daylight:


The wear on it is fine from what I can tell. No balled corners, and no razor grooves. I did the little penny check and the back and the front are the same.

The NTB guys told me they couldn't point to the tire as the problem until I'd spent $1500 on replacing the front end, so there's sort of an incentive for them to say my front end needs replacing. They also told me to change my shocks, which I just changed over to bilsteins about 10-15k miles ago. I'd rather not spend $300-400 and all weekend replacing my ball joints and tie rod ends if it's not necessary yet.

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#13 Old 05-01-2010, 07:53 PM
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If the tires are the same ones that were in the accident, it could be damage inside the tire. It could be thread suppuration, the belts or cords shifted, or the sidewalls are damaged.

... FYI

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#14 Old 05-01-2010, 10:26 PM
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Have you swapped tires left to right to see if it is the tire or the wheel bearing yet?

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#15 Old 05-01-2010, 10:40 PM
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I don't know who NTB is but I wouldn't go back to them ever again. You can get the Moog control arms/ball joint from Oreilly's for $91/ea. You can get the lowe ball joints, Moog, for $65/ea. You can get the outer tie rod ends for $55/ea. The inners for $74/ea. Thats $570 before tax. Thats $900 in labor, WOW.

Jack the truck up on a cross member. Get a 2x4 or something and wedge it between the tire and the ground. Lift up and try to pry the tire up. Listen for a clunk or movement in the tire that doesn't transfer though to the frame. Grab the tire at 9 and 3 and wiggle the tire back and forth. You are looking to see if whatever movement you apply to one tire, doesn't transfer to the other tire. If none of this is present, then all of that crap they listed isn't needed.

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#16 Old 05-01-2010, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dmcelhannon View Post
If the tires are the same ones that were in the accident, it could be damage inside the tire. It could be thread suppuration, the belts or cords shifted, or the sidewalls are damaged.

... FYI
I'm going to take it to discount tire on Monday and have them rotate the tires. I'm also going to ask a tech to inspect that tire to make sure it's 100% safe and drivable. I really think it's the tire being damaged that's the problem, and I think the guy that came out to my truck this morning was just giving me the blow off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleJ View Post
Have you swapped tires left to right to see if it is the tire or the wheel bearing yet?
I haven't swapped tires side to side. I was going to, but my garage is a mess and only 1 side is usable right now, so there's very little room to maneuver a big 32" tire. Either way, discount owes me free rotations since I bought my tires there.

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I don't know who NTB is but I wouldn't go back to them ever again. You can get the Moog control arms/ball joint from Oreilly's for $91/ea. You can get the lowe ball joints, Moog, for $65/ea. You can get the outer tie rod ends for $55/ea. The inners for $74/ea. Thats $570 before tax. Thats $900 in labor, WOW.

Jack the truck up on a cross member. Get a 2x4 or something and wedge it between the tire and the ground. Lift up and try to pry the tire up. Listen for a clunk or movement in the tire that doesn't transfer though to the frame. Grab the tire at 9 and 3 and wiggle the tire back and forth. You are looking to see if whatever movement you apply to one tire, doesn't transfer to the other tire. If none of this is present, then all of that crap they listed isn't needed.
NTB = national tire and battery. I think they're a national chain, but I might be wrong. They itemized the estimate and they were charging $190 per UCA, $100 per lower ball joint, and $90 per outer tie rod end. Then they slapped on 5.7 hours labor at what works out to $99 an hour, an $80 alignment, and tax. There's also an unexplained "shop fee" for $30. They're crazy I know. Maybe they only use oem stuff or something, and dodge rapes people on these since they fail so often. If/when I do this, I plan on going all Moog. I've actually added up my shopping cart at rockauto.com for $365 out the door with new UCA bushings. I've read people say not to replace the inner tie rod end unless the other 3 parts don't fix the problem. With the inners I'd be looking at $484, so I'll save the money if I can.

I did something similar to the 2x4 method you described above with the entire front end off the ground. I got no play up and down, but there was a very slight side to side play. I couldn't tell if the passenger wheel was moving with it though. It was about the same force I've had to use when the truck's power steering isn't functioning (when positioning the truck for a jump start), but it only moved I'd guess 1/2 an inch in either direction before I hit a point that my strength couldn't move it. What would that mean needs replacing?

Thanks guys!

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#17 Old 05-03-2010, 06:41 PM
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Well, I got the tires rotated, and it seems like the noise moved with the tire. The front driver's side was moved to the rear driver's side and it's quieted it down considerably. I was due for a rotation (about 12k miles on the previous rotation). I suppose I'll just write it off as being due for a rotation, but it's pretty darned loud for regular tire noise. Thanks everyone for helping me try to figure this out.

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