Off Road Trail Tools Broken Axle Tool
Nov 13, 2008
Ok, I know this looks like booty-fab 101, but this is a real product. If you have a C-clip rear differential (eg: Jeep with Dana 35, Toyota FJ40, etc.) at some point you are probably going to snap an axle shaft on the trail. The question is what do you do at that point? Are you carrying spare axle shafts in your 4x4? Maybe but probably not. In any case, when you break a c-clip axle you will be completely immobilized. Despite its looks, the Off Road Trail Tools Broken Axle Tool is a viable solution to that problem.
First, some background: a c-clip axle shaft is retained within the axle housing by a c-clip that is slipped over the end of the shaft that fits inside the differential. The shaft has two functions. It has to turn the wheel and it holds the wheel to the axle housing. So if the c-clip is separated from the axle shaft, then there's nothing to hold the axle shaft in the housing, so the shaft will slide out of the housing, taking the wheel with it...like this:
In short, a broken axle shaft means that there is no way to keep your wheel attached to your vehicle.
The concept behind the Broken Axle Tool is to allow the tire to turn while stopping the shaft from sliding out of the axle housing. Straps hold the retaining bar in place by tensioning against the frame on either side of the tire. Of course, this is purely for EMERGENCY use to get your vehicle off the trail...slowly.
Of course, the other option is that you could simply carry two spare shafts instead of the Broken Axle Tool. But the tool is lighter/smaller and will work with virtually any vehicle. And there are sometimes situations where a snapped shaft also wrecks something in the differential, making it impossible to re-assemble the differential and therefore impossible to install a spare shaft.
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