’72 Swinger Rear Hum

Tech Question


Erik Bakko, Brooklyn, NY, 1972 Dodge Swinger 318

The rear end on my swinger (318 / auto/ 147K) has been making a low quietsteady hum since I bought it 7000 miles ago. No other symptoms, so I keptworking on the engine. Now that I have it running strong with decentmileage (much thanks to Mopar Action), the rear end started making a lot ofnoise yesterday afternoon after a three hour drive at 60+ MPH. Lots ofgrinding and sqealing-type protest was coming from the left rear wheel. Itried to make it the last 6 miles home, but when the brakes started gettingsoft it was time to pull over and call AAA. When I stopped the car, lightsmoke was coming from that wheel for a couple minutes. After the truck tookme home, I could still pull it into the driveway and stop. There she sits.

How bad do you think it is? It’s mostly original with 14″ wheels so Iassume it has a 7.25″ rear. I suspect that it’s more than just the brake orbearing on that side. What’s the correct way to go about this? If I’mgoing to do any work on the rear end, it’s probably time to address anyother potential problems. At what point do I say uncle and start lookingfor a good Mopar mechanic in Brooklyn? It’s probably time for new springsand shocks anyway. This is only car, our grocery cart and weekender.

Thanks again for your help,
Erik in Brooklyn


Erik, you’ve really left me without a lot of specific info, so I’ll have totalk in generalities…

If the noise was very specifically coming from one corner of the car, theproblem is certainly brake or wheel bearing related, neither of which areexceptionally expensive or “fatal” repairs. So the first plan of attack -the lowest-buck approach – might be to simply get a few quotes on repairingwhat’s there.

The second plan is to locate a complete drum-to-drum 8.75″(pop-out-differential) axle setup from any 1964-’72 A-body so equipped.Excepting a propshaft swap, this is very close to a 100% bolt-in and giveyou a way stronger rear axle and wheel bearings, etc. The downside, whichyou may consider an upside, is that you maintain your oddball 4″ wheel boltcircle.

To me, the cool-guy way to go is to find a complete ’73-up A-body equippedwith the 8.25″ rear axle and front disc brakes. You then swap the entirefront suspension (inl. brakes, K-member, spool-type engine mounts, sway bar,control arms, etc.) and the complete rear axle. You now have MUCH strongercomponents at both ends, and the “big car” 4.5″ wheel bolt patter, whichwidens your wheel choices by about 1000%, even the famous 15×7″ “cop” wheelswould bolt right on and clear fine, with your choice of rubber. They arewhat those famous Brooklyn “tank trap” potholes require!

If you can’t find a Mopar guy to twist wrenches for you in Brooklyn (and youREALLY want a Mopar-aware guy for this, NOT a typical gas-stationwrench-twister), these guys are not too far from you, and they do AAA towingand flatbed service:


My guess is that, with advance planning and all the parts in hand, theycould turn this around in under 2 weeks.


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