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Discussion Starter #1
Okay so I've got a 2000 Mustang v6 5 speed with 155k. Now I've got something pretty weird going on, after driving for about 10 minutes (happens faster if driving faster) of driving you get this burning rubber smell inside and outside the car coming from the front passenger wheel area. I initially thought it might just need an alignment really bad so I had one done and the smell still happens. I was putting my nose on everything trying to see if I could find where it was coming from but it was almost like it was coming from the strut? Now for some background on this car, it has actually been sitting for about 2 years with only being driven about 3 miles once a month. Could the bushing/ isolator be dry rotted and rubbing that is between the strut and strut tower? Has anybody else experienced something like this or anyone has any recommendations as to what I should do? Over the past week of driving 20 miles a day it has gotten probably like 5% better, it is really bad and I just want to try and figure out whats going on. Thanks so much!!
 

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I think your tire is rubbing or the brake might be binding up...does the brake get really hot compared to the other side?
Did you start to disassemble it yet? If not, check the brake and then start by removing the wheel and then taking the brake apart for a good inspection, you might find something obvious as you go through the process.
 

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I think your tire is rubbing or the brake might be binding up...does the brake get really hot compared to the other side?
Did you start to disassemble it yet? If not, check the brake and then start by removing the wheel and then taking the brake apart for a good inspection, you might find something obvious as you go through the process.
Well I know that its not the brake, I've gone through all of that kind of stuff. Like if I drive the car and start smelling it and immediately get out of the car and touch the tire, its not warm or hot to the touch. The car is also stock ride height so I would assume its not rubbing on anything. So is it even a logical assumption that it could very well be the strut?
 

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First I'd look at your exhaust on the passenger side to see if there might be a hose or something against the exhaust pipe. Then I'd give it a drive and check the brake rotor on that side (just in case you have a caliper with a sticking brake pad) to see if it is super hot. Finally, run your hand across the tire tread (inside to outside) to see if there is some indication of feathering on the tread due to excessive toe-in.
 

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Struts don't burn up. Do you have the original wheels and tires on the car still or did you change sizes?
 

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Well I know that its not the brake, I've gone through all of that kind of stuff. Like if I drive the car and start smelling it and immediately get out of the car and touch the tire, its not warm or hot to the touch. The car is also stock ride height so I would assume its not rubbing on anything. So is it even a logical assumption that it could very well be the strut?
How do you know it's not the brake? Even a newly padded brake can still hang up due to some grit in the caliper cylinder or from a loose bolt allowing it to rub. It doesn't take much and can happen anytime. Unless you just dismantled and inspected the brakes since this started, you don't really know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How do you know it's not the brake? Even a newly padded brake can still hang up due to some grit in the caliper cylinder or from a loose bolt allowing it to rub. It doesn't take much and can happen anytime. Unless you just dismantled and inspected the brakes since this started, you don't really know.
I've got 99-01 cobra wheels on it with 255/65/17 tires on them, and I inspected them wheel wells and they are not rubbing on anything. If the brakes are hanging up wouldn't pull to one side or the other? I do have a full set of pads & drilled and slotted rotors coming in the mail so I'll be installing those in the next few days. But I've had the wheel off probably 8 or 10 times in the past month or 2 and have been consecutively looking to see if it all checks out, and with what I've seen it would give no indication to stuff being lodged in there. Now one thing is that that rotor that in with the tire smell is actually damaged. We took the car to a shop to see if they could get it off, because we couldn't so they to a sledge to it so there are a bunch of nickle sized dents all over it. Could that be the culprit?
 

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If you're confident that the smell is rubber, then it's got to be a fast-moving part. Not even Detroit potholes would make suspension bushings rub fast enough to produce a burning smell. And there's not a lot of rubber things that move fast. Are you sure it's coming from the wheel area, and not something else, like, say, the front of the engine (belt?)?
 
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