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sport15er posted 06-04-2000 06:50 PM ET (US)   Profile for sport15er   Send Email to sport15er  
One of my trailer tires is beginning to sling grease on the inner side of the wheel. I use buddy-bearings, which are functioning properly. I believe the wheel bearing may need replacing. My question is the sequence of things.... "Beat" off the buddy-bearing(can it be re-used?), does the hub have to be removed; and remove and replace wheel bearing.....
Thanks in advance.
Alioop posted 06-04-2000 07:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alioop  Send Email to Alioop     
Sounds like the inner axle seal is leaking,you need to remove the hub and check the axle area where the seal rides and see if it is pitted or corroded.They do make a sleeve that fits over this area of the axle to provide a new clean surface for the NEW seal to run on.Check,clean and repack your wheel bearing before reinstalling. Alioop
sport15er posted 06-04-2000 09:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for sport15er  Send Email to sport15er     
Thanx, is this a driveway repair job, or a 'take it into the shop' job? The only other question I have is how is the hub attached?, I see no mechanical fasteners.........
jimh posted 06-05-2000 12:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Someone had a good URL to the sequence of assembly/disassembly...but I can't find it right now.

Short version:

Persuade Bearing Buddy to come off by tapping with hammer, back and forth, rocking it out of the end of the hub. This will reveal greasy inner workings.

Now jack up trailer so wheel is off the ground slightly.

Dive into greasy inner workings to find hub retaining nut threaded on end of axle and secured with either a cotterpin or some type of tabed washer.

Remove cotterpin or bend tabs.

Back nut off the axle. For some reason I think there might be a left hand thread in here somewhere--I don't recall exactly.

Hub can now be removed from axle.

Hub should come off easily, with parts in this order, working from outermost to innermost:

Grease seal / Outer Bearing / Bearing Race / HUB / Bearing Race / Inner Bearing / Grease Seal.

You can pry out the grease seals (destroying them in the process) with a large screwdriver.

The bearings should come out easily.

The bearing races will not come out without a lot of effort, hammering, etc.

Putting new bearing races in is a little touchy, too. They should be installed with a special seating tool, which you won't have.

THE BOOK always says never to use old races with new bearings, but I ended up doing just that and its been working for 8,000 miles.

But if your bearings are OK, you can just replace the grease, and install new grease seals, and reassemble the whole thing.

There is a technique to how tight the retaining nut is made, including "pre-loading" the bearings. Find some more literature about this, as you will want to get the bearing retaining nut set just right, and I don't remember well enough off the top of my head how to tell you to do it correctly.

Once caution: If you use your finger to reach in to scoop out the grease from the interior of the hub, watch out for sharp machined edges, knife-like edges really, that may lurk in there. I got a very nasty cut in the process of learning that the inner edge of the bearing race seats don't have the corner broken on the machined edge, producing a very sharp surface.

If you put too much pressure into the grease cavity with the bearing buddy gizmo, you can force grease past the inner seal. So just fill the bearing buddy up until the spring starts to compress.

The newer bearing buddies have relief holes that allow the grease to escape if the volume of grease gets so large that the spring loaded seal is compressed too far.

It is better to learn about this in the driveway than along the dusty shoulder of a busy interstate 500 miles from home.


whalernut posted 06-05-2000 05:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
SPORT15er, you can find a link to a bearing site in the General Section of this very site. The heading is under Proper Trailers for Whalers. I`ts about half way down in the discusions posted by Kenton Campbel. Hope this helps. Regards-JACK.
jimh posted 06-05-2000 01:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
That narrative I was thinking of and Jack pointed to is at:

sport15er posted 06-06-2000 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for sport15er  Send Email to sport15er     
Thnx to all who contributed, I decided I'd let the pro's do the work this time, since I'll be trailering to the coast this weekend... I get it bk tomorrow. I do feel comfortable knowing the jist of it all now, for the future..... Thnx again!
lhg posted 06-09-2000 03:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The Bearing Buddy people, Unique Functional Products, Inc., make a special rear seal to be used with Bearing Buddies, called a "Spindo Seal", available in various sizes. It seems that most trailer and boat dealers do not know about this, but should. Be sure you have these installed when you have your bearing redone. It is particularly important to use these if your trailer has brakes. They completely eliminate real seal leakage from the Bearing Buddy pressure.

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