Question about wheel bearing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-05-2014, 01:56 PM   #1
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Scamp 19
Georgia
Posts: 58
Question about wheel bearing

While getting the Scamp 19 ready for our maiden trip I took the tires and had them balanced, the PO did not have this done. When I put them back on and wiggled the tire I noticed a bit of movement and a definite noise as it moved. (sorry I am not good a describing the sound). I have decided to pull one hub and have a look see at what is going on with the bearings. My question is when replacing the wheel and hub, should there be ANY movement in the vertical (12-6 o'clock) or horizontal (9-6 o'clock)? To my thinking there should not be any movement, but I am not certain and want more knowledgeable guidance from the collective experience found here.

TIA for all answers and advise.

Michael
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:49 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1994 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel / 2001 4wd 6cyl Silverado
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Take cotter pin, nut and washer off, take of wheel, and hub, set hub on drum side, knock out bearing with a piece of wood, that will fit easily thru hole, the grease seal will come out along with inside bearing,clean remaining sides, and check for scoring,if scored purchase new bearings,races and seals,( Timken USA),repack with marine type red grease,, Good luck PAUL
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:21 PM   #3
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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The movement you have described should not be there. Your bearings were set too loose. They may be OK or replacement may be required. They do need to be checked. Noise may indicate bad bearings or it could be a normal noise from brake shoes touching the drum. It's good that you checked this and discovered the looseness. You were paying attention !
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:30 PM   #4
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Name: Ron
Trailer: Trillium 13 ft (green grape)
Ontario
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When replacing the bearing the rule of thumb is
Turn the nut till SNUG ONLY then back off 1/4 of a turn. Then replace the cotter pin.

Ron
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:13 PM   #5
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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How tight is "snug", is there a torque spec for it? Actually I used that term in a description here about adjusting wheel bearings and got scolded for it. I've learned to not give technical advice anymore. So I know what you guys mean when you say snug, you don't have to explain it to me. Working on big trucks we were supposed to adjust the bearings using a dial indicator to measure the play, of course nobody did. On most camper trailer axles using a castellated nut you can't fine tune them that close.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:56 PM   #6
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Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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Torque wrenches - Just how many camper owners have one. "Snug" is enough said because it ain't rocket science.

I recommend that the people purchase a manual like Chilten's and follow the directions on bearings. Go to a place like Pep Boys and U should find a wide selection of these manuals.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:12 PM   #7
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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According to previous discussions it is absolutely necessary to have a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts properly, so every camper should own one. One of my torque wrenches is marked "Bower" (the bearing company) and has specs and instructions for roller bearings and ball bearings.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:24 PM   #8
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
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My trailer Life RV Manual states 12 foot pounds and the Dexter manual for my 3500# axle states 50 foot pounds. Both state torque while turning the wheel and after torqueing loosen the nut then hand tighten the nut.

Another way is to use a 12" adjustable wrench and hand tighten to snug then loosen and hand tighten.

I use the Dexter spec with a torque wrench and socket.

The Trailer life manual also recommends bearing service every 25,000 to 30,000 miles.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:44 PM   #9
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Name: Chuck
Trailer: tp
Washington
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Wheel Bearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Torque wrenches - Just how many camper owners have one. "Snug" is enough said because it ain't rocket science.

I recommend that the people purchase a manual like Chilten's and follow the directions on bearings. Go to a place like Pep Boys and U should find a wide selection of these manuals.
Snug with a torque wrench is 30-40 ft pounds.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:43 AM   #10
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Name: bob
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My Bower Bearing torque wrench says tighten to 50 ft. lbs. then back off 1/4 turn then to nearest cotter pin hole. So "snug" must be somewhere between 12 and 50 ft lbs LOL. The whole point is to be sure the bearings are properly seated on the axle and in the hub. Another example of different specs from different sources, pick the ones you like best.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:43 AM   #11
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Name: john
Trailer: Compact Junior
Michigan
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I found this explanation helpful......

This if from the Champion Trailer company's website:

Pre Loading Bearings:


  • Whenever you install new hubs or new bearings and races into an old hub, you should pre-load the bearings. Pre-loading the bearings assures that the races in the hubs are 100% in place against their machined stop points and keeps the hub from wobbling after a few miles.
  • To pre-load the bearings, install the spindle washer and spindle nut onto the spindle with the hub and bearings in place.
  • Tighten the spindle nut finger tight (until snug) and then with channel-lock pliers or a crescent wrench, tighten the spindle nut another 1/4 turn or about 15 to 20 ft pounds of torque.
  • Now turn the hub ten revolutions. This will fully seat the races.
  • Now loosen the spindle nut very loose, then re-snug to finger tight, and engage the nut retaining device (some reverse lubricating spindles use a tab washer for the retaining device).
I looked at a lot of websites and youtube videos. Many just said "finger tight".

But that may not put everything in the correct alignment or put the seal up tight against the axle fitting.

This ends up at "finger tight" but the extra tightening then loosening seems like a sound idea.

The above quote mentions to do this when installing new races and bearings but seems helpful too even you are just repacking your bearings.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:47 PM   #12
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I think you can find different advice on tightening bearings depending on whether it was written for (now pretty much obsolete) ball bearings or the (now standard) taper roller bearings. I think a lot of the people got taught in the ball bearing era when they had to be set much tighter.

My experience is that a little play in taper roller bearings causes no problem, while applying too much preload can cause problems like overheating bearings. My personal test is that if I can feel or hear a little play but not see any, that's fine - but when I can see movement, that's too loose. As said above, overtightening and manual rotation is a good way to check everything is seated properly before deciding on the final tightness.

But I do think that many old trailers run around just fine with movement detectable. But when it goes beyond 'movement' and becomes 'waggle' (sorry for using these advanced technical terms...), the bearings need attention.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:32 PM   #13
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Andrew, I guess you and I are from the old school. I've been doing it that way for over 50 years. The old motors manual told it that way back in the 50s.
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:57 PM   #14
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Scamp 19
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Thanks to all

For sake of brevity, if I spoke to each of you separately this message would go on for hours , I want to thank everyone that has replied. I have gotten a wealth of information that I need to digest. It has been said that each answer is correct in its own way, I just need to proceed with caution since this is a crucial task. I do not want to endanger us but more so is to not endanger my fellow motorist.

I will post back with the results when I do a clean, inspect, and repack on the bearing. At least I hope that is all I need to do along with setting the correct tightness.
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