Here is the step by step Randy put together for "bearing school" at the Dam Gathering
Desert Metal Product
775 273 3090
What Is On Your Axle
• Each wheel hub has the following:
o Two cups (races) inserted one on each side of the hub
o Two cones (roller bearing) inserted into each cup
o One seal on the inside of the hub
o A washer, a nut, a cotter pin and a grease cap on the outside
• Some older axles (i.e. Chevy) have ball bearings. Do not attempt to remove or replace this yourself. They are expensive and difficult to replace.
• Before trip departure: Shake tire, look at lug nuts
• Stop 15 miles or so down the road. Touch the axle grease cap, looking for any heat.
• If warm, something is wrong pull/replace the bearing NOW-don’t chance it!
• If someone is pointing at your trailer, pull over and take a look!
• Strongly consider replacing inferior bearings (china made) with high quality bearings.
• Approximately every two years or 5,000 miles pull the hubs and check bearings:
o Check both inner and outer bearings
o Is the bearing tight on the hub? (before pulling the bearings)
o Is there enough grease in the bearing?
o Is the bearing worn?
o Is there orange peeling, lines, grooves or other signs of wear?
o Is there any sign of cracking, dryness or leakage on the seal?
o Look at lugs, lug should not rattle in hub.
o Check threads
Step-By-Step Bearing Inspection
• Using good/safe jack, remove tire
• Remove grease cap
• Pull cotter pin
• Unwind nut-lefty loosy. Same on both sides. Pull washer
• Pull hub straight out
• Catch the outer bearing as you pull
• Pull the seal
• Inspect the cone in your hand and the two cups on the hub- cone (roller bearing part) and cup (race) as above
• Clean the grease off the axle and inspect axle for wear
• No signs of problems:
o Repack bearing with axle grease
o Set the inside cone back on
o Tap the seal back in
o Push hub back on, taking care not to damage the seal
o Place the outside cone back on the axle, push it on
o Replace washer and nut, righty tighty
o Tighten nut as you spin hub until you feel tighness
o Unwind nut two castleations
o Reinsert cotter pin, be sure and bend the cotter pin to secure.
o Spin axle, should turn freely and not shake
o Apply grease cap.
o Reinstall tire
o You are done!
Step-by-Step Bearing Replacement
• If wear or other signs of failure are noticed, replace your bearings
• Using a metal bar (round bar, not your screwdriver), reach THROUGH the hub and knock out the smaller outer cup.
• Using a clockwise rotation, or back and forth, pound out evenly
• Flip it over, and pound out the larger, inner cup.
• Inspect the cup and cone of both inner and outer bearings for identification numbers. Depending on the bearing, they may be sold in a set of both cup and cone, or you may have four different numbers for each wheel hub.
• Purchase new seal and high quality bearings: Timken, Bower, Fag. Avoid China made bearings
• Pack bearings with axle grease
• Pack hub with as much grease as you can
• Put back together as described above
• You are done!