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Thread: Trailer bearings

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    Trailer bearings

    I was wondering what the general concensus is on how often trailer wheel bearings need to be repacked. My rig has two seasons of use under it's belt. Probably somewhere roughly in the neighborhood of 3500 miles total on the rig so far. None of it has been in what can be considered hot climates. Does anyone know what is considered good practice for the 2008 Bighorn? With previous trailers I was fairly maticulous with doing it but I had been told that maybe I was doing it more than it really needed.

    Thanks,
    Pete
    Pete and Sharon
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    2008 Ford F250 Crew Cab Diesel

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    Re: Trailer bearings

    6000-10000 miles depending on how well they are packed. You can grease them at a mid interval by spinning the tire as well. It is important to watch for grease to come out the front bearing while you slowly spin the wheel when adding grease. Some folks just grease them while the weight is on them and push the grease through the back seal into the drum area. Some seals aren't driven in correctly which can be another problem. Be sure to use a name brand double lip seal when you are hand packing or replacing the originals.

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    Re: Trailer bearings

    Pete, I believe that the manual says 12 months or 12,000 miles, which ever comes first. Even though you have only 3,500 miles on it, after two years I think it would be a good time to repack. The benefit of this is that you will have the opportunity to get some new seals, fresh grease and inspect your brakes.
    Just my thoughts.

    Peace
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    Re: Trailer bearings

    I have to agree with Dave, nice time to check things out.

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    Re: Trailer bearings

    We take our BC to a tire dealer every spring before the season starts and have the bearings packed. It's also when I have the tires rotated and balanced. This year I am going one step further by taking it to a truck tire dealership who does axle alignment just to make sure the axles are ok.
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    Re: Trailer bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by cookie View Post
    Pete, I believe that the manual says 12 months or 12,000 miles, which ever comes first. Even though you have only 3,500 miles on it, after two years I think it would be a good time to repack. The benefit of this is that you will have the opportunity to get some new seals, fresh grease and inspect your brakes.
    Just my thoughts.

    Peace
    Dave
    PETE;
    Dave has it exactly right, and I know thats what he does and I do the same thing. If I can remember I'll

    post the # of an SKF seal I found that is real good and reasonable. It will work on 6K and 7K axles. JON
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    Re: Trailer bearings

    I had brake issues on my way south last November. When I removed the hub on the problem wheel I noticed the face of the brake drum was covered with grease. the hub was empty of grease and the outside bearing was barely covered with grease. Someone had greased the axles with a grease gun and all the grease had gone through the seals and dripped on the magnets and the magnets dirtied the drums. I was lucky that the lining never got greased up and I caught it in time. All 4 wheels were the same, and one seal had slipped out.

    No one will touch my axles, been doing it for the last 18 years and never lost any brakes or bearings.

    The proper way to grease these axles is to make sure the seals are good and both bearings are well pack, and I usually fill the void between the bearings.

    When greasing with the Greasegun you need to rotate the wheels so as to pump the grease with the inside bearing and pass the grease on to the outside bearing. The outside bearing is the one that is most important because its the smallest.
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    Re: Trailer bearings

    I recently had my bearings done with 6K miles on the rig.....The bearings were good, but the brakes needed work, so I was glad we had it done before our trip north through Oregon.
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    Re: Trailer bearings

    Thanks all. Sounds like it would be a good idea to at least geive them a good inspection.
    Pete and Sharon
    Buttons (Lhasa Poo)
    2008 Bighorn 3055
    2008 Ford F250 Crew Cab Diesel

  10. Print this Post   #10
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    Re: Trailer bearings

    I agree with most of what has been stated about this matter.

    There are a few issues that I have found with greasing the axle bearings. The inner seals do a good job most of the time but they have leaked on my trailers causing grease to get on the drums. I don't trust the easy-lube system at all. The idea is good but the inner seal must be tight for it to work or the seal will allow grease to go into the drum instead of lubricating the bearings. It wouldn't be as serious an issue if the trailer didn't have brakes as found on smaller utility and boat trailers. Also, filling the void between the bearings with excessive grease may cause some of the grease to escape through the inner seal and onto the drum from centrifugal force.

    Although there may be plenty of grease within the axle after a year or two, it may be contaminated with dust and other abrasive particals that will accelerate the wear on the bearings. I think the axles should be disassembled, inspected and repacked each year or two (if very low mileage) to assure safe operation of the trailer. The seals should be changed every time the bearings are repacked and earlier if leakage is detected. Double lipped seals are better than single.

    Along with the bearings is a thorough inspection of the braking system at the same intervals. The linings wear, the mechanism gets rusty and out of adjustment, the drums get dirty inside and the brake wires may be worn through the insulation and ready to cause a short.
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