I have searched and searched and couldn't find this problem in any threads - found similar problems but not this one.
Since I bought my 96 Cutlass at the end of July I have had a vibration/noise that becomes very apparent above 30mph. There was an estimate in the glove box for a driver side wheel bearing that the previous owner never replaced. Given this seemed logical for the noise I went ahead and replaced it but the noise is still there. The car has new outer tie rod ends, new struts all the way around, new driver side ball joint and now a new driver side wheel bearing. After dealing with this for a few weeks I took the car to a local shop and they were convinced the problem is still the driver side wheel bearing and I must have torqued it on too tight. I thought this seemed logical so I changed it out with another new hub bearing paying close attention to how tight I go it.....problem is still there!
Now, the odd part and the thing that makes me think its not the bearing at all. The car desperately needs an alignment as the wheel is no where near straight when cruising down the road. However, when driving straight with the noise and vibration going strong, if the wheel gets turned just slightly to the right the noise and vibration completely goes away. When the car is going straight or to the left the problem is still there - to the right and its like a brand new car.
My theory, and I could be completely wrong, is the alignment could be the problem. When the previous owner had the tie rod ends done I am not sure she had it aligned properly. Is it possible that the tie rods are installed incorrectly causing the front wheels to 'fight' each other a bit when going straight? Would this cause the problem? Theory 2 is that is a half shaft gone bad and when slightly turned it aligns itself in such a manner as to make the problem go away. Both half shafts look good but I know that doesnt say much for their inner workings.
Thanks in advance to anyone that can help. This problem is going to kill me!
P.S. I have no problem just throwing in the towel and taking the car in but 15 years of car ownership has taught me most shops just take shots in the dark with these kind of problems....