nsxxtreme

Member
Apr 18, 2006
125
0
Hopping someone her has had a similiar issue.
I have a utility trailer I picked up from harbor frieght. I tow my bikes and my stand up jet skis with it and it has lasted 7 years so far.

Today on my way out to go riding one of the wheels locked up. The bearing was toast. I got the trailer home and removed the hubs. The front bearing just come right out the rear bearing is pressed onto the axle. I got one of them off just by cutting it off with my die grinder.

Do they make a tool to remove these?

I can pick a new set of bearings up for $15. But since the rear bearing is pressed on the axle I'm not sure how I am going to get the rear bearing on. So I am here looking for some ideas.
 

76GMC1500

Uhhh...
Oct 19, 2006
2,142
1
They are usually a loose fit on the spindle, no tools are necessary to remove it. Make sure you don't get Chinese bearings this time, they are absolute junk.

When you do buy new bearings, you're going to get races with them. The outer races are press fit inside of the hub. You will have to drive those out, a steel drift is the best tool. If you're extremely careful, you can drive them back in with the same steel drift. A brass drift would be preferable for installation.

To pack the bearings with grease, put a wad of it in your palm and squeeze, take the wide side of the bearing, and scoop/pack the grease all of the way through the bearing. Once you see it emerging on the other side of the rollers, wipe a little on the outside of the bearing, a little on the race in the hub, and wipe some on the spindle and on the inside of the hub (to prevent corrosion). Contrary to popular belief, more grease isn't better. You don't wan't to pack the hub solid with grease. Just push it through the bearing and then coat everything else.
 

Tony Eeds

Godspeed Tony.
N. Texas SP
Jun 9, 2002
9,535
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76GMC1500 said:
A brass drift would be preferable for installation.

+1 on all comments, but get a brass drift to install the bearings.

Make sure the outside of the axle is not galled up if the outer race got so hot as to weld itself to the axle.
 

Patman

Pantless Wonder
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Dec 26, 1999
19,774
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A large C clamp and appropriate socket would work best this side of an actual press Use a steel drift if you want to botch the race up, use brass, hard wood or hard plastic if you don't have access to a press or large C clamp. It will help if you toss them in the freeser for several hours first.
 

nsxxtreme

Member
Apr 18, 2006
125
0
The rear bearing is definietly pressed on to the axle.

The race are pressed into the hubs and I haven't tried to remove those yet. The bearing is not comming off. I cut the other side off with my die grinder. Which I will probably have to do with this one as well. But I am not sure how I am going to get them back on. I found new bearings on Overtons website $15 a set. Which would save me from buying a new $300 trailer. Thanks for all the tips so far.

The C-clamp and socket sounds like a good idea to remove the race from the hubs. Thanks will try that.

Picture002.jpg


Picture004.jpg
 

Jaybird

Apprentice Goon
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Mar 16, 2001
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Charlestown, IN
This little jewel will pull it. Mine was a couple hundred, 15 years ago.
bearing_puller.jpg


Good luck with the races and a c-clamp...I'd try a drift first.

Look at how non-concentric the center hole of the hub is.
That's gotta help wear that particular bearing. Or did the spindle waller that out like that? (shirely knot)

You know, there is an inherant flaw in almost all wheel bearings.
When we tighten down the spindle nut, the stop point is determined by the contact point...and then backing it off until we have a hole to use in the Castle nut. (I usually will snug everything down with mucho ft pounds, then back it all off first)
Can't get the next tighter slot, or it will be too tight...so unless the snug contact point gives you a perfect alignment of hole and slot, then we gotta back off to the next loose slot to get the cotter in.

This already can allow alot of slop from day one.
Then when the bearings and races wear in, it is even slopier, but not enough to get another turn to the next slot on the Castle nut.
 

nsxxtreme

Member
Apr 18, 2006
125
0
Jaybird said:
This little jewel will pull it. Mine was a couple hundred, 15 years ago.

Good luck with the races and a c-clamp...I'd try a drift first.
I tried a puller like that and snapped the flange on the bearing. That's why I cut the other side off.
 

76GMC1500

Uhhh...
Oct 19, 2006
2,142
1
Cutting them off seems to have worked for you, go ahead and do this side. If the new ones press on, match upa piece of pipe or tubing to the inside race of the bearing and use that to drive it on. The new ones should slide on, though.
 

rickyd

Hot Sauce
Oct 28, 2001
3,447
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After all is said and done, see if you can find some "Bearing Buddies" The press on the end and all you do is give them a shot of grease every so often. Especially if you are backing the trailer into the water to unload the skis.
 

76GMC1500

Uhhh...
Oct 19, 2006
2,142
1
Bearing Buddies are only for trailers dipped in water. They actually shorten the life of the bearing by packing the hub solid with grease. This generates extra heat which breaks down the grease more quickly. Since we usually launch our skis by picking them up and setting them in the water, bearing buddies are not necessary. You make the decision based on how often you dunk your trailer. Bearing Buddies do create a little positive pressure inside of the hub which helps keep water out while the trailer is dipped. I use Bearing Buddies on the boat trailer, but nothing else.
 

junkjeeps

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Nov 24, 2001
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Once you clean that spindle up with some emory cloth, I bet the new bearing will go on with a little help. Warming the new bearing up in the oven (unless you happen to have a bearing warmer in your shop) could help it go on as well. Just make sure everything is clean and burr free before attempting to put it on. It will cool very fast. Putting the races in the freezer as Patman said will help get them into the hub. Same as above though, make sure everything is clean before attempting to install.
 

76GMC1500

Uhhh...
Oct 19, 2006
2,142
1
I use StaLube Marine Grease in all of my trailer bearings. It's an aluminum complex grease which offers better water resistance and has a higher drop point that other lithium complex greases.
 

rickyd

Hot Sauce
Oct 28, 2001
3,447
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76GMC1500 said:
Bearing Buddies are only for trailers dipped in water. .

This is why I recommended the bearing buddies, he uses the trailer to haul some jet skis :cool:
 

nsxxtreme

Member
Apr 18, 2006
125
0
Thanks for the tips guys. I dunk trailer when I load and unload the skis. I ride Kawasaki 750sxi stand up skis. I could probably lift them off but a $300 trailer is cheaper then a chiroprator. :)

The trailer has lasted 7 years of abuse so I can't complain much. This trailer gets heavy use I have rails that bolt on when using to pull the skis and remove them when I tow the bikes.

I think I'll try the pipe idea to install the new ones. These ones just seems so damn tight I hope the new ones go on easier. trick will be finding a pipe just the right size. Heating them up first in the oven sounds like a good idea as well.
 

76GMC1500

Uhhh...
Oct 19, 2006
2,142
1
The trouble with heating the inner race and rollers in the oven is that the bearings need to be packed with grease before you install them on the spindle. This could make quite the mess in your oven or be very painful while packing. The oven can be used to heat the hubs before installing the outer races.
 

motometal

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Sep 3, 2001
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...and even more importantly, the oven may temper back the bearings, making them softer. I would avoid this, or if you decide to do it don't go over 300 F.
 

76GMC1500

Uhhh...
Oct 19, 2006
2,142
1
You need access to the back side of the bearing in order to pack it properly, you can't do this on the spindle. You have to push the grease all of the way through the bearing.
 

junkjeeps

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Nov 24, 2001
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motometal said:
...and even more importantly, the oven may temper back the bearings, making them softer. I would avoid this, or if you decide to do it don't go over 300 F.


This may be a dumb question, but here goes. What is the difference between heating with an oven versus using a bearing warmer(the type that uses the laminated bar and hums)? Here at work we've also used a rosebud to heat bearings that were too big for the warmer. Not placing the flame directly onto the bearing, but close enough to generate heat well in excess of 300 degrees. I haven't seen any failure in bearings that we've done this to. We also don't pack them until they are installed. This may not be any real comparison because the bearings here are much, much bigger than a wheel bearing.
 

WoodsRider

Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
Damn Yankees
Oct 13, 1999
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nsxxtreme said:
The rear bearing is definietly pressed on to the axle.

I have the same trailer. The inboard bearing is not a press-fit on the spindle. It's not a loose fit either, there's ~0.0005" clearance which, as you've found out, makes them a pain to remove if you spin the bearing.

They're also not standard size bearings. I paid $40 for bearings, races and seals for one side, where a standard 1" trailer wheel bearing kit (bearings, races and seals) is $12/side.

Make sure to clean the area where the seal rides on the spindle. Best thing to do is remove the wheels and re-pack the bearings once/year. If you use bearing buddies, only pump in enough grease until they are half-full.
 

nsxxtreme

Member
Apr 18, 2006
125
0
WoodsRider said:
I have the same trailer. The inboard bearing is not a press-fit on the spindle. It's not a loose fit either, there's ~0.0005" clearance which, as you've found out, makes them a pain to remove if you spin the bearing.

The picture shown was of the "good" side and that bearing is not comming off. I do remember trying to remove the hub a few years ago so I could repack the rear bearing and they were not comming off back then. It may not be a press fit but it might as well be.

I purchased two new sets of bearing, race, and seals for $40 from overtons. I still need to purchase a new tire for $30 to replace the one I squared. I should have these on Monday and I'll let everyone know how easy it was to repair.

Thanks for all the tips everyone I wasn't really expecting this many replies. Great site!
 

motometal

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Sep 3, 2001
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bearings are tempered after through hardening, then ground. If you exceed this temperature, the bearing will get softer. This does not happen all at once, say you could lose 1 point HRC for each 25-35 degrees F. Temper back is proportional to the temperature, and all materials have their own curve for this. Most bearings are made of 52100, which is a high carbon, high chromium steel. Naturally to allow for manufacturing tolerances, etc. the average bearing is "somewhat" harder than it needs to be, so you would have at least a little room to temper it back and still not have it wear out too quickly. The standard minimum hardness for a needle bearing race for example, is 58 HRC so if you start out at 62, sure you could heat it a bit and not have a failure, although naturally if you soften it at all that will probably reduce the wear life of the bearing to some degree.

My statement of not going over 300F leans towards the "safe" side of things, but certainly I wouldn't want to get the bearing hot enough to turn it blue...that's around 500F.

How hot do you think they get with the bearing warmer?

By the way, time at temp doesn't make as much difference as the temp itself.

You could use an IR pyrometer or a Temple stick to determine just how hot you are actually getting the bearing.
 

junkjeeps

LIFETIME SPONSOR
Nov 24, 2001
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I've never shot it with a temp gun. We always drop a bead of water on the bearing and when it vaporizes/jumps off on contact we call it good. I would bet it's not over 300F. The thing with the bearing warmer is it gets hot quicker (less than 5 minutes) than using an oven. I've never researched how it works; I just accept that it does.
 

motometal

LIFETIME SPONSOR
Sep 3, 2001
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sounds like maybe it uses an induced magnetic field to heat the bearing...you say it has laminations? Does it vibrate a bit or make a humming noise?
 

Jaybird

Apprentice Goon
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Mar 16, 2001
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Charlestown, IN
Are we talking heaters, or erotic toys?

So, THAT's why she is always asking me how the trailer bearings are....
 

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