Harbor Freight Trailer Wheel Bearing Tick Tick when wheel turns and rubbing noise?

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Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
Salem NH
I have a nice HF Trailer Frame I picked up used and build it up with wood on the sides. When I first got it, I took it on the highway and one of the bearings froze and burned up the tire. That is when I realized Triple A did not cover the $500 towing to my mechanic on it. I had both wheel bearings replaced & greased and the tire fixed. That was 2-3 years ago. The last time I used it just the other day, I heard a Tick Tick noise in the left wheel. So I jacked it up and added grease into the nice new zerk fittings on both wheels for the wheel bearings.
Now the Tick Tick noise is gone but there is still a slight rubbing noise in the same left wheel. The other wheel is perfectly quiet when I spin it. Both wheels seemed to take the grease fine and I wiped off the grease and dirt on the inside of both wheels.
Is that rubbing noise in just the left wheel ok or does this need further attention?

Pic 1 - HFTrailer1-Trailer.jpg
Pic 2 - HFTrailer2-GreasingTools.jpg
Pic 3 - HFTrailer3-Zerk.jpg
Pic 4 - HFTrailer4-PumpInGrease.jpg
Pic 5- HFTrailer5-DryMolyWheelStuds.jpg
Pic 6 - HFTrailer6-Grease&DirtOnInsideOfWheel.jpg
Pic 7 - HFTrailer7-WheelCleaned&Greased.jpg
Pic 8 - HFTrailer8-NoRustSoNoWaterInTheGrease
Pic 9 - HFTrailer9-NoRustSoNoWaterInTheGrease

HFTrailer1-Trailer.jpg HFTrailer2-GreasingTools.jpg HFTrailer3-Zerk.jpg HFTrailer4-PumpInGrease.jpg HFTrailer5-DryMolyWheelStuds.jpg HFTrailer6-Grease&DirtOnInsideOfWheel.jpg HFTrailer7-WheelCleaned&Greased.jpg
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Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
Salem NH
"Rubbing noise" doesn't sound normal, so I'd vote for 'further attention'.
I just checked e-trailer and it says either it needs grease or a bad bearing.
Also since the bearings are not that old, I am thinking that the zerk fitting on the back side may add grease to the back bearing and it may not add much grease to the front bearing so the next step is to remove the hub and pull the cotter pin and remove the wheel nut and check the front bearing? What do you think?


Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
Northwest Lower Michigan
Were just the roller bearing units replaced, or the races in the hubs too? The races should have been replaced, or it might be cheaper/easier to get a new hub and bearing set if it is a standard bearing configuration.


Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
SW Virginia
I'd bet that the source of the rubbing noise is the cotter pin touching the cap. Does it make the noise when the cap is removed?


Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
Eastern Ontario
Normally a ticking noise is not the bearing
I would pull the hub and check the inner grease seal
using a grease gun to lube bearings also pushed the
seal out of place, it may be rubbing on the axle housing.
I would also clean the bearings and hub. Then hand
repack with a good bearing grease


Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
That grease looks nuked to me. Certainly looks like its possibly been leaking water at the cap or rear seal? Installing a complete set of new bearing/seals/grease is a relatively simple exercise. Peace of mind is worth far more than running around with possibly compromised trailer bearings. At least disassemble, clean thoroughly and inspect. If they are fine repack them and carry on! Those little trailers really aren't designed for much if any highway travel in my opinion. I have the 4x8 version. Waay light duty.