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Can't get spindle nuts on far enough to cotter pin

7730 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Dees67
Has anyone else had this problem? I just replaced the front wheel bearings during
a drum brake rebuild. The new bearings are definitely correct (same mfg, same part num).
Now when I reinstall the drum, I can't thread the spindle nut on far enough to clear
the hole for the cotter pin (and that's without the cheesy tin castle nut).
Has anyone else run into this?

The only solution I can see at this point is to take a standard 3/4" nut
and drill a set of holes through it to turn it into a sort of castle nut.

'67 C-code 'vert (Dees67)
'69 GT FB (project car)
Milford, NH
Check out my band: Brickyard Blues
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Have you already torqued the nut to set the bearings and everything? If the bearings aren't set yet, that could be the problem.

I hate to ask the obvious, but you didn't put the bearings in backwards did you? My step-on did that one day, and it went on about that far.
'67 Coupe project car (Did I say project car? I meant pile of rust)
Did you replace the races as well as the bearings? If so are they seated completely? Had this happen to me once and I hadn't got the inner and outer races driven in all the way, once they were the nut went on fine.

68 restomod coupe (sold)
69 Mach1
67 coupe - Son's
Are the threads stripped on the nut or spindle? Also check that the races are set correctly.

Was Bob Emmerich on old forum
I have had this happen on both of my '67s. Take the inner bearing out of the hub and slide it on the spindle by itself - does it bottom out on the spindle? My bet is that it doesn't (don't jam it on there real hard or you'll have to wreck it to get it off). What's wrong? Corrosion and crap on the spindle that needs to be cleaned up. I ended up using some fine emory paper on both spindles to clean up old corrosion and stuff, and that did the trick - The clearance between the spindle and the inside of the inner bearing is microscopic (I can look up the exact number if necessary) and anything foreign, including rust spots, will make the bearing hang up.

Visit my repair page for Repair info, with pictures!
Sounds like the races are not pressed in far enough.

68 GT500
68 1/2 CJ Coupe

MCA# 18519
I'll try to cover all these replies here:

66restomod: I haven't torqued the nut. As I started to tighten up
the nut, the bearings bound and the wheel wouldn't turn. I didn't
dare torque it to spec for fear of having the bearings permanently
bound up.

TangDar: I did double-check the bearings and then had my
machinist father- and brother-in-law doublecheck me.

68hardtop & SHELBY: I've actually done this twice now. The
first time I put in the bearing races, I installed the drums and
had this problem. So I drove them out and made sure their
seats were good and clean. Then I reinstalled them and mic'd
them with a dpeth gauge to be certain.

demmerich: The spindle threads look fine. I can run the nut
down more than far enough without the hubs there.

TennesseeCub: The spindles *look* clean. But that may not
be clean enough I guess. I'll try setting the two bearings onto
the spindle without the hub and see how that goes. Actually,
I'll try the outer bearing first because if it works I won't have
to pull the rear grease seal again. (Of course, Murphy's Law
says I'll have to pull the seal _and_ that I'll bitch it up in the

Thanks for the tips guys - stay tuned.

'67 C-code 'vert (Dees67)
'69 GT FB (project car)
Milford, NH
Check out my band: Brickyard Blues
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