Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wheel bearing replacement is pretty damn easy

Wheel bearing replacement and re-pack  -----  done and done.

This is a pretty straight forward job. Take the wheel off, tap out the outer bearing, tap out the inner bearing, inspect for any pitting or damage, grease up the bearings, tap them back in, put the wheel back on.

I'm going to put up a bunch of pics here to show the process:

Jack up the trailer and take off the wheel. (It's a good idea to wear latex gloves when you do this job because it's greasy and nasty.)

Take out the cotter pin. Throw it away. Don't re-use it; buy a new one.

Unscrew the nut and take the wheel off.

Inspect the axle for any damage.

Time to pop out the outside bearing! There's a grease seal that holds the bearing in. Flip the hub over and tap the lip of the seal. A large socket works great for this, or a metal punch. Be gentle, yet forceful. Tap all the way around the seal until it pops out.

You can re-use the seal if you don't damage it.

Viola! Here's the outer bearing and eeeek! Look at that bulge on the left upper top!  I must say, I LOVE finding and fixing a problem. 

I guess I'm not re-packing, I'm replacing.

Fortunately, there's a NAPA within walking distance.  I bought the set, which is two bearings and two grease seals. 

I used a wooden block to pop out the grease seal. I'm tapping out the inside grease seal in this pic.

Clean out all the old grease with a rag. Inspect the inspect the inside for any damage.

Reverse the steps to re-assemble. Install the inner bearing first.

Liberally grease up the bearing, making sure grease is pushed through the bearings. Set it in the hub and place the grease seal on top and tap it in. Make sure you grease up the inside of the hub.

Be careful here; if you have a socket or a piece of wood use that to tap it in. You don't want to damage the grease bearing.

It's really hard to get the inner bearing set if you don't have something roughly the same diameter (slightly smaller) than the grease bearing.

Fortunately, I have a lot of woodworking tools and I had something...

This is a tenon cutting bit I have that fit perfectly in the hub.

A few taps and it was set in.

Slip the wheel on the axle, tighten the nut finger tight only! Put the new cotter pin end and bend the ends around the axle.

Bam! Done. And it didn't fall off when we went to Cranberry Lake, so I guess I did it right. 

Isn't that what most of us think when we undertake something we haven't done before? The "I must have screwed this up somehow yadda yadda yadda."

Well, people, I'm here to tell you that little insecure inner voice can suck it!  (I actually just sang that line, so I encourage you all sing it out as well). 

You can do anything.


1 comment:

  1. Hey,
    Thanks for showing this. I will need to do mine soon. Thankfully I had it done before the first road trip this year so I have a little while.