Do You Have a Bent Rear Axle or a Spindle End is Damaged?
A bent axle is a common problem for many vehicles including the Chevy Silverado 3500, Ford F-350 Super Duty and Dodge D3500 dual wheel rear ends. Sometimes, there can be damage you can see but sometimes the damage may not be noticeable from a visual inspection but may have consequences related to operation.
Can a bent axle be straightened?
A bent axle can be straightened. It is a common belief that a bent rear housing means you must buy a new rear end but that is not the case! It really depends on the severity of the damage. In some cases, the cost to repair a severely damaged axle may not be cost effective, however, many axle shops lacking the ability to fix a bent axle, will simply have you replace it. Repairing a bent axle requires specialist skills and equipment not available at most axle repair shops. In fact, repairing a bent axle is only available at a handful of shops accross the country.
HRA has the skills and the tools to repair your axle back to factory specs. We can help arrange the shipping of your bent axle to us for repair. Our specialists will make the repairs and ship it back to your door. It really is as simple as it sounds!
How do you repair a spindle end or bent axle?
The first step is to tear down the axle to a bare housing and put it on our lathe. We will check the tubes to make sure they are straight. If they are bent, we can straighten them. While on the lathe, if the spindle end is damaged, this is when it gets replaced. We manufacture the replacement spindle in-house. These can not be purchased anywhere. Once the spindle end is built, we cut off the damaged spindle and weld on the new replacement.
What else do you check or replace on the axle?
Once the axle has the new spindle, we will verify it is perfectly straight. If the spindle is not on and within specs your truck will burn up tires, break an axle or damage the hub seal. We then install a new hub, bearing set, rotor and seals. The opposite side will have the bearing checked, seal replaced and we also turn the rotor. The center will get or fluff and buff treatment to make sure it is road ready. The final step is filling it with fluid and painting the housing. Your axle is now turn key and thus, ready to install.
A precaution when installing the axle
When reinstalling the axle assembly, make sure the vent tube and vent hose are very clean. Debris inside either of those will cause pressure to build up. This will cause the pinion seal or axle seal to start leaking.
Can I drive with a bent axle?
The best answer is no. However, in reality, it depends on the severity of the damage. For example, if the axle is only slightly bent, you could drive the car to the repair shop to get the axle repaired or replaced. However, driving with an axle that is even slightly bent can result in the feeling of vibration in the vehicle. In addition, an unbalanced rotating axle will eventually damage other components also making the repair a larger and more expansive task.
A mildly bent axle may not be obvious from visual inspection and so, the only symptoms experienced would be a wobble in the wheel. More severely bent axles should be clear from visual inspection due to the severity of the bend. Rotation of the wheels may even generate some grinding noise.
A severely bent axle is unsafe to drive and should not be attempted. A vehicle with a severely bent axle should be towed on a flatbed or suspended wheels to the repair shop. Alternatively, the axle should be removed and sent for repair. Attempting to drive the vehicle would quickly damage many internal components and would make the vehicle a safety hazard.
What causes a bent axle?
Axles can get bent from some surprisingly minor occurrences. Simply hitting a curb can cause a bend in the axles some vehicles whereas minor vehicle collisions are more frequently the cause. Overloading a vehicle or a heavy loads on a vehicle while driving on rough terrain, can also result in a bent axle. If you suspect you may have a bent axle, we recommended that you get the axle inspected for safety and to save yourself possible additional repair costs down the road.
How can I tell if my axle needs repair?
Vibrations – Vibrations may be felt in the car or through the steering wheel as a result of a bent axle. This may be noticeable immediately after hitting a curb or pothole indicating the cause of the damage. When turning, added load to the side of the axle which is bent could amplify the amount of vibration experienced.
Loud Noises – Along with vibrations, bent axles are often accompanied by noises such as clanking, clunking or grinding. The meshing of gears and alignment of joints can be disrupted by a bend in the axle resulting in them making a noise that may be clearly noticeable when the axle is rotating.
Leaking Fluids – A bent axle can result in a split in the axle housing allowing fluids to leak out. Not only does this indicate a damaged axle, it also means that lubrication within the axle may not be sufficient.
If you experience these or any other possible axle related symptoms, contact Houston Rebuilt Axles for help diagnosing your axle problems.
Get a bent axle repair
Houston Rebuilt Axles have shipping options to pick up an axle for repair and send it back to your door fully repaired and warrantied.
Call or email us for a quick price quote today!