Wood hauling trailer, stuck bearing race

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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,362
NE Ohio
I'm scouring youtube for flux welding 101 videos.
Just get some 3/32" rod, set amperage on 90-ish, hook up the ground, strike arc, "paint" the race with the end of the rod...understand on waiting until you have a backup parts/plan in place...
 
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JimBear

Minister of Fire
Dec 15, 2017
666
Iowa
It was cheaper for me to buy new spindle/hub/bearing assemblies for my lowboy than to buy special sized bearings. $125 per assembly now, I don’t have weird sized hubs/bearings.
If you have an account with NAPA you will get better prices than just being a cash customer.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,411
Northern NH
That has always been my issue with NAPA is the mark up for walkins is quite high. Years ago I had a friend who delivered to the stores and he got a 50% discount.

Gotta say,I have had very good luck with Rock Auto for my normal vehicle parts. Unfortunately my Unimog and Toyota LJ70 parts are not listed as they were never officially imported.
 
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mark cline

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2012
704
Cattaraugus, NY
etrailer.com is my go to for trailer parts , quick shipping and great videos and tutorials.
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
etrailer.com is my go to for trailer parts , quick shipping and great videos and tutorials.
I've bought my share of stuff from etrailer, we pass by it fairly often so I usually stop in for pickup. I agree, I like them.

However in this case, I ended up getting in touch with a trailer shop, and they can get my hubs for $50 an assembly. Fully greased, everything ready to go, so I told him to order them, hopefully they'll be in tomorrow. I sent him pictures of everything and info suggested on here. The guy was texting me till 8:00 last night, he didn't care to know my name, credit card or anything, he said if they don't fit to bring them back. He was very helpful, so I'm going with him.

Once I get the new hubs, I'm going to try the welding trick to get the old race out. There's also a Mennonite grocery store close to them that my wife wants to go to, so it will be a good trip.
 

shortys7777

Feeling the Heat
Nov 15, 2017
341
Smithfield, RI
As someone said. I would cut it just enough and pound the cut spot with a chisel. works wonders. Thats what I do if the heat doesnt work when doing bearings on cars/trailers.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
In my last post, over 2 weeks ago I Mentioned I ordered new hubs through a local trailer guy, they finally came in and were the wrong size..

This has turned into one of those projects where nothing has been easy. It turns out these hubs are anything but common. The outside bearings are 3/4” ID, and the inside bearings are 1 1/4” ID.

I called other trailer shops, Camping World and Maxwell trailers, a couple mom and pop places, and a large salvage yard near us. Then I had a ray of hope on Etrailer, they had the hubs I was looking for, only to find out they're discontinued. Etrailer told me to call Dexter axles, they told me the hubs were obsoleted, and gave me the name of a distributor that bought 500 last year. That distributor, Franklin Trailers in New Jersey, was out.

My hubs have screw on dust caps that are also impossible to find, so even if I just replace the bearings and races, I still can't find the dust caps... Ugh, nothings easy. So, I'm going to have to buy a new axle with hubs.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
803
Northwest Lower Michigan
I was a little skeptical of the size posted because your picture looked like a larger difference in size from the inner to the outer. But again, a dial or digital caliper is your best friend.

Anyway how about this place? As long as it’s available, part number 4542 has your bearing sizes. You can always confirm with them other measurements but it’s likely the correct part.

 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
I was a little skeptical of the size posted because your picture looked like a larger difference in size from the inner to the outer. But again, a dial or digital caliper is your best friend.

Anyway how about this place? As long as it’s available, part number 4542 has your bearing sizes. You can always confirm with them other measurements but it’s likely the correct part.

That place and part number looks promising, I tried calling them, but they're closed for Good Friday, so it will be another 3 days to check on it. Thanks for looking into it. I'll let you know what happens.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,460
Northern Canada
I would get bearings,plus a set or two for backup...
Run a bead on the old bearing race so it falls out of the hub.
Caps can be worked around as well.Mic the inside of the threads and look for a friction fit cap close to the size and tweek it to fit,or find a plastic cap that fits over the outside of the hub.Beer can on the outside or something like that.It's a trailer,not a show car.If you are worried about looks find some center caps for the wheels and they will protect the plastic caps if you go that way.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
I would get bearings,plus a set or two for backup...
Run a bead on the old bearing race so it falls out of the hub.
Caps can be worked around as well.Mic the inside of the threads and look for a friction fit cap close to the size and tweek it to fit,or find a plastic cap that fits over the outside of the hub.Beer can on the outside or something like that.It's a trailer,not a show car.If you are worried about looks find some center caps for the wheels and they will protect the plastic caps if you go that way.
After I get in touch with the place in Florida, I'll weigh my options. I want to keep cost down, but also do this right, and hopefully it won't have to be done again in my lifetime. This trailer was given to me by my son last November, so far I've got about $50 in it, so it's easy to justify some expense. I ran across a youtube video a couple weeks ago of a guy making his own dust caps just like what you're saying. Thank you for the suggestion.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,460
Northern Canada
Trailer bearings are pretty tough
I see trailers on the Alaska Highway that have come from the states somewhere without bearing caps quite often.
I have a water hauling trailer which i use about every two weeks to haul water for my house.It was built out of a burnt travel trailer. I had to truss the axles to make sure they would hold the weight.It has weird size bearings and caps.
When i built it money didn't come easy,so the original bearing were cleaned and repacked,they were pitted,one hub had no seal another had no cap.
That was about 25 years ago,they are still doing their job. My water haul is short 2 KM's but i have loaned the trailer out where it's been pulled on the highway for 20KM trips,i always ask them to feel the hubs when they get to their destination with a load of water.They are still running cool after 20k with a load so they are still OK.
But i do have bearings for it now,someday it will get a refresh.
When pulling a trailer feel the hubs when you stop.A real hot hub will tell you that you have a bearing issue.
 

hedge wood

Burning Hunk
Mar 1, 2009
203
Eastern NE
MoDoug Give Lincoln Clutch and Brake in Lincoln Nebraska a call 402-475-1439. They are my go to folks for old hard to find hubs bearings races and caps for old out of production trailer axle parts.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
803
Northwest Lower Michigan
About the center caps I’ve done it too. My previous trailer I put Toyota Celica alloy wheels on it because they fit the hubs. For center caps I found that spray paint caps fit perfectly so I used a couple black ones from dollar store paint. 803F1C8D-B202-40F5-A7A6-53EED4D2E9FC.jpeg
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
I had a breakthrough yesterday, I decided to do some garage cleaning, and found some dust caps that were buried in my mess. They are slightly larger than the screw on hubs, so thinking about what @salecker said about how caps can be worked around, I found a metal grinder for my drill, and went to work on the inside of the hubs. I ground them down enough to tap the new caps into place. My dremel just happened to be sitting next to my vise with cutoff wheels, so I tried it on a stuck race, and cut through it in about 5 minutes. It drove out with minimal encouragement. Now I guess I'm back to researching bearings, races and seals.

The new caps will fill with grease, but they're not bearing buddies, so I don't plan on just filling them with grease, unless someone has a reason to..

IMG_7458.JPG IMG_7459.JPG
 
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Progress is good!
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,460
Northern Canada
When i got my 18' car hauler it had bearing buddies on it.
The PO greased the trailer way to much,the seals were pushed out the back of the hubs on it and grease was covering the brakes,
I put regular caps on it and haven't touched the bearings since.No hot hubs the last time i towed it.So close to 25 years trouble free use.
I look at it this way, vehicles used to be rear wheel drive.I never once had to service the front wheel bearings in a 2WD.So long as the grease is kept clean(no water or dirt allowed in)i just feel the hubs when i use it to see if they need service.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
803
Northwest Lower Michigan
From what I understand, bearing buddies are meant for boat trailers. You take a conventional hub that’s warm from driving, and back it into the cool lake, and it sucks water in and ruins the bearings in short order. Especially salty ocean water. Bearing buddies maintain a positive pressure to keep water from being sucked in. Unless you drive through deep standing water, IMO they’re not needed on a utility trailer.

When i got my 18' car hauler it had bearing buddies on it.
The PO greased the trailer way to much,the seals were pushed out the back of the hubs on it and grease was covering the brakes,
I put regular caps on it and haven't touched the bearings since.No hot hubs the last time i towed it.So close to 25 years trouble free use.
I look at it this way, vehicles used to be rear wheel drive.I never once had to service the front wheel bearings in a 2WD.So long as the grease is kept clean(no water or dirt allowed in)i just feel the hubs when i use it to see if they need service.
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
I have bearing buddies on both boat trailers, they are a great use for that. But I wouldn't use them for other trailers, I only mentioned it because these dust caps have the grease fitting, and at first glance look like buddies. They are big and look like a huge waste of grease, I'll probably use them because I have them.

I'm close to settling my bearings/hubs issue, I'll update later.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
@tlc1976 , Capital Hitch couldn't get the hubs, they're discontinued.

@hedge wood , Lincoln Clutch and Brake couldn't get the hubs. They did trace the most common usage to DJ type Jeeps. He suggested calling a place that has old Jeep Willys parts.

My local NAPA dealer wanted $135.56 to buy the individual bearings, races and seals for both hubs. When I asked for the total price, he cleared his throat before telling me, then said they are top quality parts. It's a shame they're pricing themselves so far out of range, unless you have to get it quick.

I ended up ordering individual parts from RockAuto online, for a total of $85.39 for both hubs, that includes shipping. They are all original name brands, Timken and National. @peakbagger suggested them.

This project ended up being a clinic on removing stuck races, modifying the hub and dealing in unusual parts. I'm going to use the welder method to heat up and remove the other stuck race. I've never used a welder, and I know it will be nothing, but it still kind of intimidates me. LOL It will be a good first experience.

I appreciate all the help and comments on this, the time everyone took to reply or research on my behalf. I may not have replied to each and everyone, but all comments were appreciated. You're all a great bunch.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
803
Northwest Lower Michigan
Glad you found a good source. I ordered mine from Champion Trailers back in the day. They let me mix and match parts for the same price as I had a nonstandard combination as well. Wasn’t thrilled to see CHINA etched on the bearings I received but I haven’t had any issues, then again my camper sees light use too.
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
I had one seal delivered today! LOL
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
I got the trailer bearings done today. I used the welder to help remove the stuck race. The first spark surprised me, even though I knew it was going to happen. I didn't think about welding the race to the hub. I didn't, that would have really sucked though. LOL The outer races were harder to drive in than the inner ones, my guess is that's why they were harder to get off.

This is the trailer, it will look much better after I get the side rails and a coat of paint on. Can't beat free.

1618264783059.jpeg
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,411
Northern NH
I assume you have a set of spare bearings and races in stock ;).
 
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