repacking bearings first time! help needed! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
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Trailer: 2009 Scamp 13'
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repacking bearings first time! help needed!

Help! I'm sure I'll need it! I have a 2009 13 ft Scamp with hubs that allow me to give the wheel bearings a shot or two of grease every 5000 miles or so without removing the wheels (which one needs to do for a major repacking of the bearings). However, Scamp recommends a full repacking of the bearings every 10,000 miles, and I'm due for it. Last spring, I had the repack done at an RV repair centre (costly and time-consuming, but done correctly anyway). This year, since I've taken one wheel off (for an unrelated reason), I thought I should figure out how to repack the bearings myself. Back in the 1970s, I repacked wheel bearings on my old VW, so figured I could handle doing the Scamp. But I'm no mechanic and I don't want to make a mess of anything. So I've come begging for guidance!
The trailer is equipped with electric brakes. The hub/drum is identified as a "Dexter" "8-27" and "WF2 SE 14". Those numbers mean nothing to me, but they might be meaningful to someone who knows his or her way around a hub. On the reverse (inner side) of the hub/drum, there are 4 nuts spaced around the hub/drum and a place where two electrical wires go inside the hub/drum. I'm assuming I need to remove those 4 nuts to get to the bearings. But I'm a cautious man, and I thought I'd better ask for advice before I take that next step. Does anyone know whether I'm quickly getting in over my head, given technological changes in bearings since the 1970s and the fact that I have electric brakes? If I go ahead, is anyone willing to guide me through the next steps? I'd sure appreciate it. I always think it is useful to know some basics about whatever equipment I own, but I don't want to end up with a big mess on my hands AND camping season just beginning! Thanks in advance for any guidance. Richard
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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You don't need to remove the brake backing plate to service the bearings. Remove the big nut in the center of the hub (under a cap). The whole drum will pull off. The outer bearing is free, the inner bearing is captured by the grease seal. Pry the grease seal out with a big screwdriver, then clean and repack the bearings. Replace the grease seal.

One of many on YouTube:

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Old 04-21-2012, 06:26 PM   #3
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Hello Richard. While it's not rocket science it needs to be done right. My suggestion is to take your trailer to a local shop where the mechanic will let you watch and ask questions. . Before you go, read the Dexter manual and any other instructions you can find so you know what is going on. Take notes. What grease did he use? What seal did he use? Ect. Next time you will do it yourself. Raz
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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My advice is 4 U to do what P. Raz suggested above then:

B 4 you do anything, make sure you have a Jack Stand that will hold the camper up.
Jack the camper up, place the Jack Stand under the camper and then slowly let the jack down until the frame of the camper is resting on the jack stand, then slowly jack the jack back up until it slightly contacts the frame.

This is a SAFETY MUST to insure the camper does not fall and hurt you.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:07 PM   #5
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Repacking the bearings. Jack up trailer one side at a time put a jack stand under the frame. Remove the dust cap. Remove the cotter pin and nut. The drum pulls off the axle the outer bearing cone comes out. Use a big screwdriver to remove the seal then you can get the bigger inner bearing come out. Clean the bearings with paint thinner or BrakeKleen. Inspect the rollers to make sure they don't have any scratches. If ok after washed repacing time will start. I wear rubber gloves the medical type. I also use red grease extreme pressure. Place some grease in the palm of your hand. Drag the bearing in your palm putting pressure on keep adding grease until the grease comes out the other side of the bearing. When packed put the big one in the drum first grease the race which is in the drum relace the seal. Then side the drum on the axle and install the outer bearing, nut, cotter pin then install the grease cap. You may need to readjust the brakes. remove the rubber plug a the bottom of the backing plate. Use a brake spoon or a screwdriver. With the screwdriver tighten the adjuster until you can't turn the drum then back of 2 times until it turns freely.
Chuck
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:57 PM   #6
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Richard,,,read the similar threads at the bottom of this thread. as Chuck suggests, tighten the nut to where it is tight and the cotter pin will go into the hole, back off the nut one notch and put the cotter pin in place. Bend the pin up and not to the side, it is easier to hold the head of the pin in place and bend one leg of the pin up at a time,you can tap the bottom of the bend with a small hammer, holding the head in place.

Later Kenny
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for all these great responses! As Arnie says, "I'll be back" after I've had a chance to look carefully at my hub in relation to these various instructions. The YouTube video is great too, although since I have the grease nipple on mine, I'm not 100% sure I can get started quite the way he does. But I'll be back for more help, no doubt! Thanks very much to all!
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:26 AM   #8
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wheel bearings

I take mine to a tire shop. Reasonably priced and I stand and watch what they do, not so much as to make certain they do the right thing, but, to learn what they do. Seems to me it cost me about $15/wheel. I can see that the bearing if dripping with grease. Good insurance. I've seen too many trailers of all kinds along roads with one wheel off. Just a suggestion. Marg
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Richard Davis View Post
.......... The YouTube video is great too, although since I have the grease nipple on mine, I'm not 100% sure I can get started quite the way he does........
I think the only difference with yours is that you have a rubber plug in the end of the steel hub cover that gives access to the grease fitting in the end of the spindle. After you clean and re-grease the bearings and install a new grease seal, you can give the bearings an extra shot of grease through the grease fitting. It is best not to mix greases, so force the old grease out of the spindle with new grease, using a grease gun, before you reinstall the hub and bearings.

It might be a temptation to just pump in new grease rather than repacking, but you will find the old grease has fine dirt and water contamination that can't be removed simply by pumping in new grease.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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Well, I guess I'm in over my head! When I take off the rubber dust cover, the grease nipple is in the centre. There is no cotter pin involved with removing the nut, and it looks like even removing the nut requires a special tool: rather than being 8-sided or 6-sided, the nut is round with only ONE flat edge -- running from about 8 o'clock to 11 o'clock. So there's nothing to grip with any sort of conventional wrench. I'm afraid that if the INITIAL removal stage is this complex, I'm not likely to have a lot of fun once I get inside! Guess I'd better get to a professional for greasing before too long! Rats! And that old VW just ran and ran and .... Thanks for all the help.
The only documentation related to the axles, brakes, hubs, and drums that Scamp supplied is an "AL-KO" Owner's manual. There is no mention of Dexter in any of the documentation unfortunately.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Richard Davis View Post
Well, I guess I'm in over my head! When I take off the rubber dust cover, the grease nipple is in the centre. There is no cotter pin involved with removing the nut, and it looks like even removing the nut requires a special tool: rather than being 8-sided or 6-sided, the nut is round with only ONE flat edge -- running from about 8 o'clock to 11 o'clock. So there's nothing to grip with any sort of conventional wrench. I'm afraid that if the INITIAL removal stage is this complex, I'm not likely to have a lot of fun once I get inside! Guess I'd better get to a professional for greasing before too long! Rats! And that old VW just ran and ran and .... Thanks for all the help.
The only documentation related to the axles, brakes, hubs, and drums that Scamp supplied is an "AL-KO" Owner's manual. There is no mention of Dexter in any of the documentation unfortunately.
You are looking at the end of the spindle through the rubber plug. You need to remove the metal cap (like in the YouTube video). You will then see the nut with cotter pin or retainer cap. From there, the process is the same. See illustration above and video below in this link.

EZ Lube Spindle 1.75" RD x 3" STUB Redline Trailer Spindles R20384EZ
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:04 PM   #12
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Do yourself a favor and watch the mechanic when he does the work. Maybe you could have him do one side then you take it home and do the other.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Do yourself a favor and watch the mechanic when he does the work. Maybe you could have him do one side then you take it home and do the other.
Ask him first.

I've been known to grab a chair and stare back at customers that decide to watch without asking.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:36 PM   #14
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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
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