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Odd Mud Flap Prob.


Charter Member
Full Member
Jan 31, 2002
Okay, stick with me everyone, I may have serious problems...

Today while driving home from work, the MNDOT crew decided to start there retarring process on one of the busiest areas in the twin cities at rush hour (5:00 pm). Anyways, as I'm driving along, all traffic comes to a stand still, because one of the three lanes is shut down. Now, what they were laying down was real thick, and as cars were driving over it, became long, black sticky ropes. Anyways, as I pass the road crews, and start to accelerate, I notice this LOUD scraping/rubbing noise. I get out of the truck, and the one day that I wear a suit in six months, I actually have to crawl under the truck to see whats hanging up. I find nothing. Upon walking around the truck, I notice that BOTH rear mud flaps have folded up from the bottom, and are now rubbing against the tires. Could this have been caused by the thick ropey tar, or could this be the side effect of a more severe problem caused by the alignment that I had done last week.

Any thoughts
The only way I can see this happening as a result of the tar is if you backed up at some point. Even then, that goo would have to have incredible tensile strength.

AS long as you were moving forward, though -- this is a real mystery. I don't see how it be related to the alignment at all, either.

I was always moving forward, and I too am doubting that just the tar could have caused this. The reason I asked about the alignment, was that I recalled J Pendlum having an issue with a recent alignment, but now after reading his post again, I see that it pertains to a front end alignment. When I had my alignment done, the tech told me that they had some problems with the Av alignment, but everything was fixed. I really didn't listen, since I was late for work, and they had my Av overnight to do an alignment (the servive dept is open until 2:00 am). This made me think back to another post where they had to loosen up the rear end on someones AV to complete an alignment. Anyways, I guess I'll have to check with the dealer, and see if there is anything major wrong.

It's gotta be the tar . . . but how?

I guess if these long ropes of tar were pulled up to the top of the tire, contacted the mud flaps - which now stuck to the tar ropes, and were pulled inward as the tire continued to rotate, that could happen.

Seems like a stretch though - you'd have a huge amount of tar all over the tires to make that work. What a mess!
I'm not clear on what you mean when you say, "folded up from the bottom", but if you mean they are bent, then maybe this could be heat related?
I think RichD is right on the money with this one...depending on how they are curled it could have been from the heat eminating from the road......kinda if you put a flame up to a straw...notice how it will start to buckle inward and curl...hmmmm ???
I think it may have been a few factors at work here.
1. The heat from a freshly paved road surface. The surfaces of the road are hot when they are laid. Add to that the friction of tires accelerating, and braking adds even more heat to the road surface. The heat is then transfered from the heated tar to your guards that then become hot and loose some of their strength.

2. The lenths of tar ropes that probably were sticking to the bottom sections of the flaps, and then followed the tire up and around. This action would "pull" the bottom of the flaps in a direction they were not designed to flex or go. Mud flaps are designed to take inpact of dirt, rock and stone, not be pulled on by basically a pully assembly.

3. These guards are only screwed into the plastic cladding. They are not fastened to metal so there is a lot of room for plastic fatigue at the point of the cladding.

Probably the only thing that kept the guards on were the one screw that goes in from the inside of the guard into the bottom of the cladding. That would be the only screw that would be taking the pressure through the core of the screw, not just the threads.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. It's been a couple of days now, and the mud flaps appear to be fine. Just chalk it up to a fluke.

Thanks, Shawn