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 Post subject: Trailer wheel bearings
 Post Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:53 am 
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How do you guys tighten them when reinstalling?

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 Post Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:33 am 
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Steve, The last time I did mine on my open trailer I completely cleaned all the grease from the hub and the bearings and used synthetic grease. Put it completely together including wheel on and spun the wheel and tightened the the nut till there was no play....If you use alot of grease it may feel tight but after a trip around the block it will be loose...

I would suggest to do it and then take it for a short trip and jack it up and just check them to make sure there ok....Too tight is just as bad as to loose #-o

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 Post Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:59 am 
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According to what I've read on the subject, you never preload a tapered bearing unless it HAS to be preloaded, ie, pinion/carier bearings in the rear end.

I set mine the same way I set the front wheel bearings on my car or truck. It doesn't hurt to have a "little" play in'em but it will hurt if they are too tight. You can check to see if they are generating heat by making a test drive then before you stop to check the hubs with your hand you need to turn the brakes off to stop so that heat won't be generated when the brakes apply. A hot one = too tight. Or, you could check'em with a heat gun also.

Which reminds me, mine haven't been repacked in, hummmm........... LONG TIME! I guess I need to do that then, hey! ;-)

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 Post Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 8:28 am 
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Thanks Ken and Barry. I'm sorry it took so long to respond. Jake and I went to a concert last night. I figured since we are going on some long trips I had better repack them. I had the flat and changing tires (good thing Jake works at a tire shop \:D/ \:D/ ) so I would check it.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 6:38 am 
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Steve,

When I was working on the big rigs, Timken recommended this torque routine, grease the bearings, race and pack the hub, then intall it all, spin the hub until it is somewhat tight, then get your trusty torque wrench out and torque them to 50 lbs., then back off 1/4 turn of the wheel, exam. from 12 O'clock, to 11:45 and jam the cotter pin in it and go for it. Others say to keep it at the 50 lbs, and some say to leave it at 25lbs then pin it and go, different butts have different answers and I believe Ken would be right in my opinion, as you will want some preload on the bearing and race to help it seat properly and wear evenly. How did your brakes look on the trailer???

John

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 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 7:06 am 
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Thanks John. The brake look good so far.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 7:47 am 
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Just pull on the hub to feel if you have any end play which is what you DON'T want and you should be good. What, no work today???? =; or are you at work????

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 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 8:05 am 
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I'm at work. I love my job \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

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 Post Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:54 am 
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Elkyman wrote:
I believe Ken would be right in my opinion, as you will want some preload on the bearing and race


Nope, Ken does NOT preload trailer nor front wheel bearings! Quote from my Motor Repair Manual! They state:

1. "While rotaing wheel forward, torque the spindle to 12 ft. lbs."
2. "Back off the nut until "just loose" then hand tighten the nut back then back it off again until either of the cotter pin holes lines up." "NOTE, do not back off nut more than 1/2 flat."
4. "Install new cotter pin. With wheel bearing properly adjusted, there will be .001-.005 inch end play"

Which is NOT preload. ;-)

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 Post Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:09 pm 
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Ken0069 wrote:
Elkyman wrote:
I believe Ken would be right in my opinion, as you will want some preload on the bearing and race


Nope, Ken does NOT preload trailer nor front wheel bearings! Quote from my Motor Repair Manual! They state:

1. "While rotaing wheel forward, torque the spindle to 12 ft. lbs."
2. "Back off the nut until "just loose" then hand tighten the nut back then back it off again until either of the cotter pin holes lines up." "NOTE, do not back off nut more than 1/2 flat."
4. "Install new cotter pin. With wheel bearing properly adjusted, there will be .001-.005 inch end play"

Which is NOT preload. ;-)


Well then, maybe my info was kinda wrong, but basically the same right? Do I stand corrected Ken? :-#

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 Post Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Yeah John, the "big rig" method of torque then back off is basically the same only you/they didn't mention that a minimal amount of end play is desired. On my dragters I used Petroleum Jelly as lube and set end play at .001/.003 with a dial indicator.

If memory serves, SAE spec on tapered bearings state that if no preload is needed, then none should be used. The reason differential bearings are preloaded is because they are under some gawd awful pressure under load and preload is required to hold the gears in their proper place. Most manuals will give you an amount of torque required to turn a new pinion setup with both used and new bearings with the new ones being higher to allow for "wear in".

I cringe whenever I hear someone talking about preloading wheel bearings. Those things build enough heat when the brakes are applied so they don't need any more than that. ;-)

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 Post Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 1:12 pm 
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I went back and loosened them up went finger tight while spinning. put the tire on wiggled it and had movement. tightened one flat at a time until no movement. Next is to take it for a spin and see if it has play.

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 Post Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:48 pm 
 
The bearings need some slack in them. Tighten the nut with a wrench until the slack is taken up and there is some drag on the bearings, and then loosen it until you can turn the nut with your fingers. At that point, put the cotter pin in the first slot available, loosening from the tight condition. The nut should turn with fingers only at the point the cotter pin is installed. Do not pre-load the bearings at all. It might seem loose, but there must be some open clearance or the bearings will burn up. Usually, the axle has two holes for the cotter pin, 90° to each other, so with 6 sides on the nut there are smaller steps between the cotter pin positions.

If there are brakes to worry about and there is too much slop, the shoes and backing plates can wear more rapidly if there is too much wheel bearing play. Even so, more slop is better than not enough.

There are stamped sheet metal retainers that fit over the nut with more slots for the cotter pin available for some applications. They allow another half-step between the half-steps, so you don’t have to be soooooo looooose, if you just can’t stand it.


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