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Full Version: what are my wheelarches trying to tell me?
Alfa Romeo 145 - 146 Forum > General > General Discussions
dante giacosa
The other day, I took care of a little task long overdue on the 146.gif , in that I swapped the front wheels to the back.

I must have had a couple of years out of the front tyres, and the NS recently became quite worn on the inside (as detailed in another thread). So it seemed like a good time to do it before the winter.

During the process I noticed some curious things taking place in my arches. My NS rear arch has a rubber-wear mark high at the back, where the tyre is obviously catching the wheel-arch liner. Fascinating. These things (liners) go in, with a bit of 'fit' of course, but it makes me wonder if this one is significantly misaligned. I couldn't say I've ever heard it; as a noise within the car.

and in my OS front arch; I noticed a sort of 'oily' deposit coming down from the suspension tower. I'll have to have a think about that one!
Kinda weird.
If you've not changed the wheel size, seems that the shocks in the back are a bit worn out. That's why you see the wheel arch worn out there.
The rear wheels do not need alignment (that's what my mechanic said to me recently) so my only guess is that.

At the front wheels if you see oil coming down from the shocks then you should replace them. That's easy. But it seems strange to me that you have the front wheel arch worn at only that point, but the side skirt is OK. Maybe there is a misaligned issue there as the wheel should never touch that part.
dante giacosa
Er thanks, Pantera-

but the car sees quite regular professional maintenance; I don't think any of these symptoms are serviceable issues really.

I suppose it is a possibility, but the rear shocks are unlikely to be worn out; the car hardly has rear passengers in it! I have however had the complete rear arches and bumper off, during an underbody clean-up a couple of years ago. It's perhaps more likely that they didn't re-seat entirely perfectly.
I'm just surprised it's that-close to the tyre really.

The arch wear is at the rear not front.

The oil might well be from the shock itself; I'm struggling to see another possibility...

Uh sorry, I've haven't seen the photo of the front wheel arch (d'oh! my bad).
Now seeing it, it doesn't seem to be oil coming form the shock as the oil should be on the shock itself. Above the arch is the water container and the water lines for the rear wiper unit. Also near them on that side the hydraulic steering pump. Did you checked if any of them have a leak? maybe one of them is the cause for it.
I had to replace one of my rear arch liners after I had to rip it off thanks to rusted bolts. I replaced it with one from a 146 which looked exactly the same. Bizarrely some of the screw holes didn't line up so I had to twist the plastic a bit. I then found the tyre was rubbing on the back part. After a bit of bending and twisting of the plastic I managed to stop the rubbing and it's been fine for years now. The plastic does seem quite malleable.
dante giacosa
I'm astonished to read that, Vroom-

I would have though the 145.gif and 146.gif rear liners were entirely different shapes...

encouraging to hear though
I've got GTV rear liners on mine and had to 'adapt - cut' them to shape. I had the same rubbing issue. Pushed and twisted a bit and now it's cleared. The liquid from the fron wheel arch. What is it? Motor oil, power steering.. looking at the location the shocks look the the culprit.
dante giacosa
Yes Ganz,

It's puzzling- do you know? Now that I think about it; I do have an occasional 'bang' coming from the OS front over undulating roads: I wonder if that shock is genuinely on the way out

Maybe I'll start with a massive under-arch clearout, and then I can see where the deposit spreads from specifically
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