I am just finishing a set of stutzman rebuilt wheels. When I disassembled the old rear wheels the bolts holding the drum to the hub were ground down so the nuts were only a 1/4" thick(maybe less) Looked like they needed clearance so when the wheel axle nut was tightened they did not hit the brakes. I don't want to grind down the new bolts as it will undoubtedly be a safety issue. Any suggestions short of rebuilding the whole rear end?
They weren't very thick when new,maybe 5/16 thick.Just buy new rear ones so they can be peened when tight and make sure you don't have a rear end with a lot of side play.
If I understand the question correctly, you're asking how to keep the new nuts & bolts from hitting the brakes. That can happen for a couple of different reasons. One is a thrust washer being gone in the rear axle, letting the axle move inward. You HAVE TO rebuild the rear axle for this one. There's no other choice except don't drive it. The other possibility is the hole in the hub being worn enough for the wheel to be too far onto the axle. The best fix for this in a better hub. Second best is a shim inside the hub.
You can buy a shim ready made or you can cut one out of a can.
The hub bolt nuts discussed above are 11/16" across the flats, and as Jack mentioned are relatively thin. The hardware store variety will not work. Be sure to get them tight, and peen them over so they don't come loose.
Here's a pattern for the shim. You may have to enlarge it or shrink it to fit.