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Old 08-17-2022, 08:41 PM   #1
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Broken axle in rear diff.

My 2004 SMB is an E350 4X4 with a 5.4. Several years ago I was in Bishop, CA when one of the axles in the rear, full floating diff just disintegrated...while backing out of my Mother's driveway.

The rear full floating diff was installed 7 years ago by a shop in Portland, OR. The housing has no tags. The mechanic in Bishop ordered a series of what he thought were the correct axles. None of them fit because the bad axle was not a stock item . He also failed to take into account that the diff is an Eaton True Trac and did not measure the length of the axle or count the splines.

Apparently, he had no credit cards or line of credit and could only obtain the axles from the local Ford dealership. Wondering why it was taking so long, I walked to his shop. Since the shop owner had no credit, I had to order the axle and pay for it with my card.

I called Heber and got the name of the retailer that SMB used. When I called Randy's Ring and Pinion the sales guy said the axle that disintegrated was part of a "bad batch" of axles from China. He did not offer me a discount and charged me $500 for the replacement axle. He did say that if the new axle disintegrates, he will replace the failed axle for free.

Questions:

Since the sales guy at Randy's referred to a "batch of axles", who else has had a similar failure?

Did Randy's sales tell you that they would not charge you for the second, replacement axle?

Did you get a replacement axle from Randy's or another retailer?

How can I find out what my full floating housing came off of?

I need to do a deep dive to find the receipt for the axle that I purchased when I was in Bishop. If it is not in my records, does anyone know what axle I need to order?

Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2022, 09:59 PM   #2
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Perhaps a strange question, but did you pull out the other side?
Perhaps it‘s tagged/ stamped whatever. And you could surely make measurements, count splines,…
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Old 08-18-2022, 06:29 PM   #3
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No tag or marks. Pulled out the passenger side axle. It is 35" long w/30 spline count. Add the spline length from the good axle to the damaged axle and you get 37.5" for the driver's side axle. Best I can do for now. Randy's wants several more measurements.
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Old 08-18-2022, 06:48 PM   #4
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Bot sure which axle you have (Dana 60?), but just did a quick search. Check at amazon and enter B0078UA0SC in the search field.
They state 37“, 30 spline for Dana 60 axle
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Old 08-18-2022, 07:25 PM   #5
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Yes...it is a Dana 60 maybe out of a Super Duty.
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Old 08-18-2022, 07:30 PM   #6
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Ok. So I‘d go back to Yukon and you‘ll get proper axle shafts.
Give them a call and talk it through with them.

Perhaps the other have more alternatives.
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Old 08-18-2022, 11:58 PM   #7
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Can you just measure the broken axle pieces? When I upgraded my FF axles to Chromemolly, and installed a trutrac, the new axles had to be cut to length.
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Old 08-20-2022, 11:44 PM   #8
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I've purchased three axles from Randy's Ring & Pinion. First two axles were installed in a full float a Dana 60 in 2014. The first axle (drivers' side) broke 1" into the splines. The first axle (drivers' side) broke about 4 years ago. Randy's sales rep said that the axle was part of a bad batch of axles. Stranded, I had to pay Randy's Ring & Pinion $500 for a replacement axle even though the axles had 10 year warrantees.

Last Thursday the second axle (drivers side) disintegrated while looking for a camp site. I called Randy's to obtain a second replacement axle. After I told him that the axle failed, said that they did not have a replacement axle in stock. The sales rep told me that he would see if he could find a replacement axle. The replacement axle is now listed at $680. I called back on Friday. On Friday afternoon the sales rep gave me the names of several retailers that might have one in stock. Most were not on Pacific time.

Searched online but only one retailer lists an axle for $340 but they won't be open until Monday. Both axles broke not when rock crawling but when backing out of a driveway or looking for a camping site.

We are both 73 y/o. We are stranded at 8000' and have a limited amount of food stocked in the van. Again, I got the impression that he had no interest in our situation and not in a hurry to find a 30-37.5 axle.
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Old 08-21-2022, 03:02 PM   #9
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Hmmm….
So just to better get a lay of the situation. Where are you stranded? Near a town? Obviously you’ve got cell signal to post up here and hopefully you’re in a safe location? Do you have AAA? Can you get a tow truck out to your current location? Nearby mechanic or at least a safe spot for the van so you can figure out a plan to get it into a shop that can properly assess.
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Old 08-22-2022, 12:26 AM   #10
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Thank you REF for your interest and concern. We are about 40 miles from Tahoe. The axle broke while we were looking for a campsite. I pulled the broken axle out and used the front wheel drive to get the van rolling again and look for a campsite. Found a nice spot to camp not far from where the axle broke.

Phone and cell services are not very consistent here but I am able to text and send notes out of this forum and check emails. I've cleaned up the bits and pieces of the broken axle and got new oil. The shredded axle parts chewed up the Eaton True Track diff bearings. A couple we met helped me transport the diff to a machine shop on Saturday. They will press new bearings onto the diff and have it ready by tomorrow. The couple said that they will help us pick up parts when they arrive at a NAPA store about 35 miles from where we are camped. I am hoping to rent a car tomorrow so that we won't be bothering them and can get groceries and parts on our own.

Today I wrote to upper management at Randy's Ring and Pinion and told them why I need a rush on the Yukon axle. It is a bit strident in places but I hope they can overlook the tenor of my letter and get a replacement axle to me by Tuesday. If I am not able to get an axle by Tuesday I will have to pull the rear driveline and drive the van to town.
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