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Old 03-14-2016, 11:00 PM   #1
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How did this break?



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Old 03-14-2016, 11:04 PM   #2
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Wow, that's a pretty clean and concentric break, was it welded there?
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:44 PM   #3
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Have an enemy or ex that owns an electric pipe-cutter? That is too clean not to be suspect! CRAZY!
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:05 AM   #4
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Tubular steel snapped in such a clean fashion has two reasons, suspicious activities or a defect in the metal.
Of course I'm not a metallurgist or a detective but I recently stayed in a walmart parking lot LOL.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:14 AM   #5
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Overloaded at half span. Harmonics probably worked on it for years.


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Old 03-15-2016, 12:16 PM   #6
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Not the first one I have seen break like that. It looks to be bent as well, but that could just be the picture.

My suspicions: The leaf spring packs and shackles are stiff enough that they resist the side to side movement of the axle that the Panhard Rod (the broken Track Bar) arch travels in, so that they are fighting each other.

Additionally, if the Panhard Rod bushings are in bind rotationally because they are being over tightened or the inside sleeve is too short, it could cause the bend I think I see and failure.

1) While it is still broken, try rotating both ends up and down around the bushings to see if they are too tight.

2) Jack up the van in different scenarios that represent the axle articulation you are experiencing on the road or trail and see how that effects the required length of the Panhard Rod.

3) Report back - we are a curious lot.
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Old 03-15-2016, 02:15 PM   #7
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This is from RAWDAWG's rig. He ordered another rod from SMB today, will report back with more findings when I have a chance to replace it. To your point Ramsey this will happen again if we can't find the root cause.
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:30 PM   #8
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It would just be a matter of cycles...

Perhaps it was just under built, too small and thin of tube. I would ask if this has been addressed with a upgraded spec since this build.

Make sure the new unit is not in any bind on install.

You know, a lot of factory leaf sprung front axles applications do not use a Panhard Bar.
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:19 AM   #9
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Please give us a close-up shot of the broken metal edges. Looks like a seam welded joint failure. It doesn't look like a good application for seam welded tubing. I've seen cases in other applications where seam welding was prohibited but got in the supply anyhow.
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Old 03-19-2016, 12:54 PM   #10
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I was looking at the photos at the larger image size to get a closer look. I think I see a clean part of metal in the top photo between 10 to 2 o clock position. The lower 2/3 of the break looks rusted. Usually this points to a crack that has been there for a long while with the clean attached part finally failing. Also the paint that pooped off near the break is interesting because there appears to be a shinny section and rusted sections. This hints to the idea that the initial crack could have been under paint that had blistered and holding water not necessarily creating the crack but because of the crack/movement. I would agree with others that making sure the rotating ends are not binding would most likely prevent any issue with the next bar. Also kinda far fetched but did happen to us (not on a SMB) was that we had a pan hard bar on a rear axle that kept breaking. What we found was that the axle would wrap because everything in the suspension was worn and would try to rotate the pan hard bar. After a while the bar would brake. The solution was to replace the worn hardware connected to the springs as radius arms just seemed like a band aid solution.

Please let know what you find,
-Eric
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