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Snapped Axle Stub


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Brother had the failure on the 1602 race car at High Plain on Saturday am. This happened on the outlap on pit road. Glad it didn't happen at speed.


Parting out 2373047, 09/1975 production date, fjord blue, sunroof, with manual.. All running gear and some interor and metal parts available Complete Roof already sold.

PM or email at mudi911s@gmail.com

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That happened to me last year at NJMP-Lighting in a mid-speed corner. Luckily my rear disks from MASSIVE (thanks Lee) kept the wheel in place as I spun to a stop.

The stub axles are not all that expensive. If you are working on your rear axle and find that the rear drive flange (P/N 33411101848 for the hardened tii flange) comes off real easy (after you get the 36mm nut loose) then the stub axle is probably stretched along its axis and in need of replacement. I found my best price at Husker BMW:

Rear Side Shaft (stub axle)


$113.91 @ Husker BMW (www.bmwmercedesparts.com)

Be safe, Fred '74tii


'74tii (Colorado) track car

'69ti (Black/Red/Yellow) rolling resto track car

'73tii (Fjord....RIP)

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The same thing happened to me, at speed. Back in the early 90's I was on my way from LA to Vegas on I-15 near dark in my former 74 2002. Halfway between Victorville and Barstow, the stub axle broke on the drivers side rear wheel and the car dropped down on the trailing arm in a huge firefall of sparks from scraping on the pavement. I had just turned off my radio since I went out of range of LA radio stations and was looking for a tape to put in the cassette deck, dead silence except for road noise then the axle snapped, no warning, no strange noises, etc... I was going about 70 MPH when it happened. Luckily for me, the road was straight where the axle broke. Needless to say, I was able to pull the car over to the shoulder and several other cars behind stopped to check on me. I nearly had to change my underwear on the spot when it dropped on the trailing arm, it scared the crap out of me (no pun intended). When I got out and looked to see what the hell happened, there was no rear wheel, it took the brake drum as well. When the axle broke, the wheel crossed the median and I'm very lucky it didn't hit another car on the opposite side of the freeway. The next morning I got up at daybreak and went looking for the E30 bottlecap wheel and new tire that was on my 02. I never did find it, it rolled downhill and I'm guessing the wheel and tire rolled for a long ways before it ran out of momentum, it can roll for miles out in the desert. I had the 02 towed back to LA, it was fixed and a week later, a red right runner killed my 02. My 02 was a rust bucket, that probably contributed to the axle breaking from all the corrosion on the car. I had that 02 in Germany when I was stationed there and road salt from there and the midwest took its toll on that car. It was a blessing in disguise that the car was totaled considering the amount of money I got for insurance and was able to buy it back and strip the car of mechanicals and interior.

74 tii (many mods)
91 318i M42

07 4Runner

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^ same here

happened a few months ago going to work at about 6:30, doing 65+ BAM left rear wheel came off, drum, ect the whole deal. it crossed the back of the car and passed me on the right side....

i looked for a few hours, nothing......then the next day i spotted something...it was my CD32!!!

crazy !

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back to the cause and concern for others:

I'll bet only stub axles that break are those that

have been disassembled, and the rusty worn splines

have been ignored? Then during reassemble the nut

is tightened, beginning the stretching and fracturing

at the worn splines - then snaps off when pressured.

Another pre-snap cause is finding the nut axle nut loose,

and you retighten it ........... a few times. Your stretching

the splined areas feeding the eventual failure




'86 R65 650cc #6128390 22,000m
'64 R27 250cc #383851 18,000m
'11 FORD Transit #T058971 28,000m "Truckette"
'13 500 ABARTH #DT600282 6,666m "TAZIO"

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Wow. That's a PERFECT example of 'beachmarking'-

that axle cracked, and the crack grew untill the

remaining metal couldn't hold it together, and then the whole thing

popped off.

Ok, now I'm gonna start magnafluxing my stubs

(damn, that sounds more fun that it's gonna be...)

MY bet is that something started the crack, be it corrosion,

the wear mark that the hub makes, something, and then

the repeated loading/unloading of cornering stresses eventually

killed it. UNLESS you- all are a bunch of curb- jumping fools, then

maybe that would do it.

That's cool- thanks for the pic! And glad everyone's ok....

it sucks having the rear end come around suddenly....


you can see how the root of the spline acted as the stress raiser-

that's just NEAT! Like, textbook neat.

I run 320 axles, and they seem to be less prone to popping... so far...

(rolled splines, etc)


"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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thanks for all the responses guys... I'll suggest he goes with new.. Nothign like an old race/de car for coming up with failure examples.....

Parting out 2373047, 09/1975 production date, fjord blue, sunroof, with manual.. All running gear and some interor and metal parts available Complete Roof already sold.

PM or email at mudi911s@gmail.com

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Here's a link to last year's stub axle report with graphic photo of what happens when it breaks in a corner.


I have a new set of axles and measured them with a micrometer and compared to the one that broke last year. I thought I would see a difference in thickness across the splines but it is very small. I'll post measurements and a close-up of my broken stub later. It's like Toby says, I can see there was already a crack that I could have caught if I had a regular magnafluxing program. But given the price of the axles I will likely just replace them every xx hours. Now have to figure out what that maintenance interval should be. As our cars are hitting 40 years and 200k-400k miles I would suggest that anyone with original axles (or ones of unknown origin) consider replacing them.

Fred '74tii with brand new axles and CV's


'74tii (Colorado) track car

'69ti (Black/Red/Yellow) rolling resto track car

'73tii (Fjord....RIP)

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I've heard of many 2002 racers changing these things YEARLY. Cheap insurance maybe. Not a bad idea to replace the HUB as well as the stub axle.

Happened to me about 20 years ago. I blamed it on the hillbilly mechanic that installed my wheel bearings only days earlier. Wheel went off in to corn field. Luckily some roofers saw it all happen and pointed me in the right direction to retrieve it!

I'm smarter now....usually.

Paul Wegweiser

Wegweiser Classic BMW Services

Nationwide vehicle transport available

NEW WEBSITE! www.zenwrench.com

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Guest Anonymous

The axles marketed as "billet" are also prone to failures as a few members here have had the misfortune of happening. Luckily in our race car we have never had one break. But we have had 3 trailing arms fail (all boxed) and it is scary. 9" slicks, locked rears, high output motors and new tire technology have stressed these to the limit. I would suggest that at that cost (great link Fred) I would either go with the Ireland ones or replace the factory ones every other season (or three) depending on your frequency of racing.

FYI I have a set of axles for sale (same as the Ireland ones) as I have gone to an e30 rear end and do not need them.

I also have some spare tii axles.



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