with Bill Johnston
When I first talked to Tom about testing this drive shaft, he told me something to the effect of "Drop it on a rock and give it the gas. The worst you will probably see is a scratch circling the tube".
His comment gave me a pretty good idea that this wouldn't be a normal component test. So where did I test it? How about Las Cruces, New Mexico at the Chile Challenge!
|At about the third obstacle on "Off Broadway" (rated a solid 4), I got hung up on a boulder. It was about three feet long and pointy. The sharp end was lodged under the body, resting the weight of the zook on the new rear drive shaft. I heard screams of "Don't Move! You'll tear out the drive shaft!" .... Something snapped my mind back to the conversation with Tom... and I hit the gas! What a royal rumble out back! Of course I didn't go anywhere, and the screams grew more intense, but now I could check the shaft for damage. The crowd thought I was either crazy or deaf, but they figured I was done for the day. I pulled out the High-Lift and jacked up the zook about two feet in the air from the passenger side. We rolled out the boulder and - as I watched the crowd shake their heads - I checked underneath for carnage.|
After wiping the white/grey powdered boulder remains from the drive shaft I found some scratches on the shaft, and a small (1/2" long) cut in the heavy rubber sleeve that covered the splines. That was it! I checked the u-joints and everything was tight and secured. I came out from underneath the vehicle and told the crowd "No problems! Let's do it again!".
After that a nice couple in the Jeep behind me gave me a new nickname that stuck (Bonzai Bill), I became known as "the entertainment", and the crowd learned the name "Tom Woods".
My take on it:
Many of us try to lift our vehicles out of harms way when the rocks reach up to rip at the underbelly full of vital parts. When the changing drive shaft angles start to cause vibration there has to be a reliable - we could say 'bullet proof' - answer. This is a case where overkill is exactly what we need to count on. It's nice to be able to "bolt-on and forget".
For the complete story please visit the installation article by following this link.
Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shafts