Experiments

Drive Shaft/Pole Vault

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Exploding Port-a-Potty"
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Finding: BUSTED

Explanation: Daredevil drivers sometimes steer their sedans so hard the drive shaft falls off the frame. MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage even met a man who claimed his car pole-vaulted when the drive shaft struck a pothole and propelled the automobile airborne.

To see if this guy was taking them for a ride, the MythBusters grabbed the keys to a 1967 Plymouth Fury and found the perfect pothole-pocked drag strip to attempt a four-wheeled pole vault.

Jamie and Adam wore down the clunker's universal joints, which support the drive shaft, and primed them to pop off by rapidly shifting gears while approaching the pothole. After two days of test runs to perfect the timing of the drive-shaft drop, the final result was a bust. With the Fury moving at 15 miles (24 kilometers) per hour, the drive shaft stuck in the pothole as planned, but only the back part of the car lifted off the ground.

The busted drive-shaft myth produced barely a bunny hop, much less a pole vault.

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