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Silver Annie 10-21-2002 05:36 AM

Grease seals, hub trouble
Thanks for the informative forum. Sorry for this long explanation. There really are questions at the end.
I recently bought a 65 Caravel and am trying to get the running gear in shape before bringing it down the steepest mountain around. I pulled the hubs and took them to a shop to repack the bearings. Neither the shop nor the 2 auto parts stores (Napa, Carquest) on the island where I live had the seals, so I had to make a major trip to get them.
The old seal was the kind with a felt seal towards the spindle. The cup was towards the inner bearing and the flat side was away (I think) from the bearing when I dissassembled it. Part #6263 stamped on it. Napa sold me #16811 as a replacement. It seems to be the same diameter but maybe just a little smaller hole because of the little plastic lip on the inner edge instead of the felt. The cross section was up, over, down, over, up. I reassembled it with the inner cup towards the bearing, and used a block to tap it in flush. When I put the hub back together, there seems to be about 1/4 inch bigger gap between the back and front halves and the nut only goes about 1/2 way onto the spindle before it is so tight the wheel won't turn (notches in, right?). I backed it off a notch or two and put the cotter pin in, but it worries me. I think it was threaded all the way on the spindle when I took it off. The only thing I can figure is either

A) I don't have the right grease seal, or
B) I put it inside/out, or
C) The grease seal needs to go further in (I can reach inside the seal and move the bearing in and out maybe 1/8 - 3/16 inch)

The spindle flares where the bearings go and then jumps to a larger diameter. It looks like maybe the old grease seal would just fit over the larger diameter part (hard to tell since they crimped it in removal). Perhaps this new one is not able to slip over that part because of the little plastic seal on the edge of the new seal. Installed like I did with the inner cup towards the bearing, I think (??) the plastic seal was on the spindle edge away from the bearing, rather than on the very edge of the lip, towards the bearing. Hope this makes sense - it really does take 1000 words to describe something simple.

The questions:
1) The nut should go all the way onto the spindle, right?
2) Is the Napa part a proper replacement?
3) Did I install it backwards?
4) How do I get the new seals out without destroying them? Or with at least little enough damage to try and see if it works with the other side in, before I replace it with another?
5) If the cotter pin is in, will it work well enough to go 1 mile down the mountain and 6 miles home, or will the extra gap reduce the braking by not allowing the brake magnet to work as well?

I only bought the 2 seals, so if I have to get more, I have to order and/or wait until off island again...Better than a Wheel disaster, though.

Thanks for any help!

john hd 10-21-2002 06:40 AM

don't move!
leave your trailer right where it is until you get this sorted out.

get some help from some one that has done this before!

sounds like you have the wrong seal or one of the bearings are incorrectly installed.

when you say " i took them to a shop to have them repacked" did the shop take them apart or put any new parts in your hubs?

you cannot save seals once they have been installed, period. they are bent once you pull them, no matter how careful you are.
but, before you toss them. get the seal out of the hub and try to fit it by its self on the spindle. you'll know right away if it is the wrong size. it should go over the step on the spindle with some resistance. not a lot!

good luck, get someone who has packed bearing before to give ya a hand, use new cotter keys too!


53flyingcloud 10-21-2002 07:02 AM

You said it!! so correct.. If it were mine, I'd call Andy of InLand RV and, ask for the right replacement part . I say this because of his location to you (west coast) and, his many years of A/S experiences.
The VERY LAST thing you wanta do is take this nice unit out under this questionable setup.
It's good that you came to the Forum to ask. You'll be changing the bearing again in the future, so once you get the correct part and source. (write it down..share it here too..)
Good luck.

Silver Annie 10-21-2002 08:25 AM

Thanks John,
I took the whole hub to the shop, because it is at least an hour of shop time to get to the trailer. They took it apart and repacked the bearings and cleaned up the inner side and put it back together, except for the seal. No new parts that they charged me for. I assumed they put the inner bearings in right when I put in the seal. I guess from your reply that the spindle edge of the inner bearing might be flared to match the spindle?, and maybe it is inside out, preventing the hub from seating all the way in. Or the wrong size seal. Thanks for clarifying that it should fit over the step. Any hints on how to remove the seal without damaging the bearing? Wish I knew some DIYer to get help from in person, but you cyberhelpers are it. Thanks again.

74Argosy24MH 10-21-2002 09:05 AM

They make a j shaped puller to remove seals, but an easier way if the nut will fit through the openining in the center of the drum. Remove the outer bearing, put the nut (no washer) back on the spindle a few turns, pull the drum out so the nut touches the inner bearing, push it back in a half inch or so, jerk on the drum. This will leave the inner bearing and seal on the spindle.


john hd 10-21-2002 09:19 PM

your inner tapered roller bearing should have a radiused inner edge that would match the spindle. doubt it is in backwards as the bearing is tapered and goes in only one way.

my guess is that you have the wrong seal (too small inner diameter) to seat over the step on the spindle.

some one here might have the correct seal number.

short of that, beg borrow or buy a venieer caliper and measure the outer diameter of the step on the spindle and the inner diameter of the seal seat on the hub. measure it a couple of times to get the most accurate numbers. jot it down, then go to napa armed with the measurements. they should be able to deduct enough from the measurements to get you the right set of seals.

i'll look for some sites and get back to ya!


john hd 10-22-2002 04:43 AM

here is a generic description of how to, it is for boats. but the same rules apply....


p.s. it has an exploded drawing of how everything goes.

Action 10-24-2002 06:25 PM


What island are you on? Bainbridge? And what brand of stores do you have access to besides NAPA?


Silver Annie 11-03-2002 11:15 AM

Thanks for the help, especially John! Silver Annie is safely down Mt. Dallas and home. The inner bearing was the wrong way. The seals were correct. Now that I have her home, it's on to the brakes and shocks. I'll post a new thread!

Part numbers for 65 Caravel:
Old grease seal #6362 = Napa 16811
Inner bearing says Timken 15123
Outer bearing says 09067 Bower

Here is my reminder list of how to for 1-2 years from now, compiled from the advice on this forum, and with the operation fresh in my mind. I regret I did not note everyone whose advice I copied. If you recognize some of your words in the following, please take the plagiarism as the sincerest form of flattery.

“Idiot’s” Guide to Repacking the Wheel Bearings

When: Every 10,000 miles or every year or two even if not towed

Have on hand:
Lug wrench
Big channel locks for hub grease cap
Needle-nose pliers for cotter pin
Crescent wrench for nut on spindle
Paper towels/rags
Mineral spirits
Good boat trailer grease, such as Lubriplate
Brake cleaner
2 new grease seals
2 new stainless 2” cotter pins
Block of clean wood, about 4”x4”, to seat grease seal

Securely block wheel on other side

Loosen lugs and hub grease cap

Make a clean place to put parts

Jack up frame behind wheel, take off lugs, remove wheel

Remove hub grease cap, cotter pin, bearing retainer nut, washer and outer bearing

Replace nut, pull drum out, push in a little ways, and jerk to pull drum off while leaving inner bearing and old grease seal on spindle (don’t jerk it off the jack!)

Remove nut, inner bearing, and old seal from spindle

Clean backing plate, brake shoes, and spindle with brake cleaner

Inspect brake shoes and magnet (replace magnets when tops of screws begin to wear)

Clean hub parts thoroughly with brake cleaner or mineral spirits

Completely dry bearings (can use compressed air, but don’t spin them)

Inspect bearings for any damage. Replace if necessary.

Repack clean dry bearings with grease, either by hand or using a plastic cone bearing packer that fits on the end of a grease gun. By hand, put a gob of grease in palm and scrape larger end of bearing against gob of grease and across palm to force grease into bearings; rotate and keep doing it until grease starts to come out the other end of the bearing.

Coat races and drum cavity generously with grease, but don’t pack full, because it will retain too much heat.

Install inner (larger) bearing, making sure the flared open side is up, to match the flare on spindle

Put some grease around edge of cavity between the inner bearing and where the seal will sit

Put new grease seal with inner cup towards bearing, and carefully seat it flush, using block of wood and hammer

Put a little grease on surface and inner edge of seal and lightly coat spindle with grease

Clean any grease off braking surface and inner drum with brake cleaner.

Put drum carefully back on spindle.

Push outer bearing and washer in over spindle.

Put bearing retainer nut on with slots out. Hand tighten and then back off to the next slot in the nut. Grab hold of the drum and see if you can feel a slight bit of play. If not, then back off one more slot on the nut. When done, a slight amount of play must be felt, indicating it is not overly tightened. As the bearings warm up, some of that play will go away, as opposed to being very tight, which would cause the bearings and races to overheat.

Install new cotter pin.

Coat inside of hub grease cap with grease and fill about 1/3 full, hand tighten.

Replace wheel and hand tighten lugs.

Jack down and tighten lug nuts and grease cap. You’re half done!

Pahaska 11-03-2002 11:27 AM

One addition

Hand tighten and then back off to the next slot in the nut.
Just before you do the above, it is good tighten the nut to about 40 foot-pounds and then back it off again. That guarantees that everything is properly seated. You don't get enough pressure with just your hand to seat a seal or bearing that isn't fully seated.

My original source for this was a data sheet from Chamption Trailers some time ago, and I have carefully followed this procedure since.

74Argosy24MH 11-03-2002 11:46 AM

You should also rotate the drum or disc while tightening the nut.


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