Scamp bearings repack update - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-13-2020, 03:20 PM   #1
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Scamp bearings repack update

Okay, I took all the advise here (and elsewhere) and decided to take apart my hub assemblies and examine my bearings. I've previously used the zerk fittings on this camper and on my previous teardrop. That process seemed to work, but folks convinced me that was a LOT of grease for the convenience. Since I bought this used, I wanted to take a look. And both of these zerk fittings seemed clogged. I'll replace them so I have a back up method for greasing.

I watched many good (and some not so good) youtube videos (how did we get stuff done before youtube?). I had everything I needed and chose a day when I had plenty of time. I started with the drivers side and all went well until I got to the rear seal. I knew it was going to be a pain because everyone told me so. This is one of those steps in a project that, until you attempt it for the first time, you really don't know how it's going to go. I ended up destroying the seal and STILL couldn't get it to come out. But I did manage to create a big enough opening to pull the rear bearing out. Then I was able to get a screw driver in from the front and tap out the seal.

After cleaning everything up real nice and inspecting things, I repacked with appropriate grease using the palm of the hand method. I was surprised at how LITTLE grease it took. Which of course leaves me nervous. I got everything put back together and gave the wheel a spin. Not too tight, not so loose there was any play side to side. I did hear a soft scraping noise but I assume that's the brake pads dragging?

I decided to just do the one side today and think about how I might get that other rear seal off. I've got a 1/4" dowel that might have enough flex to get around the bearing and allow me to tap it off from the front side. I also want to take the Scamp for a test run to see if there are any issues before I do the other side. We've got a 300 mile round trip coming up this weekend and I'd like not to worry all the way about my bearings.
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:11 PM   #2
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There are tools for most every job, and that includes special seal pullers
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
There are tools for most every job, and that includes special seal pullers
Yes, I considered getting one but weíre condo dwellers now with limited storage. I did note that almost every video I watched used a different method/tool for removing that seal but none used the dedicated seal pulling tool. Just as there are grease packing tools but no one seems to use those either.
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:06 AM   #4
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When I need a tool I don't have and don't want to purchase, I borrow it from O'Reilly's or AutoZone. Both those and other parts store chains have a tool loan program and you'd be surprised at their selection.

. . . . Fred
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:38 AM   #5
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For years to remove the back side seeal and bearing, I have just removed the front / outside bearing and then reinstalled the outside washer and nut or any washer that will fit through the race into the hub senet.T'then a sharp pull on the hub with the hub resing on the washer and the bearing and seal pop out. Seals are reusable, but also common and cheap.

Wordopf caution when cleaning the bearings. Do not air blast them into a high speed spin. These bearings are designed for lower speeds and loads with lubricaiton. The rotational speeds air blasting achieves when dry can damage the bearings, cages, and or races.
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:02 PM   #6
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Heres a wheel bearing seal puller that works on the same principle as a claw hammer to pull nails. It ruins the seal when you pull it out but seals are not reusable and should be replaced anytime you repack the wheel bearins. When installing the new seals I use a piece of aluminum bar that is about an inch thick and three or four inches long. Place it on top of the new seal and gently tap the bar with a hammer rotating the bar to ensure that the seal is sqaurley pressed into bearing housing and you will know when the seqals is perfectly flush with the housing. Rub a little grease on the lip of the seal and there you go. https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-56750-S...4749251&sr=8-3.
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Durrstein View Post
For years to remove the back side seeal and bearing, I have just removed the front / outside bearing and then reinstalled the outside washer and nut or any washer that will fit through the race into the hub senet.T'then a sharp pull on the hub with the hub resing on the washer and the bearing and seal pop out.
Dexter makes a point of telling us not to force the seal out using the inner bearing. If I saw someone do that on my trailer, it would be the last time they laid a hand on it. A bent roller cage will ruin the bearing. Dexter glues their seals in and it takes a lot of force to remove them the first time.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:13 PM   #8
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I hope that everyone knows that when they replace the bearings in their hubs they should replace the cones as well?
Just sticking a new bearing (inner cone, bearing rollers, and cage leaves the old cone in place. If the bearing is really bad the outer cone would be in as much distress as the easy part.
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:18 PM   #9
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^^^^^^^ 👍
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Durrstein View Post
For years to remove the back side seeal and bearing, I have just removed the front / outside bearing and then reinstalled the outside washer and nut or any washer that will fit through the race into the hub senet.T'then a sharp pull on the hub with the hub resing on the washer and the bearing and seal pop out. Seals are reusable, but also common and cheap.

Wordopf caution when cleaning the bearings. Do not air blast them into a high speed spin. These bearings are designed for lower speeds and loads with lubricaiton. The rotational speeds air blasting achieves when dry can damage the bearings, cages, and or races.
Iím 70 years old and for a bit better than 10 years made my living as a mechanic. I never or did I ever see anyone else, ever reuse an axle seal. I canít see how you could get 1 out in any condition where you could reuse it.
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I hope that everyone knows that when they replace the bearings in their hubs they should replace the cones as well?
Just sticking a new bearing (inner cone, bearing rollers, and cage leaves the old cone in place. If the bearing is really bad the outer cone would be in as much distress as the easy part.
If you donít know this you probably should have someone who does do the job😎
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:02 PM   #12
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One of the first automotive things a boy of my generation was taught was to repack wheel bearings.
I did it right and with great success for well over half a century, until the internet came along and I found that I had been doing it wrong all along.
Not only wrong, but I have recently come to find out that much of what I had done was actually impossible.

Not only was I wrong, but every mechanic who served as one of my mentors had been doing it wrong for generations!


This sort of thing is not limited to wheel bearings but has become ubiquitous to the point that nearly everything which once was considered correct is now wrong.
Fortunately we have Wikipedia to dispel the erroneous notion that some folks were once able to muddle along without it, and like many other things achieve consistent success and reliable results.
I have maybe tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools, many of which are "specialized" but if I do have a wheel bearing puller it is lost in a drawer somewhere full of other neglected and unused devices which were accumulated over time.


Perhaps I will find that thing and use it at a tech session to show the "right way" to hand repack wheel bearings. maybe I will even dig out a couple of those repacking tools while I'm at it! All in all it can easily be demonstrated that there is more than one way to do a competent job.


Several people here have shared some of those ways and have the skills and experience to back it up.


Case in point...
While it is commonly considered to be "best practice" to always replace seals at every repack or to always replace the race when replacing a bearing....
Over a hundred years of practicing sound judgement on the part of millions of mechanics has clearly demonstrated that it just ain't always so.


Reassembly is the most important aspect of this job.
The second best way to learn the process is to watch it done, the best is to do it yourself with experienced supervision...
then learn how to get to Carnegie Hall.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:21 PM   #13
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I know an aircraft mechanic who always found bad wheel bearings on the light aircraft he inspected. He always replaced the inner/ rollers and never the outer cone. Now probably he replaced a lot of bearings that were just like new, but he did picket the just like new money as well.
Oddly I rarely found bad bearings and I serviced trainers that put in practice landings one after another. Those little wheels really spin when landing and taking off and the bearings rarely gave trouble.
Most likely most trailer bearings replaced are like those replaced yearly and would be good for quite a few thousand miles more.
I have a tendency to believe in the effectiveness of benign neglect as often problems are installed where none existed previously.
Inspect, measure, test, listen, turn, properly lubricate and pay attention.
In my opinion the best thing is to feel the bearings at every stop and pay attention.
Do you take apart the bearings on your car every 10,000 miles or every year?
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
In my opinion the best thing is to feel the bearings at every stop and pay attention.
I do this at every fuel stop, or lunch stop.

I touch all four hubs and all four tires. Mainly looking for ones that are different in temp from the others. If I can hold my hand on the tires, they are fine. I'm the happiest if the hubs are near ambient temp and all the same.

I removed all four of the decorative hub caps on my wheels so I could touch the actual hub containing the bearings.

I've noticed if I tighten the preload on one wheel more than the rest, as in going to the next slot in the castellated nut, that bearing will run warmer for quite a while. Maybe a couple thousand miles.

My wheels were done in a sloppy way at the factory. One bearing was much tighter than the other three. When I opened it up to service them and make sure all was well in there, after the first 4,000 miles or so, I found that situation and that that bearing was worn noticeably more then the other three.

At the time, I found one of the brake wires, was pinched between the backing plate and the axle flange, shorting most of its power to ground. That brake had never worn in. So now I'm waiting for that one wheel to begin holding like the rest of them, as it breaks in. I did notice the trailer pulling slightly to one side when braking heavily, and I guess that is the reason why.

And from the beginning, the tail lights blinked when hooked up to the truck. Turns out the built in brake controller sends a voltage signal down the brake wires to check for continuity, about once per second. That voltage spike was enough to flash the LED tail lights.

While in there I removed the dedicated breakaway battery and connected the breakaway system to the house batteries. The breakaway battery could be dead and no way to know it, unless tested regularly, but the house batteries are always charged, and if not, I know it immediately.
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:56 PM   #15
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I always buy new seals beforehand. I have a seal puller, and I take a crack at it, but probably can't remove a seal without damaging it more than one in four tries. I also put a bit of high temp RTV on the seal, as recommended by Dexter, when installing it.
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I know an aircraft mechanic who always found bad wheel bearings on the light aircraft he inspected. He always replaced the inner/ rollers and never the outer cone. Now probably he replaced a lot of bearings that were just like new, but he did picket the just like new money as well.
Oddly I rarely found bad bearings and I serviced trainers that put in practice landings one after another. Those little wheels really spin when landing and taking off and the bearings rarely gave trouble.
Most likely most trailer bearings replaced are like those replaced yearly and would be good for quite a few thousand miles more.
I have a tendency to believe in the effectiveness of benign neglect as often problems are installed where none existed previously.
Inspect, measure, test, listen, turn, properly lubricate and pay attention.
In my opinion the best thing is to feel the bearings at every stop and pay attention.
Do you take apart the bearings on your car every 10,000 miles or every year?

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Old 07-15-2020, 11:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Cliff Hotchkiss View Post
Iím 70 years old and for a bit better than 10 years made my living as a mechanic. I never or did I ever see anyone else, ever reuse an axle seal. I canít see how you could get 1 out in any condition where you could reuse it.
Its really a simple process, but its a secret!
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cliff Hotchkiss View Post
Iím 70 years old and for a bit better than 10 years made my living as a mechanic. I never or did I ever see anyone else, ever reuse an axle seal. I canít see how you could get 1 out in any condition where you could reuse it.
Or, why would someone want to? They are cheap and they do an important job. Just go to NAPA and get a pack of ten, or so. They can even be damaged while installing them, so have some extras ready to go.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:18 AM   #19
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Removing grease seal, easy way

I was taught years ago was to remove the axle nut, pull the wheel/hub out enough to remove the outer bearing. Put the nut back on, pulling the nut past the outer bearing race, then giving it a good pull. This uses the inner bearing to force out the grease seal! Easy peasey. Now on greasing them I have become fond of the red sticky grease.
( Or any of the synthedic greases) the big reason for this is that even under high heat the grease doesn't melt and run away. Like when a bearing goes out.
We are just getting setup to go out traveling again. When we did in the past I used a infrared thermometer and did temp check of the tires and hubs. This little gun type thing you point a laser beam and it read the temp. After a while you will learn the normal temps. When you see a high .reading you need to figure out why. Low air in a tire or a bearing going out creates heat.

Tom



QUOTE=rpassmore;785405]Okay, I took all the advise here (and elsewhere) and decided to take apart my hub assemblies and examine my bearings. I've previously used the zerk fittings on this camper and on my previous teardrop. That process seemed to work, but folks convinced me that was a LOT of grease for the convenience. Since I bought this used, I wanted to take a look. And both of these zerk fittings seemed clogged. I'll replace them so I have a back up method for greasing.

I watched many good (and some not so good) youtube videos (how did we get stuff done before youtube?). I had everything I needed and chose a day when I had plenty of time. I started with the drivers side and all went well until I got to the rear seal. I knew it was going to be a pain because everyone told me so. This is one of those steps in a project that, until you attempt it for the first time, you really don't know how it's going to go. I ended up destroying the seal and STILL couldn't get it to come out. But I did manage to create a big enough opening to pull the rear bearing out. Then I was able to get a screw driver in from the front and tap out the seal.

After cleaning everything up real nice and inspecting things, I repacked with appropriate grease using the palm of the hand method. I was surprised at how LITTLE grease it took. Which of course leaves me nervous. I got everything put back together and gave the wheel a spin. Not too tight, not so loose there was any play side to side. I did hear a soft scraping noise but I assume that's the brake pads dragging?

I decided to just do the one side today and think about how I might get that other rear seal off. I've got a 1/4" dowel that might have enough flex to get around the bearing and allow me to tap it off from the front side. I also want to take the Scamp for a test run to see if there are any issues before I do the other side. We've got a 300 mile round trip coming up this weekend and I'd like not to worry all the way about my bearings.[/QUOTE]
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Old 07-22-2020, 12:17 PM   #20
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Sealed bearings take the worry, labor and expense out completely.
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