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Old 05-08-2009, 05:39 PM   #1
35PontiacCoupe
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Default Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

I've read some of the threads about drilling 9" axle flanges to change the bolt patterns, and I know there are some people out there that think it shouldn't be done, etc. I've got a pretty good idea of a fixture to make sure everything is indexed correctly but I don't know how close I can make the new holes to the old ones.

I'm going from 5x5.5 to 5x4.5 and the biggest problem is the access hole is right in the way- of course. There were some people who had drilled to 5x4.75 and made it work, but my templates put the holes pretty close to each other.

Basically, I'm wondering how much space needs to be left in between the lug holes to keep it stable. If there isn't enough room, how would a plug work? Would it have to be welded in from the backside?
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

i sent some axles over to the local mud bogger machinest here & he welded plugs in & then redrilled a pattern.

i see new currie axles with 2 patterns & the holes are pretty close.
i too would like to hear what others think.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

WHen he welded them in, did he take a slice out of the flange to make sure it wasn't warped?
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Just did a set from 5.5 to 4.5. Plugged the holes, welded both sides, and resurfaced the flange.The only thing that sucks is that the welds get really hard, which makes it a little tough to drill.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Did them on my 37...welded...resurfaced...milled new holes...used screw in studs....used to beat the livin' shit out of it...no problems!!!!
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Been there done that a few times before, I personally had a few issues with balance, after i pluged it.... did not want to spend the bucks to send them to the balancer .... got pretty close (guessing 99%)with a old high speed balancer on the car.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

When I ordered my axle shafts for my 9 inch rearend from Dutchman, they drilled them with 3 different bolt patterns [ 4.5", 4.75" & 5"]and the extra holes didn't void the warrantee. Must be safe.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

I would just send them to Moser Eng.

Gary

Redrilling Bolt Patterns
To suit your requirements, we can redrill new bolt patterns on most OEM or M/E axles, most one-piece rotors, hubs, and brake drums. (We do not drill Chevy Luv rotors.) See our price sheet for your application, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions!



Axles - redrilling only

$60 pair



Axles - plug & redrill holes

$80 pair
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Is the balance issue sideways or top to bottom balance?

I know moser doesn't cost a ton but shipping both ways is a pig too..

Rocky- did those axles have access holes in them? How much material is there between the holes?
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

I would just send them to Moser Eng.
That's what I did well over 10 years ago, many miles with no problems
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

I just redrilled the new pattern in between . Why weld??????? went from 5.5 to 4.75. Took a morning of measuring and work. Measuring and layout is the key.
Don
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Any machine shop that has a indexing head can machine them in a few minutes for any bolt pattern you want, thou it will require machining and welding in a plug for the "access" hole. You can send them to me and I'll do it for you right, PM me if you need my help.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

I send everything to Moser. I have them shorten and respline when necessary, change bolt pattern and install new studs and wheel bearings. I have then send their retainer plates as they are slip on not the captured stock type. When they change bolt pattern they weld up the old pattern
remachine the flange true to the axle centerline and redrill the new pattern and press in new studs. They can put new bearings on for less than 1/2 what it costs to replace them here.
Nice thing about them is they have a 24 hour turnaround. When I send them a pair of axles UPS I have them back in less then a week ready to install. Best service of any aftermarket company I've dealt with.

Frank
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Ford made a LOT MORE different axles with the 5 on 4.5 pattern than with the 5 on 5.5 pattern.

The 57 to 67 F-100 axle shaft measures 30 inches ( both the right side and the left side ) ... I helped a friend with his project and we used 64/65 Full size Ford axle ... It is 29.5 inches long ... and it has been trouble free for many, many miles. We even used the drums, backing plates and all.

He runs a 460 Ford with a 125 shot of NOS ...
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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Originally Posted by Dolmetsch View Post
I just redrilled the new pattern in between . Why weld??????? went from 5.5 to 4.75. Took a morning of measuring and work. Measuring and layout is the key.
Don
This is what I want to do. How close were the holes to the access hole/existing holes? I'd rather drill without welding if I can.

Moser is still an option but I'd rather do this myself if possible because I'm cheap and like doing things myself..
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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WHen he welded them in, did he take a slice out of the flange to make sure it wasn't warped?
yep he surfaced them. -- he is a very good machinest but he cant get off the mud bog 4x4 shit.
he charged me 70.00 for the pair new studs included.
i wanted mine surfaced. he does alot of 4x4s with the big tires they wouldnt know if the axles were warped or not.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:43 AM   #17
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

i'm think of drilling my axle from 4.5 to 4.75, i would start by placeing them in my lathe and take a little cut/sctarch to give me the correct DIA. then print out the pattern on my office printer and center punch the locations, or i may mill my wheels to except uni-lug washers as they are aluminum.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:52 AM   #18
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

How much space between the old holes/access hole and the new lugs is acceptable though? I'm looking at the template that I made with both patterns and it looks like about 1/8" of material in between. I don't know if that's enough- that's really what I'm looking for...
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

"How much space between the old holes/access hole and the new lugs is acceptable though? I'm looking at the template that I made with both patterns and it looks like about 1/8" of material in between. I don't know if that's enough- that's really what I'm looking for... "

Ain't it Hell trying to get a straight answer on the H.A.M.B.? Regards, Ron
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Yes. Yes it is! I appreciate all the other ideas though!
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:28 PM   #21
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

i'm guessing your saying that between the access hole and an old stud hole, by spliting the difference you end up with 1/8" of meat, i was thinking of filling the access hole with a plug welded in and skipping the area i needed to drill and tap, i know 4 studs has enough strength for the way i drive and if i have 5 and one has 75 percent of the strength of the other 4 i'm good, so i would avoid being 1/8" away.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:56 PM   #22
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

1/8" is plenty.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:57 PM   #23
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

1/8" is plenty
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:46 PM   #24
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Garrr... 1/8" is plenty, 1/8" isn't enough... Has anybody done it with that little space and survived to tell me about it?
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:38 PM   #25
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Buy a wheel adapter for your needs , knock the studs out and use it as a fixture........... simple
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #26
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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Buy a wheel adapter for your needs , knock the studs out and use it as a fixture........... simple
Adapters cost almost as much as it costs to have moser do it themselves. Plus the real problem that I have is the access hole being in the way, not the lack of a fixture..
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:06 PM   #27
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

theres a difference in stud DIA. as well, some are quite small, i bet if you put your new holes on the front side of the old holes it would be fine, or even cutting odd the old studs and leaving them in there would be stronger.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:30 PM   #28
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

i had some axles once that had the access holes filled & i could get a wrench back there to tighten the bearing with the brakes off.
you could try that.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:40 PM   #29
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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Ain't it Hell trying to get a straight answer on the H.A.M.B.? Regards, Ron
you got that right! i think sometimes they sit around on their computers eatin cheetos & drinkin beer & answerin questions..........
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:04 PM   #30
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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you got that right! i think sometimes they sit around on their computers eatin cheetos & drinkin beer & answerin questions..........
I beg your pardon..............................Cheetos and Mountain Dew!!!

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Old 05-09-2009, 04:13 PM   #31
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

BBQ hotdogs and a large bottle of water, because i'm going from 4.75 to 4.5 i may not have to drill my axles. i just ordered one cragar offset washer to see if they will work, of course i would have to slot the hole a little but no big deal.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:22 PM   #32
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

This axle and brake drum is from a early bronco mid 60s. Was a 5.5 pattern converted to a 4.5 pattern. No welding needed, but machining will need to be done on the back of the axle. And a little off the front to square the surface so the lug studs will sit flat. When I had this done I bought a new set of drums and had them drilled to match hope this helps...ghost
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:01 PM   #33
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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Garrr... 1/8" is plenty, 1/8" isn't enough... Has anybody done it with that little space and survived to tell me about it?

Yes I have done it with 1/8" with no problems. How thick is a nut? Less that 1/8" through the side.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:08 PM   #34
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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This axle and brake drum is from a early bronco mid 60s. Was a 5.5 pattern converted to a 4.5 pattern. No welding needed, but machining will need to be done on the back of the axle. And a little off the front to square the surface so the lug studs will sit flat. When I had this done I bought a new set of drums and had them drilled to match hope this helps...ghost
This is exactly what I wanted and pretty much what I'm doing. I'm using bronco axles too but they're Yukon replacements.. Thanks everyone for your help!!
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:09 PM   #35
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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This axle and brake drum is from a early bronco mid 60s. Was a 5.5 pattern converted to a 4.5 pattern. No welding needed, but machining will need to be done on the back of the axle. And a little off the front to square the surface so the lug studs will sit flat. When I had this done I bought a new set of drums and had them drilled to match hope this helps...ghost
Why do you have to machine the front? Sounds like you're talking about the inside of the flange so that the studs will sit flat? I know some stock axles started to taper out at the bottom on the inner face, but my yukon ones don't. So I won't have to worry about that...

Someone else pointed out to me that the force holding the wheel to the axles is actually the clamping force, not the studs themselves. I had thought about this but it didn't really sink in, I Guess. Makes sense and with all of the above advice, I think I'll be drilling some axles... Maybe I'll do a writeup and let everyone know how it goes... Thanks again.
Phil
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:26 PM   #36
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

i just took another pair of axles to a machinest to go from 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 & he welded a plug in the access hole then surfaced the face & back off smooth. he drilled the new pattern with one stud through the plug he welded in. he then bored a new access hole through one of the old 4 1/2 bc holes. sounded fine to me.

im sure ways mentioned above in other posts are fine also.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:15 AM   #37
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Get yourself one of the plastic wheel pattern measuring plates.

Set it on a piece of paper and trace the 5 1/2" pattern.

Then - align carefully on the center - trace in the 4 1/2" pattern.

Compare, measure and see what you think - keep in mind the actual lug stud hole size in the flange.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What kind of wheels are you using?

Aluminum?

If so, it may be easier to drill the wheel hub/flange with a new pattern if the hub is solid all around.

If the wheel has casting voids on the backside, you'll have to go the oval hole bit and I'm not sure if it's a good idea to go to the 1" smaller pattern.
Ovalling works fine for a 4 1/2" to 4 3/4" change.

And it may be cheaper in the end to search for different wheels.

Keep in mind you could run into a brake drum bolt pattern conflict, but those are usually not a big deal and you can do them at home.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:28 AM   #38
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

I'm thinking I might do thread in studs as well to save a little bit of meat in between the holes. I've got another project I'm working on right now tho so I won't be getting to the axle til later in the summer..
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:23 AM   #39
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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I'm thinking I might do thread in studs as well to save a little bit of meat in between the holes. I've got another project I'm working on right now tho so I won't be getting to the axle til later in the summer..
1/2 20 allen,80,000 psi and about a buck a piece at the local machine shop supply house.done it several times.stronger than a autozone stud by far.be shure to relieve the flange where the head of the bolt meets with a counter sink.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:14 AM   #40
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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i just took another pair of axles to a machinest to go from 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 & he welded a plug in the access hole then surfaced the face & back off smooth. he drilled the new pattern with one stud through the plug he welded in. he then bored a new access hole through one of the old 4 1/2 bc holes. sounded fine to me.

im sure ways mentioned above in other posts are fine also.
was that 4 X 4 in Elgin? he has the knowledge and the equipment to do it right....he does it for rock crawlers and the dirt track guys. he can also narrow rear ends and shorten driveshafts at reasonable prices. he has a HUGE lathe
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:01 PM   #41
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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was that 4 X 4 in Elgin? he has the knowledge and the equipment to do it right....he does it for rock crawlers and the dirt track guys. he can also narrow rear ends and shorten driveshafts at reasonable prices. he has a HUGE lathe
Jim Hoeft at 4x4 unlimited. he is very good & has done some axles & other things for me before. he has an Elgin address.

the axles i just sent off are at a small machine shop in Byron & this guy also does alot of rear end work & really seems to know his stuff.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:29 AM   #42
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Does anyone know where I can have this done in central Texas.?? I'm getting a granada rear and I want 4.75 bolt pattern.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:42 AM   #43
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

57-59 station wagon brake drums are about unobtainable so I welded up the pilot od, the axle od, and the bolt pattern on my axles. Next I faced off the axle and turned the drum pilot to match the F-100 axels that donated the backing plates. I redrilledthe bolt pattern 5 on 5 1/2 otherwise I would not have built up the OD. That was many miles ago.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:27 AM   #44
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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WHen he welded them in, did he take a slice out of the flange to make sure it wasn't warped?
Ya put screw in plugs in the holes if they need to be plugged then heliarc then on one or both sides. You can also just stake 'em I've done that also.

Afterwards you chuck them up in the lath and true them up (front face only).

I have redrilled axles that are moved from 5 on 5.5 to 5 on 4.5 in the rear for a car I'm building and no holes had to be plugged. If you are haveing a problem with the access hole then rotate the axle until you don't. I'm not haveing any issues with mine. They have been in a 9 second Dart and a couple of other streetewrs that were prtetty stout and they arte just fine.

We used a rotary table and a bridge port to drill 'em but you can also used a template and a standard drill press. I've done 'em both ways over the years with good success.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:27 AM   #45
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Make sure the hub fits in the wheel before you put the studs in. I had to turn my hub down a little.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:33 AM   #46
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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Originally Posted by impalalover60 View Post
Does anyone know where I can have this done in central Texas.?? I'm getting a granada rear and I want 4.75 bolt pattern.
This guy did mine,
http://www.peytonperformance.com/sto...f=&pg=location
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:01 AM   #47
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

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Originally Posted by 35PontiacCoupe View Post
How much space between the old holes/access hole and the new lugs is acceptable though? I'm looking at the template that I made with both patterns and it looks like about 1/8" of material in between. I don't know if that's enough- that's really what I'm looking for...

I would put the new studs exactly between each stud for maximum material between each hole. If you want to shift the pattern to avoid the access hole, then 1/8 sounds a little close to me.

I made a plug and pressed it into the axle. Then I secured it with two set screws located on the part line. Re-drilled the pattern so that the new holes were in the middle of the exsisting holes.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:40 AM   #48
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

I have been narrowing rear ends, resplining axles and redrilling bolt patterns for over 20 years and I don't plug the holes on truck axles. I will plug car axles before redrilling because they have a couple extra holes and you can't avoid them. the approx 1/8" meat between the holes is plenty, I have never had one fail beause of it.

http://hotrodsandbrakes.com/default.aspx
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:49 PM   #49
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

My 2 cents worth, I run a pipe tap in the hole and screw a pipe plug in it with locktight if your worried . Cut the excess off the flange with a band saw or sawsall ,touch up with a sanding disc ,and thread it with studs. I have never had any trouble this way, no heat from welding and no weld to try and thread through. Low buck as it gets. Best of luck.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:06 PM   #50
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

You want the hole chasing the stud, you drill left & right axle opposite
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:15 PM   #51
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Think about torque, you want more beef behind stud than in front
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:31 PM   #52
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

bttt ! i'm grtting ready to do this myself ! anyone have any more info , pictures ?
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #53
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

so if i have a ford nine inch with small ford bolt pattern i can get it drilled for chevy 4 3/4 bolt pattern.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:07 PM   #54
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

Iv done this myself when I was a teenager … its easy.
Plug the access hole - drill the new pattern - drill a new access hole where one of the old lugs were….done.

If you cant do it yourself for free you should just buy some custom axles …. There not as much as you think considering they come w studs - bearings and seals

Last edited by 296 V8; 03-21-2012 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #55
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Default Re: Drilling Ford 9 Axles to change pattern

can anyone recommend a machine shop near LAX in los angeles that can redo the stud pattern in my front hub rotors off a 76 mercury down from 5 on 5 to 5 on 4 1/2 for my 66 galaxy
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