How to Grease Trailer Bearings

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:09
Wheel bearings, whether they're on an RV or a trailer of some sort, are essential in helping the wheels spin easily and freely. They need to be lubricated regularly so that they operate at their best capacity. Greasing, or repacking,...
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Wheel bearings, whether they’re on an RV or a trailer of some sort, are essential in helping the wheels spin easily and freely. They need to be lubricated regularly so that they operate at their best capacity. Greasing, or repacking, trailer bearings is an important part of trailer maintenance, and thankfully it doesn’t take long to do! Remove the wheel and take apart the hub until you can access the bearings. From there, you’ll clean them and repack them with new grease. Reassemble the hub and replace the wheel before moving on to the next one.

Part 1
Part 1 of 2:

Accessing the Trailer Bearings

  1. 6
    Remove the inner bearing and grease seal from the hub. Use a wooden dowel and a hammer to tap the bearing and grease seal out from the front of the hub (the front is the side where you can see the threads of the screws; the back is the side where you can see the tops of the screws). Set the bearing and grease seal to the side.[5]
    • If the bearing isn’t too dry, you may be able to push it out by hand or use a screwdriver to pry it out.
    • If the seal is rusty, use something like WD-40 to loosen it up.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 2:

Cleaning and Greasing the Bearings

  1. 1
    Soak the bearings and spindle nut in kerosene. Use a small pan and fill the bottom with 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) of kerosene. Set the greasy bearings and spindle nut into the kerosene and let them soak for about 10 minutes.[6]
    • If you notice any damage in the bearings, like scratches, pitting, or discoloration, you’ll need to buy replacements.
    • If you don’t want to use kerosene, you could also use acetone or mineral spirits.

    Warning: Kerosene is flammable, so don’t use it around open flames and don’t smoke or operate a lighter while you’re using it.

  2. 2
    Clean the inner and outer races while the bearings are soaking. Wipe away any visible grease with a clean rag and visually examine them out to see if they are damaged at all. If you need to, dip an edge of a rag into kerosene and use it to clean off any stubborn grease.[7]
    • Damage to a race might look like pits, dents, or scratches.
    • Just like there are inner and outer bearings, there are also inner and outer races. Thankfully, they are the same shapes and sizes, so you don’t need to worry about getting them mixed up.
  3. 3
    Replace the grease seal every time you grease the trailer bearings. Even if the grease seal still appears to be in good condition, it’s recommended that it be replaced every time you perform maintenance on the trailer bearings. Keep in mind that you’ll need 4-8 grease seals, just depending on how many wheels your RV or trailer has.[8]
    • You can buy new grease seals online or at your local auto parts or trailer supply store.
  4. 4
    Wipe down the clean bearings and spindle nut with brake cleaner. Take the bearings and spindle nut out of the kerosene and set them on a clean rag or newspaper. Spray them with brake cleaner and either dry them off with another clean rag or let them air dry.[9]
    • This step just helps get the bearings and spindle nut extra clean. If you feel satisfied with how the bearings look after soaking in the kerosene, you can skip this step.
    • You can buy break cleaner online or at an auto parts store.
  5. 6
    Replace the bearings, hub, spindle nut, cotter pin, and dust cap. Use the wooden dowel and hammer to tap the bearings back into place in the hub. Then reassemble the rest of the parts until the dust cap is popped back into place. Tap it with the hammer as well to make sure it is in there as securely as possible.[11]
    • If your model of trailer also had a nut and washer, don’t forget to replace those between the outer bearing and the spindle nut.
  6. 7
    Put the tire and lug nuts back into place. Settle the wheel back onto the rod and screw the lug nuts back on with a wrench or tire iron. Once it is secured, you can lower the car jacks and move on to the next tire.[12]
    • In all, this project may take you 1-3 hours, just depending on how easy it is to take apart all the pieces and how many tires you need to do.
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  • Never use kerosene near open flames.
    Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Always follow the instructions for your carjack so your trailer doesn’t fall while you’re working.
    Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

Things You’ll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Carjack and stands
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Wooden dowel
  • Hammer
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Bearing grease
  • Brake cleaner
  • Clean rags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Kerosene
  • Small pan
  • Newspaper

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