How to Change the Wheel Bearings on a Trailer

How to Change the Wheel Bearings on a Trailer
If wheel noises, front-suspension looseness, wheel-rotation restrictions or wheel looseness start to occur in your trailer, the culprit is most likely rust, wear and tear or other wheel damage. It's important that you replace old trailer wheel bearings with new ones in order to keep your trailer in good working condition on the road.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Jack up the trailer until it is off the ground. Unscrew the lug nuts with a lug nut wrench. The wheel is not free from the axle. Slide it off.
Step 2
Use a flat head screwdriver to pry the grease cap and the castle nut from the spindle, which is a long, metal worm-like hardware. Attached to it are the grease cap and the castle nut (named for its castle like shape). The grease cap is a cap that is used to keep packed grease from escaping.
Step 3
Pull out by hand the cotter pin that fastens the nut securely into place. Then pull off by hand the tang washer, which is a piece of metal hardware that fits into the notches of the nut.
Step 4
Clean the nut wiping any grease that you see. Reach inside the notches of the castle nut and force back the piece inside, toward the spindle. Pop off the "cage" enclosed around the nut using a screwdriver.
Step 5
Swathe the hub inside a cloth and slide off the spindle.
Step 6
Slide the outer bearing off of the hub. Then slide off the spindle washer. The spindle washer will have a metal flat ring with a small fork on the end.
Step 7
Remove the inner bearing by hand. Loosen the grease seal with the flat head screwdriver and then pry it out. The seal is thin and fits tightly inside the bearing, so use force if necessary.
Step 8
Use a flat head screwdriver and a mallet to drive out the race, which is round with channels on the end. Wipe down the inner part of the hub. Do the same for the spindle.
Step 9
Reassemble the hub. Attach the new race, pressing it back until it is completely against the hub. Pack the race with grease.
Step 10
Cover the inner and outer bearings with grease.
Step 11
Slide on the seal and then attach the inner bearing.
Step 12
Coat the spindles with grease.
Step 13
Slide the hub back on.
Step 14
Add the outer bearing pressing it back until it is flush with the race.
Step 15
Reinstall the spindle washer, tang washer and castle nut.
Step 16
Add the cotter pin so it is flush with the castle nut. Tighten until there is no movement. Secure the cotter pin. Push it through the hole of the spindle and the notches on the nut. Splice the pin on both sides.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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