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Old 10-10-2007, 07:54 AM   #1
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Hot Hubs

We took our AS out last weekend "Show Your Airstream" for its maiden voyage. Towed her about 30 miles out to Hempstead Texas and spent the day, did not see any others but received lots of looks. Stopped for gas after a few miles and the hubs were hotter than they should be. They are brand new axles from Inland. I thought well they are new and needed a few miles to loosen and grease up. It was the same on the way home, definately hotter than they should be but not burning. I think I should just back the cotter pin nut off a bit and spin tire, and pull around a few miles again and check. What do yall think, if anybody else had new axles, did you have the same issue?

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Old 10-10-2007, 08:13 AM   #2
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Three possibilities. The bearings don't have enough grease, the bearings are too tight or the brakes are too tight and dragging. The bearings should have a small amount of side play (.002-.005 is typical). Jack up the trailer and first check for a dragging brake by spinning the wheel. if that isn't the problem, remove the cotter pin and try to loosen the nut by hand. If you can't loosen by hand, it is too tight. The normal way to adjust the bearings is to tighten to about 15 lb ft with a wrench while turning the wheel. then loosen untill no resistance. Next, tighten finger tight. Then back off just enough that the new cotter pin can be inserted. If brakes or adjustment is not the problem, it is time to remove the hub and check the lube.

Good luck.

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Old 10-10-2007, 09:06 PM   #3
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I think you received good advice. However, I would not trust the lube, it is too easy to remove the wheel & drum and check the lube short of pulling the inside seal.
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:52 PM   #4
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brakes will expand and drag more when hot, they might have been overadjusted. nut might be too tight.

my first call would be to inland or PM andy, he's there for you.
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:00 PM   #5
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I shoot mine with an infared thermometer at every stop. The rears are usually +5 to 10 degrees over the front and the right side, if the sun is shining on it, can also run a few degrees hotter. I usually am under 115 even when the temps hover at 100.
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:13 PM   #6
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just a thought

Did you check your break away for an inadvertant pull out? A mal adjusted brake sensitivity on the controller will be a problem too. I always check just in case. On any trip I will stop twice for sure. Once about 25 feet from start in order to make that one last look about for left items and attached items. Next stop about two miles out to check the wheel hubs and brake dragging. I know...its anal.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:50 AM   #7
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Feeling the Heat

I raised wheels and spun each, the brake was not dragging but it was touching, but wheel spun easily. I backed off brake by adjusting the caliper and took a test drive. When home it was hot but I think not as hot. Still uneasy. The other side (street) isn't even warm. We are going to Palmeto SP today and I will make another attemp at adjusting before we leave and check during the 134 mile trip. I PMed Andy and his response was that it is normal for the curb side to be hotter?
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by The Flintstones
I PMed Andy and his response was that it is normal for the curb side to be hotter?
?, Weird answer.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:30 AM   #9
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Correction "a little warmer"

Here is his response, I miss quoted earlier. I don't know how to post the quoted text in blue. . . I have adjusted the nut and brake but still hot and these are new axles.

"Hi James.

Jack up the curb side of the trailer.

Grab the tire for and aft with your two hands. See if you can wobble it from side to side.

The correct bearing retainer nut adjustment should allow the tire/wheel/hub and drum assembly to have a slight wobble.

On the other hand, usually because of the crown in our highways, the curb side hubs will get a little warmer than the road side.


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Old 11-09-2007, 01:04 PM   #10
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We get this concern in service quite frequently. Usually what people are feeling is normal heat from brake actuation. If you used the brakes before you stopped to check the hubs then they will be warm.

A good way to know for sure the temperature your bearings are running is to stop at a rest area on an interstate. Coast in from a good distance and let the speed come down naturally you can shift down with the tow vehicle as well. When you are almost stopped turn off your brake control and do the final stop with the car brakes. Then you will know the only heat is from the bearings and tires. It takes about 15 miles for drums to cool completely from a strong brake actuation.

Don't forget to turn the brake control back on.

I hope this helps.

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Old 11-12-2007, 08:09 AM   #11
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Made it there and back 275 miles

Thanks Anrew and All
We made it to Palmetto and back without incident. I think you are right about it being a brake issue we pulled over and the hubs were warm but seemed warm all around, the front two wheels were a bit warmer than the back two. Still seems strange that at first on the test drives there was literally no heat on the street side. I tested all four wheels and they were getting voltage when brake was applied. When we were leaving on Sunday and testing the braking it was very jerky at the end when coming to a complete stop though. Any thoughts on that? I turned down the power on the brake controller and it seemed to take care of it??
We are still very new to all this as this was our first "Real" trip.

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Old 11-12-2007, 10:51 AM   #12
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Andrea's test of stopping after a distance on the interstate is realy the easiest way to determine if you are dealing with a brake or bearing issue. If things a OK the wheel will feel warmer close to the tire and less close to the hub, tire heat. If the wheel is hotter close to the hub and cooler close to the tire you are dealing with a bearing or brake issue. Andrew's test eliminates the brakes.

New axles, and thus new brakes, need a run in time on the brakes, as the shoes are not set to the drumbs. If you have 3 or 400 miles on the new brakes they should be adjusted as the high spots are most likely worn down.

If you do the above mentioned wheel wiggle and find things are in fact tight I would remove the drums and inspect the spindle for color. Tight or failed bearings will cause the spindles to go brown and then blue.

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