Thursday, May 28, 2015

Damaged Goods

I'd just finished powering out of a hairpin and as I lined myself up to the car in font of me, I started closing in on his door. The tail of the car went flying out, clipping the wall, and at that point I started continuously ripping the e-brake while slamming on the throttle as the gap between me and the car in front was reduced to nothing. That's when all hell broke loose. It sounded like someone had just released the Kraken. I didn't give a shit though, I carried on laying into the power, and e-braking as I controlled the proximity between myself and the car in front of me... but it was only a matter of time, and eventually it was game over. The gears gave out, and I lost power. But little did I know, it wasn't my driving that destroyed the gears, it was an oversight while building the diff that caused internal combustion to occur...

As you could see, a screw backed out, and chewed the shit out of everything. A rookie move, I forgot to add loctite to an all important screw. You can see from the rear solid axle, that the bevel gear was in bad shape. The teeth were missing large chunks as the screw bounced around inside the gear case, ripping into everything it touched.

You can see how badly the smaller bevel gear was damaged as well, but I didn't know exactly how bad it was until I removed it. Although, the amount of dust sitting in the gear case from the graphite gears chewing themselves up should have been a clear indicator of how bad the damage was. 

First thing was first. I cleaned out all the graphite dust using an old paint brush. I didn't want any of it to remain in the gear case and cause my new gear set to wear prematurely.

As I mentioned earlier, it wasn't until I removed the bevel gear that I realized how badly it had been chewed up. There were huge chunks missing from the teeth... if you could even call them teeth anymore. RIP.

After I had everything removed, I directed my attention to replacing the ring gear on the rear solid axle. I pulled off the old one, and replaced it with a new set of plastic gears. This time, making sure to loctite everything.

After I finished rebuilding the solid axle, I prepared the smaller bevel gear for replacement. I really let that old one down. Got damn!

When I re-installed the small bevel gear, I made absolutely certain to thread lock the screw that holds it in place. The last thing I need is another parts failure to put an end to my day. Luckily this time around I had my back up chassis on hand to take over driving duties for the rest of the night. Next time I might not be so lucky though.

With the damaged parts replaced, I put everything back together. While I always take my time when building something, and have a certain OCD to the way go about things, this just goes to show how easy it is to forget something so basic... luckily this time around the damage was minimal, and the fix was straight forward. Now that the beast is up and running, I can feel it feigning for it's next battle... this time around though, hopefully I don't let it down.

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