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  #1  
Old 12-07-2009, 03:51 PM
wjblack wjblack is offline
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Unhappy Accident. Is it Alignment or Bent Axle?

So I was on a freeway onramp late last night (possible ice!) and ended up doing a hard 180. The rear driver-side wheel hit the curb hard and I ended up halfway off the road. Results:
  1. The tire came most of the way off the wheel.
  2. The wheel itself broke (i.e. part of the rim came off the rest of the wheel).
  3. When we put on the spare, we had a slight wobble in the wheel (full size spare that's worked perfectly before).

My friend and I limped the truck over to his place (under 30 mph) and it seems that jacking up the truck and retightening the lug nuts did not do the trick to remove the wobble. There's also a slight squeaking sound while driving.

It's (more-or-less) drivable, but I'm wondering if I should bother trying a simple realign or if I'll likely be stuck getting e.g. a new axle assembly. Any thoughts? I won't be driving it until fixed except to get it to whatever repair place we decide on.

Also, if I have to replace the axle, any idea how big of a PIA it is relative to, say, replacing a head gasket on an SOHC engine (which I've done before)? Since it's the drive wheels on a 2WD truck (but it IS under the bed, so relatively easy to get to), I'm not sure how bad it would be.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2009, 03:55 PM
STL STL is offline
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You can not adjust the alignment on the rear of your truck like you would the front

The axle could be bent. I would take it to a shop to have them look it over. Not a repair shop but a frame collision shop.


I put in a new axle from a junk yard in my truck took about 2 hours with help from 2 other people
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Last edited by STL; 12-07-2009 at 03:57 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2009, 06:11 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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My guess is at minimum, bent wheel flange on the axle shaft(replacement shaft needed). Next step up would be internal axle damage(fixed at a driveline shop or auto repair shop). One step beyond would be bent axle housing and/or rear frame(both which are a little unlikely but not unheard of).


If it were me, I'd chock the front tires, put the truck up on jackstands under the axle tubes, take the wheels and drums off. Start the truck up and put it in 1st and look at what the wheel bolts to in the back while the axles are spinning. See if it wobbles. If it does, that means its got a bent axle(most likely axle flange).

Also, I'd head over to a frame shop to confirm the frame is okay and straight.
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Last edited by Fx4wannabe01; 12-07-2009 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:16 PM
wesvo wesvo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
My guess is at minimum, bent wheel flange on the axle shaft(replacement shaft needed). Next step up would be internal axle damage(fixed at a driveline shop or auto repair shop). One step beyond would be bent axle housing and/or rear frame(both which are a little unlikely but not unheard of).
x2
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2009, 07:44 PM
98blownranger 98blownranger is offline
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if it is bend get a used complete and you can even them upgrade to posi or disks if you don't have already
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2009, 11:39 PM
blueovelboy blueovelboy is offline
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you where on the ramp going to 280 off the 87?
i saw some one almost roll there ranger there last night!
was that you?
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2009, 02:56 PM
ec_dago_ryder ec_dago_ryder is offline
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anyone know how i can make my truck posi track? when i lived in cali. one of my friends said he welded the gears to make his posi track. is that safe? cause what if the weld breaks? and where do you weld at?
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2009, 03:13 PM
Tom Tom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ec_dago_ryder View Post
anyone know how i can make my truck posi track? when i lived in cali. one of my friends said he welded the gears to make his posi track. is that safe? cause what if the weld breaks? and where do you weld at?
Start a new thread with that question, this thread is for helping Mr. Black.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2009, 03:15 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ec_dago_ryder View Post
anyone know how i can make my truck posi track? when i lived in cali. one of my friends said he welded the gears to make his posi track. is that safe? cause what if the weld breaks? and where do you weld at?
put in a limited slip...trackloc, detroit trutrac, eaton, tons of different ones out there...just gotta get to lookin' or start your own thread. posi is a GM term. What your friend did was 100% lock both sides together using a "lincoln locker"...aka....welded spider gears. Lincoln Lockers aren't smart on a street driven rig and a bitch to turn.


*tom beat me to it. hah.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:48 PM
rdnekgt rdnekgt is offline
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sounds like a bent axle but i would get the axle tube checked as well
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:09 AM
wjblack wjblack is offline
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Default Curtner to 87 North

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueovelboy View Post
you where on the ramp going to 280 off the 87?
i saw some one almost roll there ranger there last night!
was that you?
Nah. I was going from Curtner Westbound onto 87 Northbound (at about 11 pm last Sunday--nobody around, cold, rainy and I suspect I hit an ice patch). The spin was mid-turn but not far off the line (so maybe going 25ish mph at the time). That kind of spin at 60+ mph would have been mega scary.

As it was, I ended up halfway on the dirt and could have easily ended up in the ditch (maybe even flipping the truck). I wasn't too surprised that the tire came off the rim, but was a bit surprised that the rim broke (it's a polished steel rim, not an alloy. Go fig).
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:25 AM
wjblack wjblack is offline
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Default Excellent Suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
My guess is at minimum, bent wheel flange on the axle shaft(replacement shaft needed). Next step up would be internal axle damage(fixed at a driveline shop or auto repair shop). One step beyond would be bent axle housing and/or rear frame(both which are a little unlikely but not unheard of).
I've never worked on anything driveline or suspension-related (done brake pads once or twice, but that's it), so that whole area past the differential is a bit of a mystery to me. This post was particularly useful to get my bearings (no pun intended) here. Thanks!

Kragen (who I try not to do business with) has axle shafts for <$100 online. Autozone doesn't carry them AFAICT. But it's a good starting point. Sounds like there's a decent chance I'll be able to get someone to fix her up, even here in Silicon Valley, for <$500 (I don't know that I'm up to this level of work this close to the holidays). That makes me feel a bit better.
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2009, 04:38 PM
wjblack wjblack is offline
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Update:

As discussed above, my primary problem was indeed a bent flange. Replacement for that will be just under $400.

At the same time, my front alignment was a bit messed up. The guys over at Michael & Co are doing the whole works for just under $600 (which hurts, but it's not the end of the world).

I'll get 'er back tomorrow afternoon. Then I just need to replace my rims/tires (the spare is lovely, but I can't drive on it forever). I'll start another discussion thread for that...
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:11 AM
wjblack wjblack is offline
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Talking Final Results!

So we're all fixed up and have new tires and wheels. A few pics:



The Broken Rim. Yuk.



The truck before the new tires and rims (with the spare). These are 15" rims and 225/70/15 tires.



With the stock 16" rims from an '05 Explorer ($100 on Craigslist). New Kuhmo KL-51s.

The result? 2" bigger tires on 1" bigger wheels that (IMHO) look much nicer.

...and I'm about $1,100 poorer after the axle replacement, tires and (admittedly very cheap) wheels :-(
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:16 AM
zman7125 zman7125 is offline
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Default Re: Accident. Is it Alignment or Bent Axle?

what size tires did you get after on those explorer wheels? they look bigger than 235's
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