......... Underneath the 15/16" nut attaching the rear wheels to the rear axles? My problem is there's about 1/4" of threads left after I tighten the nuts REAL tight. If it makes any difference, this concerns Ford wire wheels on a '26 roadster.
I would vote for no on the lock washer. That much thread exposure indicates some odd wear or other things going on. If everything else checks out OK, you could add a flat washer or two to get the nut out where it will capture the cotter key.
Hmmmm... You gave me an idea Walt. Maybe I could use a much thinner pinion gear nut. Same threads ?
George, by your most recent post, you're saying that the axle threads don't fully engage with the nut? Do you have one or more shims on the axle taper? If yes, maybe you can remove the shim and get the hub to go further onto the axle taper.
Have you mounted these wheels before? If not, maybe there is a shim jammed inside the hub that you hadn't noticed before.
George, you have me confused. You say there is about 1/4" of thread left after you tighten the nut. As Walt says, this suggests wear in the hub/axle allowing the wheel to go further onto the axle. The usual fix is to fit a shim on the axle.
Then you are thinking of using a thinner pinion nut. That would expose MORE thread!
Allan from down under.
If I understand you George, the 1/4" thread is on the nut? not the axle? This doesn't seem right. When you tighten it up, how does the drum fit the backing plate? It should be all the way to the backing plate flush with the outside of the backing plate. When you get it tightened down, you should be able to spin the hub and axle freely (with the other side jacked up) If it is binding that would indicate something inside the brake or backing plate is not right. The hub should not be loose on the end of the axle either. Check the brake shoes and also the outer cap on the seal on the rear bearing. There are some after market seals which are thicker than the original stamped sheet metal. If you are using that type, the seal might be what is binding. If you have endplay in the axles so that you can push in and pull out the axle, the problem is with the thrust washers inside the housing.
George, I have noticed that some of the new axles are a few thousandths larger at the upper end of the taper than NOS ones are. I assume it is to make up for the wear in the hubs over the last 100+.
Chuck the nut up in your lathe and machine some of the back of the nut off. You can also make the cotter pin holes line up really nicely that way.
IMHO I would NOT use a lock washer as a replacement for the cotter pin.
Not intending to hijack this thread, but does using a flat washer cancel the effect of a flat washer on the same fastener?
I have a rear axle that the threads extend past the nut when tight by about the same amount, a new hole was drilled for the cotter pin. It's in my rear end now and is not a new replacement axle. I rebuilt the rear end so I know what's inside. There is not enough wear in the diffy to allow it to extend out that far, the wheel hub rides where it should in relationship to the backing plate.
As Mark & others have stated it's really about where the hub ends up on the axle. Backing plate clearance ect. If all that's OK it may be very slight taper wear or an axle that's a bit off. I'm guessing the castellatons on the nut don't align with the axle hole. If it's a bit short a washer is OK to move it out enough to catch the axle hole. A lock washer won't make a difference if that's what it takes to get a cotter pin to work but the cotter pin is a must in my book. If the nut is too "long" (covers the axle hole) perhaps a bit of grinding on the back face (& I do mean a bit) or a shim in the hub is the answer. I'd think long & hard about drilling a new hole before checking everything thoroughly.
Each has their place, but they're not necessarily interchangeable. Split lock washers can break in certain environments and come out of place, leaving the nut instantly loose.
Please forgive my tardiness in responding. Much good advice - many thanks. Yes, there's about 1/4" threads INSIDE the nut and the brake drum is flush with the backing plate. But I've not yet had the hub and drum off. Will do that now and check for shims. Good idea ! I bought this roadster from the museum that acquired it from the old man that got me started on T s back in '66. So I'm somewhat sure that the thrust washers are bronze. But I'll check it like Norm suggested. I'm starting early to get it ready for the Motoring in Montana tour this July...hear that uncle Stan ? I'm coming your way !!
All Right ! It worked! I took the R/R hub off and no shims on the axle taper or inside the hub. So I found my last extra pinion gear castellated nut and tightened it so as to fit a cotter key. As ya'll know; that partidcular nut is 'thinner' than the correct axle nut. Now I'm on my way to another parts stash 34 miles away to retrieve my last pinion gear nut. I've previously used 2 of these nuts when adding a below axle wishbone...... so if anyone has a Folgers coffee can full of these pinion gear nuts, I'll gladly buy 4...
If the hub will fit on the axle and will tighten up with a driveshaft nut I think you have a problem somewhere that needs to be addressed.
I'd do a little more investigating before I'd trust it to come down some of the mountains you are going to be coming down in Montana in July. (A mountain is a thing like a really, really, really tall hill. Some of them go up so high the top of it sticks in a cloud. Pilots especially don't like finding mountains in clouds they are flying through. If you need more info George, or a visual for understanding you need to leave Texas. The mountain removal project there is complete, I think).
Are you sure that when the hub was slid on the axle that it didn't grab the key and slide it up into the runnout area of the axle keyway? Had this happen several times. Looks like everything is tight and seated, but really, the key has ridden up and is wedged between the hub and axle shaft without the hub taper being fully seated. It makes the hub extend too far and creates the situation you're having. It's more prevalent when you're fortunate enough to have a really good keyway in the hub and the keyway grabs the key. A good way to test for this problem is to put the hub on temporarily with no key in place. See where the hub seats and how much axle sticks out. Should stick out exactly the same with the key installed. If not...
When this happens, it's sometimes best to insert the key in the hub, not the axle, prior to assembly. That way, the only way the key can drift is towards the threads, where you can see its end protruding abnormally and can tap it back in with a small drift punch.
Anyway, if you do have a "wedged key" it will put a concentrated stress point on your axle shaft that can lead to a fracture.
Following up on Stan's theme, does the hub go on further without an axle key in place? If so, take a look at the keyways in the axle and hub, and compare the key you are using to an original.
While you have the key out, try painting the axle taper with bluing, then install the hub and see how much contact you have between the hub and axle tapers. Maybe there are some burrs or high spots that are preventing full contact between the tapers.
Maybe OT but Jerry V said that lock-washers can break. I second that. I have a 12 HP Witte engine that my late grandfather bought years ago. He got a good deal on it because it quit on the previous owner and he, the owner got peed off, and Pa was in the right place at the right time. The problem turned out to be in the Wico magneto. A lock washer had broken and a piece had fallen into a place keeping it from firing. Otherwise Pa would not ever have been able to afford one.
This Forum is so helpful. Of course a lock washer is vastly inadequate for this application. Thanks to all; especially Jerry for stating the obvious "put the hub on with no key in place". Then I compared the protruding axle threads with and without the key. The tapers on the axle keyway and key should match and when I ensured this, the wheel seated with plenty of room to tighten the CORRECT AXLE NUT with a correct size cotter key.
And I aint skeert of any of your so called mountains Uncle Stan. I drove a '23 touring up that Pike's hill outside of Colorado Springs in the '76 Glidden Tour. I do hope to meet more Forum Friends in July on that combined MTFCA/MTFCI TOUR. Thanks again !!
Glad you got it. I was going to tell you an old timer tip but what little time I've had in the last few days for the forum was following the drama on another thread. Anyway, with a little time you can make a very simple tool that will clean the inside of the hub taper.
Use a good old hard key, not the soft ones they sell today. Put it in the axle keyway and scribe a line on it. Then grind it down carefully to where the line is just showing with a slight taper on the upper edge. What you are actually doing is making a scraper. Put it in the axle, put the hub on and push and turn it in the direction that will make it scrape the inside of the hub clean. It should make it seat better on the axle and also show you any high and low spots on the taper. Not my idea, old timer trick to check the fit of the hub on the axle.
Hope to see you in July, I'm not going on the tour but will probably come up and do a shake and howdy run through the crowd.
Way last year they asked me about doing the youth auction but nobody ever followed up on it so I'm assuming they got somebody else.
Only thing I know of that I have any connection to the tour is I donated rebuilding a Stromberg OF to be auctioned (I'm not sure) with the money going to the youth fund.
You'll be going right through Helena, keep in touch and stop by if you get a chance.