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Old 08-25-03, 11:40 PM   #1
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Smoke coming from driver's side wheel well. Smells like rubber...

I noticed smoke coming from the driver's side wheel well today after driving on the highway for about 20 minutes. It happened again later after stopping from a highway drive. There is no obvious damage to the tire or wheel well, however I plan on pulling the wheel off tomorrow to make sure. Is there anything else in that area that would smoke after driving 80 for 20 minutes or so?

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-Charlie
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Old 08-26-03, 12:12 AM   #2
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If it smells like rubber, it more than likely is the tire. Maybe one of the plastic anchors on the wheel well cover thing broke, and it fell and is hitting the inside of the tire somewhere.

There isn't much else over there, oil cooler, but you'd know it if that was smoking. It could be an electrical wire, burning through it's insulation, but I don't think there'd be any visible smoke, or smell. Has to be the tire IMO.
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Old 08-26-03, 12:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I'm leaning towards thinking it is the tire also. I forgot to mention though, its the rear wheel well on the driver's side.

-Charlie
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Old 08-26-03, 12:59 AM   #4
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They aren't new tires are they? New tires will let off some pretty good rubber smells the first couple of times you really drive on them.
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Old 08-26-03, 02:11 AM   #5
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is it clearly smoke, or the smell of rubber?
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Old 08-26-03, 08:24 PM   #6
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Yes it is white smoke. As far as the smell goes, it smells like something is burning, can't quite put my finger on it. I pulled off the wheel today and the tire and wheel well don't show any sign of abnormal wear. The rotor seems to be spinning freely also so I guess that means it isn't the caliper binding up. Any other suggestions? BTW - they are Toyo T1S tires (stock size on stock wheels). My car is lowered though. They are fairly new tires, they have about 1000-2000 miles on them.

-Charlie
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Old 08-26-03, 08:33 PM   #7
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Are you sure the wheel well doesn't have any signs of rubbing? Look underneath at the lip area where the liner meets the fender, and bolts that fasten the liner to the fender. Also, examine the outer edge of the tire tread carefully; are all the tread blocks worn uniformly?
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Old 08-26-03, 08:48 PM   #8
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How long have you been driving a manual car? You might just be cooking the clutch.
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Old 08-27-03, 12:42 AM   #9
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I've been driving this car for over a year and a manual since I got my license 3 years ago. The clutch has about 5-7k miles on it and is a brand new ACT street strip clutch. The problem only seems to occur after cruising on the highway so there isn't much shifting going on when it happens. I am going to the RX-7 store tomorrow for something else so maybe they can help me figure it out.

The tire looks fine and so does everything in the wheel well, including the lip on the fender and the fender lining. I am stumped. The only things I can think of are the CV joint and maybe that the caliper is binding up sometimes. Has anyone had problems like this before with an FD?

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-Charlie
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Old 07-22-06, 11:50 AM   #10
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Sorry to bring this back up but I find this interesting because it is beginning to happen to me. Everything that Charlie mentioned is just like mines minus the lowered suspension part. Now I was starting to think that it could be a suspension issue as there are no visible marks on the wheelwell and tires. I checked to see if there were any residue, but none. I also evaluted the car moving at a slow 3-5 mph and heard minor creaking. And when I would roll over a minor bump or dip (minor as in barely a slight change in the road) i would hear that lil creak. This is making me believe its the shocks or something? But as far as the light white smoke, I have no clue what that is.
Any suggestions or what steps to diagnose this would be great. Thanks much.
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Old 07-22-06, 12:28 PM   #11
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Look for shiny parts in the wheel well - if the tire rubs something, it will get real clean and shiny.

Creaking could be anything - shock mounts, old bushings, you name it.

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Old 07-22-06, 06:50 PM   #12
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Hey dale! Thanks again for the check valves. I planned on putting them in today. but its reaching past 100 degrees now (northern california) booo.
Do you think it is possible that the mounts or bushings could cause that white smoke? or what if the shocks are leaking out?
I'll double check to see about the shiny parts. Though I didnt see any visible unusual wear on the tires. Maybe I should take a snapshot of it all??? Any other suggestions are welcome
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Old 07-22-06, 07:36 PM   #13
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...I would think that it would take a lot of rubbing for white smoke to appear.a lot of rubbing would be noticeable.

check your brake fluid level, it could be that it's leaking on the rotor from the caliper or hose and thats what's burning. Maybe even fluid from the front damper. Or possible it's steam from the overflow tank...or oil from the turbo...or....
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Old 07-22-06, 10:12 PM   #14
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The leaking onto the caliper thing or hose thing sounds like a very good suggestion. I'll check it out and possibly post a pic? Highly doubt its the others you mentioned. Its only coming from the driver rear wheel well. Hard to tell what kind of material it is that is burning, but only know that something is burning. and the white smoke is not VERY white.. but enough to where you can slightly see it. And I really only notice it after driving in the freeway where speeds can reach beyond light
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Old 07-24-06, 01:49 PM   #15
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Ok I measured the height of the rear drivers side and compared it to the passenger rear side. and there was about 1" difference. I am pretty convinced that it is the shock or suspension related. Still any other suggestions where to look or steps to take are welcome.
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Old 07-24-06, 01:49 PM
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