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Author Topic:   Wheel falls off trailer!
Orca posted 08-07-2001 12:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for Orca   Send Email to Orca  
I have a 1996 "Float-on Inc." trailer. All aluminum,S.S.and galvinized. Has not seen salt for a couple of years. Well maintained, I thought. As pulled away from my storage spot,I noticed the left forward (brake) wheel wobble. As I pulled off the side of the road,the wheel and brake assembly fell off. No heat generated but no bearings either.The brakes are S.S. and bronze disks. I called Float On in Fla. and found my assembly was discontinued. I am now installing the latest iteration. The tire wear on the bad wheel indicates more wear than the other side. Did the piston on the caliper hang up causing the bearing to fry? Is there a method of testing bearing integrity short of jacking and inspection? Bearings where checked(I have the reciept,if that means checked)before storage with the anticipation of a Florida trip. Right side brakes o.k. Many variables here but any input? LHG, How often do you repack and check. The good news,a hightened awareness! Dave
Dr T posted 08-07-2001 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Do you know when the bearings were last packed?

Sounds like the grease was washed out.

Something similar nearly happened to me last weekend. I had had the bearings packed about 1400 miles ago, had pulled the trailer from Texas to Colorado, and then put the boat in the water about 5 times. Before pulling the boat from Steamboat Springs to Denver on Sunday, I noticed that the tires had an excessive amount of camber. I jacked the left tire up, and the entire wheel wobbled about .25 in at the edge of the tire.(trailer has a simple assembly with no breakes). I pulled the bearing buddy and inspected the out side of the bearing assembly. There was some, but not an excessive amount of grease. I pulled the cotter pin and tighted the nut about 1/4 turn to take the play out of the wheel, then reassembled. After reassembly, I pumped the hub full of marine grade grease.

I then repeated on the other side.

I pulled it out of the mountains (over two passes) with no incident. Not a drive I care to repeat, however. At the end of the drive, the hubs were warm, but not hot. Checked wheels last night and there was no wobble.

What I think happened was that during the long pull up from Texas to Denver the (then new) bearing seated in. I also strongly suspect that they were repacked with a non-marine graded grease. This grease washed out, and ultimately resulted in excessive play.

I plan to repack at the end of the season.

Great topic. Any thoughts?

triblet posted 08-07-2001 03:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Dr. T, If you had bearing buddies, the grease
didn't wash out.

And if the grease did wash out, the play
came about because of damage to the bearings
and they should be replaced.

And if grease didn't wash out, and the play was
because the bearings seated, the guy who
repacked them should be shot. And the
bearings probably need to be replaced too.

In any event, the bearings need to be
inspected. They aren't designed to be run
that loose.

Chuck

Dr T posted 08-07-2001 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Chuck,

I tend to think it was the guy who packed the bearings and tend to agree with your assessment of what to do with him.

On the bearing buddies: I now believe that the hub had not been filled completely with grease, so that when I filled them, the spring pushed the grease into the cavity in the center of the hub. This allowed water to get into the back of the hub and get at the grease.

Basically, a comedy of errors.

Since the running gear on this trailer is pretty old (1982), I may just replace the entire hub assembly this time around if there is anything at all wrong with the races.

That's why we call it recreational boating.

Orca posted 08-09-2001 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
Still spooked. Yes,full of grease. I have six trailers and never experienced my Float-On problems. This is my second brake problem. The original brakes malfunctioned and were replaced at the factory.Anybody else own a Float-On? I attempted to buy the best.If I use LHG as the standard,I'm way off the mark. DR T,I made the trip thru the tunnel in late May. One of the worst storms I have hit. Pulling a trailer would have been terrifying.
Contender25 posted 08-09-2001 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Contender25  Send Email to Contender25     
Orca-

I think I understand what happened. I have a 2000 Fastload Tri axle trailer with SS disk brakes on the front 2 axles. The trailer is essentially a Float On "Knock off". Anyhow. My knuckes are just know recovering from repacing all of the brake assemblies.

I had only towed the trailer around 500 miles before my Brakes failed. All of them!!
Disk Brakes are notorious for hanging up. When this occurs the pads are eaten, then the rotors, and all the while the hubs are heated up like a convection oven.

As the hubs are heated the one nut on your spindle gets loose and if there was no cotter pin on this nut your entire wheel and brake assembly can fall off your trailer axle.

I know it sounds far fetched but if you were to take the bearing buddy or end cap off your wheel assembly get through all of the grease you will find a large nut and a cotter pin through it, just like the one that holds your prop on your engine. I am guessing you lost this nut and your wheel then fell off.

triblet posted 08-09-2001 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
NO COTTER PIN?

The big nut on the end of the axle is just
barely torqued (20 INCH pounds on mine) in
order to avoid overloading the bearings.
Without the cotter pin it will come off even
if you don't have the brakes overheating things.

Chuck

Contender25 posted 08-09-2001 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Contender25  Send Email to Contender25     
Triblet

Orca was wondering why the whole assembly fell off. And yes, as you restated, no cotter pin would allow the whole assembly to fall off.

Dr T posted 08-10-2001 12:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
If the entire bearing assembly seized and heated up, then the cotter pin could shear (just like the cotter pin on your prop, aka shear pin).

In order to really tell about this one, you have to know what pieces were on the part that fell off and what was left on the trailer.

I have had the misfortune to be passed by my trailer wheels twice (while the trailer was thumping along behind the tow vehicle), and each was different.

SuburbanBoy posted 08-10-2001 09:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
The big nut is used to set the bearing clearance and to counter thrust. There should be very little rotational force transferred to the nut, hence the use of aluminum cotter pins. Excessive rotational force indicates lack of lube, improper adjustment, or faulty bearings.

I always wondered about the "new" disk trailer brakes. Is sounds as if they steell aree not ready for prime time in boating applications. I think almost everyone with trailer brakes on their boat trailer has a brake story to tell. They are a big problem.

sub

Bigshot posted 08-10-2001 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Have had numerous trailer problems. Amazing how quick it goes from a wobble to the rim hitting the frame. They say due to lack of lubrication but when they blow apart there is a LOT of grease, everywhere. My Baja trailer is a 1996 Alum 24-26' Tropic 7000lb trailer. It has the SS disk brakes that I must say worked until almost 2000. The rotors look like somebody chewed on the edges. The calipers started freezing up after about 2 years. This trailer is ONLY used in salt water but they did no old up any better than drums with a flush kit. My ramp is 1.2 miles away. By the time I get up to 40 I stop at the gas station. By the time I get up to 25-30 I am at my ramp. Took them off when my leafspring broke(rotted out). Salt water kills trailers.
Dr T posted 08-10-2001 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
To return to your initial question, the only way I know to check the bearings is to jack it up and inspect. On my little, no brake two-wheel trailer, this takes about 5 minutes per side.

This thread also reminds me of something that was drilled into me while I was growing up on the ranch: If you want something done right, do it yourself. I think that the trailer bearing is an area where this really applies.

This leads to a check list:

1. Pack your own trailer bearings. That way you know what was done and you can assess the condition rather than having to rely on someone else's judgement.

2. Before starting any long or potentially dangerous pull (going over mountain passes comes to mind), take the few minutes necessary to jack the trailer up and check.

3. Always check the tightness of the lug nuts before the long pull. Periodically check them when just going down to the ramp.

4. When making a long pull, occassionally pull over the the side of the road and feel the hubs to check the warmth. Stopping before the bearing freeze is better than looking out the window to see a wheel and tire going by.

5. Make sure the trailer tires have enough air in them. I have seen more than one trailer burn up because the tire caught on fire due to under inflation.

Does anyone have any other items for this list? I may seem a bit paranoid, but watching a trailer tire go past you is a bit unsettling.

Orca posted 08-10-2001 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
Thanks for the replys. Cotter pin and big nut still in place. Bearings disintegrated. Thought: Piston activating pad hangs up or does not retract on left wheel. Pad disintegrates,tire drags(thus wear)lots of heat? Also,Float-On's third caliper system since 96. In a way,it is reassuring that others have had caliper problems. Never a problem with my 1972 Holsclaw trailer.
where2 posted 08-10-2001 12:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Those weren't the Tie-Down Engineering disc brakes were they?

My dad finally had them removed from his Load-Master trailer. Nearly every time he went to use the trailer, he had to spend some time freeing one of the stuck pistons in one of the calipers. He faithfully washed them off after EVERY trailer dunking, and yet they would still freeze up. Jacking the trailer and individually rotating each wheel by hand is the only sure method to know if the bearings or brakes are dragging on any trailer or tow vehicle.

Dr T's problem was probably due to the bearing race not being properly seated in the hub as the bearings were replaced. When replacing bearings, one must pay special attention to whether the race has fully bottomed out against the seat. Races are press fit, and sometimes stick while being pressed into place. It's cheap insurance to check the play by grabbing the wheel at 3-o'clock and 9-o'clock and pull with one hand while pushing with the other, attempting to rock the wheel side-to-side. You can do this with the trailer loaded, a loose bearing will be evident even with the wheels firmly planted on the ground. (another useful tidbit of having owned the '70 Beetle with bearings like a trailer).

Bigshot posted 08-10-2001 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Off subject(kinda) Friend had an old junk vw 412? and theywere going down the road when a thump and the rim and tire flew past. They leaned to one side which kept it on 3 wheels and limped it to a friends(after retrieving the wheel). The axle was shongo but everything else was ok. They welded it back on. Had the car for about 2 year and the tire finally blew so they scrape it.
Dr T posted 08-10-2001 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Scapped the car because a tire blew? Well, in this case, it makes sense ;-)
gunnelgrabber posted 08-11-2001 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
BS, Your word " shongo " is very descriptive and i can identify with it. As most of its seviceable synonyms are not politically correct these days, i'll trade mine for yours. See? you never know the influence you have around here.Appreciate your efforts.thanks..lm
triblet posted 08-13-2001 01:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
A buddy of mine had a wheel mostly (but not
quite) come off his boat trailer Saturday.
He's into a new axle.

And I got home and there's grease all over
the inside of the starboard trailer wheel,
which says, at best, I need to do seals (and
bearings as along as it's apart).

Chuck

Dr T posted 08-13-2001 11:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Have fun with the wheels. :-)

I re-inpsected the wheels and bearings last Saturday, and saw not visual evidence of problems. I then pumped the bearing buddies full of grease, drug the boat to the lake and back (about 80 miles), and re-inpsected again. No grease leaks on the inside, wheels still turn freely. The only change was that the spring of the bearing buddy had pushed all of the grease in.

Your comment about the grease on your wheels gives me pause. I used to fill the bearing buddies really full everytime I took the boat out. eventually, the grease started seeping past the seals and ultimately coated the insides of the wheels.

Bearings were still ok, but I think that overfilling the bearing buddies caused the seals to fail.

Interesting to hear what you found out when you worked on the boat.

tds

triblet posted 08-14-2001 10:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I pulled the wheel last night. The seal
had come out of the hub for whatever reason.
The bearings were fine, but the hub was
getting pretty rusty on the outside so I
replaced the whole hub assembly (I carry
a spare in the truck) and bearings. I'll
do the other side next week.

Turns out that my buddy who lost the wheel
had his wife hose things down the previous
trip. She'd noticed grease on the wheel but
thought it was normal.

If you read the bearing buddy instructions,
you want to fill the hub till the buddy's
piston rises about an 1/8". You should
be able to rock it, but not push it straight
in. If you can push it straight in, there's
still air inside.

Chuck

Orca posted 08-14-2001 07:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
Where2Thank you. They are Tie Down Engineering assemblys. I have turned the trailer over to a local mechanic for his expertise and input. I would like to have something intelligent come out of this for everybody caring to avoid having on their water time robbed. The old part # 1230. The holes for the "slides" were drilled thru the castings. The new part # D/N 11046 has bronze or brass bushings on the "slide" holes. At this point, I am assuming this is the upgrade to the old caliper. When the job is complete, I'm going to call Float On and Tie Down so I might offer up some useable data for the site. Yesterday, A Dauntless 20 on a two year old Eagle trailer came by the marina with a locked up brake. The folks at the marina were able to help him out. I told him about Jim's site and asked him to post the problem and the fix. His trailer had drums. The mechanics at the marina had never heard of disc's on a boat trailer. Dave
lhg posted 08-14-2001 08:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
First of all, if one is using Bearing Buddies, which have yet to fail me, remember that Unique functional Products, the mfg, recommends that you always use their "Spindo Seals". This is an essential part of the system, and unfortunately, seldom used. They are spring loaded seals that keep the grease in against the pressure from the "Buddy".
The little black "bra" covers also keep grease off the outside of the wheels, since the Buddys are designed to bleed out excess grease. See their website for details.

I have the new version of the Tie Down Engineering SS disc brakes on my trailer, 4 of them. So far, after about 10,000 miles, no problem, both salt and fresh water. When I had them installed, my Continental Trailer dealer told me that they have had to re-design them several times, and that I was getting the new design, and this time they hopefully have it right. Time will tell. I do keep the slide fittings in the caliper cleaned and lubricated. They are a much simpler design than the vented rotor Chrysler mini-van disc brakes originally installed, and marketed by UFP also.

Dick posted 08-14-2001 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
We distribute Tie Down Engineering products and since the disk brakes were re designed none of our dealers have had a single poblem.
I won't talk about the headaches prior to the re design.

Dick

Dr T posted 08-15-2001 12:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Thanks for the reference to the bearing buddy seals and the web site at www.bearingbuddy.com. It has a good description of the system and how to install.

I probably do not have the name brand, so I will probably just replace the entire assembly.

RFK posted 08-15-2001 07:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
Here is "for what its worth" option. Like several of you, I was having trouble with Bearing Buddies and rear seals. So I have gone to a second option. I put Liqua Lube hubs on my Eagle trailer.

They don't use grease but a biodegradable lubricant the company developed. Their hubs are available. Most of what they make is used on over-the-road trailers.

Liqua-Lube, Inc
P.O. Box 71
Lake Mills, Wi. 53551
800-561-9917

These folks used to make boat trailers, but they left the business because they refused to cheapen their product. The owner is a straight talking, interesting guy.

Since I am about to put 4000 mi on the trailer, I will know more over the next three weeks!

Dr T posted 08-19-2001 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Another 80 mile round trip to the lake, and now the hubs are wobbling again.

Oh, well, never expected the temporary fix to last very long.

Time to pull a hub, take some measurements, and order parts.

Any recommendations on a web-based vendor of trailer parts? I looked briefly at www.easternmarine.com, but the web site is SLOW with a dial-up connection. Also, you can order Bearing Buddies and seals directly from www.bearingbuddy.com. Have not found an on-line source for Trailer Buddy parts, however (www.ufpnet.com is an info only site).

simonmeridew posted 08-19-2001 08:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
You might try your NAPA dealer or other auto parts place. I think you can get set up with BB for about $11.95 or so. I use wheel bearing grease when I take out the bearings; it has some kind of fiber(maybe asbestos) that really gives it some body. Then once I get the whole thing back together, I put a couple of pumps of regular lithium grease in the BB fitting to keep the pressure on. Those vinyl caps are a good idea to put over the whole assembly. The BB's come in two diameters; if you don't have a micrometer or vernier, you can bring the little hub cap(not the wheel cover) that fits over the opening of the hub when you buy the BB and they can give you the right size. Like I said, $11.95. It isn't rocket science.
simonmeridew
Dr T posted 08-19-2001 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
You guys ain't gonna believe this one.

For those who have followed this thread, you will recall that I had a wobble.

Just finished dis-assembly, got out the micrometer, and discovered something disturbing.

The @#&(#$%$^$ that was SUPPOSED to rebuild my hubs some 1500 miles ago made a small mistake--about 1/16 of an inch worth. This guy put brand new L44649 bearings on my axle. The problem is that the insided diameter of the L44649 bearing is 1 1/16 inch--and the trailer axle has a 1 inch spindle.

When I put things back together, I will be using a grease with a calcium sulfonate complex base (Two brands are Lubrimatic boat trailer bearing grease and Pennzoil Marine). The White lithium complex (e.g. Pennzoil Marine Synthetic)is a more or less universal grease. In general, car wheel bearing grease is a bad idea for boat trailer bearings due to its lack of water resistance.

More later as I progress.

andygere posted 08-20-2001 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
LHG speaks the truth about double- lip "Spindo" seals. I replaced the bearings and hubs on my trailer before a 350-mile round trip last month, and couldn't get the Spindo seals locally (tried everywhere, including trailer specialty shops) and need to do the job before my trip. I ended up using the single lip seals, and one of the hubs is already throwing grease. I was meticulous while hand packing the bearings, and really carefull with the greasegun afterwards. Now I will be doing it again, this time with the right parts.
Dr T posted 08-20-2001 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
BearingBuddy and TrailerBuddy have very similar (at least in concept) dual lip seals. I ordered mine last night from the BearingBuddy factory (in Puerto Rico) because of the Ecommerce site.

We shall see how well they work.

tds

lhg posted 08-20-2001 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
championtrailer.com is an excellent source for all things related to trailers. Order their catalog, also. It's excellent. They are in Louisana, but ship.

Ironically, I did not see the Bearing Buddy products in their catalog, but they do have a brand of double lip seals.

andygere posted 08-20-2001 06:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Larry,
Is it safe to assume that the double lip seals offered by Champion are as good or the same as those specified by Buddy Bearing? So far, Champion is the only place I have found double lip seals, and if they are the correct type, I'll buy from them.
lhg posted 08-20-2001 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Andy - I really don't know the answer to that. I have been told the BB Spindo Seals are spring loaded, but can'tconfirm that.

The Spindo Seals work well for me, so I have stayed with the Bearing buddy brand.

andygere posted 08-20-2001 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Larry, do you get the Spindo's from a local dealer or directly from Buddy Bearing via mail order? I am intent on doing it right this time :)
Dr T posted 08-20-2001 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
The results of a bit of research:

See http://www.bearingbuddy.com/spindle_seal.html

for an exploded drawing of the seal.

These seals are available from both Bearing Buddy (www.bearingbuddy.com) and Trailer Buddy (www.ufpnet.com). You can order from Bearing Buddy directly over the web. You cannot buy directly from UFP and must go through a distributer.

noswah posted 11-21-2001 06:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for noswah  Send Email to noswah     

After reading the various posts I noticed that there wasn't alot of emphasis put on the bearings themselves. I would stay away from any bearing that were not American made as they usually have lower standard for the metal as well as the product.

I learned to pack my own wheel bearings back in the 60's. I would snug up the large nut then try and move the wheel from side to side and snug up the nut one more time, then back it off a half a turn. I never lost a bearing but I never had one in saltwater either.

Jerry Townsend posted 11-22-2001 01:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Just a few comments - I don't have and have not had trailer bearing problems - but a couple of items are immediately brought to my mind when reading all the posts made to this thread. One, as some have pointed out, use the best water-resistant grease that you can find. Further, as others have pointed out - too much grease will ruin the seals.

But, one possibility that may be causing some problems is that some may be tightening their wheel bearing retaining nuts too tight. The proper way is to tighten the nut until it just makes firm contact and then back off to the next cotter pin hole. Well, that is the way that my master mechanic father taught me a long time ago and I have never had wheel bearing problems.

triblet posted 11-22-2001 11:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
The right way is to use a torque wrench.
It's a real low torque spec (mine is 20 INCH
pounds) so you'll need a torque wrench that
reads that low. My local NAPA auto parts
store special ordered me a beam type wrench.
It wasn't very expensive, maybe $15. I later
found a nice Craftsman click type -- this is
new: Craftsman didn't used to go that low.

Chuck

whalerron posted 11-22-2001 08:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
The other real way to set the bearings is to use a dial indicator to measure bearing endplay. You torque the nut down to the manufacturer's initial setting. This actually makes the bearing too tight. Then, you back off the nut a little at a time and use a dial indicator to check the bearing endplay. When it is within the manufacturer's final endplay tolerances(typically 1 to 10 thousandths endplay), you put the lock washer and cotter key in and you are done.
Jerry Townsend posted 11-22-2001 11:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
There have been 3 somewhat different approaches given to wheel bearing adjustments - and because of the importance of proper wheel bearing adjustments, everyone should consult the owner's guide for their trailer.

For those that may not have an owner's guide, the owner's guide for my Shoreland'r trailer states "... While rotating wheel tighten the spindle nut to a recommended 20 inch-pounds if your trailer has 1-1/16" - 1-1/16" bearings or 30 inch-pounds if your trailer has 1-3/8" - 1-1/16" bearings. Do not over tighten. ... Look for the hole in the spindle through the slots in the spindle nut. .... turn the nut counterclockwise" (loosen) "until the next slot in the nut lines up with the cross hole" (in the spindle shaft). "Insert the cotter key".

The important thing is to not over-tighten the bearings. Over-tightening is a sure way to ruin those bearings. Give room for thermal expansion as the bearings heat up. And yes, properly adjusted, the end play will be between 1 and 10 mils.

Realizing that everyone does not have a torque wrench - realize that 20 or 30 inch pounds is not much - 1 lb force with a wrench 20 or 30 inches long - or 2 pounds with a wrench 10 or 15 inches long. Not much more than just firm contact.

Since there are other words in the owner's guides regarding the wheel bearings and packing of the bearings, everyone should read their owner's guides.

jimh posted 11-23-2001 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The report of installation of wrong size bearings (by DrT) brings to mind the problem of getting good service work done on marine related mechanics.

Here are two more anecdotes:

I had the bearings and brakes overhauled on my tandem axle PACIFIC trailer by a local trailer place. It was convenient and not excessively expensive for the labor, and I needed the trailer ready in a hurry.

On the first trip out with the trailer I discovered the brake fluid had leaked under pressure through a loose T-fitting in the lines. I hastily attempted to re-fill and re-bleed the hydraulic system, but I didn't do a very good job of it. Since the boat lives on the trailer, I couldn't take the trailer back to the shop immediately for repair, as I did not want them jacking up the trailer with the boat on it, nor is it easy to work on the brakes when the boat is on the trailer.

The next time I had the boat off the trailer for an extended time, I tried to get the service shop to fix it for free, but they refused because it had been so long since the initial work (about ten months). I could accept their position, since I should have complained to them immediately. Underlying my easy conversion to their point of view was a desire to do the work myself so I could be familiar with it.

With a $5 brake bleeder kit from the auto store I was able to bleed the brakes and get them working again. I feel much more in-control of the brakes now that I know how to bleed them. Next step I guss will be a complete overhaul in a few seasons.

This same shop also installed new bearings. By chance I happened to check the wheels for wobble while getting some new tires mounted, and I found one of the bearings was set quite loosely. I already knew how to set the bearings up, so it was a simple matter to correct this.

I mention these two incidents because, like DrT's situation, they are examples of mechanical work done by professional that turned out to have serious problems.

I think marine-related mechanical repairs are provided at a level that is not as consistent or as high as automotive repair. In my state (Michigan) all automotive repair must be done by certified and licensed mechanics.

I don't think such requirements are made on providers of trailer repairs or other marine mechanical services. For this reason, I try to be able to provide as much of the servicing as I can myself.

Dr T posted 11-24-2001 09:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Exactly the point of my list in this thread posted on August 10.

I learned how to do this stuff for precisely the same reason I learned trim carpentry and house wiring: I got really tired of cleaning up the messes made by so-called professionals. Also, as Jim points out, you feel much more secure in the integrity of the workmanship. Given his attention to detail, I would suspect that if he had done the brake job the first time, Jim would have never had the leak--even if it was the first time he had done it.

That said, however, you have to know your limits. Know what you can do safely and reliably, and know what you can't. Also, try to make all of your mistakes in a low risk environment (i.e. don't pack your bearings for the first time the night before you are about to make a 1500 mile run down to the Gulf of Mexico.)

It is time consuming, dirty, and sometimes unpleasant to do this stuff. On the other hand, it tends to be worthwhile in the long run.

Have a safe holiday, all.

tds

Dr T posted 04-10-2003 02:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
It is getting to be the time of year that Whalers start spending part of their time as land animals. I brought this back to the top as a reminder to all to make sure your CHECK YOUR TRAILER before taking to the road.

tds

tuna1 posted 04-10-2003 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for tuna1  Send Email to tuna1     
Float-On trailers have their own design for the rear inner bearing seal assembly.The design is a special 3 piece system:1-a special seal for the inside rear hub(a larger id,and lip design,2-a stainless steel step L shape sleave that fits over the normal step of the axel where the normal inner seal surface would be,and 3-a special diameter and sized o-ring that fit on the axel against the step diameter in front on the normal seal surface that now seals against water intrusion to the area between that surface and the inner L shape surface of the stainlees steel sleave.
If the wrong sized o-ring is used you can not acheive a proper preload of the wheel bearings and with time the o-ring squishes and loosens the wheel bearing preload,and the bearing wears improperly and can fail.
Float-On in the instructions that come with the trailer warn against using only their parts-obtain from them so this above listed problem is advoided.
When the dealers pay the yard workers peanuts all you get is a bunch of monkeys working for them and therefore the screwed-up in the work done like above.
Have worked on the same Float-On trailer for over 25 years-no problems,but just now getting some cracks in the main I-beam above the axel mounts that need to be welded.
IMHO the work to repack the bearings was done wrong with the wrong parts.
Ferdinando posted 04-13-2003 12:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     
Gentlemen:

I purchased a set of Turbo-Lubes, the ones that only work with oil (80). Aside from an oil leak which I corrected with Spindos from Bearing Buddies their working perfectly and I've had them for over 6 months. Just one note, as I mentioned I did have a leak at the start with one hub and I called Tie-Down for help, forget it their customer service support sucks, even after 5 to 6 E-Mails, belive it or not Bearing Buddys came to the rescue advised me about their Spindos and the problem was resolved. As of today I would recommend the use of oil hubs over grease. Fred

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