[Vwdiesel] HELP - WHEEL FELL OFF !!

James Hansen jhsg at sasktel.net
Wed Nov 1 23:17:10 EST 2006

Okay. This just keeps getting better and better....

Shoot me the picture Rolf.  If you want a judgement call on if it was 
pooched the first time or second time, I can give you an opinion.

I think it was Sandy's word, and it has been filed in James' vocabulary 
inbox, but you may wind up needing the services of a word weasel.

All this discussion may be moot, as the jumping out of gear, being 
mightily deprived of lubrication not once, but TWICE through the 
manifestation of obvious incompetence, hearing the whine of a dying 5th 
gear all point to major tranny overhaul anyway.

I would argue that whether or not the output shaft of the transmission 
was good the first time is not the issue.  The whole issue at hand is 
the fact that through an unbelievably stellar feat of incompetence, they 
neglected to pull the drive flange to change the seal, clean the snap 
ring crud that was sheared through and stuck in the circlip groove, then 
reinstall the parts correctly.  Repairing the problem the first time 
PROPERLY would have made the condition of the output shaft blatantly 
obvious, and it would not be in question now at this point.  Arguing 
that it may have happened originally is just plain silly. So what if it 
did?  They had plenty of time and opportunity to do research and perform 
the repair correctly, and neglected to do just that.

So whose negligence was worse? Yours in not repairing your vehicle in a 
timely manner, or theirs in not repairing it correctly the first time, 
and causing irreparable harm.
Well, in the court of James, they are the professionals, you are not. 
Sucks to be a professional when it all turns to shit, but it all boils 
down to they should have done the job correctly or refused the work in 
the beginning if they were incapable of performing it. They do have the 
right to do that after all, and as a VW owner, you can understand that 
it isn't a chevy, and not everyone is capable of repairing the cars of 
the smarter and better looking.

So out of curiosity, just what mechanical magic did they expect held the 
flange in?
Chewing gum? Strong magnets?


Rolf Pechukas wrote:
> hey all
> more developments with the 93 Eurovan - it's still in the shop with  
> more damage now
> pls excuse the lengthy email - just needed to sort this out
> aslo, I'm looking for feedback:
> pls tell me if my take on this is unreasonable in any way
> sequence of events:
> - driving slow on side road, vehicle gives sudden lurch, driver's  
> side front wheel collapses and locks up, I bring to stop in 50 ft
> - see that lower ball joint has given way, wheel canted at 45° angle  
> and wedged into wheel well
> - find local garage that will repair within 2 days (I am supplying  
> major parts - all 4 ball joints, 2 axles, tie rod ends - had ordered  
> these to rebuild front end, BJ failed a few days ahead of schedule)
> - tow guy (from same garage) shows up w/ flatbed (I had suggested  
> wrecker due to nature of the vehicle's condition - would not roll,  
> wheel could not be moved - dispatcher had ignored me)
> - tow guy messes around for 45 in, then goes back to get wrecker - I  
> wait another 2 hrs
> - shop gets van; quickly reassembles driver's side wheel - working  
> outside b/c van can't be moved - so they can get it rolling and bring  
> it in and up on a lift
> at this point, they have replaced axle and ball joint to get it back  
> together
> they get it in shop and finish rest of front end work
> according to everyone I have talked to, this is standard operating  
> procedure when stubby axle has been pulled out of tranny due to ball  
> joint failure - there is NO WAY that clip can survive this
> in fact, several people emailed me from this group and the VW and EV  
> lists and told me to MAKE SURE the clip and seal were replaced
> and I called the shop before they did any work on the van, talked to  
> the dispatcher, tried to relay the tips from the group, specifically  
> about replacing the clip and seal
> he cut me off - 'yup, all under control'
> me: 'you sure? these guys know this vehicle'
> him: 'we're on top of it'
> so that's the second time he ignored me and screwed something up
> - I get the van back; everything seems OK
> - I head out for Boston the next day - @ 90 miles
> after 20 miles the tranny won't stay in 5th gear - keeps popping out
> I hold it in and continue
> at @ 70 miles I stop for red light
> when I try to start up again, nothing
> no enganement of tranny
> I push to side of road and look under
> CV axle is pushed away from tranny again
> new part, but same old injury, tranny fluid bleeding all over road
> I get AAA'd back home (thanks, AAA Plus!)
> - call the shop next day, let 'em know what happened
> ask them if clip and seal were replaced when flange drive was  
> reassembled
> am told the stubby axle was just 'pushed back in'
> !!!
> - OK
> we agree that they need to reassemle the driver's side axle at their  
> cost
> I undertake to locate the clip and seal they should have ordered  
> themselves the first time
> - I order clip and seal from dealer; 2 day wait
> - clip and seal arrive (today, 11/1)
> I go to shop to consult, make sure they do it right this time, etc
> they tell me 'we've got other problems'
> turning green, I ask what
> the stubby axle has been damaged, surprise surprise
> entire tip has sheared off (from retaining clip slot to end, about  
> 3/8" of shaft)
> stubby axle needs to be replaced
> we decide to order it ($135 and 4 bus days - that's another week for  
> me of no wheels)
> and argue about who pays for it later
> the shop owner is of the opinion that the tip of the shaft sheared  
> off when the ball joint failed and the CV was yanked out
> certainly a possibility
> but
> pictures from sitting on the side of the road before anyone touched  
> anything show stubby axle almost fully exposed and still staying  
> engaged with splines
> this indicates to me that there is still full-length shaft intact
> here's what I think happened:
> - ball joint fails
> - wheel splays out, yanking axle out of tranny
> - retaining clip is destroyed, but stubby axle remains intact (no  
> twisting action at any point - wheel bound and not turning from the  
> instant ball joint failed)
> - shop reassembles w/o new clip or seal, or even examining stubby  
> shaft for damage
> - I drive to Boston w/ no clip, shaft working its way loose
> - but drive still engaged all the way to stop at red light -  
> important - no slipping, no missing (except 5th popping out)
> - I think by the time I stopped at the red light, shaft must have  
> worked so far loose that only the end of the stubby drive was engaged  
> by the splines of the final drive
> so when I tried to start in 1st from dead stop, all that torque went  
> into twisting the end of that stubby axle off
> probably weakened/fatigued by the axle yank and the driving half-out,  
> but I don't think it sheared off until that moment starting from stop
> that's the only thing that could explain why it drove fine to a stop,  
> but could not get going again
> (unless it somehow in that moment happened to push its way another  
> 1/2" out - unlikely - wheels were straight forward, no reason for the  
> axle to move a lot at thered light)
> no, I'm pretty sure I'm right - starting from stop after axle working  
> out w/o clip is what sheared off end of stubby
> anyone have any other thoughts?
> how to talk to the shop guys about this?
> as far as I can see, the shop is rersponsible for not following SOP -  
> replace clip and seal, examine stubby axle for damage - following  
> ball joint failure and axle yank
> and because of that they're kind of, hate to say it, responsible for  
> everything that happened after that, including:
> damage to stubby, tow from Boston back home, damage to tranny caused  
> by clip and/or end of stubby mangling around in there, certainly  
> rebuild of driver's side axle
> is there any other way to see this ??
> thanks for any thoughts

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