Axle Failure on Mojave Road (1 Viewer)

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Headed out to do the Mojave Road last weekend from east to west. After a great first day on the trail we were scouting campsites in Caruthers Canyon. I stopped, put it in park, and when I went to drive again, it revved, but wouldn't move and there was an ominous clanking. One of the guys in our group crawled underneath and delivered the bad news - front right axle failure. With the center diff lock on, I was able to move again, albeit with more thunking.

Since it was the end of the day, we stayed put for the night. We headed out cautiously the next morning, making it from the trail back to pavement. I increased the speed gradually, and above 40 mph the rattling disappeared. We made it all the way back to Baker, and from there, decided to drive home another 200 miles. I kept it under 60 mph. Needless to say, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and said a prayer of thanks when I rolled into the driveway.

I have no idea what caused the axle to fail.
  • Old age? I've got 164k miles, and I'm assuming the axle was original.
  • Where I stopped was significantly off camber.
  • Suspension is stock - no lift.
  • And I wasn't driving crazy. Loaded with 3 people and a weekend full of gear, I was definitely taking it easy.
While I don't know what happened, I know I'm thankful to be driving something that got me and my kids safely home.

And, I'm thankful for the wisdom on this forum! The price of an aftermarket axle was tempting, but a little research here quickly convinced me to pay the difference for a Toyota replacement. My local dealer had one significantly discounted if I ordered online. It arrived the next day, I delivered it to my mechanic, and I'm back on the road.

IMG_1660.jpeg
 
Joined
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Most likely you have an aftermarket CV. I just did the Mojave last weekend, I was blasting through it up to 40mph on some part. Drove home perfectly fine
 
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Lol, thats a tripod CV. Like JunkCrzr said, the OEM ones have 6 ball design.

The CV angles on a stock height 100 series is already pretty bad (Toyota purposely raised the diff and steering rack high in the IFS to give an inch or two more ground clearance up front on stock design). When you lift it, it gets worse. And then you compound that with non OEM CV like the cheap tripod aftermarket, and yeah it'll go at a time when you want it least to fail.
 

e9999

Gotta get outta here...
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did you drive back with the axleshaft loose like that or did you remove bits?
 
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Lol, thats a tripod CV. Like JunkCrzr said, the OEM ones have 6 ball design.

The CV angles on a stock height 100 series is already pretty bad (Toyota purposely raised the diff and steering rack high in the IFS to give an inch or two more ground clearance up front on stock design). When you lift it, it gets worse. And then you compound that with non OEM CV like the cheap tripod aftermarket, and yeah it'll go at a time when you want it least to fail.
So is there an external way to tell the difference between OEM and aftermarket? Now I’m wondering about the other side...
 
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Sacramento area, CA
Could you post a photo of the whole axle so other know what it looks like and stay away from them?

Sorry you didn't get to complete the trail, but making it home on a busted axle is a win.
We did the Mojave west to east the last week of March. It was a bit cold and windy at night.
Going that direction makes it harder to follow the "Mojave Road Guide" and in one spot ended up on the wrong track for a bit.
Tanked up on a Tommy's chili cheeseburger in Barstow and hit the trail.
 

e9999

Gotta get outta here...
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inboard or outboard? From the partial pic shape up top I'm guessing inboard, but? Was the trilobe completely off the housing when still on the truck? I'm trying to picture if that shaft was spinning free when you drove back, cuz that would be wild.
 
Joined
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Location
Castaic, CA
Could you post a photo of the whole axle so other know what it looks like and stay away from them?

Sorry you didn't get to complete the trail, but making it home on a busted axle is a win.
We did the Mojave west to east the last week of March. It was a bit cold and windy at night.
Going that direction makes it harder to follow the "Mojave Road Guide" and in one spot ended up on the wrong track for a bit.
Tanked up on a Tommy's chili cheeseburger in Barstow and hit the trail.
Here's a photo showing the whole axle.

IMG_1680.jpeg
 

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