Bearing Race and Bearing Assembly DIY Installation
The bearing race and the rest of the assembly ensure that the wheels turn freely, performing according to the given power of the engine and as allowed by the chosen gear. And when they get worn, you may want to replace them your own.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Flat-head screwdriver
- 2X4-inch block of wood
- 1-inch wood dowel rod
Step 1: Uninstall the wheel. If it has a cap, take it off before removing the wheel from the trailer. Using a flat-head screwdriver, pry off the grease cap in a circular motion. Some have bearing protectors, which can be removed by tapping on the cover while spinning the hub.
Step 2: Take off castle nut. This nut becomes visible after the grease cap is removed. Take out the cotter pin that holds the nut in the spindle to access the hub and its bearings. Find the tab, and push it back to the spindle with a screwdriver. Then snap out the cage off the nut using the screwdriver in a circular motion.
Step 3: Pull the hub off the spindle, making sure the bearing is held. Rock it in circular motion in order to slide off or have it tapped at the back with a mallet. If it is stuck, use some force for the hub to come off. The bearing may remain frozen to the spindle, and would need a chisel to break it loose. Be careful not to hit the spindle.
Step 4: Pull out the outer bearing as well as the spindle washer, and set aside.
Step 5: Take off the inner bearing and seal. Place the hub on two pieces of 2X4-inch block of wood with the studs facing up. Use a 1-inch wood dowel rod into the center of the hub, against the bearing and knock with a mallet in a circular motion. The bearing should push the seal. If the seal already needs replacement, just pry it out with a flathead screwdriver until it comes out. Make sure not to damage the hub and the race.
Step 6: Clean and inspect the bearing, seal, and race. Any mark on the race that catches indicates the need for replacement. If your race has such, it would be best to also change the bearing. In finding replacements, refer to the identification number stamped on them.
Step 7: Clean the inner hub for ease in installation of the new races and bearings. Also clean the spindle, and run a fingernail check for nicks. Replace the spindle when nicks are present.
Step 8: Begin reassembling the hub by installing the new bearing race, tapping it until it levels with the hub. Use the old race to push the new one farther. You would also need a socket to tap in the race until it bottoms out.
Step 9: Grease only the surface of the races, but pack the bearing with grease. Flip the hub with the studs at the bottom in order to install the bearing and seal. Also grease the spindle so you can slide the hub back.
Step 10: Install the spindle washer and castle nut; tighten until snug. Put back the cotter pin, and check for play. Reinstall the wheel, and secure the cotter pin. And then, place the rest of the parts that you took off.