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Old 09-14-2002, 04:59 PM   #1
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Wheel Bearing Temperature

Hello folks

I am curious as to what temperature many of you have felt on the wheel bearing caps after coming off a highway run. How hot can they get before alarm bells start ringing????

Thnxs in advance for any info.
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Old 09-14-2002, 05:48 PM   #2
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i was always told that warm is o.k., as long as you can keep your hand on it.

if they get to the point where a bearing is too hot to touch then you are in trouble.

i always check mine every time i stop. along with the connections behind the truck. kind of a "walk around" just to make sure every thing is in order.

it could be that some of the heat you are noticing is actually from the brakes. on my wood hauling trailer with no brakes the hubs get only very slightly warm, even with a large load.(4-5k on one axle)

i think it would be also safe to say that your hubs should be no hotter than your tires after a high speed run.

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Old 09-14-2002, 05:48 PM   #3
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Wayne.
A rule of thumb temperature for a hub is not very hot. If you can hold your hand on the hub, your OK. If not, then it's too hot. The hotter the hub becomes, the more likely the grease will leak out through the grease seal.
Hubs normally get too hot, when the bearing preload is excessive. A cold hub must have a very slight amount of play. You can check that by raising a wheel and grabbing both sides of the tire. Try to rock it back and forth. No movement indicates that the bearing retainer nut needs to be backed off, a notch or two, or until a slight movement is felt.


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Old 09-19-2002, 04:17 PM   #4
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Wheel Bearing Preload

I believe a bearing preload should be applied of approx 50 ft lbs before backing the locknut out to the first cotterpin hole should be just about right.
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Old 09-19-2002, 07:40 PM   #5
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Wheel Bearing Paranoia

Why is it that people with campers are so paranoid about wheel bearings? I have had I don't know how many trailers in my lifetime. Horse trailers, water trailers, equipment trailers, you name it. I've only done the bearings in one or two trailers, one was a boat trailer, that went in the water, and the other one I did, just to have something to do one winter weekend. After I pulled it apart I realized it did not need to be done. All of my trailers have seen heavy duty service. I say if you pull the cap off and there is grease in there, and no water or corrosion, let it be. Now that I have said that, watch me burn one up this weekend.
Sock it to me!
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Old 09-19-2002, 08:23 PM   #6
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i don't think i'm paranoid about it. but the loss of a wheel on the trailer is not my idea of a vacation.

not to mention all the sheet metal that would need to get fixed! (the roof comes to mind)

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Old 09-19-2002, 09:36 PM   #7
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People on this board are a "cut above the rest" when it comes to mechanical repair. Don't see any Jayco or Fleetwood restoration forums. Other RV boards seem to really be concerned with wheel bearing repacking. Yes, I am concerned with mine, and I do check hub temps on trips.
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Old 09-20-2002, 06:31 AM   #8
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Wheel bearing

On our 1971 Safari, which has two axles, the rear two hubs seem to get warmer than the two front ones after 50 or 60 miles. However, not hot enough that I can't hold on to the hub. Do the rear brakes work harder? Do I have the brakes adjusted correctly? Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 09-20-2002, 01:53 PM   #9
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Pick and Dan.
Bearings should be packed on an Airstream trailer, once a year or every 10,000 miles. That is being "safe." Assuming the bearings are OK and that there is adequate grease, is not acceptable, when safety is considered.
If someone wants to live on the edge, that is certainly their choice.

Dan, your rear hubs quite well have the bearing retainer nuts a little too tight. Application of brakes, normally, unless badly misadjusted, would not cause one hub to be warmer then another.


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Old 09-20-2002, 06:46 PM   #10
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i'd have to agree with andy, the other positive to pulling your hubs once a year is that you can visually inspect the brake linings magnets and springs.

we have a 30 foot wells cargo car hauler that had one hub that was running hotter than the other three, when i pulled the hubs i found a broken brake spring. the shoes were riding on the drum causing the extra heat. the trailer was one year old.

would that have caused a failure of the hub? i don't know. but 3.00 worth of springs from napa probally saved hundreds in repairs. plus a delay in getting to where i wanted to go.

i guess it comes down to how much you are willing to risk, sitting on the side of a freeway with axle problems exposes you to all kinds of unseen dangers. from the semi that cant stop in time to the stranger who stops to "help".

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Old 09-24-2002, 07:49 AM   #11
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Manufactures Directions

Some very good info from many of you.

I do follow the manuals directions as far as wheel bearings are concerned.
I know of a 72 Argosy, owner ( 22 ft.) that he bought new. He got many years out of his bearings without touching them. His lesson was learned the hard way. After pulling in for fuel and walking around the trailer he was in shock to see his curb side rear tire, wheel, hub, backing plate, bearing, assembly and a lot of sheet metal was "gone"!!!! The bearing had seized and the axle snapped off. Over $2,000 dollars in parts and labor to make the trailer roadworthy and more bucks to repair the sheet metal later.

I also got a good tip from an RV dealer. Because A/S wheels and tires are big and heavy they remove the tire, wheel assembly first. Then remove the brake drum. This reduces the risk of damaging the grease seal. On my Safari one seal was damaged when the previous owner installed the drum.
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Old 09-24-2002, 08:16 AM   #12
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Repacked

From day one, I've had my wheel bearing repacked. Check the temp of the hubs as well as the rims whenever I stop. Always~
This is my third year with my current A/S and, it's been repacked twice.(This summer was the most recent). My own policy is to repack the wheel bearings every other yr or after 7k miles.
Last year was the first time I really took it out for an extended trip. I might add that, I average better than 7k miles a year towing. This may seem abit too much but, I'd rather do this then be stuck somewhere with major breakdown/ problems.
Question for Andy:
Is there an easier way to do this??
"like a grease fitting."
If so, how does one go about getting it retrofitted??
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Old 09-24-2002, 10:47 AM   #13
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Bad idea.

Forcing grease into the bearings will also force it out of the grease seals!!!

Where??

Onto the brakes.

Some things we still must do "the old fashion way."

Packing bearings is one of them.

Also, it is fool hardy to reuse grease seals. Yes you can save a few dollars, but only at the risk of a major accident!!!

But, some owners like to lean way over the edge.


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Old 09-24-2002, 11:44 AM   #14
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Thanks

Andy,
Thanks for that 'insight'..
I never thought abt the grease getting out onto the brakes, etc. I assumed that with the repacking kit that, the seal is/has been replaced. I'll be sure to watch out for that too.
Again, you're right~! The old fashion way is BEST..
ciao
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