Wheel Bearing Repack

Last year when I cleaned the brakes, the bearing grease looked pretty good. It only had one season of miles on it at that point, and the grease was still bright blue. I figured they were still good for another season. I ordered some new bearing and seals from Dexter, not only in prep for the upcoming repack job, but also to keep on hand. From the research I have done, wheeel bearing and seals appear to be any trailer's Achilles heel. Not sure why, it just is. My first thought is this is due to lack of... you guessed it, maintenance.

I figured out the brand of grease used on the bearings, Kendall Super Blue, found a supplier in Ottawa, and got some for the repack job. I found a great number of vids available on You Tube that provided step by step instructions and lots of practicle tips on how to do the job. Watching the job being done is such a better
learning tool than reading about it in an article. This was a huge help.

Jacked up one side, with the jack stand well placed for safeties sake, and disassembled the hub and bearings. You have to pry out the inner bearing seal to remove that bearing, and in the process, it pretty much destroys the seal. The easiest method, of many suggested, seems to be using a claw hammer to work around the edge of the seal to pry it out. Once out, it is garbage. I then removed the inner seal, and cleaned it and the outer seal with brake cleaner.

I cleaned up all the grease on the spindle and inside the hub as well. Clean the hub brake surfaces also, using fresh rags of course.

Once the bearings were clean and dry, you want to examine them carefully for wear and heat burns. Install new bearing if you see any wear marks or excessive overheat burn marks. Mine were fine. Now the fun part, packing the bearings. It is not just a matter of smearing grease all over the outside of the bearing, you need to
"pack" it in between each roller and the race. A video best illustrates the action, but you are essentially forcing grease into the edge of the wide side of the bearing, using a press and scoop motion with a big blob of grease in the palm of your hand. If done correctly, you can see the grease emerging from the other side of the bearing. Keep going around the entire bearing a few times to ensure it is jammed with grease. If you do a poor job here, it will bite you hard at some point, most likely when you are in the middle of nowhere.

Place the inner bearing back into the hub, and gently tap the NEW inner seal in place. Apply a liberal amount of grease to the inside surfaces of the hub where the bearings sit, as well as the spindle itself. While all this is apart, it is also a good idea to clean the brake linings and grease the contact points of the brake
linings and the spindle backing plate. This is a different grease from that used on the bearings. Slide the hub back on the spindle, insert the outer bearing, then install the pressure washer and spindle nut.
the silver grease is for the brake/hub contact points
Tighten the spindle nut while rotating the hub to seat the bearings, then back off the nut just slightly. Install the spindle nut lock or cotter pin, and you are done. This pretty much covers it, but I want to say again, these are not explicit instructions, and the vast majority of people out there should just be reading
about the job, not doing it.


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