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I haven't been active on this board for awhile, but I wanted to share what happened with my 04 GTO. Some of you might have had the same problem, but in case you haven't, here's the story:

We took our GTO on a road trip up to Missouri from Louisiana last week, and as soon as we got there I noticed that the passenger side front tire had started to throw cords like it was ready to blow. On the outside the tire looked just fine, but looking on the inside of the tire I noticed the sidewall had completely separated from the tread. Upon further inspection I found out why: over time, apparently the front wheels had started turning inward, causing the tires to rub against the strut. At the time this car had 28,000 miles on it, still had the original tires and rims. This car has never been autocrossed, wrecked or driven very hard (and even if it was, there's no logical reason for this to have happened).

This pic is of the outside passenger side, looks almost perfectly normal...


Here are some pictures documenting the damage on the inside part of the same tire. It's kinda hard to see in this particular pic but look at the steel cords showing all around the top side of the tire.



Observe the tire rub marks on the upper part of the strut. Also note the dark rub spot on the inner fender.


Close-up of the strut.



Here's the driver's side tire. It's hard to tell in this pic but there's premature wear on the inside also - not as bad as the passenger side but it's definitely there.


While I was there in Missouri I ran into a guy who had an Impulse Blue 04, with 15K on it. I took a picture of his inside driver side wheel well to demonstrate what it's supposed to look like. Look at the space between his tire and strut...


Now for comparison purposes, here's the same pic of my tire and strut. Notice how close mine is, there's barely 1/4 inch of space there... :eek



Thankfully the strut repair was covered under warranty and they even threw in 2 brand new factory BF Goodrich tires. The cause of this problem is yet unknown. As said before, this car had 28K on it when this was discovered - it's doubtful many of you have that kind of mileage on yours yet, but it could be just as susceptible someday, so be sure to check for it periodically. If this hadn't been caught in time, a tire could have blown at high speeds with disastrous results. This is just to let everyone who has a 2004-06 GTO know that a potentially serious problem exists. To my knowledge no factory recall has been issued (and don't know if there will be one), so looks like owners will be on their own to resolve this problem if theirs suffers from it like mine did, so be careful out there.
 

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Dude, I think your on to something. I will have to take a closer look at mine, perhaps go to the dealer. I have 23k miles on my 05 impulse blue m6, but on the last oil change noticed that the inside of the right wheel was wearing out more than normal. Honestly, I do like to take turns at very quick speeds, so I didn't think much of it. Just rotated the tires because the car was starting to pull to the left. Now, if this is the case, our chamber alignment (I think thats what its called) is starting to wear out very quickly. It could be from the top post where it all bolts together, there should be some kind of bushing there to control this type of wear. I've read in some old car magazine how to correct this (but after years of wear), but I'll have to look into this more. But you are right, the wheel looks fine from the outside, but starts to wear out from the inside just as your pics show. What else did the dealer do? What did you tell them? Did they haggle you to not fix the problem? Did they use the same part (new) to fix this? Is this something the dealers are aware about? I wonder if anyone else has seen this?
I guess we have to be more observant when doing maintenance. Have you noticed that the wheel air pressure drops over time? I've had other cars and have not had this kind of problem. I will have had my car 1 year next month and have had to refill the pressure to 45psi (from 35psi) 2x's already (or was it to 35psi from 25psi, dont remember at the moment). Is this normal?

:confused :confused :confused
 

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Your car looks exactly as mine did. Last week I had to put new tires on my car because the struts were rubbing the tires. With the new tires I still have the rubbing issue. The dealership Desert Pontiac here in Vegas wasn't so friendlly with me though. They told me it was my fault for not having the car aligned. I told them that I said something to the service guy right before I hit the 6000 mile mark. We went back to the Service Managers office and took a look at the service reps notes and sure enough it said customer complains of car pulling to the left. They sent me on my way and told me they would call me when they figured out what they werer going to do. They then called back to tell me the tires I had installed were too big , even though they are the same specs as the ones that were on the car when I bought it. I said bs, and then they said well , your rims are bent too. I said no way, I haven't hit anything. I had to take my car because they were unwilling to do anything about it. I have 20000 miles on my car and they let me drive away with the wheels rubbing the struts! I am going to Pat Clark Pontiac, another dealership here in Vegas, hopefully they will fix the problem.
Wish me luck
 

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Where I work(Pontiac dealer service) I have seen just about all the goats with the 17inch BFG's prematurely worn. The only saving grace is rotating the tires at EVERY oil change(which I have done to mine, which has 24k miles on it, and the tires look fine) Yankee, THANK GOD you discovered your problem before something disasterious happened! That being said, It looks like someone did not properly torque your wheels on correctly. It is real easy to run the lug nuts down with the wheel crooked with these aluminum wheels. Also, when a mechanic installs a wheel he is supposed to use what is called a "torque stick" which fastens each lug to a correct, factory specification. If the lugs were just ran on there with impact gun only,this can cause problems, also.:cool
 

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I've known this since before I bought my car. I haven't thought about all the people out there with GTO's that aren't on this site. Something for me/us to remember whenever we run into someone with the GTO. Let them know before we see an accident. :cheers
 

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I don't think this is an alignment issue. If the camber is changing, wouldn't the strut's alignment move the wheel with it, as opposed to the wheel moving independently, closer to the strut? Just my two cents.
 

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As far as I know cars with the 18in rims are not having this problem. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Good 2 go said:
I don't think this is an alignment issue. If the camber is changing, wouldn't the strut's alignment move the wheel with it, as opposed to the wheel moving independently, closer to the strut? Just my two cents.
You would also see "worn spots" where the upper strut mount nuts would be sliding back and forth.
 

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Thanks for posting this info, I'll be sure to check my Dad's when I swap his stock tires back on in place of the snow tires on there right now!
 

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where have you guys been????............strut rub has been a big problem on the GTOs and rotating your tires will not help at all,it is an alignment issue(and a design flaw in my opinion) these cars should have never been equiped with wider tires than the ones sold to the Aussies but thats what happened
I hear that GM is trying to deny that there is a problem
 

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I've been seeing a number of mentions of strut rub while browsing this forum. Doing a search for "strut rub" will yield quite a bit of results. Also, there is a thread on Ls1gto about it:
http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67046

It seems like the main suggestions to get around this are 18" tires, -.3 camber, or frequent alignments. Has anyone heard any other suggestions?

This problem is scary, however. Not everyone reads internet messageboards--I'd think there are plenty of people out there, driving this car with the stock 17"ers, and not even aware of the situation. Good to hear you caught it before the tires blew.
 

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How do the reacalls work. If enough people file a complaint someone will be forced to do something right?
 

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Although my '05 has 18's and I have not seen any unusual wear on the tires, if I noticed this problem, I would install 1/4" wheel spacers. This would move the wheels out just enough to safely clear the strut.

Unless of course, there was a mechanic failure that needed to be fixed under warranty.

Just my two cents......:cheers
 

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It looks like the wheel offset is to much. They may need to change the wheels. A wheel spacer might work but I wouldn't think Pontiac woud make that fix. I guess, I don't see how the 18 wheel would be better unless the offset is different, seems like they would rub more.
:confused
 

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Old Coot said:
I guess, I don't see how the 18 wheel would be better unless the offset is different, seems like they would rub more.
:confused
The impression I get from what I read about the strut rub, is that the 18" wheels, since they have the narrower 235 tires, do not come as close to the struts as the 245s on the 17" have.

But that is just parroting back what I have picked up reading about this--I'm not very mechanically inclined.
 

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235 to 245 can make that much of a difference?
 

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Starrbuck said:
235 to 245 can make that much of a difference?
Half a centimeter (5 mm, or about 2/10 of an inch) might just make all the difference between rubbing and not rubbing. Plus, with a different diameter wheel, the "fat edge" of the tire sidewall will be in a slightly different position relative to the strut body.
 

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So if we bought new tires and got 235's, would we need to worry about handling issues?
 
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