Losing your drive

Robert U’Ren from Willys Jeep UK shares some of his helpful fixes and tips for buying, selling, repairing and recommissioning World War Two and Hotchkiss Jeeps

Robert U’Ren is a self-taught mechanic with more than 40 years of experience working on everything from vintage motorbikes to combine harvesters. His passion is military Jeeps, which he has bought, sold and restored since 2014

Inspecting the rear axle
This image shows clearly where it broke
The broken stub protruding into the differential gears

The half shaft on this Jeep sheared while it was being driven up a very steep off-road track that had loose rocks and gravel. I think the Jeep was in twowheel drive (2wd) at the time so all the stresses of the rear wheels fighting for grip eventually sheared the driver’s side drive shaft. This can happen on Ford GPW and the Hotchkiss m201 Jeeps.

The rear axle is fine for gentle road use, but isn’t strong enough to handle loose, rocky terrain unless the Jeep is put into 4wd to spread the torque to all four wheels. The jolting and slipping of the wheels cause shock through the half shaft and can break it.

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