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Old 06-15-2006, 10:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I think we have a confusion of terms here. Nobody is suggesting you use 50 ft-lb preload on the bearings, and leave them at that.
Thats not what I meant either. However the initial 50 foot pound tighten seems a bit high to me. And I guess it's OK based on what everyone else has posted. I just don't go there.

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Old 06-16-2006, 10:35 AM   #16
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ACTION I am sorry to confuse any one. The 4 LB spec. I mentioned was recommened by GM and Timpkin bearings and was used by personel to get experience. 4LB is about finger tight. Again I apoligize. I did not know there was a difference between an Airstream trailer hub and a front hub on a truck carrying aproximatly the same weight. We live and learn. THANKS
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:11 PM   #17
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NYE,

Don't appoligize to me. I was under the same set of ideas. I actually don't use a torque wrench any more. (still have the wrench) I repack. Install everything. Put a wrench on the nut, spin the rotor/drum until I feel it being tight enough. Back off and tighten to take out most of the slack. Slide in the cotter pin and button up the rest of the job. My frame of reference is front wheel bearings on cars from the 60's and 70's. The initial torque for that kind of vehicle is about 15 foot pounds. Back off and finger tighten. My Lincoln listed below has sealed bearings and they have never been repacked in 140,000 miles.

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Old 06-17-2006, 07:06 AM   #18
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Of course there is a cotter pin that goes through the slots in the casteleated nut and through the hole in the spindle.
What I am talking about is the washer that goes between the castelated nut and the outside bearing inner race. It has a tab that engages the square slot in the spindle. Sort of added protection to prevent the inner race from spinning the nut off.
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Old 06-17-2006, 07:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
On my two Airstreams they used cotter pins. I do not know of any Airstreams that use the lock tab type nut locks.
my "quick lube" spindles use the lock tabs rather than cotter pins.
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:21 AM   #20
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I adjusted my bearings by tightening the nut with a wrench to about 20 ft-lbs, spin the tire, back off the nut, tighten by hand, then loosen nut to the next available cotter pin slot. The hubs are near ambient temperature based on carefully placing my hand on the drum center after driving. I'll have to buy an IR thermometer to know for sure. I did not check for looseness by rocking the tire... will need to do that next time.

Yesterday I adjusted my brakes... very easy to do, only took about 30 minutes including driving the trailer up on ramps 4 times. Remove rubber plug, turn star wheel up until noticable drag when rotating wheel, rotate star wheel down ~6 clicks, rotate wheel to ensure no drag and replace rubber plug.
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Old 07-08-2006, 10:08 AM   #21
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Think about this

I guess this is a good forum to mention this.

I was at my local Airstream shop yesterday and came across an interesting sight.....with an interesting story attached.

Briefly, a 2004 Bambi with pretty good damage to the right wheel well and area aft of the well. With discussion on tire failures I thought that was the problem, Bambi did have Marathons...all in good shape. Not the problem

Apparently the owners, coming across West Texas suddenly had the Bambi collapse on the right side, drag the ground a bit....and guess what? Started a fire in the dry grass. Excitement? You bet! Fire was put out, help called and the trailer trailered to repair shop.

Seems like the outer bearing failed completely. The wheel came completely off the axel (For the Caravel guys....this is NOT a call to change Bambi axels.) The retaining nut, washer and key all still in place. The grease was the same as in the other side and all looked correct and good on that other side. The Bambi is obviously well maintained and used. What happened? Bearing pre-load? Defective bearing? I am waiting to hear.
I am hoping that the lady owners are members here or have friends here who will keep us informed.
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Old 07-08-2006, 11:11 AM   #22
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Having worked in the auto repair business for 40 years I've seen a lot of bearing failures. Here is what I observed. More bearing failures come from incorrect service procedures{ packing, assembly, adjustment} than come from neglect. I've seen wheel bearing burn up in less than 50 miles when adusted to tight and run for thousands when to loose. I had an interesting conversation with an engineer from a major oil company about lubricants and bearings in general. Here are some interesting things he told me,some of which I knew some I didn't and what I practiced ,NEVER HAVING HAD A BEARING FAILURE.
{1}When cleaning bearings always wash them in hot soapy water and dry thoroughly as the final step before packing. The slightest film of solvent left over from cleaning can cause the lubricants to break down and fail.
{2} Never mix greases.
{3} Never add grease to bearing without removing the old lubricate completely--EVEN IF IT'S FROM THE SAME CONTAINER. He claims the heating and cooling of the lube in the bearings will change the molecular structure of the grease and can make it incompatable with the original grease IN THE CONTAINER IT CAME FROM.
{4} Never use more lube than absolutely needed. A hub full of grease is of no value and can lead to grease leaking onto brake shoes.
I suppose because it looks so simple few people realize how technical this procedure really is. If you find youself sitting along side the road with a spendle burnded off and a wheel well ripped from your trailer the reality of this will become evident.---Pieman
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Old 07-08-2006, 11:44 AM   #23
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Hi Melody Ranch--I agree with Mike Lewis. My bet would be bearings were preloaded, resulting in failure of the outside (smaller) bearing. Never heard of a wheel bearing failing because it was too loose, but heard of plenty of failures of bearings that were too tight. Really, a 2-year old Bambi doesn't need any type of wheel bearing service. I'd put my money on the fact that the bearings were regreased recently, and not adjusted correctly (39-years in the bearing business).--Frank S
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:14 AM   #24
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Bambi wheel failure

Pictures here if I can get it resized. Ref the previous posting for the story.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:49 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch
... Started a fire in the dry grass. Excitement? You bet! Fire was put out, help called and the trailer trailered to repair shop.

Seems like the outer bearing failed completely. The wheel came completely off the axel (For the Caravel guys....this is NOT a call to change Bambi axels.) The retaining nut, washer and key all still in place. ...
OK, how the heck did the wheel come off if the nut was still on the spindle? Did the spindle fail? I can't believe the hub can get across the nut, even with a bearing failure, but I'm guessing I'm about to be educated here.

Obviously the hub was hot, if it started a fire. All other factors having been discussed, I bet the nut was on too tight (slight chance the heat came from a too tight brake adjustment, but not quite as likely).
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:19 AM   #26
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Hello zep ,
the outer bearing cone is smaller than the inner so when the outer bearing selfdestructed ,all that was left was the race of the outer bearing which is
small stuck to the spindle ,the wheel and inner bearing just went right over the race an off the trailer.

Scott
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:21 AM   #27
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Forgot to say that the nut diameter is smaller as well than the inner bearing
so it can still pass over the nut also.

Scott
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:50 PM   #28
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Bearing info- continued

If you are setting up new bearings, then you should go all the way to 50 foot lbs. in order to set the bearings in the spindle and into their proper seats. This is the case with almost all bearings of this type. If you are repacking bearings that have already been run, then you could go to a lower torque, but the key is that their must be some play...do not tighten them any more than finger tight after backing off. Once you are finger tight, always loosen to get the cotter pin in place, never tighten.

On the issue of the tab washer...they either are designed to use them or not, no system that I have ever seen uses both the washer and a cotter pin.
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