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C-clip Axle failures

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by roadnotca, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    Question; what is the failure mode of the C-clip axles, is it the C-clip or the axle shaft?
    Thanks:D
     
  2. readymix

    readymix 3/4 ton status

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    Everyone I have seen break does so at the neck down at the outer edge of the splines.
     
  3. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    When you look back and see the inside of your tire you will soon know what broke.
     
  4. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    I probably should have started this as a poll but I was thinking (oops) about where the design is weak. If its the axle, well the technology is there to replace the shaft with forged axles. If its the clip, I was ready to invent the better "C" trap.
    I already replaced my axles with Superior when the brgs went, my axle failure was the slow, noisy kind. This was at 180Km on a boat pulling Burb.
     
  5. KevinsK5

    KevinsK5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    c-clips I would think. I think they just get fatigued over time and then crack and break. Especially under the weight of a fullsize chevy.
     
  6. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    I have never seen a "C-clip" fail..... Many times I have seen an axle shaft fail in torsion on D35s and 10 and 12 bolts. I have never seen a failed axle on a 14bSF or a Ford 8.8.

    [​IMG]

    Once good aftermarket shafts are installed in a 12b, in my book it's a damn good axle.!

    Marv
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2006
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Have to agree.

    Never heard of a c-clip failing. The only time they would ever see a real load is on a side hill: (simplifying for theoretical situation) if the downhill axle slides up into the housing and hits the pinion shaft as it should, there is no load bearing on the c-clip. On the uphill axle, it will want to pull out, against the c-clip. However, if the downhill axle hits the pinion shaft first, (and it should, this is why you have to remove it to get a c-clip off) there is no load on the opposite c-clip anyways. Perhaps this is why you see problems with the pinion shaft sometimes...broken retaining bolt, galled ends, etc.

    During straight ahead or backwards movement, not sidehilling, the load on a c-clip is minimal at best. The weakness of these axles is the other parts, not the c-clip. The c-clip just allows you to (potentially, not even close to everytime) watch your wheel pass you when the other components fail.

    I'd put ring gear, pinion gear, bearing, carrier, and axleshaft failure all ahead of c-clip failure as problem areas on the axles we are generally talking about.
     
  8. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    Awright, thanks guys:D
     
  9. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    Ditto. We rarley see axles brake either, its always something before the axles.
     
  10. loafer

    loafer 1/2 ton status

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    My experiance with 10 bolts is that the axle shafts break or the spider gears or carrier break (if the stock diff is still present).

    I have never seen a C-clip fail either. This would require a very high axial load on the axle shaft, over 15,000lb force to break the clip. And that would have to be a load pulling the shaft out of the tube.

    I've also never seen anyone break a pinion on a 10 bolt. I'm sure it's been done though.
     
  11. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    Thanks Guys. Loafer, you have insight to the properies of the clip?:confused: And that assumes the inside tip of the axle shaft is less robust.
     
  12. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    I didn't break anything internally in the stock 10 bolt from the burb, i just broke the whole housing.

    The part/tabs where the axle tubes are slid and pressed into the housing actually split, causing the axle tube to "float" on me.

    Drove it from Phoenix to San Diego, then north to the northern L.A. area (Magic Mountain) before i noticed some oil spray on the rear doors.

    THIS is when i did the 14bff swap:D

    well, when i got back home:p:
     
  13. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    :haha: So the C-clips held it together?
     
  14. tarussell

    tarussell 1/2 ton status

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    A situation where a c-clip axle was a blessing ......:haha:

    Other than axle snapage every c-clip rear end failure that I have delt with has been the result of the carrier dying not the clip itself.

    Tom
     

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