What's proper way to grease trailer wheel bearing?

wheels

#1

I would like to grease my trailer wheel bearings before I take it on a long trip. I bought it a few months ago and probably put on about 500 miles on it.



I took the dust cap off and found some water in it, but the bearings seem to still have grease on them.



My question is:

Do I need to take the bearings off and repack the bearings, or can I just put more grease into the grease fitting on the back side of the hub?



I would think injecting grease through the fitting on the other side of the hub would not replace the grease between the roller bearings, but wouldn’t it be enough to just completely surrounding the bearing with new grease?



When I injected grease through the fitting, grease eventually started to ooze out from around what looks like a washer and the castle nut that holds the wheel bearing.


#2

Good question. I’d be interested, myself. I’ve never had a zerk for wheel bearings. I would normally just do the full Monty in packing them by hand and preloading the bearing while rotating it…backing off and hand tight…cotter keying the caste nut (the usual technique). Probably new grease seals too.

does this have brakes?


#3

If you found water in the hub, you should REMOVE the inner and outer bearing from the hub, clean them in solvent, inspect them for rust and wear, repack or replace them and put it all back together, after you clean out the hub…If you need to replace a bearing, be sure to replace its race…

Since you have no idea as to the condition of the bearings, just pumping grease through them does nothing…You need to clean and inspect them to be sure they are serviceable…


#4

It’s a $300 trailer from H****R F*****T.


#5

One side had water, so I took the bearing out and cleaned out the old grease. The other side looked like the way I assembled it a few months ago.


#6

Okay, so you bought this new and know the overall condition. Put a little grease around the flange of the dust cover so water can’t get in the hub…


#7

There is no good shortcut here. Clean everything, including the axle shaft with a solvent and then use compressed air to clean off any remaining solvent and debris. Then use plenty of wheel bearing grease on the bearings and a thick coat inside the hub center and new grease seals. It’s a dirty job and you need to do it right or else pay someone to do it for you.


#8

In addition to the great advice already mentioned you might extend the life of your trailer bearings with a set of “bearing savers”. I have used them with great success with rental trailers where I worked. They are inexpensive and easy to install. The only problem might be finding the proper size if your “inexpensive” trailer has an oddball size. http://www.amazon.com/Reese-Towpower-74176-Bearing-Protector/dp/B000CPAF8A


#9

If it were mine, I’d pull the bearings, completely clean them out, and repack with fresh grease since you mention taking a long trip.

This small amount of time is nothing compared to sitting on the side of the road if a wheel decides to veer off in a different direction than what you’re traveling.
And that’s assuming the trailer and the vehicle towing it remain upright.