Trailer Bearings Maintenance Techniques: How to Maintain Your Trailer Bearings

Keith Klein

Trailer Bearings Maintenance Techniques

Welcome to Tech tips! I'm Len Groom. Today, we'll discuss: Trailer bearings maintenance techniques: how to maintain your trailer bearings.

How many times have you seen somebody on the side of the road because they didn't maintain their trailer bearings well? We went out and we talked to some industry experts on what they do to maintain trailer bearings.

Let's take a look at the foundation of your vacation rides on your bearings. Spend a little time, check your bearings, pack your bearings, otherwise you're going to end up with problems like this gentleman did. His bearing seized up, he ended up wrecking the spindle, so he had to buy a new axle.

They can cost anywhere from five hundred to two thousand dollars. So, spend a little time to check your bearings before you head up.

I'm going to show you how to do that. We already have the wheel off. Next thing we're going to do is we're going to pull the dust cap off, which we have a special tool for - looks something like this, but you can also use a hammer and a screwdriver just to pop the cap off.

So we'll pop that off and then we got a cotter key, which you're going to remove - that is, bend your tabs and just pull that out. You're going to have to save that because you're going to reuse that.

You take your nut off; best thing for this is just a channel locks - they worked the best. Put that on a clean rag. Next thing you're going to do is want to pull the hub out a little bit. You're going to catch the bearing and there's usually a washer here. Let's go like that - pull your outer bearing and your washer out and keep that as clean as.

You can probably reuse that if it's in good shape yet. You're going to pull your hub all the way off and your inner bearing and seal should stay in your hub.

Now that we got the hub removed you notice that the seal is wet so that means you're losing grease. So what we're going to do is we're going to pop that seal out and we're going to replace it. You can also use a screwdriver for this so you just pop that out then you pop your inner bearing and we'll clean those, make sure those are good before we put everything back together.

Now that we got the trailer bearings out here, I'm going to show you how to clean them. What we got here is just a rag, I'm going to wipe the big grease chunks off here, just kind of wipe them down here. A little bit some of that stuff off and then just kind of look them over seem like there's a lot of wear or they roll rough. That means they're probably short. These ones here don't look too bad.

Now, what I'm going to do here is... you can use like brake cleaner to clean them up real good. Get all the old grease off. I'm going to get them cleaned up. We'll see what we got all right. And now that we got everything cleaned I'm going to show you how to pack the bearings.

Now what I got here is a special tool. You can get this at any hardware store - any automotive store. They're pretty cheap. I'll show you how to do it both ways with the tool and by hand.

Well, first thing you do here is you unscrew - that set your bearing down on there and screw the top back on and try to get her pretty centered there, and just tighten that down. We're going to grab the grease gun and we're just going to start pumping grease in there.

I recommend using water resistant grease - seems to work the best and we'll just bump in there until the bearing is full. Grease as you can see there, it's starting to come out. We'll give her a little more here and I think that's pretty good.

I can just unscrew it and I did the inner bearing here so we got that grease – it’s all the way through, she's nice and nice and greased up so we're going to drop that back in the hub and I already got a new seal here because the old seal was short we'll drop that inner bearing in we'll get the seal.

What I do here is I just grab a little hammer and just tap the seal in all the way around like so until she's flush, should look something like that.

A cartridge of AMSOIL Synthetic Water-Resistant Grease, formulated to provide exceptional film strength, shear resistance, adhesion properties and mechanical stability.Changing grease is one of the trailer bearings maintenance techniques.

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Now I'm going to show you how to pack another bearing by hand. What I do is I fill my palm up with grease and what you're going to want to do is try to get grease and make a little crack here on both sides.

So what you're going to want to do is go like this with your palm just kind of rubber in there. Do that all the way around and once you think you got that pretty good, do the same on the front side, just fill it up so something like that.

Now that we've got everything greased - new sealing, what we're going to do is we're going to put the hub back on the axle so you just slide her on and you grab your outer bearing here. You put that in there, your spindle push her in there you're going to grab your washer and your nut like so the biggest thing is you don't want to over tighten these because you're going to smoke your trailer bearings again.

So what you're going to do is tighten them and bring them back quarter turn. Of course, she spins nice, and don't forget to put your cotter key back in there, otherwise you lose your nut in there. Bend your carter key over and put your cap back on. I'm going to use that little fancy tool we got here, pack your trailer bearings.

Now they do have another system that's called the easy lube, I'll show you that now here we got the easy lube Well, this is the way to go if you can. What happens here is the spindle is drilled out and there’re two holes back here. This would be a greaser.

You put your grease gun on here and what happens is it goes through your spindle, comes out of these two holes - sort of pack your back bearing, and as soon as that's packed - got enough grease, moves forward. It'll fill up the cavity in the hub, comes up to your front bearing and once that's full, it'll come out and you'll see the grease which you know the cavity both trailer bearings are greased now.

This is the way to go it's easy you don't have to tear the hub down, you don't have to do nothing - put your grease gun on there, pump until the grease comes off the front of your hub, put the cap back on - you're good to go!

I showed you manually how to pack your trailer bearings. Now if you're lucky enough to have the easy lube, that's the way to go guys. Pack your trailer bearings once a year and you're good for the season. Some really good information on trailer bearings maintenance techniques.

Speaking of grease, don't forget about AMSOIL water resistant grease, designed to maintain and extend the life of those trailer bearings as well as dealing with water.

 Thanks for watching we'll see you next time.

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