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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:27 AM
nikojo's Avatar
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D90 SW -- 2.8PS
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Axle snapping Physics

Thinking of getting a two-piece alloy (Hutchinson) but concerned over weight (50lbs). The steel wheels on there now are about 35lbs.

Is the added weight of the wheel a significant factor in breaking the axle?? Obviously if the wheel is spinning and suddenly is stopped the heavier wheel will stress the axle more. But is this realistic or just a paper tiger?

Also, what is worse, a larger tire or heavier wheel in terms of stressing the driveline??

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Old November 26th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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Stephan Laputka
1995 D-90 SW
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The weight of the wheel isn't an issue at all.

Land Rovers are by far the best looking 4x4 on the back of a flatbed...
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Old November 26th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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Chris Davis
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The weight/diameter of the tire is the biggest concern--the larger the diameter, the more inertia it will have and the more tread rubber which also increases the weight. Comparably, the 15 or 16" diameter rim will have a comparatively minor contribution. It will certainly contribute and one should always try and limit rolling mass, but not nearly as much as say a 35" tire. That said, adding 15lbs to a wheel is never ideal, but if you are in the 35" range or greater, I certainly wouldn't consider it a deal breaker...
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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Daniel Marcello
1994 Defender 90 #916
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Weight is the biggest factor. The more weight you have spinning when the wheel comes to touch down on the ground the more likely you will be to snap the axle.
1955 Series I
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Old November 30th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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Randy Black
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Seems to me the biggest factor is how much traction you get. Torque through the drive train trying to spin a tire with lots of vehicle weight and good traction. Like when you bounce a spinning tire.

I read a review on the H 1 when they first went into service with the military. There was a concern that the axle could be prone to breakage because the disc brake was on the differential end of the axle. The big heavy tire spins, the driver slams on the brakes and the weight spinning on the end of the axle could cause it to break.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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S. Smith
72 Series III 109 Diesel
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There are two types of stress that break axles.

One is torque which tire size does affect. Many axles will twist a surprising amount before breaking. Ashcroft has some interesting testing data on this.

The second is shock load to the axle. Instantaneous acceleration or decelleration creates shock load which will trash an axle. This is the spinning and then sudden traction situation.

Either will break an axle. Harder axles are better for torque but suffer from shock loads and softer axles will twist but take the shock loads better.

Good driving technique and uprated axles are the ticket.

My 110 axle suffered from both problems probably at different times before it gave way.
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