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After 5 days of tearing my hair out and removing my blower motor assembly at least 15 times I finally found and fixed the causes of my blower wheel rubbing. On close inspection I found several little "bumps" on the inside diameter of the plenum's opening and I removed them with a half round file. I reinstalled it and again it made a lot of noise. I pulled it out and discovered about half the fins of my blower wheel were being rubbed close to the spacer. So I used my half round file to remove some material from the 5 o'clock to the 12 o'clock positions of the plenum's opening.

After about the 15th installation the blower wheel STILL rubbed but only in one place judging by the sound of it. I pulled it back out and found a tiny shiny spot on one of the blower wheel's balance weights so rather than finding out what it was hitting I just moved the weights about 1/4", reinstalled it, and BINGO. It ran perfectly quiet.

What baffles me is it ran quiet for 10 years so why would a new motor cause all this trouble? The new motor had the same flange-to-shaft dimensions as the old motor so the new motor couldn't have been the cause. It had to be something else but what could it be and why now? Well, it's finally over and that's all that matters.
 

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