How to Install Cotter Pins

Written by james clark
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A cottar pin is a split wire fastener used to connect two pieces of metal. The metal parts are joined with one end containing a hole for the cottar pin. The pin is inserted though the hole to fasten the parts together. Cotter pins are commonly found on the end of an axle for a walk-behind lawnmower. The wheels slip over the axles, which have drilled holes in the ends for cottar pins to hold the wheels in place.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Needle-nose pliers

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  1. 1

    Connect the parts to be secured by a cottar pin. For example, a wheel slips onto the end of an axle, leaving the cottar pin hole exposed at the end of the axle.

  2. 2

    Insert the two tines of the cottar pin through the hole until the eye of the cottar pin is flush against the hole.

  3. 3

    Pry apart the two tines at the end of the cottar pin using the needle-nose pliers. Bend each tine upward so that the pin cannot pull out on its own.

  4. 4

    Make sure the cottar pin is not obstructing the movement of the two parts.

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