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Stub Axle Failures


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I am guilty of letting a rear stub axle (SIDE SHAFT 33-41-1-116-776) go too long without checking its condition or replacing it. Mine snapped in a turn at NJMP recently. Fortunately I did not end up like the photo below. If I still had rear drums the wheel would likely have left the car, but the caliper retained the 300mm rear disk (thanks Lee) and the wheel stayed in the wheel well. I ended up sideways in the middle of the track with people going around on both sides.

If yours are questionable now is the time to check or replace them. They are not that expensive, I paid $120.44 each a month ago at Husker BMW (www.bmwmercedesparts.com), now listed at $116.59 each.

Photo source and article on racing safety at:


hth, Fred '74tii


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About 16 years ago, I had a stub axle break on my former rusty 74 2002 on I-15 between Victorville and Barstow, out in BFE. About 8PM, going about 70, then the driver side stub axle breaks without warning and the car goes on the rear trailing arms on that corner. I manage to pull it to the shoulder and looking out the rear view mirror, nothing but sparks all over the road. Lots of cars behind me pulled over as well to make sure I was OK, I was, but I'm sure I had to change my underwear on the spot. I was real lucky in that the wheel went across the median and didn't hit an oncoming car. I got the car towed back to Leaf Andenberg's shop in LA area and early the next morning I went back looking for my E30 bottlecap with a brand new tire. Never did find it, I'm sure it rolled for miles out into the desert. Got the 02 fixed and it was totalled two weeks later by a driver who ran a red light. 4224378 served me well.


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