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Trailer Wheel Bearing Temperature
|Author||Topic: Trailer Wheel Bearing Temperature|
posted 08-02-2008 11:51 AM ET (US)
I brought [the 2005 Karavan Trailer with 2005 Montauk 170] home this weekend to get it ready for vacation. Both wheel bearings were replaced in the spring by the dealer. Without the boat in the trailer the hubs were both 120°F after 30 miles at 65-MPH. With the boat on the trailer after 40 miles both hubs were 150°F. They were fairly hot to the touch. In prior years they just got really warm; I do not know what the temperatures were. The trailer has not been in the water yet this year. I thought the temperature was too high and called my local dealer. He had no idea what trailer hub temps run at, so he was no help. Are these temperatures too high? Outside temp was about 80°F.
posted 08-02-2008 12:58 PM ET (US)
yes 40 miles should have let the bearings set up,, it sounds like they got them too snug,,jack the trailer and spin the tires ,,they should spin very freely and spin for about a doz revolutions easy ,,if they don't back the nut off 1 (one) notch on the castle nut replace the key and spin several times or once around the block check again and if needed back off the nut 1 notch until they do spin free ,,any side to side/in out movement and ya got them abit too loose
posted 08-02-2008 02:26 PM ET (US)
Something is wrong with both hubs. I just jacked up the trailer and struggled to get one spin out of each tire. It is going to the dealer Wednesday.
I don't see this nut your talking about to back off. When I took the tire off all I see is the hub.
Thanks for the info
posted 08-02-2008 02:40 PM ET (US)
Feejer - your hub temperatures should not be much above 100 F - at the hottest. At 100 F, you can hold your hand on the hub.
In your case, the dealer tightened the wheel bearing nut too tight--far too tight. As deepwater mentions, the wheel should spin freely for several revolutions.
My "recipe" for tightening wheel bearings, from my master mechanic father: tighten the bearing castle nut with a short (6 - 10 inch long) wrench until you JUST feel some resistance, and then back off one notch on the castle nut and put the cotter-pin in. Never had a bearing overheat and fail.
Now, since your dealer did not know what they were doing, and the bearings probably took a hit and got way too hot--if the hub was 150°F the bearings were a LOT hotter--I would tell the dealer to replace the bearings at their cost! I would not be surprised if the bearings were discolored a bit. --------- Jerry/Idaho
posted 08-02-2008 02:45 PM ET (US)
The nut is behind the dust cover, or buddy bearing cover if that's what you have, located in the center of the hub. It sticks through the center hole in the wheel. There is no need to remove the wheel, just pop off one of the covers and you should be able to see and ubderstand what deepwater is talking about.
posted 08-02-2008 04:03 PM ET (US)
Thanks guys for the information. I have talked to the dealer and as soon as I said the tire was hard to spin he realized something incorrect had been done. I'm dropping it off Wednesday and they are going to put new bearings on both wheels at no charge. While it is there I'm having the 100-hour motor service done.
posted 08-02-2008 04:13 PM ET (US)
back off the nut now before you "Drag" it to the dealer or you can burn the whole spindle (yes a fire is possible),,they may not replace it and you will have more probs down the road
posted 08-02-2008 09:13 PM ET (US)
posted 08-03-2008 09:21 AM ET (US)
I don't think I would let the same dealer who couldn't get the simple task of installing wheel bearings correct install my wheel bearings for me.
I would drive down and pick up the new bearings, stop at the auto parts store for a tub of grease and install them myself. It is very easy and only requires a wrench to fit the castle nut, a pair of pliers to pull the cotter pin and something (a socket or appropriately sized length of pipe) to drive out the inner bearing and seat the grease seal.
posted 08-03-2008 05:19 PM ET (US)
Don't know if this will help anybody but I just came down from Georgia to Florida,700 miles or so, and checked the hub temp every time I stopped. Temperature was 112°F all the way down. I use a hand held laser temperature guage that makes it easy and more accurate than the "warm to the touch" method.(nothing wrong with that, it's an accuracy thing) I make this trip four times a year or more and the hubs have always been under 114°F. I have them checked and serviced once a year whether they need it or not.
posted 08-03-2008 06:37 PM ET (US)
The temperature of the wheel on a boat trailer will depend on many things. The side in the sun will always be noticeably warmer, probably at least ten degrees F. The tire temperature will vary with the type of tire and the load it is carrying. On a hot day, with sunlight, with a heavy load, a tire will be running at 125-degrees-F. This heat soaks into the steel wheel, and it is usually about ten degrees cooler than the tire. The bearing should not be hotter than the wheel, or if it is hotter, not by much. The brake drums or discs are usually cooler, unless they were just used to quickly stop the trailer.
On a tandem axle trailer I see some variation in tire temperatures based on the axle. It is probably from less than perfect weight equalization on the axles by the trailer suspension system.
When towing at night with a bit of rain, the tires, wheel, and bearings will run almost at ambient temperature.
If you want to get an accurate temperature, roll along on a highway for a few miles, then coast into a rest area without hitting the brakes on the trailer. This will keep the brakes from suddenly heating up. If you jump on the brakes they will warm up quickly.
posted 08-03-2008 10:43 PM ET (US)
112F seems on the high side. A hot tub is about 102. My
hubs are never more than "just above ambient" by touch.
I don't think I'd want to touch 112F.
It just struck me that we "by touch" testers should also
The laser in that gauge is just the aiming device. I may have
posted 08-04-2008 04:13 PM ET (US)
A few weeks ago, I pulled the hubs off, pulled the inner bearings which means destroying the seal to get to them, cleaned ALL the grease out of the bearings and then repacked, and replaced the seals. I also looked in my trailer owners manual and was surprised that they recommend to tighten the nut to 20 INCH/POUNDS rather than hand tight and then back off one notch. Maybe the mechanic thought it said FOOT/POUNDS. BIG difference. Just an FYI, I used to repair autos and rebuild engines in my younger years for the fun of it, and I wouldn't recommend this task to anyone that is not totally mechanically inclinded.
posted 08-04-2008 05:20 PM ET (US)
The rule of thumb is, wrapping your hand around the hub should feel like wrapping your hand around a mug of hot coffee. If you can't keep your hand there, something's wrong.
posted 08-05-2008 12:52 AM ET (US)
20 inch-pounds is what my Shoreland'r manual recommends.
20 inch-pounds isn't a heck of a lot, and you'll have to
posted 08-07-2008 03:55 PM ET (US)
My dealer just called and the boat is ready for pickup. I must commend the folks at Clews and Strawbridge in Fraser, PA. They said the problem was the nuts where over-tightened by them during the trailers safety check in the spring. They took the hubs apart, checked the bearings replaced what was needed and put them back together, no charge. Not to many places own up when do something wrong.
posted 08-07-2008 04:54 PM ET (US)
drive 5 miles and check hubs
posted 08-07-2008 05:03 PM ET (US)
You got that right
posted 08-15-2008 01:50 PM ET (US)
Your hubs shouldn't get hot from just towing a boat. If that is the case, you should check the bearings and make sure they are properly lubed with grease or oil, depending on your hub setup. I would suggest a high temp grease or oil. Here is a good place to buy [link=http://www.theoempartsstore.com/store/home.php?cat=253]Trailer Grease and Oil[/link] . They also have any trailer part you could need. I would suggest you buy something high temp. You may also look at ordering a [link=http://www.theoempartsstore.com/store/search.php?mode=search&page=1]bearing buddy[/link] or some sort of EZ-Lube attachment for your hubs. This will allow you to easily grease your hubs at you discretion. Good luck
posted 08-15-2008 01:55 PM ET (US)
I guess the UBB links don't work when enabled, so here is the links for you to copy and paste.
Trailer Grease and Oil
Or here is the main site
posted 08-15-2008 02:01 PM ET (US)
Your hubs shouldn't get hot from just towing a boat. If that is the case, you should check the bearings and make sure they are properly lubed with grease or oil, depending on your hub setup. I would suggest a high temp grease or oil. Here is a good place to buy [url]www.theoempartsstore.com/store/home.php?cat=253]Trailer Grease and Oil[/url] . They also have any trailer part you could need. I would suggest you buy something high temp. You may also look at ordering a [url]www.theoempartsstore.com/store/search.php?mode=search&page=1]bearing buddy[/url] or some sort of EZ-Lube attachment for your hubs. This will allow you to easily grease your hubs at you discretion. Good luck
posted 08-15-2008 03:22 PM ET (US)
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