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Old 05-21-2009, 10:56 PM   #1
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Wheel Bearing Race was loose - what to do?

Hoping someone with a lot of wheel bearing experience can help me.

I was cleaning and packing the bearings today, and the inner race on one wheel was loose - it came out with the bearing and the seal. Both the bearing and race were in good condition, so I cleaned the race and carefully tapped it into the hub, then cleaned and greased the bearings and reassembled.

Now I'm wondering if I should have gone to a machine shop and had the race pressed in vs the way I tapped it in. On the other hand, there's really no place for it to 'go', so maybe it's not a problem? How 'tight' are the races supposed to be when installed, and will bad things happen if I run it this way until next year?

Appreciate anyone with a similar experience or advice - thanks!

Bob
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:13 PM   #2
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Bob, a spinning race is not a good thing. It can cause the hub to deform where the race is, and could possibly wear grooves into the hub. Besides the machine shop, you could try replacing the bearing and race, cleaning the outer edge of the race, and putting some loctite on the outside, then insert into the hub. Reassemble the hub assembly after the loctite dries.
The third option is best, but priciest: Get a new hub/drum, with new bearings, races and seals.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:28 PM   #3
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I would buy a new bearing, race, & seal.

I would have the race pressed into the hub.

If the new race is loose in the old hub, I would buy a new hub.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:23 AM   #4
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I'm thinking that if the race fell out on it's own, then it might have been spinning in the hub - as mentioned above, not a good thing...bearing could fail due to wear pattern with the race 'wobbling' in the hub...

IN the old days...if that happened out in the boonies, we'd use a center punch to make a few small 'divits' around the hub where the race fit - then press it back in place...this is a temp fix to get one back home, so to speak...when back on home turf, you would then be able to replace the hub, both races, bearings and the seal...

These parts are common, and fairly cheap, pick up some new stuff and you won't have to worry about it...
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:24 AM   #5
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Use the low strength locktite or you will never get the bearing race out of the hub. If you check the Locktite website you will find they have a recommended grade for this application. It self centers pretty well and resists the normal operating temperatures well.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:31 AM   #6
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if a race came out of the hub, replace it. it is either a spun race, poorly machined hub or the wrong race/bearing.

a hub/drum is much cheaper than any damage that can be done by a failure. the peace of mind is cheap.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:14 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies - I'm heading back to the trailer parts store this morning to buy a new hub/races, bearings, etc. It's not worth the worry and not very expensive (considering the overall cost of this Airstream 'pursuit'.....)

Overall the quality of the 'running gear' used on trailers seems to be not what I would prefer - I'd pay more $$ for good stuff if it was available, but an on line search turns up what looks like the same things everyplace

I do appreciate having this forum to get advice from others who know more and have 'been there - done that' before me - thanks!

Bob
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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I do know Timkin makes about the best bearings out there... do they make races too?
Marc
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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I know SKF makes races. Have you tried mixing Timken bearings and SKF races? Let me know if that works out.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:49 PM   #10
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Yes, of course Timken makes races, or bearing cups as they're called...go into a bearing house and ask for tapered cups and cones...

Trouble is, these days, most 'repair parts' places carry bearings made in China... Small wonder, they're way cheaper, so the part houses use em' to make more profit!

If you go to a bearing house, you can usually get stuff by brand name, but even some well known 'brand names' have outsourced product to Asia...

SKF used to be known for quality roller and ball bearings, used them years ago in lots of HD truck applications in transmissions, axles, engine accessories, etc...along with Timken tapered cup and cone bearings...BCA was cheaper brand of ball bearings, made by Federal Mogul Corp - they had a companion tapered cup and cone bearing line whose name escapes me...

The proper fit of the tapered bearing cup depends on the hub being machined to the proper spec for the matching cup...unfortunately, even if the bearings are top of the line...where are the hubs made??? Also Asia, perhaps???

I think 'Rome' is smoldering, and we Americans don't seem to have the will to quench the flames before we're engulfed...and we don't even offer Chinese 101 in our grade schools, as the Asians offer English in theirs....
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RDM16CCD View Post
Hoping someone with a lot of wheel bearing experience can help me.

I was cleaning and packing the bearings today, and the inner race on one wheel was loose - it came out with the bearing and the seal. Both the bearing and race were in good condition, so I cleaned the race and carefully tapped it into the hub, then cleaned and greased the bearings and reassembled.

Now I'm wondering if I should have gone to a machine shop and had the race pressed in vs the way I tapped it in. On the other hand, there's really no place for it to 'go', so maybe it's not a problem? How 'tight' are the races supposed to be when installed, and will bad things happen if I run it this way until next year?

Appreciate anyone with a similar experience or advice - thanks!

Bob
Replace the hub and drum.

A loose race is usually caused by over tightening the bearing retainer nut, and then adding some miles to the trailer.

Once a race becomes loose, the drum is done.

Don't risk patch work. Drums are not that expensive.

Andy
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy View Post
I do know Timkin makes about the best bearings out there... do they make races too?
Marc
Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
I know SKF makes races. Have you tried mixing Timken bearings and SKF races? Let me know if that works out.
You can get the bearing and race together, called a "set". This is really preferred, because, at least in theory, the two would be matched more closely than buying this part and that part. It would be called, for example, a "Number 6 Set", or a "Number 4 Set".
Most hubs come with the races already installed, so all you have to do is buy the bearings and seal. get a new inner and outer bearing to go in the new hub, you don't want to run an old bearing, with a pre-existing wear pattern, in a new race.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:45 AM   #13
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You can get the bearing and race together, called a "set". This is really preferred, because, at least in theory, the two would be matched more closely than buying this part and that part. It would be called, for example, a "Number 6 Set", or a "Number 4 Set".
Most hubs come with the races already installed, so all you have to do is buy the bearings and seal. get a new inner and outer bearing to go in the new hub, you don't want to run an old bearing, with a pre-existing wear pattern, in a new race.

Interesting that you mention buying bearings as a set - ie, inner race,
rollers & cage and outer race.

I had always thought that was the only way that you got bearings because of the close tolerances that were involved and that they were "matched."

Recently, I bought new grease seals in preparation to do a repack on our newly acquired AS. I decided at the same time to buy a complete set of spare bearings for one hub to carry on my travels "just in case" and I was quite surprised to find that I had to order the races separately under different part numbers rather than a complete bearing assembly with both races.

Brian.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:39 PM   #14
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sometimes you can find 'sets' for specific applications, such as trailer axle tapered roller bearings, depending on the bore size, etc...

Other wise, you order the cones and cups as separate items - they are made to exacting specifications, so that 'matched' sets aren't the norm...

some equipment have specs that call for 'matched' sets of bearings, and in those cases the bearing mfg's will match the bearings...usually under an 'assembly' part number, and an increase in cost due to the matching process required...

I used to work for a company that sold off-highway construction equipment that used, large bore tapered roller bearings on the axles...Timken made these bearings, and they were sold in matched sets, and very expensive! We sold a bunch of rigs (40+) to a construction company that were building an earth fill dam, and they ran into a seal contamination problem that wiped out many of these bearings...Timken couldn't keep up with the demand, and we had to search all over North America to find some of these bearings to keep the rigs rolling...and Timken ran extra shifts to get these bearings out to the field...a big headache for us all, at the time!
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