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Technical Redrill a Ford axle?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by AGELE55, Jun 4, 2021.

  1. AGELE55
    Joined: Jan 4, 2018
    Posts: 398

    AGELE55
    Member

    Is there enough meat on a Ford 5 x 4.5 axle flange to redrill it to a 5x5 pattern? Axle would be from ab 91-94 Explorer.
     
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,569

    Budget36
    Member

    Would depend on the diameter of the flange, right? If say it’s 6 inches, then not a lot of meat left after being redrilled. If using 1/2 lugs, the holes abit larger for the splines, leaves less than a 1/4 inch of material to the hole.
     
  3. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 1,002

    AngleDrive
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Florida

  4. AGELE55
    Joined: Jan 4, 2018
    Posts: 398

    AGELE55
    Member

    Never mind...stupid question.
     

  5. Buy one of those cheap plastic lug pattern measuring tools and stick it on there or a uni-lug rim because those are 4.5 to 5 on the pattern it covers.
     
    AGELE55 likes this.
  6. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,569

    Budget36
    Member

    No it’s not! I had the same question I asked (different rear though) in another thread. Saved me a few hours heading to pick and pull to measure one myself:)
    Aftermarket axles through Summit, etc aren’t too expensive if you find a rear the proper width.
     
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  7. AccurateMike
    Joined: Sep 14, 2020
    Posts: 210

    AccurateMike
    Member

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  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,225

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I believe so. The flanges are fully solid (no extra holes), and machined flat on both sides.

    Going from 4-1/2" to 5" is only a radius change of 1/4".

    I own a few of these. They work as advertised:
    https://www.hellsgatehotrods.com/shop/drill-guide/
     
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  9. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,225

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have a set of these axles in the shop. I can measure the flanges tomorrow.
     
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  10. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,569

    Budget36
    Member

    Color me dumb, I read the original post as going to 5 on 5.5.
     
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  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,225

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

     
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  12. AGELE55
    Joined: Jan 4, 2018
    Posts: 398

    AGELE55
    Member

    Now THAT, is a good idea..
     
  13. AGELE55
    Joined: Jan 4, 2018
    Posts: 398

    AGELE55
    Member

    So, if I did this, should I weld the existing holes shut?
     
  14. AccurateMike
    Joined: Sep 14, 2020
    Posts: 210

    AccurateMike
    Member

    No, they're fine. Mike
     
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  15. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,736

    ramblin dan

    Built a mold about thirty years ago when it was hard to get one of these wheel/bolt check gauges. Here's the measurements of five bolt sizes I used to build it. img024.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  16. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,388

    19Fordy
    Member

    Would it be safe to increase the dia. of the original flange by welding a
    ring of steel to the perimeter? Then machine it parallel and flat on both sides.
     
  17. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,094

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    No, and it would also cost you more than just having new axles built with a larger flange. But there's another issue with increasing the flange size, and that's the drum. It might not sit inside the drum well if enlarged.
    And don't forget if you redrill the flange, need to redrill the drum also.
     
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  18. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,246

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    IMO…..totally unnecessary for the example being considered. Look at how the lug stud ‘load’ is imposed on the flange.

    No way is there going to be any load imposed to move the stud outward to the perimeter. And even if there was, the mass of the flange surrounding about 90% of the stud shank is very strong.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  19. curious too know if anyone has experienced a failure on any axle flange after a redrill...........given that as stated above axle flange mass is gonna encompass most of the stud, also axles drilled for more than one pattern seem to live just fine. I also think that reduced surface distance between holes ain't that concerning given uniformity through the flange circumference, and flange thickness. Axle quality might come into play as well. Just thoughts.
     
  20. AGELE55
    Joined: Jan 4, 2018
    Posts: 398

    AGELE55
    Member

    I admire your ingenuity and machining skills. I couldn't drill a straight hole if you held a gun to my head...much less drill it in an exact location.
    I just fired up Ebay and ordered a complete set of lug gauges for any and all possibilities.
     
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  21. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 511

    55blacktie

    What about balance?
     
  22. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,246

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Reasonably assuming the new studs are all the same specs (size and weight) there is no obvious potential imbalance on any affected parts. The studs will be installed evenly spaced on a concentric circle in newly drilled holes. The old stud locations (empty holes) were the same. Any imaginable differences would so small in mass, compared to the axle and flange, and located so near center of mass, as to be negligible.

    Ray
     
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  23. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 1,002

    AngleDrive
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Florida

    Yup, me too
     
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  24. AGELE55
    Joined: Jan 4, 2018
    Posts: 398

    AGELE55
    Member

    Well, I missed your link to the re-drill tool until just now. Awesome link. Thanks!
     
  25. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,394

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    I've redrilled them for 4.75 and threaded them for 1/2 inch screw in studs.
     
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  26. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 681

    junkman8888
    Member

    When it wasn't raining today I did some checking: small pattern 8.8" axle flanges are roughly 6-1/4 inches across, big pattern 9" axle flanges are roughly 7-1/4 across. In other words there isn't enough material yo re-drill the small pattern 8.8 axles to the big bolt pattern.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
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  27. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,820

    panhead_pete
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  28. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,246

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I seriously doubt all 9” Ford axle flanges are the same diameter. What was the wheel bolt circle diameter of the 7 1/4” flanges you measured? And, be honest! :D

    Ray
     
  29. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,225

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No. There is no need. I have an 8.8 that is re-drilled from 5-lug to 4-lug, and even with two new holes right next to two old holes, it is just fine.

    These are SVT Cobra discs on a 1991 Ranger 8.8, under my '60 Falcon.
    187928812_4273237236042525_8894442329549446967_n.jpg
     
    19Eddy30 likes this.
  30. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 681

    junkman8888
    Member

    Hnstray, to answer your question, you are correct, not all 9" Ford axle flanges are the same diameter, but all those with the big bolt pattern (5 on 5) that I checked were roughly 7-1/4" across, all the 9" small-pattern axle flanges (5 on 4-1/2 ) that I checked were roughly 6-1/4" across. As with anything made by Ford, expect exceptions.
    Note: First post amended.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021

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