Broken Axle Housing in April of 2004

I pulled into the lot at Paul Hunter's shop in San Marcos and noticed an oil spot below the axle tube to the left of the third member. I didn't recall seeing any oil on the ground when I pulled into the spot but I couldn't quite figure out how there could be a leak over there. Rod suggested we bring it into the shop and get it up on stands to see what was up. We found that the housing was cracked about 80% of the way around the tube.

After discussing several options to patch it together just to get it home, we decided that a tow truck was a wiser choice. Mapquest showed the distance between the two shops to be just over 100 miles so, I opted to use my AAA plus. By the time I got it off the flatbed and into my shop, the tube had broken completely in two. I was very fortunate to have stopped when I did and that I had seen the leak. I hate to think of what may have happened if the tube had broken in two at freeway speeds.

I took the housing to my brother Sam's shop for repairs. There we mounted it on the fabrication table to keep it straight and he welded it back together. Then I had the housing blasted and powder coated before re-assembly and re-installation into the car. It was pretty obvious that the break was right on a weld that was done to narrow the housing. That weld had very little penetration. The current weld has held up to some extreme abuse without failure.

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