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Old 08-31-2010, 09:49 AM   #1
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Name: Wilder
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Scamp bearing maintenance

Hi, question here from a newbie to bearing work. I took the hub off our 1993 13' Scamp to replace the bearings and brakes. The new brake assembly I purchased from Scamp looks simple enough to swap out. But I have a question on the bearings. I removed the inner and outer bearings and the seal. I did not remove the races for fear of damaging something or not having the proper tool to replace, even though I have new races. I did try to knock one out, but even with a good blow it didn't budge, so I stopped. They look fine, so I'm thinking I'll just install the new bearings and seal. My question is do I just repack the bearings and install them? What fills the drum between the two bearings? Mine was pretty empty, with some grease around the sides of the cylinder. Should the whole space between the inner and outer bearings be packed with grease? or should it be empty?

Thanks! Going Scamping in the Sierras this long weekend and need to get this back together by Friday
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:38 AM   #2
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First of all, do not fill the "open" space with grease as that will make the bearing run too hot. As far as the bearings, you really need to work the grease into the new bearing with your fingers ( unless you have a grease packing machine). I apply the grease to the inside of the bearing and continually work it in until it squeezes out of the top and the sides with no voids. Then grease the outside and the inside of the bearing with a 1/4 inch or so thickness. Also generously grease the hub and the axle where the bearing will be seated. When you tighten the axle nut, tighten it fairly tight which seats the bearings on the axle, then back the nut off 1/4 to 1/2 turn so the wheels spins easily ( grease will cause it feel stiff) and there's no looseness or wobble. Reinsert a NEW cotter key and your good to go! Good luck, Ron

Note- the race should be ok unless it appears damaged!
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:41 AM   #3
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Perfect, thank you!
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:53 PM   #4
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If the bearings were worn enought to replace, so is the race. The bearings wear with the race, if there is a groove or scar in the race, it needs to be replaced as that is the surface that the new bearings will ride.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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My wife and I bought this trailer a year ago, and have no idea how old the bearings are. I've been checking hub temperatures, and they don't run hot. But since I'm replacing the brake assembly and don't know the history of the bearings, I just decided to replace them. They do indeed look fine, except for the old dirty grease all over them. No grooves or scars evident in the races.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:43 PM   #6
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If the bearings were not running hot they are fine.
To stay fine they need to be repacked and properly adjusted.
I would suggest that you put them back together and then have them professionally repacked and adjusted.
Properly serviced wheel bearings are the most dependable and maintenance free part of you trailer.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:53 PM   #7
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I personally see no reason to have someone else grease a set of wheel bearings. It's not exactly Rocket Science as they say!

Here's a couple of links if you have any questions.

http://www.sailingtexas.com/Movies/T...rbearings.html
http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Pr...wheel-bearings
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:04 PM   #8
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cool, thanks for the links. i'm usually for doing these types of things myself. i have a bearing grease pack tool, nothing fancy and i know it can be done by hand.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:06 PM   #9
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so this is odd - my hub didn't have an inner bearing seal, only one on the outside. I looked at the Dexter manual, and didn't see an inner seal in their sketch either. but it looks like there's room for an inner seal - i only have two new ones, so will have to reuse an old one, but shouldn't there be an inner seal? it looks like i'll get grease all over the brakes if there's no seal....?
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:09 PM   #10
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also, the Dexter manual says to install the seal with PERMATEX sealant. I guess I should go to the local auto part store and get some, eh....?
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:59 AM   #11
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doh! never mind, I called Dexter and cleared things up. Of course the one seal goes on the inside behind the inner bearing to keep the grease out of the brakes. No seal on the outside. I'll pick up some Permatex tonight and hopefully get this thing all buttoned up tonight! Thanks for the help....
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSchleder View Post
I personally see no reason to have someone else grease a set of wheel bearings. It's not exactly Rocket Science as they say!

Here's a couple of links if you have any questions.

How to repack trailer wheel bearings
Repacking Trailer Wheel Bearings | The Family Handyman
It was never my intention to infer that bearing servicing was above anyone's intelligence level. I apologize if anyone felt that way.
There are many things we can do, and screw up, on our trailers that will not cost us a lot of money, just a little labor to do it over again.
When one doesn't know where a seal goes does not mean he's stupid. It means he has no knowledge of the subject of wheel bearings.
Improperly serviced bearings can cost hundreds of dollars. Adjust them to tight and they will build up heat and burn the grease and cost you fuel. To loose and they will wobble and damage the bearings and you have chunks of steel in your grease. In both instances your chance of ruining the spindle and needing a new axle is very great.
If you do a survey of our members you will probably find that when a bearing goes out it's in the middle of the night and a hundred miles from anywhere. Never near home!
Unless you have Good Sam other specific RV road side service plan you are going to be out a good deal of money.
Probably the worst thing is the wife and kids are going to be upset by a ruined trip.
Wheel bearings will go for years when properly serviced and are the most maintenance free item on our trailers.
Why do it yourself when you have no experience and take a chance of costing yourself hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars and a ruined trip.
I have refurbished 5 or 6 Scamps, 2 Bolers, 3 Trillium 4500 and 1 13' U-haul in the last 5 years. I can do almost everything there is to do on a travel trailer.
I am leaving on a 3500 mile trip next week and my 16' Scamp has an appointment at a local shop to have the bearings repacked tomorrow.
Why save $40.00 and possibly cost yourself a thousand?

John
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:41 PM   #13
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Thanks, John. I've been working on cars and motorcycles for a long time. I have actually done the bearings in many old VW's over the years, but the Scamp is a little different, so I came here for the answers and now I have them. To answer your question of why do it yourself, my answer is to LEARN. That's how I learn, by doing. I enjoy tearing things apart and reading the manuals, torquing screws correctly, making adjustments, etc. I race motorcycles on the track and do most all my moto work myself, so I feel if I'm willing to trust my own bike to stay together in a fast turn at 100+ mph with knee on the ground, I should be able to trust my bearing work on the little Scamp that's putting along at 65mph on the freeway Although I agree, I certainly don't want or plan to have a bearing fail!

I understand some people have certain things they just like to have done by the pro's (for you it's bearings, for me it's the valves on my bikes).
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Perry J View Post
Why save $40.00 and possibly cost yourself a thousand?
Hi John,

It was nice of you to come back and explain. While I didn't think your post intimated that anyone was stupid, it did make it sound (to me) like you were saying that Wilder should - without question - put the bearings back together and go to a shop, and not try to repack them at home. And I don't completely agree with that. For some people, maybe. But others are able to figure it out, and, indeed, might like to (as Wilder did, in the end, by calling Dexter).

I can think of a few reasons why someone would work on their own bearings:

1) They have the time and enjoy it, perhaps getting a feeling of satisfaction at knowing things are done and done right (to their own eyeballs).

2) They would like to save some money (not a good reason if you are incapable, but a nice little savings if you are capable). If, for example, someone owned an egg, a boat trailer, a utility trailer, etc., it could be a tidy savings in time and money to do it at home.

3) Like me, they live far, far from a shop, and so taking the trailer(s) in is not a quick little trip.

4) They have had a bad experience with a bungling shop (not all shops are like this of course, but too many are, unfortunately).

5) They want to be self-sufficient and know what to do if there IS a problem way out in the middle of no-where. Even a perfect shop could make a mistake, or a bearing could fail from some kind of flaw or fluke. If a person has already had them apart and re-packed them, it's much easier to make a repair enroute (I have done this) than it would be if they had no idea how or had not done it before.

So, when I read your post I'll have to admit that I thought "Huh, Wilder seems to be familiar with tools and shop work, and would like to re-pack the bearings; so while taking it to a shop is certainly an option, I don't see why he/she should be "told" to put it all back together and go to a shop to do it properly."

Again, thanks for coming back to expand upon what you were thinking. And to Wilder: Good on you for persevering and getting it all squared away. I tucked away that seal information for future reference

Raya
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