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Old 09-20-2012, 11:11 PM   #1
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Using an IR Thermal Gun for Hub Temps

I've seen mention of using IR Thermal guns to check wheel hubs and tires temps when on the road. I have not seen any mention of what those temps should look like.

Can someone explain to this newbie what exactly I should be looking for temp wise when using an IR thermal gun?

Pete
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:30 PM   #2
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I have no idea how normal this is, but over the course of a year towing on the Carlisle Radial Trail ST tires that came with my trailer from the PO, the normal tire temperature just after stopping was generally 15-20 degrees F above ambient air temperature. This is on trips starting in North Texas, often in really hot temperatures, but I have taken a few trips in pleasant temperatures as well.

I haven't towed enough with the new Michelins to know if they behave differently... ask me again when I get home from the Balloon Fiesta in mid October.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
I have no idea how normal this is, but over the course of a year towing on the Carlisle Radial Trail ST tires that came with my trailer from the PO, the normal tire temperature just after stopping was generally 15-20 degrees F above ambient air temperature. This is on trips starting in North Texas, often in really hot temperatures, but I have taken a few trips in pleasant temperatures as well.

I haven't towed enough with the new Michelins to know if they behave differently... ask me again when I get home from the Balloon Fiesta in mid October.
Thanks, that's helpful. Balloon Fiesta! Now I'm jealous. I hope it's a wonderful trip.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:52 PM   #4
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Hi, my trailer has wheel center caps [hub caps] so I can't get a hub reading. The few times that I checked my tires, they were around 120 degrees. A little hotter on the sunny side.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:02 AM   #5
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I just finished the Blue Ridge Parkway with ambient temps in the mid 80's. My wheel hubs were generally in the 96-100 range.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:25 AM   #6
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I shoot the sidewalls and the lug nuts (I also have center caps). The main thing I look for is 'differences' that may be a heads up to a problem.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:30 AM   #7
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I shoot the sidewalls and the lug nuts (I also have center caps). The main thing I look for is 'differences' that may be a heads up to a problem.

Nailed it. As long as all four wheels/tires are within a few degrees of each other, you're fairly safe. It's when one is 15-20 degrees higher that you have a concern.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:18 AM   #8
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I shoot the sidewalls and the lug nuts (I also have center caps). The main thing I look for is 'differences' that may be a heads up to a problem.
This is my same approach for using the IR gun.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #9
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Hot hot hot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Re-Pete View Post
I've seen mention of using IR Thermal guns to check wheel hubs and tires temps when on the road. I have not seen any mention of what those temps should look like.

Can someone explain to this newbie what exactly I should be looking for temp wise when using an IR thermal gun?

Pete
That's a good carribean song but not good for tires or hubs. I just towed back from Florida and found at 95 degrees towing between 60 and 65 my tires ran around 115-120 degrees but I discovered my left rear drum was 136, ding ding ding . You can shoot the hub next to the center cap, heat travels nicely on brake drums. It ran cooler each stop so I thought maybeeee the brake was adjusted to tight when they were packed in Cape Cod last year, fat chance, when it was pulled up north the bearing was tanish not silver, not good. New bearings all the way around for me.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:24 PM   #10
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Oh by the way it's a great tool to see if your double axle trailer is running level or more on one axle making the tire temps different, or if the air pressure is lower on one tire (it'll run hotter).
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:41 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input. I think I have a pretty good idea now of how to properly use and interpret the IR gun readings.

Pete
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:49 PM   #12
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I just had the bearings replaced on all four wheels and although only one was running hotter than the rest all had a brown tint indicating they were running a little hot or getting ready to wear out. The sad part is I had a wheel pulled in Florida to check if the PO really did have them lubed and Bates RV said oh they are fine, only 1000 miles later they're not?
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:05 PM   #13
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Pete

Thanks for asking the question. It is amazing what I have been able to learn on this forum. I really appreciate the input.

Dan
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:12 AM   #14
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I just had the bearings replaced on all four wheels and although only one was running hotter than the rest all had a brown tint indicating they were running a little hot or getting ready to wear out. The sad part is I had a wheel pulled in Florida to check if the PO really did have them lubed and Bates RV said oh they are fine, only 1000 miles later they're not?
I wouldn't trust anything anyone said there. Just my personal biased opinion about the place.
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