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Old 13 April 2002, 17:30   #1
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wheel bearings

I put some wheel bearings in for a friend last week and he had got two sets from different shops (they only had one set at the first one) On one set the back bearing had the normal grease seal that covers the whole of the back surface but on the other (made in China) lot the back seal was only like an "O" ring sort of thing round the edge that left the back side of the bearing exposed. I've slapped a load of the old Castrol Heavy against the back edge but its worth looking at if you need to buy any bearings - I get the feeling they aint gonna last long!!
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Old 14 April 2002, 05:00   #2
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Do any of them last long?

How many people here trail their boats and don't carry a spare set of bearings?

I'll bet that those who do have already endured the hassle of a wheel bearing packing up -- for those that don't it's just a matter of time . . .

John
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Old 14 April 2002, 05:13   #3
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Trailer wheel bearings...hehehehehehehehehehe.

Keith (70mph) Hart
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Old 14 April 2002, 05:20   #4
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HA HA HA AH

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Old 14 April 2002, 05:22   #5
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Ouch that hurt, you B*****D!



Keith (the glue worked, my fingers are still stuck together) Hart
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Old 15 April 2002, 14:23   #6
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Hmmm....

You might just try trailers with 4 wheels

If you buy them big enough they can carry on without the one wheel. And they are great behind your car. But they are a night mare to move by hand.

Rene
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Old 15 April 2002, 15:41   #7
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One of our local offshore powerboat lads did that and ran with three wheels when one of his bearings went - he only had two miles to go but a traffic car spotted him, had him put it on a supermarket car park and prohibited him from the road til he got it fixed. (just as well he didn't look at the brakes as well cos there were no brake shoes in 'em)
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Old 15 April 2002, 15:55   #8
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I have to make the confession

that being mechanically disadvantaged I probably couldn't change a trailer wheelbearing by the roadside even if my life depended on it. My solution is a) to get the trailer regularly serviced which unfortunately involves paying some nice man to do it for me and b) joining Seastarts trailer rescue service. It could be the best £49 I've ever spent!
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Old 15 April 2002, 16:05   #9
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Totally agree - the caravan club also do a breakdown service that fully covers the trailer (whether it be the caravan or the boat) wouldn't dream of towing without breakdown cover. We used them to change an offside trailer wheel on the motorway hard shoulder - when you're that near to all that traffic you may as well have a man with a trolley jack, a big van and lots of flashin lights between you and them!
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Old 15 April 2002, 17:34   #10
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okay lads, if you can change a prop you can do a wheel bearing. Some thoughts.

1. DO NOT use the handbrake on a trailer, ever. The shoes will stick to the hub (big round cast iron brake thingy) and lock the brakes on. If you are lucky the boat will be on the trailer and lots of power from a 4x4 forwards and backwards will break the bond, if you are lucky. If you are unlucky it won't. If the boat is in the water you really are in trouble as the trailer wheels just drag along (no weight) grinding flat spots on the tyre.

2. Carry a soft headed hammer, a large flat screw driver and either a 17 or 19 mm ring spanner. On the back of the backplate there is a nut which adjusts the shoes moving them closer or futher away from the hub. Its a fine adjustment and over do it and the shoes run on the hub and get hot. To little and the brakes don't work leaving your car brakes and the shock in the tow hitch to do a lot of work and wear out.

3. Changing a bearing. Slacken off the nut on the back to so the shoes are clear of the hub remove the bearing protector that you have fitted YES ??? and remove the split pin. Undo the big nut in front of the bearing. No need to take the wheel off in the first instance just wiggle and the washer and outer bearing inner will come loose and the wheel and hub off in one. If it doesn't the shoes are catching on a lip inside the hub and must be pushed/forced in. Use the screw driver and be brutle. Slacken the adjt nut some more if it helps. The outer bearing will leave the outside journal in the hub. to remove use the screw driver from the opposite side and give it a belt. If you grease reguarly its no prob. The rear bearing will leave the journal on the stub axle (little tappered thingy in the middle of the back plate sticking out at you. If you have greased it reg it will also come off. If you have over heated it, oh dear. Take a hack saw and cut a grove (in the very hard steel) enough to get the screwdriver to bite and give it a belt with the hammer so the journal goes round to start with. Lots of WD 40 and a few more smacks and it will come off.
If the bearing has over heated or corroded the roller cage will disintergrate. Keep the race as you will need the numbers on the side to order a new bearing. Fit new bearings and seal at the back you have in your boat box and pack with grease. Refit bearing and adjust the play using the big nut on the out side. the wheel must rotate freely 1/4 of a turn to much and the wheel will bind which gives a good indication of whats right. Use a new plit pin if you have one although we have all reused them in the past in an emergency. Adjusting the brakes on any trailer over 12 months old is an art! be grateful you have a two wheeled trailer and a sensible sized rib. Four wheels? OMG! Rusty binding components and cables that are siezed or stretch just make for fun. Drive a few miles and check the heat in the hubs by puting your hand on them. To hot for your hand and you ave got it wrong. slacken the rear adjusting nut a little.

So do grease them reguarly. i do a full strip 4 times a year. do fit bearing protectors they really do work. Carry a spare bearing and a big hammer. check the temp every time you stop.

Finally buy the indespension trailer manual for £2. It tells you every thing you need to know. Anyone think of anything else ?
Pete
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Old 15 April 2002, 17:45   #11
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Now I'm getting flashbacks........

your explanation, wonderfully clear though it is puts me in mind to Haines manuals when I was attempting to service & restore my Series 3 Land Rover. It all seems clear enough but what it doesn't say is "the nuts will all be covered in muck, oil and sh*t so you can't recognise anything. They will also be seized solid and no amount of WD40 will shift them. You will curse, the spanner will slip and you'll crack you knuckles. Then you'll REALLY curse. Try again and the bolt shear. Bugger. Now refer to appendix 2 - How to drill out a bolt when its sheared!"
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Old 16 April 2002, 02:00   #12
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Hi Chaps

The other thing people forget - is to grease the bearings before going in the water. When you have been on a long jurney and the bearings are HOT, just plonking the trailer in salt water is not so good for bearings.

So let them cool down and then grease !!!!
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Old 16 April 2002, 03:10   #13
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Quote:
1. DO NOT use the handbrake on a trailer, ever. The shoes will stick to the hub (big round cast iron brake thingy) and lock the brakes on. If you are lucky the boat will be on the trailer and lots of power from a 4x4 forwards and backwards will break the bond, if you are lucky.
This can happen even if you don't use the handbrake -- don't know how, it just does!

By all means try just pulling forward to see if it will unstick, but if it doesn't sort itself out quickly don't keep trying. All you'll do is wear a groove in the ground.

If your brakes are stuck on, the best thing is to bite the bullet, dig out your jack, lift the offending wheel, and tap the back of the drum with a hammer/spanner/lump of wood/weight belt. In almost all cases this will unstick it very easily.

John
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Old 16 April 2002, 12:57   #14
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Anyone think of anything else ?
Pete
If you re-use a split pin always put a new one in at the earliest opportunity. If the nearside one gives up then castle nut will unscrew itself as the wheel rotates forwards ( the offside one tends to screw itself up. I've seen a couple come off - both nearside and both a few weeks after a bearing had been changed at the roadside.
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Old 16 April 2002, 14:04   #15
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John is quite right, they can stick even without the handbrake being on, suspect it might be because we always tend to reverse the boat into a parking or garage. The shoes are only intended to go one way, although Indespension in Southampton managed to put them in the wrong way round on my trailer before I drove to Stranraer

When I remember I must try gently pushing the trailer back and forth a few times at the end of the day to free the shoes off. Unless anyone else has another explanation ?

The Indespension manual is a bible though and well worth the £2 as are there bearing protectors which press grease into the hub.

Oh and if your wondering why don't they make brakes linkages out of something that doesn't corrode, like stainless steel or carbon fibre, well cos its very profitable selling new bits to us every year.
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Old 16 April 2002, 14:30   #16
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Pete,

your right about the brakes beeing stuck even without using the handbrake..
It's likely to be because we all reverse the trailer into the parking area, and there fore the braking is on, when we leave the trailer.

( I really can't figure out how it works on my new trailer , there is no brakes when the trailer is reversing. But if I slam on the braks all 4 wheels on the trailer come to a complete stand still, so they must be working. Tried this in Copenhagen city, when a moron drove out just in front of me, if it hadn't been for my rib, his car might not have been so pretty afterwards...
I drive a large 4x4 )

There is one workaround on this.... When you have the boat in the right spot, drive a little - very little - but fast forward, this way the brakes releases, and the boat is still in the right spot.. (And don't slam on the brakes afterwards, try it a few times, where there is plenty of space)

Don't try to do this by hand, I don't think it will be enough to release the brakes completly. Unless you are on big ..... (something)

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