The error we made was not considering that when it tipped forward and hit the stop, it would create a significant lifting force at the pivot, due to the rotational inertia.
I believe the reason the SUV doesn't help to resist this force is because the SUV is impacted by these same forces, and tends to lift at the rear, taking weight off the pivot.
I believe the discussion regarding the deflection in the axle/cross-member is not the reason for failure.
Well we've sent a new bearing to the location as a "fix"; and I'm waiting for a CAD file I can send to the steel shop for new bearing carriers.
It occurs to me that I can machine out the new bearing carrier on my manual lathe by machining some facets that approximate the curve of the spherical housing. With some coordinates from a CAD file, my taper turning attachment, and DRO on carriage and crosslide, with some care I think this might work. Obviously the support for the bearing will be somewhat compromised, but if I do narrow facets, and can get some accuracy, it "might could work" !
So I've ordered another bearing so I can measure it and do some drawings. If I put a good surface on the A36 blank I should be able to reference to the "edges" of the facets. The bore will be about 5" diameter, so at least I'll be able to see in there.
Maybe I have too much time on my hands, but this could be an interesting challenge. Now if anyone near Greenville, SC, has a CNC lathe with a 4-jaw chuck......
We'll see how this drama plays out.