Repack Trailer Bearings
Proper trailer maintenance includes repacking bearings to ensure max life from the hubs and other compnents.
*Trailer owners who do their own routine maintenance know that bearing service can be done in less time than it takes to make an appointment, drive to an RV shop and either wait for the trailer or make a return trip. (Read more at trailerlife.com, Bearing Down: Repacking Wheel Bearings)
Northshore Trailer and equipment stocks all standard bearings, races, and seals for most axles up to 12K.
Here are the main tips if you didn't head over and read the article:
- Never reuse cotter pins. One of the least-expensive parts of the system is probably the most important.
- Any high-temperature wheel bearing grease will work.
- All grease isn’t always compatible among brands. Thoroughly clean all old grease from bearings, races and hub cavities using a solvent such as brake cleaner.
- In general, trailer wheel bearings should be serviced annually or every 10,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Grease also breaks down on stored trailers, allowing corrosion to form.
- Visually inspect the bearing and race surfaces. If nicks or discolorations are visible, replace all inner and outer bearings and races on both sides of the axle.
- Spindle nut torquing: Once the hub, bearings and thrust washer are in place, snug up the castellated spindle nut while spinning the drum. This seats the bearing. Then back off the nut a turn, retighten it (to about 50 ft-lb if you have a torque wrench) while spinning the drum, then back the nut off 1/4 turn. Fine-tune the nut if necessary to align its closest recesses with the cotter pin hole, or lock the nut in position with the existing tanged washer or cage-style retainer.
- Some shops squirt grease into the dust cap prior to reinstallation. Niedrich used to do this until he noticed that the grease remained in the cap until the next bearing service.