[Vwdiesel] HELP - WHEEL FELL OFF !!!

Rolf Pechukas rbp at 4u2bu.org
Sat Nov 11 22:59:43 EST 2006

> The stubby axle tip sheared off after the ball joint failed, the shaft
> pulled out, the load of the drivetrain was bore by the shaft tip  
> alone,
> and the groove behind that tip wasn't strong enough to bear that load.
> The circlip had nothing to do with it.

not to prolong this hypothetical debate - I'm sure everyone is sick  
of it including us -
(and I understand what you are saying and I do understand the  
function of the clip)


1. WHY, if the shaft tip sheared when you say - at original BJ  
failure - did the tip of the shaft, floating around in the tranny,  
sit so quiet and polite for 20 miles of driving around town and then  
80 miles of driving to Boston AFTER initial rebuild
and ONLY bust through the tranny case when the shop drove van 3 miles  
to alignment shop after I'd gotten towed back to western MA?

b/c we do know this:
the hole in the tranny case WAS NOT there after original BJ failure,  
WAS NOT there after 80 mile drive to Boston, and WAS NOT there on 2nd  
rebuild of driver's side axle
we know that because exit hole was low on tranny case and DEFINITELY  
would have been noticed every time transaxle fluid was changed, which  
happened all 3 above times

stubby tip punched through case *first time* van was driven AFTER I  
stopped at red light in Concord and couldn't get going again
which was when shop drove van to alignment shop

I find it difficult to believe that stubby tip sat quietly somewhere  
in tranny case and didn't get jostled around and punch through during  
any of that 100+ miles of driving I did after initial BJ failure
but that it just decided to jump up and bust through on mile 103

rather, what I think happened is what I have been saying all along
(and the timeline of the tranny case hole reinforces this)

- BJ failed, clip was damaged by initial axle yank, but stubby  
remained intact
- shop reassembles w/ damaged clip, clip fails to hold during long  
drive to Boston
- axle works its way out, eventually only tip is engaged
- tip shears off trying to start from zero at red light (only stop  
and go of entire trip - all rest of time cruising in 5th - not too  
- stubby tip is now sitting in tranny, but van not being driven
- gets towed back to western MA, gets worked on 2nd time at shop
- stubby replaced, axle rebuilt, etc
- shop drives van to alignment shop, loose stubby tip gets bounced  
around immediately and punches through tranny case
- shop notices tranny case hole (hard to miss) upon return, notifies  
me, gets it alum welded
- weld leaks and they temp fix it w/ 2-part epoxy, etc etc, saga  

but the main point is, despite your insistence that stubby had to  
have failed during initial BJ break, I am now more convinced then  
ever that stubby didn't fail until the red light in Concord

after all, you said yourself clip gets 'nicked'
you can also see from the pictures how hard the bearing got slammed  
on initial BJ yank - hard enough to leave deep spline indents in  
hardened steel
why is it so difficult to believe that the clip got 'nicked' hard  
enough to fail to hold when reassembled ??
and that the stubby got yanked out so far and so fast its tip never  
got twisted by final drive ?

that's my story and I'm sticking to it
I really think that's the way it happened


Rolf in MA

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