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My buddy, Robert, from California, was over during Easter to do a little wheeling and enjoy Arizona. I had promised him some good trails and while fulfilling that promise, I managed to put a dent in my front drive shaft. (rock + drive shaft = dent)
The local drive line shop came highly recommended by the local guys, so I dropped my drive shaft off in hopes of getting by with a simple (read cheap) balance job. Unfortunately, the phone call I got later that day informed me that it needed to be re-tubed (a new center tube installed). I told them to do it and went down later in the afternoon to pick it up, after they had called to say it was done.
As most folks know, it is common to put a couple wraps of tape around the end caps on the u-joint so you don't loose them. This had been done to the u-joint on the diff end of my newly rebuilt drive shaft. I didn't think anything of it, and I would have been concerned had it not been done. I gave the drive shaft a once over, paid for it, and was on my way.
The following Saturday, I begin the install of the drive shaft and unwrapped the tape so I can slip the u-joint into the yoke. Hmmmm.....that is funny. Where did the gouge on the end cap come from? That wasn't there when I took it in to have it worked on.
I pulled the end cap off to get a better look at it and that is when I noticed that three of the needle bearings where missing. OK....I can see the scenario now.....employee working on my drive shaft drops it....enough to gouge/dent the end cap. The end cap pops off (we have all had that happen no doubt?) and some of the bearings go flying around the floor.
What ticks me off is that they didn't even pony up to the table and tell me they screwed it up (I would have expected that at the very least and thought a repair on what they screwed up would have been the norm, based on how everyone praises this place.)
I've not contacted the shop to hear their side of the story. I find it extremely difficult to think that they could have gouged the end cap and lost some of the needle bearings and NOT have realized they had done it. I don't expect it from someone that does this for a living....and I pay $100 for the work.
So....the lesson is to be sure to check out item when you pick it up. I made the mistake of looking at everything except what was hidden under the tape.