Trailer bearings maintenance

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azimuth
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Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by azimuth » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:58 am

Not exactly a classic boat restoration question - but with the expertise here seemed like a good place to post...

So I decided it was about time I re-greased the bearings of the road base I used for the vanguard and zeniths - I've owned it for 4 and a bit years and never done anything to it (not much mileage) so it seemed about time. Also when lifting the roadbase and turning the wheels although they made no noise they didn't spin which the wheels on my other roadbase (the one which came with the Fairey) do.

So, never having done anything with bearings before I did some research, watched some YouTube vids and thought I knew what I was doing! Unfortunately after dismantling the first one I damaged the seal trying to get the back bearing out so spent this afternoon trying to find a replacement (the bearings themselves in fine condition!). The seals I found are quite a tight fit, similar but not exactly the same as the old one. When putting it all back together if found that I had to tighten the king nut with pliers so that everything squished up enough to get the split pin in - this didn't seem right. After putting the wheel back on it moves but is stiff like before and doesn't spin when held off the ground.

Does it sound like I'm right to be worried and think things are not right or maybe I'm just worrying too much? Any thoughts?

Many thanks,
Keith
Keith.

Finn K60 'Sfinnx' Fairey
Zenith 74 'Azimuth' (rescued from the undergrowth 20yrs ago)
Zenith 61 'Bali Hai'... A family heirloom...

phil58490
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by phil58490 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:40 am

Without examining the bearings my initial thoughts are that they are too tight, I was taught with roller bearings, that I guess you are working with here, that there should be slight movement which can be felt when you rock the top and bottom of the wheel when it is off the ground. Not slop just discernible movement. This provides the bearing rollers clearance when they heat up due to friction in use. Try it with your other trailer.

A question for you, when you have the bearings mounted do they spin freely just before you tighten the centre nut to the point where you can put the pin through? If so I think they are too tight. if they don't spin freely I would want to find out where the friction is coming from, the new grease seal may be a tight fit but the bearings should spin freely.
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JimC
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by JimC » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:22 am

Definitely sounds too tight. The wheels should turn readily.

Michael4
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by Michael4 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:51 am

It should turn almost freely with new seals

I suspect that what Keith is experiencing may be the fact that the seals, being very tight, are restricting movement and making it difficult to judge the tightness of the bearing. If, as Phil suggests, you loosen the bearing is the wheel still tight?

If no...then you overtightened the bearing, follow Phil's advice

If yes...then the seals are causing the problem.

Had this problem recently renewing the bearings on an old Triumph. Couldn't judge the setting of the bearing because the seals were too tight. We solved this by driving round for a few days and then re adjusting the bearing.
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bornagainmothie
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by bornagainmothie » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:38 pm

Keith,

Are these hubs using Tapered Roller bearings or plain Ball Bearings?

Tapered bearings oppose each other in a cone formation so overtightening would cause them to lock up. They should be nipped up, then backed off a little to allow clearance for heat expansion.

Plain ball bearings are not really adjustable, but are usually wound up tight to hold the assembly firmly together. There should be a spacer between the two inner races to keep the bearings running centrally. That spacer may be used to provide a pre-load on the bearings and /or to prevent too much pre-load. It should not be possible to overtighten as the nut is just clamping the inner races and spacer together. If tightening does lock the bearings, something is wrong - missing or incorrect spacer, badly seated bearing race, damaged bearing etc.

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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by Obscured by clouds » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:24 pm

imperial sized axle, metric bearings?
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azimuth
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by azimuth » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:10 am

Hello all, many thanks for your help!

Sounds like the next step is to loosen them off and see if this helps, I'll try to have a go at this in the morning before heading off to work and let you know how I get on.

The bearings are tapered ones and I'd say they are rollers, they look like these except that the seal is not attached to the bearing: http://www.leisure-mart.co.uk/shop/vclo ... 7320004908

I doubt it is a metric/Imperial problem as I believe the road base to be mid-90s - worth bearing in mind though as this might happen if I try to do anything with K 60s trailer!

The odd thing is that the wheel I have serviced and the wheel I haven't serviced are just as stiff as each other - wish I could remember if they have always been like this!

Thanks again for the advice - on to round three in the morning!

Cheers
Keith
Keith.

Finn K60 'Sfinnx' Fairey
Zenith 74 'Azimuth' (rescued from the undergrowth 20yrs ago)
Zenith 61 'Bali Hai'... A family heirloom...

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azimuth
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by azimuth » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:22 am

So had another look at the bearings yesterday morning. Found that although I had tighten the nut with pliers I can now loosen off with just my fingers, but loosening it off made no difference to the way the wheel turned. So I guess the answer is the seals? Maybe I need to try using them on a short journey locally see how I get on like Michael did with his triumph?

Maybe I should try regreasing the other bearing that I haven't yet touched, hopefully without breaking or changing the seal, and see if that wheel loosens up at all or stays the same?

Many thanks,

Keith
Keith.

Finn K60 'Sfinnx' Fairey
Zenith 74 'Azimuth' (rescued from the undergrowth 20yrs ago)
Zenith 61 'Bali Hai'... A family heirloom...

JimC
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by JimC » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:46 pm

Sounds rather odd. I wouldn't expect them to spin as freely as a bicycle wheel, but they should turn pretty freely and go on for half a turn or so if you spin them. Where are you? Sounds as if you need a second opinion who's done this before.

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azimuth
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by azimuth » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:37 am

Thanks for your thoughts Jim, yes I'd also come to the conclusion that I've done as much as I can and need a second opinion - I'm in worcestershire however I've got a bit of time pressure as I need to do a longish trip with a boat later in this week so I've arranged to have the trailer checked over professionally so I have peace of mind on the long trip - will also mean next time I should know what I'm aiming for!

Interestingly I'm starting to think that maybe there's not that much wrong with it. I dropped it off to get serviced on Friday - to a place about 12ish miles away. I drove over gently, before the trip if I tried to spin the wheel it would stop within 1/2 a turn of letting go, after the trip it had freed up quite a bit so it would do maybe 3 - 5 spins after letting go, and the bearing had not warmed up at all (whereas the bearing I'd not yet touched had got very slightly warm). The servicing place felt it ought to be a bit freer but at least it seems as it what I've done has made it better rather than worse! I will hear more on Monday...

Thanks for all the advice!
Keith.

Finn K60 'Sfinnx' Fairey
Zenith 74 'Azimuth' (rescued from the undergrowth 20yrs ago)
Zenith 61 'Bali Hai'... A family heirloom...

JimC
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by JimC » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:06 pm

azimuth wrote: it would do maybe 3 - 5 spins after letting go,
I'm sure that's all mine would do...

Tyre temperature is another guide. They should be no warmer than non driven wheels on the towing car.

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azimuth
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Re: Trailer bearings maintenance

Post by azimuth » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:37 pm

All sorted now - turns out the bearings weren't releasing when the nut was backed off, possibly due to the tightness of the seal, just needed tapping back and then all was ok. Did a long journey yesterday with no problems.

Thanks,
Keith.

Finn K60 'Sfinnx' Fairey
Zenith 74 'Azimuth' (rescued from the undergrowth 20yrs ago)
Zenith 61 'Bali Hai'... A family heirloom...

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