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Old 10-08-2014, 08:51 AM   #1
diyforever
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Default NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

Hello. My first post. Love this forum. Just bought 1930 ford coupe. After reviewing brakes, found out there's no cotter pin OR hole in right rear axle to hold the nut that's holding the entire drum assembly. The left side does have the hole and pin. Were axles made w/o cotter pin holes? Hope you out there can shed some light.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
Rowdy
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

I have never seen one without a cotter key hole. I have seen afew with cotter keys sheared off and the nut backed off over the sheared key making it the same profile as threads and slightly damaged the threads near it. Take the hub off and look closely as the key likely is still in the hole. Rod
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:04 AM   #3
Chris in CT
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

Hi DIY,
Welcome to the Ford Barn, and welcome to the hobby. Just for laughs, is there any chance the axle-nut is turned so that one of the spurs on the nut is covering the hole in the axle? Did you check for this? If, after removing the nut and checking for the existence of the cotterpin hole in the axle, including cleaning the threaded nub to be sure that it is not clogged with dirt, grease, or the stub of an old cotterpin, you are convinced that there is in fact no hole for the cotterpin, THEN replace the nut, torque it to spec. and drill through the castle slots to provide a new hole for the cotterpin. The Model A needs this nut/cotterpin arrangement on the rear axle. I bet you a nickel that the hole is there somewhere, however. Happy Motoring!
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:40 AM   #4
Marshall V. Daut
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

Rowdy's most likely given you the answer. It's possible on the axles to back the nut off with the cotter pin still in place, which is often difficult to remove with side cutters. Using a 1/2" drive breaker bar and the appropriate size socket, both the front and rear axle nuts can be removed, shearing the cotter pin in the process. As the nut is backed off, it "threads" the remains of the cotter pin in the axle. as it passes over that area. Usually the pin is shinier than the axle threads - at first. As time, grease, dirt and goo take over, it can become almost impossible to see the cotter pin remains, which looks as if there had been no hole ever drilled for the cotter pin. The old pin is there. You just can't readily make it out. Take a dentist's pick or a sharp nail and poke around the towards the end of the axle where the hole should be. When you find the pin, sometimes you can push the shank out, other times it must be driven out. I've also had to drill out especially stubborn cotter pin remains.
The odds against an axle leaving the factory or a dealer's parts room without a cotter pin hole are so great as not to even be considered. The hole is there. It's up to you to find it.
Marshall
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:58 AM   #5
CarlG
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

The surprise I had was that there were no washers under the nut. Torque on the right side was OK, but the left was loose as a goose. On further inspection, shims had been used on the taper and they had literally been chewed up and distributed all throughout the bearing and hub assembly. What it looked like is that they had used too many shims, then couldn't get the nut on all the way so they left out the washers, both the fiber and steel ones. Then without the steel washer there, things loosened up and began to self destruct. This is the way it was when I bought the PU, and best I could determine, only had a couple thousand miles on it since it was "restored" (whatever that means).
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:45 AM   #6
Jerry Kzoo
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

Also, one other thing to look at is to count the number of threads on each axle. It is possible that previously they had to beat a hub off and buggered up enough threads that they filed off past the hole. Probably not the case here, but something to look at/for.

Jerry
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

Welcome to the barn and to Ford Model's
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:00 PM   #8
FL&WVMIKE
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

I bet that the case is what "ROWDY" has described. I have seen that before. I hope so. If so, you can take a small punch or even a nail and knock it out of there. Just inspect it, very closely.
MIKE (mikeburch)
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:24 PM   #9
diyforever
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

This is my first reply and fingers crossed I do it correctly. Well I had cleaned it very well but since I only have 1 working eye and getting up there in age with bi-focals, I decided to use a magnifying glass to inspect CLOSER. Found a tiny tiny tiny black spec approx where the hole should be. Poked at it a little, then drilled progressively larger holes. That was it. Thks guys 4 your suggestions. I'm keeping the magnifier in the garage now
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:56 PM   #10
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

If the hole was too small to use until drilled, my flying guess is that someone removing your hub used a puller with no cap on the axle or simply a hammer, and crushed the end of axle enough to close the hole. Then the threads were recut outward by one of those axle thread restoring tools, a big clamshell device that closed over the inner good threads and then was rotated to turn off and re-cut the outer crushed threads.

Here's a picture of one of the old rethreaders, made with sizes for all the common axles including the Ford 5/8-18

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Old 10-08-2014, 02:56 PM   #11
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:46 PM   #12
Rowdy
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Default Re: NO cotter pin on rear axle - ouch!

Glad you got it out. Be sure to inspect the threads and chase them if needed as suggested below. Rod
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