Leeeeetle problem found today:
The actual breakage almost certainly occurred Sunday night on the way home from the grocery stores, when I had a heavier than usual load of perhaps 110-120lbs+, mostly Raine's groceries and whatnot, some of it mine and some for the dogs.
Normally that's not a problem, but I had to go around a few miles of detours as there were various blockages of my normal route home by emergency vehicles dealing with collisions in several intersections, with people blocking even the sidewalks (mostly onlookers/gawkers, but some officers (taking reports I'd guess)).
With the ways out of Metrocenter east, west, and south blocked, I ended up all the way back up at the north end of going to head out along Peoria west to 35th avenue and back down around south to where I coudl actually get home. But due to traffic congestion on the normal exit, I went around to a different street with less stupid people on it, that I havent' been on in years.
In the dark, even wtih my lights, because of the lights of cars shining in my eyes, I couldn't see the pothole at the edge of the street corner, so I managed to hit it with the right rear wheel pretty square on, only about 15mph but at the load I had...it was enough.
As soon as I hit the pothole and came out of it, the tire was rubbing so hard on the frame that only full power on both motors would keep it moving, so I stopped right there, with little choice.
At the time, I *thought* that all that had happened was that the inboard axle had slipped in the pinch-dropout (which has happened once before, some long time back, under similar conditions), so I just got the wrench and my cane out, set the brakes, tilted the trike up on the left wheel to get to the righthand inboard pinch bolt nut, and loosened it enough to pull the bottom of the right wheel out (which would push the inboard axle downwards back to where it should be), then retightened the pinch bolt nut, lowered the trike, and headed home without further problems (so I thought).
I did notice that the right wheel felt like it "thunked" in the dropouts whnever I used the ebrake, as it's quite a powerful active braking on that side and if the pinch bolt isn't tight enough it'll rock a bit in there. But it wasnt' a big deal so I didn't worry about it, and got home with out incident.
I didn't go anywhere the next day, so the next test of it was my work commute today (tuesday) there and back home.
On the way to work, on some of the "washboard" areas it began to rub a bit again (but not badly, just enough to hear), so later at work (lunchtime) I redid the alignment again. On teh way home it was fine utnil again I got to some bad road areas, and again it began to rub just audibly.
So when I got home, after feeding the dogs I set out to remove the wheel to just go ahead and weld-fill the pinch dropout sides so the inboard axle *couldn't* slip upward anymore.
I rolled the trike on it's side to make this easy, and setup some lights on the area, then I saw something unexpected--teh axle separated from the motor.
A clear 1/16" gap, no less!
So that explained why it didnt' stay even with a tight pinch bolt and why it "knocked" during ebraking, etc.
There's actually still a tiny bit of axle left on the motor, maybe 1/8" or a bit less, so there's still *something* for the pinch dropout to hold on to, and to keep the wheel from slipping upward, etc. But because of he spacing of hte dropouts and hte 1/8" thick washer I have on the outboard dropout's outboard side, that little stub doesnt' sit in the inboard dropout. It's probably the only reason it's still even there, and didnt' completely shear off with the rest of the axle.
So I pulled off that washer, and put one on the inboard side of the outboard dropout instead, to push the whole motor over enough to force that stub into the inboard dropout.
However...when I originally built the pinching dropout, I screwed up and welded the pinch side the wrong way, so the pinch is not applied directly across the faces of the dropouts, but instead a twisting is applied to them that pulls the outboard faces apart, pulling the inboard ones together.
That means that the tiny stub doesn't get pinched by the bolt, and is actually loosened by it. So I have to leave the bolt just tight enough to hold it in place, and then wedge (with some wood and a hammer) the inboard side of the pinch plates *apart* to force the outboard side closed a bit.
Since the axle can still be pulled downward, by a turn that would pull the bottom of the right wheel outward, which then rubs the inboard side of the top of the right wheel on the fender frame, I also had to hammer in a wooden wedge to prevent the axle from being able to move downward. Upward doesnt' appear to be a problem now, because of the way the rest of the axle shoulder sits up against the welds.
I rode it around a bit and it seems ok so far, but it probably won't hold up to loads or riding on the bad parts of the roads, at least not for long.
So I'm going to have to get that other MXUS3k fixed up (wiring, maybe halls) and laced up into this wheel instead of the now-broken-axle'd X5304. Which will also require rebuilding the dropouts and fender frame on this side, to widen the space for it so it will fit (it'a s rear, while the x5304 was a front). Or grind the MXUS3k axle to continue it's flats down past the shoulder so it'll fit in there anyway. (which is more likely what I'll end up doing).
If I can't get the MXUS going or it's gonna take too much time (for now), I could pull the wiring of the X5304 back thru it's axle slot/cover, and with the cover off, weld the axle stub back on and grind the flats back down, since I don't need the threads on that side at all, just the flats to pinch and hold it for torque transfer.
We'll see what happens....