I’m going to explain, most of us, how do we damage or snapped the drive shaft. I recently had to fix my front diff center because I shared four teeth off it, and I figured why not share all the ways you can damage it to help you guys prevent from doing it yourself.
Launching the Front Wheels
First way of breaking your drive shaft is a pretty common one actually. That’s when people smash the accelerator to the ground and really put the power through the wheels, you pop your wheels up in the air, they are spinning really fast and then they come down and contact the ground, that is the perfect way to snap a CV or also the front center of your V differential, or even an axle just take care if you’re climbing your Hill like that look in sound, you can probably get away with it most of the time because the surface will just move, you’ll just dig the sand out. That’s fine, however, you still can do it, it just depends how much shock load you put on your vehicle. If it’s in low range, you are multiplying that shock load pretty high. So just be aware of that. There are a few ways of preventing this, one is to time the June or the Hill a lot better and just throttle off when you hit the top, and perhaps use your lockers if you have them and drive up slow, that’s another way of doing it. But if you need speed, you need to go up, some people dub the clutch before they hit the ground and that can actually help prevent it at all. But I prefer not to do that in case you don’t make it up, you may slide back down.
Forcing Drive While Stuck
Next one is being stuck and not knowing why you are stuck. Half the time, the reason why you’re stuck is because your tires are sunk down you’re sitting on your chassis, that’s one way of being stuck. You have no traction. But the other way of being stuck is you’re hung up on something and you have traction to all four wheels, three wheels, two wheels, doesn’t matter, if you have traction somewhere and you’re trying to force it, and the vehicles bouncing up and down, spinning wheels, that is a sure way to break your drive shaft. So be very mindful of that. If you’re stuck and you don’t know why you’re stuck, get out have a look, get a spotter to tell you why you’re stuck, check everything. Because if you keep trying to force it, if it doesn’t break now, it may break later or it will break later. So how do you prevent this? Well, like I said, you get out and have a look to figure out why you’re stuck. Maybe you just need to put some mash tracks on the front or some track building a couple of rocks bit of wood; maybe you need to winch a little bit; maybe there’s something you need to move around. Just figure out what it is that’s holding you up and you shouldn’t break anything.
Reverse Gear Weakness
What other thing a lot of people don’t realize, you’re gearing in your vehicle in your diff, your differentials. The teeth are cut in a direction, they’re built for going forward, they’re not built for going backwards, so your gears are strongest going forwards. When you reverse, that is the weaker side of the teeth. The weaker way is cut engineer to go forward, not reverse. So never ever do strenuous driving reversing up a hill or something silly like that. When you’re bogged as well, don’t give it too much in reverse. Just be mindful of it, that the teeth are actually cut to go forward. And the main reason why people bust the front deaths during recoveries is doing this. Obviously and I would hooked up because I want to break my drive shaft again, but reverse recovery is not a good idea, you’re putting a lot of stress and a lot of shock load on your driving gear, so you are reverse recovering someone, you’re putting your vehicle at risk. Turn around, drive forward to pull them out, don’t do the other way around, it’s fine to use it as an anchor point your vehicle facing the other way but do not put it in reverse and drive, and put all the force and talk through your drivetrain in Reverse because those gears are not cut that way.
Driving too Hard
Now this one probably sounds pretty obvious to most people. If you’re too jerky to sharp an accelerator to sharpen the brakes, that really loads up your drive shaft. And when you think about it low range, it multiplies the torque and force going through the drive shaft up until your dip centers, and then the diff centers in my case, they’re four to one, so you’re multiplying it again, and all that torque and force is then being transferred out, this is where you will wear things down. You probably won’t break it now, but you will weaken it and you’ll break it later. So just drive to conditions, that is the best way to prevent this. Don’t be too hard on the accelerator; don’t be too hard on the brakes and don’t be too jerky driving. If you’re driving up a hill, pick the right line, use your lockers if you have them, if you don’t have them, that’s when picking the right line, it’s really crucial.
Differential Locker used incorrectly
Using your diff lockers wrong. how can you use your diff lockers wrong? Well, there’s a very obvious way, say you on solid surface, rock, there is no rain lockers today, it’s dry, no tire has a chance to slip, which means that all that binding up all that stress from a drive shaft when you’re turning. It’s all going to bind up inside it, it can’t release it anywhere until you lift the wheel or something like that. You may have seen before a vehicle driving on some rocks and it lifts the wheel and that wheel just all sudden just takes off it spins, that is releasing a lot of wound-up energy that’s in the drive shaft. If you have lockers on, you are multiplying that and you are locking it all in, so you’re locking 25% to all wheels, and that is where you really bind things up, and it may not break now, but it will break later. That is creating a lot of stress in your vehicle. So how do you prevent this? Well, on solid surface where you are turning, don’t use lockers, unlock your diffs. If you are going up a rocky steppe hill where you do need your lockers for traction, you of course use them when you’re turning on a solid surface your outside wheel wants to do more rotations than the inside wheel ,and it can’t do that, that is where all this bound up energy gets created and something’s got to give. Another way of using lockers wrong is powering your vehicle too hard, just because you’ve locked all your wheels, it doesn’t mean that you should be giving it more throttle, you should actually be giving it less fat off because there is no energy can escape anywhere as I explained before with the solid surface and you’re turning. All your energy is locked in, treat it with care, and your vehicle shouldn’t break. Another way you can blow your diff or your locker for that matter is if you are going too fast, you are wheel spinning and then you decide to activate your locker. Try not to activate your locker while you’re moving. Or if you are moving, make sure it’s slow, try and activate it when you’re sitting still. I know sometimes you are in the middle of doing something and you got to lock it, just make sure you’re not spinning wheels and you’re putting a lot of power through to death
I hope you found this article useful. Hopefully prevent you from breaking your drive shaft or at least, keep you so mindful of it when you have full wheeling.