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Old    trickskisrock            05-04-2006, 5:55 PM Reply   
Getting ready to take my boat on its first long trip (350 miles each way). I wanted to replace my bearings prior to the trip. How much work is involved in this? What do I need to do? Cost? Anything else I should check? The boat is on a galvanized single axle trailer with drum brakes.

Also thinking of the brakes, how much do a new set of drums run? How hard is this to do on your own. I'm fairly mechanical and have replaced the risers, manifolds and transmission on a boat before. Thanks for the help.
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-04-2006, 6:15 PM Reply   
I did the bearings about 5 years ago on a boat trailer -- so I'll share my experience. If it was a perfect world everything would have been quite straight-forward. Somewhere along the way, one of the inner bearings ceased and was spinning on the axel - this caused it to wear a 3/8 grove into the axel. I spent about 5 hours on that wheel alone. Ultimately blow-torched the bearing chase off the axel, then ground the lip that had formed from wear. Kind of scary when I think about what could have happened.

I was going to do brakes on that trailer, but the bearing buddies had pressured a lot of grease around the bearing seals, so the drum assembly was totally caked with old grease. I decided to forego fixing the brakes. If I recall correctly, on my trailer, the drums were the same machined cast metal as the hub. It's been a while, but I think replacing the drums meant replacing the hub.

I don't mean to tell you something you may already know, but one of these is a safety thing and the other will make your life easier.

first, As far as tightening wheel bearings, the trick is to tighten as tight as you can with your fingers, then back the castle nut off until about an 1/8 of a turn until you can get the cotter pin through. Then check them after the grease has had a chance to wear out of the bearing.

second, buy a bearing packer and grease gun. Saves a lot of time over packing them by hand.

Good luck!
Old     (derby)      Join Date: Nov 2005       05-04-2006, 8:46 PM Reply   
Hey here is an awesome, complete write up from another great site.
Old     (garman)      Join Date: Feb 2005       05-04-2006, 9:14 PM Reply   
Here's a few pics of wen I did my bearings... replaced inner and outer with Timken bearings. Since the races were galled, they were replaced as well... You can see the galling in the photo. The only issue you might run into is knocking the races out and the seating the new ones. If you jack your trailer up, spin the wheels and there is NO noise or excessive slack, you are probably fine and a good greasing is all you need. Mine made a good bit of noise with the visible galling.



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