Page last updated July 17, 2008



All About Trailers

Have a trailer in need of maintenance? Look no further; From wheel bearings to couplers, all is easy to fix or maintain. All you need is a little time and some elbow grease.

First order of business.....bearings. These things should be looked at periodically. You should purchase a can of marine grease for bearings. Academy has the product as all other reputable marine oriented stores. If you just bought a used trailer, you really should re-pack the grease.

It is not a terribly difficult task, just position the trailer under some shade and get to work. Worst case scenario...the wheel will fall off due to lack of grease. Yes, very dangerous.

Tools needed:

Position the trailer on flat stable surface. make sure the trailer is positioned so that no movement will occur. Jack stands should be used. When trailer is up, you don't want it to collapse and injure you or someone else.

Loosen wheel lugs.

Raise trailer and secure trailer with jack stands.

Remove wheel lugs and wheel.

Remove bearing covers with screwdriver or cap puller.

Remove grease and then cotter pin.

Remove nut holding wheel bearings. You can use wrench or socket. HINT....mark nut according to where it is currently seated before you loosen (you can use a steel punch, file, marker, anything that will make a mark on the nut and axle.. Break the nut loose and loosen a few turns, enough for you to hand loosen the drum and that it has some play; then push drum back onto axle, hand tighten and then tighten with wrench until drum barely turns (the tightness removes grease from the bearings and prevents any play as a result). Now, Loosen the nut until you are back at the original mark you have etched (should be around 1/4 turn counter clockwise); check drum to make sure it still turns as it did before you loosened nut.. This process is in case you do not know the correct torque specs for the drum....or stick to what I describe below. Now when you re-assemble, you have the exact location to aim for. process will be the same (tighten, turn drum, loosen until you are back on the marked spot)

Remove any washers.

Remove wheel hub while holding the front with rag so that bearings do not fall on ground. Remove bearings and place in plastic container. Use shop rags and carburetor cleaner to remove old grease and all foreign objects.

Remove inner rubber bearing seal with seal puller or....using a piece of 2 X 2, hammer the seal out by placing the wood inside the hub. When wood is making solid contact with bearing, hit the wood and it will make contact with the bearing, hit lightly and alternate at opposite ends of bearing (don't hit the same spot, rotate), hit very lightly at various locations with rubber mallet to loosen seal and then turn over and remove inner seal with screw driver (it should be pushed out slightly, if not turn over back over and hit slightly harder, but still lightly). By hitting bearing, it will push the seal out allowing you get under it to pull it completely out.

Inspect bearing for any abnormalities. Inspect axle for any scarring. If you notice anything, replace parts with recommended equipment.

Replace rubber seals or clean old ones with solvent (not carburetor cleaner)

Repack bearing, applying generous coat on bearing and working grease into all grooves. Coat generously inside wheel hub where bearing makes contact with hub.

Replace inner bearing and then place seal back on hitting lightly with with rubber mallet.

Place wheel hub back on and then replace outer bearing.

Replace washers and screw nut back on.

Torque according to manufactures recommendations or ....while turning hub and using torque wrench, tighten nut to 30 ft lbs. It may be hard to turn....then loosen 1/4 turn. This tightening removes grease from bearings and prevents play when you are under way.

Replace cotter pin with NEW one, use stainless are exposing it to water.

Done, go to next one.


Trailer Lighting

If you are having trouble with your lighting, maybe its time to replace or re-wire it.



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