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If he truly bent an axle, he did a LOT more! (archive)

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Posted by david on January 04, 2001 at 10:06:29:

In Reply to: Dinan CAI and Shattered Rim posted by Ben FR on January 03, 2001 at 19:19:30:

BMWs haven't had true axles in years. If he did in a front wheel, he could have bent a "stub axle" (the short shaft on which the wheel bearings rotate), but that hard a hit would almost certainly damage the suspension arms, carrier, and steering arms etc before taking out the stub - and could well have shifted the suspension mounting points a bit.

At the rear, we all have independent suspension with "half shafts" connecting the differential output flanges to the hubs. Bending one of these shafts requires a mammoth blow, as they're jointed at both ends and protected from lateral blows by the suspension. It would almost certainly mean significant damage to the hub carrier / location assembly as well.

Often, when a piece shatters like the wheel did, it's a pretty good sign that most of the energy of the blow was dissipated in the broken part. With a hard hit and no obviously damaged parts, the energy more often went into distorting and moving suspension mounts etc. But you still have to disassemble the entire corner and check every part as well as the mount geometry. And you should crack-check any pieces you intend to reuse - like suspension arms, brake discs,lugs, or an apparently undamaged stub axle. I usually disgard a part that's been subjected to this kind of stress even if it seems OK.

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