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Old 11-19-2016, 06:43 PM   #1
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Lost axle - what happened here?

This is an old photo, but I would love to know what happened. Does anyone know? Apologies if this was beaten to death earlier: I just ran across it as someone's side comment.



I mean, some folks DO want to change their gear ratios, but this swap looks a bit... creative...
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
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Looks like the bolts that hold the axle to the springs broke. It also looks like a Rear engine so axle rolling backwards would take out transmission pan and engine oil pan. What caused the axle bolts to break or come off no clue.


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Old 11-19-2016, 07:09 PM   #3
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Hear is the news article on that one.
No other vehicle involved.
Bus carrying 30 students loses rear axle in Phoenix
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Old 11-19-2016, 07:17 PM   #4
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Funny when you google the image you find more incidents...

Google search
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Old 11-19-2016, 07:17 PM   #5
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:20 AM   #6
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and the bus takes it without a scratch, amazing.
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:44 AM   #7
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IS it that common?
Two different buses?!
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:38 AM   #8
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IS it that common?
Two different buses?!

Dunno! The picture tells more than the news article
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:53 AM   #9
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Gotta admit: those axles have pretty good lane control, even without the bus.

Musta been a bit of a bump for the kids, though: the top of the wheel would have lifted them and maybe even slightly accelerated them (since it is going twice as fast as the bus), then dropped 'em the full height. Ouch. Got some air on that, I'll bet.
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:55 AM   #10
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Seems like I can find three different incidents of this just in a quick search of google images.
They appear to be Bluebirds.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:39 AM   #11
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Seems like I can find three different incidents of this just in a quick search of google images.
They appear to be Bluebirds.
I saw a total of five in the image search that came up from the link earlier.... 3 were Bluebirds, one was a Thomas, not sure what the 5th one was but it was a late model conventional (no earlier than about a 2010 or 2011 model).

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Old 11-20-2016, 11:15 AM   #12
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just a guess... but to me it looks like that happens from the torque of the engine. the first one anyways. it looks like it was accelerating from a stop.
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:08 PM   #13
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I saw a total of five in the image search that came up from the link earlier.... 3 were Bluebirds, one was a Thomas, not sure what the 5th one was but it was a late model conventional (no earlier than about a 2010 or 2011 model).

This one is also a Thomas- the high window one whose designation eludes me at the moment
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:59 PM   #14
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just a guess... but to me it looks like that happens from the torque of the engine. the first one anyways. it looks like it was accelerating from a stop.
Initially the axle would want to go faster than the bus until it broke loose.
As soon as it was loose and the tires hit the body it would then roll out the back end.

I am thinking maybe over torqued or rusty u-bolts on the axle broke.
Possibly upon hard braking or airline break when loaded and at speed?
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:13 PM   #15
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... Possibly upon hard braking or airline break when loaded and at speed?
"But, Honey, you said, 'STOP, QUICK!'"
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:20 PM   #16
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What actually pushes your bus down the road?--think about it for a minute. This is gonna get a little techie-but bear with me...
My (great) shop teacher at tech school was old--and always seemed to have a story from the old times to give as examples. He was telling tales of when cars cars had torque tube rear ends. (The tranny is solidly attached to the rear via a large tube with the driveshaft inside it.) What would happen is if the motor mounts failed, the motor would get pushed forward (because its attached to the tranny which is pushed by the torque tube which it pushed by the rear axle) and jam the fan into the radiator. The motor mounts were the part that actually pushed the car down the road.
My race car has a three link suspension. (one bar on each side below axle centerline and one in the middle up top.) I have a 1200 lb spring in the upper link. It gives a bit of cushion when I launch.When the pinion gear turns, it tries to climb the ring gear-and the rear axle rotates backwards. Where the lower links attaches to the frame-is what pushes the car forward.
How much force is on the parts? All of the engines torque-multiplied by the ratio in the tranny + rear. On my 1200 lb car-with 100 ft lbs of torque I move that spring an inch.
Now picture the amount of force 500 ft lbs (multiplied) has on a 30k lbs. Stand at the side of the bus-and imagine the rear axle wanting to rotate backwards-whats holding it back? Just the U bolts. Maybe 1/2" above axle centerline to 5" below at the bottom of the spring perch. That little area is whats pushing your bus down the road.
Since you can still see the the leaf springs in the pic of the bus on the wrecker, that means the u bolts must have failed to hold the rear from turning over backwards. And one pic shows it a few feet past a stop sign, it makes sense it happen at take off-where you have the most load on the parts.
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:40 PM   #17
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. . . . .
Since you can still see the the leaf springs in the pic of the bus on the wrecker, that means the u bolts must have failed to hold the rear from turning over backwards. And one pic shows it a few feet past a stop sign, it makes sense it happen at take off-where you have the most load on the parts.
And keep in mind - since it's trying to rotate backward, the front portion of the U-bolts get the most stress of holding the axle in place. And guess which portion gets the most exposure for moisture, salt, and over-spray from the front axle?

Who's betting some of these buses had some high-torque engines?
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:40 PM   #18
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Starting off in too high of gear?

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Old 11-20-2016, 09:27 PM   #19
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Is this is skidding to a stop, wheel locking up situation? Because in full brake there is more torque on thos spring ubolts than a fast start where the torque should be on that driveline....?
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