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Replacing trailer bearings


huskminn

Question

I've got a '97 Shorelander for my 16' Alumacraft. I bought it used and the wheels have "Bearing-Buddy-like" bearings with a zert to replenish grease. The seals are getting bad, I can see some water presence through the clear plastic covers (rust!) and something needs to be done before this season.

I've been trying to do this on my own, chalk it up as a learning opportunity, but I can see my work schedule will not allow me to do this myself before mid-June. Does anyone have any ideas on where I could drop the rig off to have someone put in some new bearings for a reasonable price? And, does anyone know what a reasonable price might be?

I'm clueless on this one....need some good insight.

Thanks.

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I took mine to Tires Plus last year. Hopefully they did a good job cuz they were fast and reasonable.

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I would think that with water and rust inside that you may need new races and bearings, and they are a little more time consuming to change. Northern tool a couple years ago sold a complete hub for a really reasonable price. Everything is new and comes pre-lubed (i would lube myself too, but optional). Just take the wheel and nut off and slide on the new hub. Would be pretty quick job. Just trying to help out..

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Huskminn you got an email address maybe can help you out. I live in N.E mpls need to replace one of my grease seals be gettin dirty doing mine don't mind helping another FM member out. [email protected] Tim

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I'm the only one that services my trailer bearings. If I'm going to stranded with bearing trouble, I can only blame myself. I pull many different boat trailers, many thousands of miles a year. No trailer leaves on a long trip with out the trailer being jacked up and a quik wheel shake and wheel spin. If I hear bearing growl or have excessive bearing play, I know it's time to get my hands dirty.

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Two new bearing kits with seals are going to run $20 to $30 dollars and they can be changed out in about an hour or so. A dealer will probably charge 1 to 2 hrs labor. A dealers price should be from $80 to $150 I would guess depending on shop rate. grin.gif

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Huskmn,

I see you're in Mpls.

You can probably get them done in a day at any of the shops or marinas on Tonka that do service.

Call Mark at 952-470-0941 and see what his schedule is like. He's been a great help to me on short notice stuff...

------------------
Chells

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I service my own also, I check bearing temp at least once a trip. If it is cool to the touch then I know everything is fine. if they start getting hot its time to pull it apart. I also carry a spare bearing kit and a tube of grease, that way if there is a problem I am back on the road in about 30 mins. Great piece of mind for about 10 bucks. grin.gif

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I appreciate all the comments, advice and offers for help.

In an ideal world, I'd be doing this work myself and would have never posted my question. For the first time in years, I'll be fishing on opener. My work schedule will allow me to be home only a few nights between now and then.

Tim L, your offer is more than kind, but finding the time to work on this project (by myself or with help) is the main issue.

I did get a quote from the number mentioned above.....$300-$350, depending on how long it takes. That seems high, but I really don't know. I called two Tires Plus locations...neither one could tell me how much it would cost and one didn't even know if he had any mechanics that could do the job????

I am still taking recommendations for a place to have this done.....my email is [email protected]

Thanks to everyone for the help!

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It is super simple to do yourself and should not take any longer than it will to take it somewhere to have someone do it for you. grin.gif

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Like Kwkfsh says it will take you more time to bring your rig to the mechanic then it would to repack the bearings yourself.
The only thing that would hang you up is pressing the races out and new ones back in.
In that case do as someone else suggested and buy new hubs for 20 or 30 bucks. Here are the steps if you do it yourself.
Hitch the trailer up to your ball.
Loosen lug nuts
Jack up one side of your trailer
Remove the lug nuts
Remove the Bearing Buddy with a channel lock pliers(dont squeeze the outside and distort or bend the outter rim)
Clean your beariing buddies in gas and wipe them dry.
Remove the cotter pin
Remove the castle nut
Pull the hub off
Wipe off old greese from the spindle
Put the new hub on
Put the castle nut on till farely snug then back it off a hair
Retate the hub it should turn without resistance from being overtighten and there should be no lateral play
Replace the cotter pin
Put your buddy back on fill with a water proof grease and if you dont have a bra for them get on. Road dust and dirt in your buddies is BAD.

It shoudnt take you more then a half hour per side and with new hubs and greese cost should be under 75 bucks. When you get time you can clean and repack the bearings in the old hubs. Then there ready to put on next year.

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Huh......you make it sound so easy, ST.

What I've got now aren't Bearing Buddies, but some other brand that is clear plastic with white rubber seals inside. Anyone familiar with this brand? I don't know how they'd come out with the Channellocks....comments?

Now you boys got me thinking I can maybe squeeze this in between doing laundry and paying bills......

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Huskminn,
The cheapest/best place in NE Mpls to get bearings and or hubs (parts)is Brake and Equip.Warehouse in NE. If you don't know the size or P/N bring in the old ones and they'll match 'em up and take care of ya.
Ask for JK.........tell him Twitter sent you. He's helped me rebuild more than one trailer. grin.gif

[This message has been edited by Twitter (edited 04-24-2003).]

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Well, I went to Northern Tool over my lunch hour today to check out my options. It does look like I could get by for under $75 and just replace the whole hub and get new Bearing Buddies. I think what I have now is in pretty bad shape and needs more than just repacking, anyway.

One thing on the "castle" nut...is there a torque setting for that or is it more of a feel thing, like you described?

I just need to find out what size spindle is on the trailer and I should be good to go.

Thanks for giving me the info and confidence to realize that I can do this without too much trouble and without spending too much money.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

huskminn Pull one off and bring it with you to the store. Dont forget the greese.
There probably is a ft lb you can tighten to. The firmly snug (not tight) and loosen a hair is my best description. Over tightening could crack a race or bearing. When I take mine off to redo I hardly need a wrench to take the nut off.
If you run into a snag just holler.

God I Love This Site smile.gif

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I love this site, too. Thanks so much for all the help......I'll try to give you a report on how this goes......maybe next week.

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Huskminn
before you buy new hubs I would make sure you really need them I have never replace a hub on a trailer. New bearing every now and then but if you do the normal maintenance by packing the bearing every year. If I were you I think that you could be by with new buddy bearings, seals and maybe the bearings. If it has some type of buddy bearing system the bearings are probably ok and the races should be fine. With the buddy bearing you want to make sure not to put to much grease into them because they will build up pressure and blow out the inside seal. Just remember that buddy bearings DO NOT grease the inside bearing. By the sounds of things though I don't think you need any new hubs. I think that it would be just a waste of money. Also the price you got for someone to do them they are trying to take you to the cleaners it should only take an hour to do them and that is if you clean everything really well.

------------------
Grip it and Rip it

IFFWalleyes
I Fish For Walleyes

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

iffwalleyes We suggested to replace the hubs just to make it easier and less time consuming for huskmin.
If theres water in there Im sure the races would have to be pressed out and replaced too. I think after hes done this once he'll be willing to repack his own bearings next year. Anyway buying the new hubs and doing it himself saves him time and money plus a learning experience that might come in handy some day.




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In the distant past I let someone else replace wheel bearings on my car and the dolt tightened the bearings too much and burned the bearings out in 2 days frown.gif I don't let other people do those kinda things anymore.

Surface Tension is right on the money with his recommendation. It just ain't that tough and if you do it yourself you know it is done right. Plus it is a good idea once a year to remove all the old grease and repack the bearings with new grease. That is also a good time inspect the bearing and races for pitting. Bearing buddies are great but they can trap water in pockets in the grease and pit the bearings.

To get the old "bearing buddies" off, channel locks or tapping the top of them with a hammer and they should come out. They are only pressed in and should come out easily. If you plan on trying to reuse them check the spring to be sure that it will keep pressure on the grease(that is what makes them work).

upnorth

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

huskminn
They come out like a loose tooth. smile.gif Wiggle it all around. LOL

It really is simple and once you've done it you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. Plus you'll have saved $275.
I dont know what size spinle is on that trailer but Northern Tool will have it. Heck you could even do it in there parking lot.

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I realize that it might be easier and I guess that is up to him. I know that it is not necessary though. I have a 97 trailer as well that has had quite a few miles put on it about 3 or 4 trips to Canada and if you have ever been there you know what the roads are like. My point is that in all of this I have never had to replace one single bearing period. I don't think it it necessary but I guess if you got the money go for it. Another thing about it is that without seeing the hub it is tough to say that it is ruined and should be replace.


------------------
Grip it and Rip it

IFFWalleyes
I Fish For Walleyes

[This message has been edited by iffwalleyes (edited 04-25-2003).]

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ST's got me pegged pretty well, but we'll see how it all looks once I get it torn apart.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

huskminn
We're all glad to help. smile.gif

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Thought I'd give you all a little update on my efforts.....

I went to Northern to get grease and new Bearing Buddies, deciding to check the status of the bearings before buying new hubs.

The first hub I opened up was fine. Bearings, races in good shape, so I just cleaned everything out, repacked it and added a new Bearing Buddy to it. As all mentioned, piece of cake.

However, the 2nd side was in tough shape. Rusty, pitted bearings and races. Bad seal in the back.

I took the whole unit into Northern, was having trouble matching things up so I finally found someone to ask for help. After quite a bit of screwing around, the guy finally found a hub that he said was correct. I knew that my front bearing was 1 1/16" and saw that number no where on the package, so I questioned him about this. He assured me that it was the right one.

It wasn't.

I returned that hub today at another Northern location and the guy there told me that Northern doesn't carry the hub I need. Three stops and five phone calls later, I finally located the hub I need at a boat dealer and will pick it up this afternoon. It shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to finish the job.

What should have been a two hour project has turned into a four day project, but, had everything gone perfectly, I would have never learned a thing.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the help on this project, folks. You saved me some money and, instead of giving me a fish, taught me to fish. Thanks!

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