When you service trailer bearings regularly, you can avoid a breakdown on the road. Go ahead, remove the bearings and wash all the old grease out at least every year. But of course, do so more often if your trailer is towed. After removing the grease, meticulously check the bearings and replace any with burred or chipped components. You need not have special tools to replace or service trailer bearings. Here’s a step by step of what you should do:
1. Jack one side of the trailer up, making sure the tire is no longer on the ground.
2. Insert a chisel point behind the ridge on the dust cap, and then tap using a hammer so the cap is loosened. Afterwards, rotate the wheel and insert the chisel in different places to make sure the cap releases evenly.
3. Straighten the ends of the cotter pin and take it out.
4. With a pair of arc joint pliers, loosen and take out the bearing nut. You must then remove the outer bearing and pull the wheel off the spindle.
5. Put the wheel on the ground with the exterior part of the wheel up. Insert a hardwood dowel through the hub and put it against the inside of the bearing. Use a hammer to tap to remove the bearing and seal. You may need to raise the wheel off the ground a little bit to get clearance for the bearing to fall out.
6. Then, wipe off the old grease from inside the hub. You must do so because the older grease might not be compatible with the new grease.
7. Check the wheel bearings after you get rid of the grease using a suitable solvent, like diesel fuel or degreaser solution. Rid yourself of any noisy bearing, considering excess noise is brought about by wear and pitting. Get new bearings in replacement of bad ones.
8. Pack every bearing using high quality wheel bearing grease. You can do so by hand or with the use of a bearing packer.
9. Put a large glob of grease inside the hub, and then insert the inner wheel bearing and seal. A seal driver could come in handy.
10. Slide the hub/wheel assembly on to the axle stub. You should place tape over the axle threads to prevent incurring damage to the new seal. Install the outer bearing, thrust washer (if any) and axle nut.
11. Slowly spin the wheel and tighten the axle nut to the point of feeling resistance to turning freely. Then, loosen the nut and re-tighten so no play is felt in the bearing anymore. Replace the cotter pin with a new one then you must bend the ends over. Lastly, replace the dust cap.
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