The time came to put the rear wheels on my '21 Touring and I was surprised to find that my axles do not have holes for cotter pins. Neither axle has the holes. What gives?
That's a new one on me! Hopefully there is enough thread remaining to use a locknut on top of the regular nut, or in a pinch I suppose you could use Loctite and inspect it occasionally.
Drill the cotter pin holes and install cotter pins.
If these are old axles, the cotter pin holes could be filled with remains of a cotter pin. Look them over carefully and see if you can see where they are. If they are newer axles, then put your axle nuts on and use the nuts as a guide to drill new holes for them. This is too critical to leave it to chance.
Clean the ends, chase the threads, and look for debris, caked dirt, or busted off old cotter pin blocking the hole.
There must be a hole for a cotter pin on the axle!
With all the tours in the near future and parades and such; this is a good time to take those rear hubcaps off an retighten the axle nuts. I've tightened the nuts as many as 4 castellations after many miles on a rebuilt. Most axle breakages occur simply by wallowing out the key way.
David Dewey probably has it right. It's sometimes common practice to skip the cotter pin removal and just let the nut shear off the cotter pin. This leaves both ends of the pin sheared clean with the axle, making it appear that there's no hole. Look closely, I think you'll find a well hidden hole, filled with the remains of a sheared cotter pin.
It doesn't just happen on axles, and it's not always this obvious. Sometimes it's almost invisible. You really have to look.
Excellent illustration Steve, THANKS!!
If you hit the threads with some penetrating oil, sometimes that will show you where the hole is.
The axles are genuine Ford. There ARE NO holes in either one. I cleaned them and had three other people looking. What size drill bit do I need? I will buy a new cobalt bit to do the job.
5/32" hole, use a big cotter rear axle nuts.
Can't believe you have good Ford axles without cotter holes, IMO, check out all dimensions of those axles before use. May be factory rejects.
Modern repro below
It appears that the
hole might belong back from the end 3-4 threads or at the 6th or 7th thread , as in Steve J's picture.
Go by Dan's picture and put it four threads from the end. My picture shows the sheared off cotter pin filling a hole, but it's not an axle.