DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

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JamesM56alum
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Location: Farmington, minnesota "Orginally Pensacola, Fl"

DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by JamesM56alum »

Well here's a little something i put togeather for you guys, i did my bearings today/yesterday i did it two ways, one side by hand the other by press, the pic's you are going to see is the by hand method because by press honestly there's nothing really to see. I will try and make it as straight forward and as easy to understand as possible, if i leave anything out by all mean's comment and i will do my best to correct the issue. Keep in mind the by hand method isnt the easiest and also isnt the best way to do it but if you have no other choice then it will do the job.

Onto the pics.

First off start by supporting the trailer on jackstands, if you dont have a impact i would suggest breaking the wheel nut's loose before you unload the boat and while the boat is still on the ground due to sometime's them being alot harder to break loose when the wheel is free spinning, i used an impact so it wasnt an issue.

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Then remove the tire and remove the center dust cap exposing the castle nut and carterkey.
As you can see in my photos the grease in my hub is brown/milky due to a rear seal that was worn causing water to leak in at the boat launch.

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Once the nut is removed pull straight out on the hub assembly USUALLY they will come off with out minimal force, some you have to either use a 3 jaw hub puller or just give it a couple good wacks with a mallet on the back side to break it loose.

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Now you can remove the seal out of the rear of the hub two ways, one with a cold chissle or one with a seal puller, i used the seal puller on one side and the chissle on the other so you will see how to do either one. I personally prefer the seal puller i HATE smashing my thumb with the hammer and it never fails i always do.

Take a wirewheel or a wire brush and clean up the surface of the seal in order for you to be able to see the seam, as you can see the before and after in this one picture there is a big difference.

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Now that you have the seal exposed you can pick your options. Option one the seal puller.

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Take the hub and brace it between your feet or put it in a vice if you have one handy, which i didnt at the moment so i did it the hard way. Tilt it to the side and take the seal puller and put it under the metal lip on the seal, once you do that take the hammer and smack the side of the hub that is sticking up towards you, doing so you will pop the seal out and all is well.

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Now option two, the cold chissle, i wouldnt suggest using a flat head screw driver unless you have a pretty soild tipped one. Same process as the other clean up the rear of the hub, find the seam of the seal and find a side and start hitting till the seal caves in and it pops out, trust me it's alot harder than it seams i assure you and as some point you will smash your thumb lol.

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Now once you get the seal out move onto cleaning up the hub and removing all the old grease, i scooped most of the old grease out by hand then sprayed it out with brake cleaner, or you could use a parts washer or steamer which ever you have handy.

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Now once your happy with how clean it is inside move onto inspecting the bearing races, mine were pretty warn and personally i dont reuse anything so for me it was a no brainer, now if you do decide to reuse them then make sure there are no groove's or pitting in the race which will cause the new bearing to fail prematurely. If you're planning on removing them there are two ways one is with a press which i used on one side, and another is yet again the cold chissle. Look inside the hub and see the flat side of the bearing race you want to make sure to only hit that and not cut into the hub it self, my chissle is pretty warn so it wasnt as sharp as it use to be, if you use a new one be VERY careful because you can crack the hub also.

Once you find the flat part take a hammer and hit the chissle going around the edge of the race slowly and evenly working the race down untill it pops out, i find it easier to support it between two 2x4's because if you use a vice it will be a little rougher on the hub if it slips.

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Now once you clean up the rest of the grease you will notice some stops inside the hub, that's pretty much an idiot proof hub, it wont let you press the races in too far and stops you when they'er just right.

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Ok once you're ready to press the new races in, either take it to a local napa or other part's store and possibly a local shop and have them pressed in professionally, which shouldnt cost you that much at all sometime's if you catch them on a good day bring them a case a beer and it's all good. BUT if you really dont have the fund's or just like doing it the hard way you can do it by hand with using a piece of 2x4, a large socket, the old bearing and a large hammer. (( Keep in mind i dont suggest you do this because you can scar the inside of the race or possibly warp the race and end up having to take it to the shop to get it pressed out which in the end would cost more for a new race and having it pressed out. ))

Lightly grease the empty hub and preinsert the new race being careful to make sure it's as level as possible,

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Now take the 2x4 and settle it ontop of the race being sure to keep it level, i actually used a bubble level after every blow to make sure it was still level enough to where i was happy with it.

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Then give it a good smack, it took 3 decent hit's untill it was flush with the hub,

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Now take the old bearing and set it into the new race then take a socket you have laying around that's about the same size as the bearing, then smack it a few good time's untill the race is sitting ontop of the stop's inside the hub.

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Now pack the center of the hub full of grease, use as much as you like, i usually just smuther the bearing's in grease and put a good golf ball sized glob inside the hub and put it all back togeather.

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Now once you are happy with the race's move onto the seal, same process make it as level as possible ussing a 2x4 with a hammer and give it a good hit and it will pop right in, just dont push too far it's only supposed to go flush not recess inside the hub.

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Once the seal is in flush turn your attention to the spindle, i took a wire wheel to mine because the axle seal had been leaking so long it had built up a nice 1/4inch wall of dirt and crap, but she cleaned up nicely, once you get it cleaned up check for pitting, and signs of over heating/warping. If your spindle is blue/black then it's time to get it either resurfaced and go with a smaller hub and bearing or replace the axle because the metal has over heated and will break at some point in the future under a load.

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Once that is all taken care of slide the hub back onto the spindle (( becareful not to damage the bearing's doing this, due to the fact trailer bearing's arent closed bearing's and if you bend the casing the roller bearing's are in they will blow apart under pressure. )) once it is seated on the spindle put the castle nut back on tighten it down to whatever torque spec's your trailer mfg suggests IE mine says 45lbs so i went with that, install the carter key and make sure to bend the key so that it wont vibrate out, it's there for a reason USE THEM PEOPLE, they keep the nut from spinning off and your tire from flying off going down the road.

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Now once that's done fill the dust cap a 1/4 way full of axle grease and tap it on snug by hand, DONT DAMAGE THE NOSE CONE, if you do it will cause the dust cap the warp and work it's self loose and you will lose all your grease.

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Take a flathead screw driver or chissle either way, and go around the lip of the cap evenly taping gently untill it sinks in tight and flush with the surface of the hub, some people put a spot weld on it or put a coating of RTV to seal it on tight i have smoothie rim's which have dome caps that cover the hub so if it did fall off it wouldnt go very far.

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Once that is done put the tire back on do a couple free spins by hand, now go do the otherside the same way!

Well that's all for now guy's i hope this helps some one at some point, feel free to comment and make suggestions thats what it's here for, thanks for reading! :)

P.S sorry if i missed any type o's mod's feel free correct the spelling, it's 12:30 am and i'v been working on this post since 10pm lol

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Captain Ahab
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by Captain Ahab »

WTG Man - that is great stuff and very well done


Thanks so much for taking the time
Trying to Fish as often as Jim works :LOL2:

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TimRich
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by TimRich »

Nice write up!
Current rig under construction- 14 foot flat bottom jon http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 65#p242665

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Jim
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by Jim »

Thanks for doing this! :beer:
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JamesM56alum
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Location: Farmington, minnesota "Orginally Pensacola, Fl"

DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by JamesM56alum »

Np i'll be doing a wiring DIY next week not that any one need's any one the wire's are labled but it might help some one down the road.

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Jdholmes
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by Jdholmes »

Great job, man!

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Gramps50
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by Gramps50 »

When I pack bearing by hand I always put a glob of grease in the palm of my hand and then take the bearing holding it with the big side down I press that into the grease turn and repeat this will force the grease into the bearing itself.

Nice DYI, came see this being helpful for someone down the road.
--- Gramps
1985 1651 Polar Kraft 20 hp Mercury
HB 597 ci HD DI

lckstckn2smknbrls
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by lckstckn2smknbrls »

Gramps50 wrote:When I pack bearing by hand I always put a glob of grease in the palm of my hand and then take the bearing holding it with the big side down I press that into the grease turn and repeat this will force the grease into the bearing itself.

Nice DYI, came see this being helpful for someone down the road.
This and when you tighten the castle nut you want to tighten it till the hub is hard to spin. This will set the bearings in place then you have to loosen the nut and and tighten it finger tight till the hub has a little give to it. You don't want the bearings over tightened.
1971 14' Ward's Sea King Jon Boat / 1983 Mariner 25HP

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sixgun86
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by sixgun86 »

Very nice write up. =D>

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jasper60103
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by jasper60103 »

Very good instructions. Thanks for sharing. =D>
2018 Tracker Grizzly 1648
2018 30 HP Suzuki DF30A

JMichael
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by JMichael »

Gramps50 wrote:When I pack bearing by hand I always put a glob of grease in the palm of my hand and then take the bearing holding it with the big side down I press that into the grease turn and repeat this will force the grease into the bearing itself.

Nice DYI, came see this being helpful for someone down the road.
That is the way I was taught was the proper method of hand packing a bearing. You force the grease into one side, until it starts to come out the opposite side, then rotate the bearing and repeat.

And I know it's getting nitpicky, but it's "cotter" not "carter" key/pin.

But it's a nice writeup, and I'm sure it will be very helpful to anyone that's never attempted to do their own bearings.

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jeko1958
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by jeko1958 »

Great post...great photos...thanks!

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JamesM56alum
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Location: Farmington, minnesota "Orginally Pensacola, Fl"

DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by JamesM56alum »

your welcome, and thank you lol feel free to add any tips or trick's you may know to this thread, that's why i posted it the way i did because every one always has different way's of doing thing's and it's nice seeing them because maybe one way might fit you better than another.

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aeviaanah
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by aeviaanah »

Thanks for posting this I found a cracked leaf spring. I'm replacing bearings, races etc in the process. Good to have a guide to go by!
1971 12' Valco Mod-V - Current progress...
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y0y0y0
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DIY- Step by step wheelbearing replacement - With pic's

Post by y0y0y0 »

Very nice write up. It will come in handy soon. :)

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