Wheel bearing question

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lijMichael
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Wheel bearing question

I have now gotten to the wheels and bearings while preparing our Scamp 19 for the road and noticed that there is a little bit of play in the wheel hub. By that I mean that in the clock positions of 12-6 and 9-3 I detect just a bit of movement when wiggling the tire. Should there  be ANY movement at all, I think not but would like to hear from those that are more experienced in this area.

Michael

Joe Z
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Michael,

Michael,

  Perfect, leave them alone.... If it feels like 1/32" to 1/16" movement the pressure is released off your bearings and are set as they should be.. When i set the big nut i usually one hand snug only tighten it, then back off a tad til loose and lock it up.... Others may do something a little differently but you need that little bit of looseness. 

   Usually when i do bearings I'd put it all together and take it for a 1/2 hour ride at highway speed and then pull over and feel the center hubs. If one feels warmer than the other i would take it home and loosen the hotter hub about 1/8" backoff and usually it got cooler

There's probably more info here than most  need to know but nothin good on the TV, so writin away i guess:)

Joe & Linda
New River, Arizona 

2013 Casita SD 17'

lijMichael
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Joe,

Joe,

Thanks for the info. I think I am going to do a clean and repack of the bearings, since that is the only way to know exactly what is going on in there or what has happened. It may be over kill but I would rather be safe that have to deal with having a wheel pass me at highway speed.cheeky

Michael

SOI-1458

bb4029
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Wheel bearings

Always a good idea to clean, inspect and repack if you're not certain of the history. I always wash them in mineral spirits or parts cleaner solvent till all grease is gone then blow them dry and closly ispect for tiny pits or rough spots on the  bearings. ANY sign of wear warrants replacement. Bearings are cheap when compared to a day stranded on the side of the road or a damaged camper from a wheel that came off.

And yes, as others have noted a little play won't hurt a thing. I carry an inexpensive ($10-15) infrared thermometer in my tow vehicle and piont it at wheel bearings, tires and brakes at every stop. More than once it has allerted me to low tire pressure, brake problems or bearing failure.

What you allow is what will continue.

Joe Z
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A Simple Test

Good idea to do it to your liking.......whenever you stop for fuel feel the center hub on each side and you will have all the advanced warning you would need....... bearings don't go bad overnight.

  I've had wheels pass me already like you say but it was Semi's...... definitely not a pretty sight

Joe & Linda
New River, Arizona 

2013 Casita SD 17'

Gary Lee
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Wheel Bearing adjustment

Hey guys, 

I just want to chime in here to agree the importance of checking your bearing play and be sure they are greased with the best bearing grease you can get.  If you have read my post on our trip (To Alaska) in the (Travel Corner) forum on this bbd you will see that we broke down on our way home from Alaska on a very dangerous part of road when we were warned by wonderful 18 wheel truck driver that our wheel on the drive side was smoking.

Pulled over by an alert 18 wheel driver, we love that guy!!

This was the mess on our wheel, a fire was just ready to start within minutes, THINK ABOUT IT!!

Certainly not a sight you want to see happen to your little Scamp but very possible if maintenance is neglected or in our case, new assembly was incorrect by mfg.  It was warranteed but you have to pay for repairs out of your pocket first then convince the mfg. it was their fault.  Good luck with that, we did but very frustrating.  

We had to follow our Scamp on the tow truck bed about 20 miles to a repair shop that the tow truck driver trusted more so than the Jeep Dealer.  These photos are intended as a reminder only.  DON'T DRIVE TO "ALASKA"!!  Either. 

 Well the bearings were not seated properly as we found the bearing on the opposite side not adjusted properly either.  There was too much play and she heated up and destroyed the wheel hub, outer bearing and scored the axle.  Do not assume anything, this is probably the most important maintenance check you can do before a long trip.

 We went 12, 500 miles total but the bearing burned out after 10-11,000 miles!!  As usual this is all up to you.  Good advice above on how to clean and reassemble your wheel bearing, then travel safer and trouble free.  Check the temp. of wheel surface at every rest stop, this will give you much warning ahead of time.  Wish I did that!!  It cost me 2 days lay up, thank god for Goodsam club insurance, consider AAA as well.  Get the Premier on triple AAA, it will cover your trailer and tow vehicle which we had to use twice, and the cost is very minimal but you can be towed up to 100 miles with a trailer and find a dealer of your choice to go to for repairs and 200 miles if just your car needs to be towed.

We did not have the AAA Premier insurance at this time but sure do now. We had Goodsam & AAA, we used them both at different times.  Goodsam will tow you only to the nearest repair dealer which you may not wish to use and to be towed anyplace else will cost you $4 per mile!!  This is just information I wish to share for you to consider.  We have used AAA maybe 10 times in 5 years now, sure paid for itself to have. Now our Scamp is covered as well and the distance is further.  Our last break down was 108 miles from our home with the failure of the Harmonic Balancer on our jeep, It would of cost me $32 more to had our scamp & tow vehicle towed to our house with AAA. 

Hope you all had a great weekend, they go so darn fast.  We are going to a bus rally at Palmetto Cove, Cleveland, SC next weekend with our Scamp.  It is nicknamed the Embryo by bus enthusiast. 

Garylee

Garylee

DBuchanan
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Wheel bearing adjustment by using shims

I've been a machinist for a lot of years.  Many of my customers have asked the same question on how do I know if the wheel bearings are adjusted right.  So I share how I set the wheel bearings up as the answer to their question.   My target for the spindle bearings is to have zero side movement or as you call it wiggling.  This means zero bearing preload and zero bearing looseness.  I acheive this by installing a shim or shims between the outer spindle bearing washer and the spindle slotted nut; so the cotter key hole on the spindle and the cotter key slot in the nut align up perfectly when the bearing adjustment is just the way I want it.  I have found that this bearing adjustment procedure does help with making the bearings live longer by lowering the wheel bearing heating problem.  The shims I use are       1 1/2" OD X 1" ID, steel arbor shim assortment, AISI 1008-1010 ( pack of 19 shims ).  This assortment pack has shims range from .001 to 1/8" in thickness.  I usually have enough shim combinations in one package to make bearing adjustments to both spindles on one axel.   A cheap used or Harbor Freight 0-1" micrometer is helpful when adjusting the shim combination so you can get the right thickness of shim to get your perfect bearing adjustment that you are looking for.

Here is just one of many internet sites that carry these assortmant shim packs:Steel Arbor Shim Assortment Kit, Matte, Full Hard, AISI 1008-1010 For Chemistry, 1'' ID, 1-1/2'' OD (Pack of 19)

There are lots of things to sort out when you have a part on your RV trailer fail.  The most important is to fix the problem so it doesn't leave you stranded again.  One other suggestion is to use good quality name brand bearings on your trailer spindles.  I have found that the bearings that come on the axel are soft enough that they can be filed with a hand file.  The name brand bearings are pretty close to the same hardness as the hand file and when trying to file the harder name brand bearing the file will just polish it.  When checking the bearing hardness this way; file a non-critical area like an outside corner of the bearing cup or the bearing race's exposed out side corner.  Just choose wisely where and how much you file off.  I can usually tell whether the bearing is soft or not soft with about a 1/4 of a stroke of a sharp file.  It takes very little filing to answer the bearing hardness question.

This is just one old tired machinist's opinion and this is a little of what I have learned over the years of working on customer's bent and broken trailers; which also includes my own trailers too.

I hope this is helpful information.