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seating wheel bearings?



I have one more question about this process. How do you know when the bearing is "seated"?

When you "seat" the bearings, you tighten the nut down snug (I went one notch past the cotter pin placement as this was I could do and still turn the hub)and turn the hub. How much do you need to spin the wheel? I went a few times forward and reverse (maybe 1 minute in length).

Once you do this, then back the nut off so you can place the cotter pin in place I spun the wheel to check for anything loose, rattling or wobbling. The first wheel was good but the second wheel I could the bearings rattle when I spun the tire. I spun it a few times and got to thinking if I should hear a rattle in the bearings. I don't believe I am suppose to, right? Well, I stepped away for a few minutes and came back to the wheel and spun it agin, I could not hear the rattle more. I spun the wheel faster and still couldn't hear the rattle. I did not do anything to the wheel when I stepped away and returned. Did the bearing finally "seat" before I walked away?

I should add this is for the boat trailer if it makes any difference.

Thanks for the input!

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Tapered wheel bearings are designed to run with a slight bit of preload. Start with the wheel off of the hub. To accomplish the preload, tighten the nut just to the point where it gets snug, but not "tight". The right torque is just a bit more that you can do with your fingers, and I use a pliers to gently turn the nut. Once there, give the hub a spin and check for end play, if there is any axial movement something is not installed correctly. Now, I back the nut off a bit until I get the cap or castle to line up with a cotter pin hole. Pin it and check again for end play. It should turn freely and not move in/out at all.

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Now, I back the nut off a bit until I get the cap or castle to line up with a cotter pin hole. Pin it and check again for end play. It should turn freely and not move in/out at all.

It turned freely and did not have any in/out play at all.

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What I do is torque it down to 30 to 40 foot pounds then back it off and spin the wheel and then tighten it finger tight and then install the cotter key. If the cotter pin hole doesn't line up back the nut off till it does.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

If a bearing rattles its dry. Could be you didn't get a complete packing and after some rotations a small amount of grease got to the dry spot.

When packing you force grease through the bearing. I hold the bearing in my left hand. I put grease in the cup of my right hand. I force the face of the rollers(the part that sits into the race) into into the cupped hand and rotate it slightly. After is see grease forced to the outside of the bearing I rotate the bearing a little and repeat.

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sx2- Thanks for the feedback on the torque amount.

Surface Tension- Thanks for the info on the dry bearing. I packed the bearings with grease in the palm of one hand and the bearing was held in the other hand (filling from the bottom of the bearing like you were slicing the grease) until grease came out the top. I then slowly worked my way around the bearing. Once finished I wiped the extra grease all the way around the bearing so it was covered completely.

Thanks for the info fellas.

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