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Old 03-07-2010, 09:30 AM   #1
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Time to repack bearings?

First off, I admit that I'm not very mechanically oriented. I was replacing my two right-side tires yesterday, and while the trailer was jacked up, I noticed that one of the wheels makes a slight squeaking noise when it rotates. Is this most likely the bearings? Or could it be the brakes or something else?
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
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Sump'n drag'n in there, pull apart and inspect!!
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:53 AM   #3
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First off, I admit that I'm not very mechanically oriented. I was replacing my two right-side tires yesterday, and while the trailer was jacked up, I noticed that one of the wheels makes a slight squeaking noise when it rotates. Is this most likely the bearings? Or could it be the brakes or something else?
Assuming your trailer has electric brakes, that sound is one of the magnets slightly dragging.

Or, it could be a broken adjuster spring floating around.

Remove the hub and drum, and give it a visual inspection.

Bearing repack should be done every 10,000 miles or once a year, which ever comes "FIRST".

Always replace the grease seals when doing a repack.

There are 2 types seals available, a single lip and a double lip, that also has a spring in it. The double is far superior.

Andy
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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Bearings never squeak. With out grease bearings will break down very quickly and what you generally hear will be a rumbling or grinding type noise when that happens. As Andy said it probably is the brakes. When you pull the hubs you might have to back the brake adjusters off in order for the brake shoes to clear the drums. As part of repacking the bearings and reassembling everything you should also adjust the brakes. There is a star wheel adjuster on each wheel located behind a little slot in the backing plate. Insert a flat bladed screwdriver in the slot. (There is also a drum brake adjusting tool that looks like a bent flat blade screw driver made for this purpose which can be bought at most auto parts stores for a coupe of bucks) The blade will contact a wheel that has little sharp studs like a star around its circumferance that you can turn by either pushing up or pulling down on the adjusting tool. With the wheel and tire mounted on the hub and the trailer jacked up securely turn the star wheel and then spin the tire on the axle. You want to adjust the brake shoes to just stop the wheel from spinning and then back off the adjuster until there is little or no drag when you spin the tire. Do all four and your brakes are now adjusted.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! I've listened to it again, and I really didn't describe it very well. It's more like a scraping noise, and it is not constant. In other words, as the wheel turns, it scrapes, then gets silent, then scrapes again. Sorry, but I told you I'm not mechanically oriented.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:24 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies! I've listened to it again, and I really didn't describe it very well. It's more like a scraping noise, and it is not constant. In other words, as the wheel turns, it scrapes, then gets silent, then scrapes again. Sorry, but I told you I'm not mechanically oriented.
Don't fuss with it.

PULL THE HUB AND DRUM.

To assume what might be wrong, is flirting with possible danger.

DON'T DO THAT.

Be safe, not sorry.

Andy
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:41 PM   #7
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Sounds like it's time for a brake job, new shoes, drums turned, bearings the whole nine yards.
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:15 PM   #8
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Pull them

Every year I pull the drums and grease caps to look. Every year I grease the bearings and feel much better doing that. Its like replacing the tires every 5 years! Peace of mind!
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:39 PM   #9
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Thumbs up

What Ed said...
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:03 PM   #10
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Mike and Diane, if you are not mechanically inclined, perhaps you should have a reputable mechanic do it. There are a number of threads on brake jobs and wheel bearing greasing—look them up, read and decide whether you feel up to this.

It's not terribly difficult if you are mechanically inclined, but it's also not something you want to screw up. It is time consuming for those of us who don't do this every day, but a lot cheaper than having someone else doing it. There are also threads about how RV shops and Airstream dealers did a bad job with brakes and wheel bearings, so you have to be careful. Even if you don't want to do it, it is a good idea to learn about it so you have a better idea about whether it's done right.

A scraping sound probably means something is touching something it shouldn't and it didn't do it before, so something is out of whack. Note that if you are going to replace the brake shoes, you might as well buy new brake plates—they have all the brakes parts with them, and cost much less than buying the parts separately. Dexter now makes self adjusting brakes and then you won't have to adjust them as often.

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Old 03-07-2010, 08:49 PM   #11
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I appreciate all of this good advice. I need to get this checked and not take any chances. Gene, I have looked at some of the threads and online photos and videos, and I've decided I shouldn't attempt to check and fix this myself. I know it's not all that hard, and when I see it being done by someone who knows what he's doing it looks positively easy. But I know from experience it would be different for me. I would be sitting on my butt on a gravel parking lot, with an aching back, thirty minutes from my house (unfortunately we don't have room to store the trailer at home) and no matter how many tools I took with me, a necessary one would be missing. And if I bought all the seals and whatever else ahead of time, they would turn out to be the wrong size. There would be more trips to the store, and more stress, and then when I got it on the road a couple of weeks later, I'd be a nervous wreck, waiting to see if the wheel was going to fall off.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:05 PM   #12
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I appreciate all of this good advice. I need to get this checked and not take any chances. Gene, I have looked at some of the threads and online photos and videos, and I've decided I shouldn't attempt to check and fix this myself. I know it's not all that hard, and when I see it being done by someone who knows what he's doing it looks positively easy. But I know from experience it would be different for me. I would be sitting on my butt on a gravel parking lot, with an aching back, thirty minutes from my house (unfortunately we don't have room to store the trailer at home) and no matter how many tools I took with me, a necessary one would be missing. And if I bought all the seals and whatever else ahead of time, they would turn out to be the wrong size. There would be more trips to the store, and more stress, and then when I got it on the road a couple of weeks later, I'd be a nervous wreck, waiting to see if the wheel was going to fall off.
All of us have limitations.

Recognizing them, and moving forward in a safe positive way, always gets that person the "Blue Ribbon" award.

Great call.

Andy
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:11 AM   #13
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Mike and Diane, best to recognize our limits. That's true wisdom. Don't ever ask me to figure out depreciation on a tax form or get on a steeply pitched roof.

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Old 03-08-2010, 11:16 AM   #14
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I appreciate all of this good advice. I need to get this checked and not take any chances.
It definitely pays to check things out. While it sounds like yours may be a magnet dragging there's comfort in knowing you're in good shape for the upcoming camping season.

I found this when we repacked our bearings last Fall..

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...tml#post755431
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