Driving the SMB to work this morning to keep the batteries charged (especially since I have solar panel issues again).
Just after crossing over a bridge, I heard and felt a vibration, and the vibration went from just noticeable to severe in a matter of seconds. Pulled over to the side of the road, grabbed my flashlight to check my tires. I figured I may have separated a tread on my BFGs.
Couldn't see anything wrong with the tires, shocks, springs or front end. so I decided I'd slowly move the SMB to a safer, wider spot off the road and take a closer look. Jst started to slowly move the SMB when I heard a loud clunk. I immediately stopped the SMB, placed it in Park and was about to open the door, get out and take another look, when I noticed the van was rolling. Not a good sign!
Put on the parking brake and jumped out with my flahslight in hand again. Turns out I didn't need the flashlight to tell me what was wrong. Seeing the front end of the rear driveshaft laying on the ground gave me a hint that something serious was wrong.
Looking closer, I also saw a u-joint cap laying on the ground, with the u-joint still in the driveshaft yoke. Looks like I lost one u-joint cap causing a significant vibration, which then helped cause another cap to leave the u-joint. Then the u-joint istself must have worked it's way out of the yoke. The "straps" were still in place on the transfer case yoke, and the u-joint appeared to be in one piece, but the u-joint walked it's way out. Must be that one or more retainer clips were lost somehow.
To top if off, my Blackberry battery was almost dead, even though it had been charged up the day before. Why does it always happen at once?
Did get through to Good Sam roadside assistance, and though the truck took 50 minutes to show up, the guy did know what he was doing. He was just about wrapped up getting the SMB connected, so I thought I'd wander back down the road to pick up the safety reflector triangle I had set up 100 feet back, when I noticed the triangle had been run over. It had been fine a few minutes before. It wasn't in the traffic lane, so someone obviously was giving themselves a visual proctology exam while driving. At first I was pissed off, but I'd rather replace a safety triangle than have been rear ended by some idiot.
Anyone know if the rear driveshaft is stock Ford, modified Ford, or aftermarket? I have a call into Peter at SMBw to see if this is covered by Ford, SMBw or Herb.
1) one or more reflective safety triangles are a good investment
2) don't assume the cell phone is charged. I was lucky my family wasn't with me.
3) place a roll of bailing wire in the SMB. If I hadn't been in work clothes, I could have made a decent field repair by just tying the driveshaft out of the way and driving in front wheel drive.