I'm thinking about converting a set of regular taper rear wheel hubs into the early style for my 1910 but still keeping the taper. I'm thinking about turning down the threaded area to the depth of a regular front hub cut out area, then welding on a piece of steel on the end and threading it. That way the outside of the hub looks like a front hub but it still has the taper. My question is, how much can I safely take off the hub before affecting it's integrity?
I would say that if you are working on the outboard side of the spoke plate, and you are leaving large internal radii... there would be nothing to worry about. Seems like a cosmetic modification.
Just be aware of the difficulty of getting a cotter pin in the axle nut when you are working down in a hole. This is a typical problem with knock off wire wheels, and it can be a real pain in the a%$! I guess it's not much of a problem if you order a couple of nylock nuts
Hum; I never even thought of that little problem!
My 09 has the hubs that Bill is describing and has the cotter pin problem mentioned by Kevin. I have not carefully inspected mine as I understood the hub was machined from a billet. I will check next time I have access to the wheels.
I have been wondering about how to install a cotter pin and the nylock nuts sounds like a great solution.
Are there any down sides?
Probably just because I tend to be "old school"? But I never really like nylock nuts on something like the model T hub. They should be fine? Certainly, they work well in so many applications. But something about the ONE nut, and all the torque stresses, vibration, and other Murphy's law enforcers, between you and the wheel flying off on its own bothers me. I LIKE that castle nut and a pin.
I have a few times had to deal with castle nuts and pins in tight places. Some times, bending the cotter pin into a "C" shape will allow it to be pushed into its hole with a pair of long-nose pliers. In worst cases? Using a steel wire bent to an "L" has worked well.
That is my opinion.
Another thing I didn't think about; once the extra "collar" is welded on the end, does the end of the axle shaft protrude enough to get a castle nut on? I'm assuming it does, but you would have to use a regular lug wrench to install/remove it. And how will you locate the cotter pin hole?
I located the hole by marking the drive shaft with the edge of a file.
I have buffalo wheels and you can't see the cotter pin hole. Like Tony, I mark the end of the axle with a file. By bending the cotter pin I can install it on the stock nut. But a buffalo hub is close to 2inches I.D., what is the I.D. on a modified hub?
I did this conversion on my 1911 touring. I machined the outside of the rear hub down to the nominal diameter of the small size of the original straight axle hub. I then cut the threaded portion from another hub, plus a little more. I bored the threaded portion to be a slight press fit over the reduced size of the first hub and pressed the two together until it looked "right". I then welded the outer "sleeve" to the original hub and ground the area somewhat smooth. This gave the appearance of a raw casting/forging in the small diameter area. As far as nuts are concerned, I simply used grade 8 nylock nuts. Yes, they are available, and are much stronger than any original castle nut. This isn't the only answer, but it worked for me. I'll include photos in my next chapter of the restoration process of my 1911 touring that "survived" a barn fire.
William, thanks for the insight! I'm curious though; I thought only 1909/10 had the straight axle and in 1911 Ford changed it to the tapered one.
The Rudge-Whitwoth hubs on British cars usually have a hole in the side of hub for you to reach the cotter pin.
Many of the accessory wire wheels had a cross pin hole to better access the cotter pin... But on a wood wheel hub, this hole would be on the outside of the spoke plate and cosmetically exposed.
Here is an example of a Phelps rear hub, both original and new
With the dummy end welded in place, the axle does not protrude at all. The end has to have a counter bore that allows the nut to fit down inside of it. Make the counter bore large enough to get a socket down inside of it. I did exactly as you're intending to do on my Model N rear hubs. I don't remember now how I handled the cotter pin issue. If you go large enough on the counter bore diameter you MAY be able to sneak in a cotter pin.
You also need to weld the 6 hub holes closed, turn the flange diameter down to that of a 1910 hub, (5-1/2"?), and re-drill the 6 holes on the proper diameter hole circle.
Only possible downside I see is when you are trying to remove a stubborn wheel with a puller that locks onto the threads. On one repro rear hub, it broke the hub at the weld. The casting is very thin in that area.
The Encyclopedia indicates the change from straight to tapered axles on the 1911 models.
Part # Factory # Description
AXLE HOUSING GASKET
2504 139 (None used before 1919.)
REAR AXLE SHAFTS
2503 48 Non-tapered
Axle gear held with small woodruff key and a pin.
2505A 48B Non-tapered
Axle gear held with large woodruff key and a collar.
2505D 2818 Tapered
Axle gear held with large key and collar (2 pieces). The diameter of the axle shaft where the roller bearings fit is 1.062 - 1.063. The length is 31-3/64 31-5/64. The taper is 2-3/4 long and ground portion where the outer bearing fits is 5-1/4 and the ground area where the inner bearing and the gear are is 6-1/4 long.
2505 2828 Tapered
Same as 1916 except for part number.
That means the change occurred about 1 October 1910
Nylock axle nuts did not work well on a T touring with a T-GO overhead valve head and a 3 speed transmission. They would loosen and an axle key or keys would fail.
i had a straight bore hub that had a 6" flange, so when did they change the wheels?????. charley
According to the Encyclopedia the change happened at the same time, in the early 1911 models.
REAR WHEEL HUBS
Designed for non-tapered axle with pin through the diameter to hold the wheel. 5-1/2 diameter flanges. The general shape of the hub was like that of the front hubs.
Non-tapered axle continued into early 1911. 6 flange style hubs for these axles.
Tapered axle. Flanges are 6 diameter. Shorter, near-uniform diameter hub section.
Could the hub that Charley mentioned be a special as part of a replacement hub?
As to the issue of the 1911 straight axle hub. My 1911 is a February 1911 manufacture date. 6" hubs with the straight axle. My car also has the square hole trans cover with the wider dimension. Definitely a transitional 1911. If you have a 1910 car, you will have to modify the hub and bolt circle diameter for 5 1/2" hubs. Nylocks versus cotter pins. I don't think we'd better start this conversation. If the nuts are drawn tight enough and the tapers on the axle shaft and hub are in GOOD condition, the torque of the nut holds it in place. If the nut is going to come loose, no cotter pin will hold it. I've seen several cotter pins sheared. I've also seen nylocks destroyed by loosening. In a hidden area that is not subjected to extreme heat, I use high quality grade 8 nylocks. Just a few thoughts. Lets have fun and continue to "play cars".
So it appears Ford had 6 hubs with straight axles in Feb 1911. I am so glad Im not an author, how can you accurately document the vehicle if Ford dont do it correctly :-)
Thanks to everyone on this subject - I do appreciate the advice. However, after careful consideration as to finances (since I'm not a machinist and don't have the ability to do this myself) I simply cannot justify the cost of paying a machinist to convert all my hubs to 5.5" as well as add the cosmetic collar to the rears. I know there are purist folks out there who will think ill of me for not doing so, but I don't have an unlimited budget and I'm not in this to win trophies or accolades. Would I like it to be as authentic as possible - of course, but dropping a grand on converting wheel hubs just isn't in the budget.
Can you at least get the flanges cut down to 5.5" and the new holes made? If you have at least that done, your wheels will be all set to one day receive the "proper" hubs when finances allow.
Bill, get the car on the road and start enjoying it!! There will be time and finances later to do the conversion. If that doesn't happen, you can have fun as is. If someone is critical of the "looks" of the rear hubs, let them pay for the proper parts or the conversion! Enjoy!!!
I agree with William. Get it on the road and one day a set of wheels with 5 1/2 hubs will show up. Count on it :-)
I have the Phelps wheels for a Speedster I am building. Cant seem to get the castle nut lined up for a cotter pin. Showing my lack of knowledge, is there a reason I shoudn't use a lock washer or would Nylocks be better? Thanks
You should check out this thread, where I discuss a potential problem with the rear hubs.
Also, do you have the aluminum caps? Nobody seems to have a cap or even a picture of a cap
Kevin , thanks for the info. Will check that out. No , do not have the original caps. Man, I bought this project from had them cast. They thread on real nice but just a plain face. I saw a pic of them will see if I can find it. Those hubs you make are awesome.