David, Great info. I'm very appreciative of your time and information. Most of it basically makes be feel better that I am doing the job correctly. I've been working on 50-80's cars for long enough to need to know how to service hubs and hub bearings. This is my first Torsion axle, and a great deal of experience carries over. So, I am going to try and give the rest of our forum viewers some picture resources.
I hope that my pics will work. SO here goes!
So I have a 1968 Airstream
Overlander. I restored it and have been using it to go camping and as racecar central for my racecar mechanic work at the track.
Here is my shot at trying to show the bits inside the hub and how I do my wheel hub service.
First, I crack the wheel nuts on the wheel I want to service. Then, I get the wheel I need to service up off of the ground by towing the Airstream onto a ramp (the forward wheel up off the ground will allow the rear wheel to dangle in the air high enough to get the wheel off).
Pull the wheel and remove the dust cap (break the seal with a small hand chisel or screwdriver and then with a big set of channel locks, you can grip both sides and wiggle it off) It is just as easy to just tap the chisel/screwdriver all around the edge of the dust cap lip and it will come off. See pic:
Now, you will see the hub nut and cotter pin keeping it in place. You will need a small hammer a nice set of needle nose pliers and a 36mm socket on a breaker bar. If you straighten out the cotter pin as close to straight as possible, then put your needle nose plier tip in the opposite end, you can tap the face of the needle nose pliers with your small hammer and the cotter pin should slide right out nice and neat.
Now you have your hub nut ready to remove. At this point, just eyeball everything to see if you see anything amiss (can you wiggle the drum in/out or up/down and have significant "clunking" noise when you move it), or is it easy to spin the drum? is it hard to spin the drum? does it make any weird noises like metal granola rolling around inside there? ok good? then remove the nut.
You will see the tabbed washer, pull the drum towards you and pull the tabbed washer out.
you will then see that you can see the outer part of the conical tapered bearing.
Ok, important part here, pull the hub towards you now that the hub nut is off (have a nice clean place to lay your bits down on. I use a blue paper towel on an old (not the kitchen stock) cookie sheet. The outer bearing should come out and fall into your hand (because you are prepared). Otherwise, it will fall in the dirt/floor and you will have to clean it. (ask me how I know)
Now that the tabbed washer is out and the outer bearing is out, (and on your paper towel), you can pull your drum off and inspect it. Look for shiny spots on the inside of the drum, any kind of "metal granola" you may see inside the drum hub area. Your inner hub seal should be clean, maybe some dried up grease and dust, but it should not be all greasy. It should just need a wipe down. I've taken a few pics for you to be able to identify your bearings and seals. I hope they help.
BEARINGS and SEAL numbers:
check your interior of the drum (this is the brake magnetic pickup area), make sure it is clean and shiny like this for good magnetic pickup)
This is the magnet that rides on that inside area of the drum, when the magnet activates (brake pedal depressed), it sticks to the inner drum and activates the brake shoes to engage the friction brake drum area of the inner perimeter of the drum (just like plain old drum brakes work). Be sure to check the actuation of the brake shoes by moving this magnet fore and aft (towards front of trailer and back of trailer) to ensure that the linkage between magnet and brake shoes work properly. Also check your springs that are at the 12:00 and 6:00 position, make sure they are in good shape and connected. TAKE DIGITAL PICS NOW of what the springs/brake shoes and magnets are supposed to look like. You will thank me later when you try to figure out how they go back together when you do your brake job in the future. Keep a folder on your computer of AIRSTREAM REFERENCE PICS.
Next, clean your spindle, all the way back to the drum backing plate. You need to inspect for hairline cracks, shiny spots where a bearing may be breaking down and not spinning correctly, or hot spots where the spindle has experienced heat (bluing or discoloration of the metal). If you find anything out of the ordinary, you may want to think about replacing your bearings. If you find a CRACK on your spindle you need to STOP and consult the folks here with pictures. A CRACK on your spindle is VERY DANGEROUS and a wheel can FALL off and you can DIE. Get the point? A cracked spindle is bad, and will require the replacement of the entire hub or axle. Now, back to bearings.
Here is a clean, tidy hub spindle. Wipe off with paper towel and put in your trash bag you have on your cookie sheet.
Slather some good Moly grease on that spindle (I use this stuff on the race car and it sees much more punishment than the Airstream does, so I can say with some certainty that it is good stuff). NOT TOO MUCH, just a good circumferential slathering. Think of cream cheese on a bagel. Too much is just gross. and not helpful.
You are going to do the same with the bearing outer race. Put some grease on your fingers, some on your palm and work the grease into the bearing (think frosting the inside and outside of a donut)push the grease in by pushing the bearing into the grease in your palm.
Now put that drum back on carefully, seat it all the way back and put your outer bearing race in place with all of its greasy goodness
next the tabbed washer (tab goes in the key way)
Then the hub nut
Tighten it down. Not too tight, but snug it down and then back the nut off one slot to fit the cotter pin. This may take a few attempts. Rule is that you should not be able to pull/push the drum and feel a CLUNK. It should spin freely and not bind. SO, tighten the nut as nice and tight, and back off the nut Juuuuust enough to allow access for the cotter pin on the very next available slot. Then bend over your cotter pin.
Lastly, tap on your dust cover. DO NOT pack the cap with grease. That is a silly practice. (in my estimation only)
Ok, wheel back on, torque down the nuts and grab wheel at 12:00 and 6:00 and wiggle. You should have NO wiggle or clunking of the wheel, do the same at 9:00 and 3:00. NO wiggle/clunk? you are good to go. Wiggle clunk present? Try the tightening down of the hub nut again and put it back together, perhaps you did not get it seated properly. If after two attempts at putting the hub and wheel back together, you STILL have WIGGLE/CLUNK, then you will probably need to fit new wheel bearings.
I hope this helps. You can email me directly at krichards167@gmail or call me directly at 703 244 9758 if you have any questions, or if my pics are not clear.
Trying to pay it forward for all of the help this forum has given me!