repacking bearings first time! help needed! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-22-2012, 10:19 PM   #15
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Name: Logan
Trailer: 1976 Scamp 13'
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Keep in mind the sign often seen in a mechanics shop:

$75 per hour shop rate
$100 if you watch
$150 if you help
$250 if you worked on it before you brought it here

I would love to have one of those signs.

Perhaps it would discourage the use of butt connectors and duct tape?
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:41 PM   #16
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If you are a trailer owner it is very good to learn how to replace a bearing in case you have no option but to do it on the road. It may be hours or days before road service or a mechanic is available. If you can repack a bearing then you can replace it. Of course you need to have the tools to do it. I sometimes do my own and sometimes have a tire shop do it if their price is reasonable.

You will have to purchase a new grease seal for each hub because when you pry the old ones out to get at the inner bearing it will bend the seal which is made out or relatively thin sheet metal with a rubber or plastic part that seals against the spindle. They come in many different sizes so you will have to find the part number which may be etched on one or just pry one out and take it to the auto parts store and they can match it. While you are at it take get at least one set of replacement bearings to have with you in case of a bearing failure. They are relatively inexpensive. I always try to keep a few extra seals and bearings that fit my trailer in my tool box. When replacing the seal just tap it in gently around the edges keeping it even as it seats. Stop it is flush with the hub.

It is very important not to get grease on the brake shoes. It will ruin them. If you get some on the inside of the metal brake drum wipe it out very thoroughly with a clean rag or paper towel. I usually use an entire roll of paper towels when packing bearings because it is a messy job.

It is very important not to get dirt, especially sand, in the bearing grease and that is very easy to do. If you drop a freshly greased bearing on the ground or is sand blows on it reclean it.

The large nut with the notches for a cotter pin is called a castle nut because it looks like a miniature castle tower. When you put the hub back on tighten this nut until it is snug THEN BACK OFF (LOOSEN IT) ONE OR TWO NOTCHES BEFORE INSERTING THE COTTER PIN. If you leave it too tight it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the bearing assembly and the bearings will soon fail.

When you are on the road and make a stop after driving always feel the trailer wheels near or on the hub to make sure they are not hot. They will be warm but should not be so hot you can't keep your hand on them. After you check it a few times you will know what is normal warmth and what is not normal. If you find one getting hot either the bearing is failing or a brake is stuck. Also if a tire is under inflated it will get warmer than normal. You generally use the brakes to get slowed down to exit the highway and the drums may be hot. That is normal. Do not stick your fingers through the air holes in the wheel and touch the drum because it may be very hot.

It is a similar topic but sometimes brake shoes wear away and need to be adjusted out so they will contact the drum when applied. Many of them have an automatic slack adjuster to adjust them but it may not be working. I will leave it to another thread about how to do that but a good time to check the brake adjustment is after you repack the bearings and replace the wheel. When the wheel is in the air you should be able to turn it freely. You adjust the brakes out until they contact the drum then back off just enough so the wheel can turn freely. That brake is then correctly adjusted. This is real common in tractor trailer trucks and that is why you see brake check areas for trucks in the mountains. Going down over one mountain applying truck brakes heavily can wear enough of the shoes off that the brakes do not work or loose part of their strength.

Cheers

Bruce
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:26 AM   #17
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find your local mechanic, explain you want to learn to do it right. pay him to teach you how . problem forever solved.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:30 PM   #18
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Thanks for much great advice, most of which I'll ignore (at my peril!). I'm a retired teacher convinced that anyone can learn, given the motivation. I wish taking the Scamp to a reliable mechanic for "teaching" were an easy option, but it isn't. So Tom, thank you for the further advice and video. Yes, the cap (with the rubber dust cap) does pry off as you anticipated. Thank you. BUT.... there is not a cotter pin and there is not what the video shows as a tang washer to be removed so that the castle nut can be turned. Instead, there is a rather insubstantial-looking "washer" that is shaped like a spider with 8 legs, in 4 sets of 2. The main part of the washer sits on top of what must be the castle nut (although the nut -- not yet fully exposed -- isn't quite as regularly "towered: as other castle nuts I've seen in videos). But the 8 legs reach down over the nut and toward the middle of the trailer. The top of this washer has a cut out that fits over the "spindle" (if I have the correct term), with one side flat to accommodate the flat side of the spindle as I described previously. There is a small piece of the washer at the flat side that disappears, and this MIGHT be something that needs to be pried out (as in the video) or it might NOT! I've never seen a washer like this before, and none of the expanded schematics of the AL-KO documentation shows such a washer (As I said, the hub/drum is a Dexter, not a AL-KO. Any more help for an eager student?
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:41 PM   #19
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More than likely, one of the tangs is bent over a flat spot on the NUT to keep it from moving. Pry it out then turn the nut. Do not use the same tang to flatten against the nut as it is week, use one of the other tangs. This is MOST important as it KEEPS your wheel on the camper. Dune wrong and the nut can come unscrewed and things go wrong in a hurry.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:46 PM   #20
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...... Any more help for an eager student?
Unfortunately, I've not seen a capture device like that, but if you unbend it carefully until you can turn the nut, you should be able to reverse the process when you button it up, or replace it.

Do you see the nut keeper on this page?
Axle Spindle Nuts, Washers & Cotter Pins at Trailer Parts Superstore
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:05 PM   #21
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Tom The "offending" piece looks very much like the two pieces in the middle of the picture for the Dexter E-Z Lube Spindle Nut Kit #K71-622-00. Scamp has just given me the Dexter website (which is helpful) but all it says re: removing the hub is that "For E-Z Lube axles produced after February 2002, a new type of retainer is used. Gently pry off retainer from the nut and set aside." So I guess I'll try to pry off gently (as Darwin suggests) and plan on buying a new set before re-installing everything. Thanks for all the help, and I'm sure glad I started looking into this now instead of when I want to head off in the Scamp!

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Old 04-23-2012, 02:20 PM   #22
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THE WICKED WITCH IS DEAD!!!! Hooray! The offending retainer/washer is off! It only took a bit of careful prying with two small screwdrivers and LOTS of caution. It appears to be quite reusable. We'll see..... Now for the next problem. Stay tuned, soap opera fans! And thanks again for all the help, advice, and humour. Richard
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #23
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I find the hardest part to be driving in the new seal. It must go in exactly straight, if it cocks sideways, don't force it!
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:42 PM   #24
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THE WICKED WITCH IS DEAD!!!! Hooray! The offending retainer/washer is off! It only took a bit of careful prying with two small screwdrivers and LOTS of caution. It appears to be quite reusable. We'll see..... Now for the next problem. Stay tuned, soap opera fans! And thanks again for all the help, advice, and humour. Richard
You are correct, the retainer/washer is reusable. They're pretty hard to mangle, sounds like you were cautious removing it and you should be OK. Keep diving in deeper, you'll do fine!

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Old 04-23-2012, 06:32 PM   #25
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Uh oh! The hardest part is still ahead?!? Yikes! But everything seems great so far, what with all the advice and my glacial pace while waiting for the next go-ahead! I haven't I'll buy some new seals tomorrow and start the reassembly. The fun part will be starting on the OTHER hub! (with some confidence?) Richard
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:40 PM   #26
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Uh oh! The hardest part is still ahead?!?............ Richard

It ain't rocket surgery, but I've proven repeatedly that there is always a complicating factor.
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