AMG C 63 Makes It Home with One-wheel Drive
YouTuber’s rear axle snaps after a day of chasing Maseratis and drifting madness.
There you are, having an adventure with your friends in your Mercedes-AMG, when you decide to do a few burnouts on a random street or two. You hope you don’t break anything (it’s German-engineered, after all; why would it break easily?), but sometimes, Lady Luck has a way of disappearing now and again.
This is what happened to Adel Daneshmand of YouTube channel OffBeat Garage, when his friend Nikita Rushmanov’s C 63’s axle broke in San Francisco. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
The day begins with Daneshmand, Rushmanov, and Daneshmand’s girlfriend, Edye, traveling through the hills of Sonoma Valley in Northern California in the C 63 to Winter Jam at Sonoma Raceway to meet a few friends and watch some drifting madness. With the help of Rushmanov’s “magic” driving gloves, they’re able to challenge everything from a Kia crossover to a Maserati.
The next morning, the trio and the C 63 make the 400-mile drive back to Los Angeles, but not before a detour through the hilly streets of San Francisco, which is where trouble for the AMG begins. The car experiences wheel hop a total of eight times on the way into and through the city, the final hop also causing an audible bang.
“If the axle popped out, it’s gonna rip itself out and then break the parking brake on itself,” says Rushmanov. “That doesn’t actually mean we have to take the axle off, because you could cut the shaft in half, and just pop out all the bolts, and have the cups stay on the wheel and the ax and the diff. Because they can spin freely by themselves, it doesn’t matter.”
“Because we have limited tools, we’re just gonna go to a Walmart, get an angle grinder or Sawzall, cut the axle off right there, pull the stub out of the axle, and then just trim it down and put it back in so it keeps the fluid in the diff, and then just drive home one-wheel drive,” adds Daneshmand.
With all of the tools bought and sorted, the trio pull into a closed gas station’s car detailing station to begin the repair work on the C 63 in the rain. The angle grinder does okay, but Rushmanov has to rotate the axle to complete the cut, as he “cannot reach all the way through to the other side.” Thus, the other side of the AMG is precariously jacked up to make it possible. At one point, the car falls off the jack stands, but luckily lands on the tires placed beneath.
The axle-cutting takes Rushmanov an hour and 15 minutes to complete, and another hour to remove the stub, which is then cut open, emptied of its ball bearings and grease, then re-installed the stub to create the one-wheel drive, 500-horsepower C 63.
“It definitely has a little pull, though,” says Rushmanov after he and the rest of the trio begin their drive back to Los Angeles late at night. “Once you settle the speed, it’s fine. It’s only when you’re accelerating.”
As it turns out, the C 63 can torque-steer “like a Civic,” as Daneshmand notes, pulling right every time any load is put on the one-wheel drive rear axle. Rushmanov adds that once cruise control is in play, it’ll be smooth sailing, which Daneshmand says is “also similar to a Civic.”
Several hours later, the trio returns home so Rushmanov can get cleaned up and ready for work, which he’s already an hour late for. But at least his C 63 will get him through the commute on one-wheel drive.