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General Category > Hints and Tips
Trailer Bearings Hints & Tips
In the light of recently having my motor serviced I thought I'd service my trailer as well. New wheel bearings were installed and I also found that the 3 leafed springs on both sides had one leaf on each snapped in two, so I also replaced them with 5 leaf springs.
Whilst farming in peak sowing season there wasn't a day or night go by where I had to at least change 5 to 10 sets of wheel bearings on press wheels in a good day and when time was paramount, there were a couple of tricks to remove the stubborn cups from within the wheel hub and the cones from the axle.
The common method of removing cups within the wheel hub is by placing it in a vice and with the use of a hammer and punch knocking it out by hitting alternative sides so it is removed evenly. In some instances you may not be able to get enough purchase with the edge of the punch, consequently the cup is extremely difficult to remove. In most instances it will be usually the inside cup that will be the hardest to remove as this bearing is subject to more dirt, grit and wear especially when the inner seal begins to deteriate over time. By using an arch welder, weld a bead right round the cup, being careful not to weld the hub. After you have finished the bead, it's just a matter of turning the hub over and usually the cup will just fall out with a firm hit on your work bench.
Sometimes removing the inside cone of the bearing off the axle can also be a just as difficult, however it doesn't need to be. If you can't hit it off by using a hammer and punch due to the trailers chassis being in the way, use a flat bladed srcewdriver and remove the bearings outer housing, resulting in all the barrel bearings falling out. Now you should be left with just the inside of the bearing cone on the axle. With the use of two hammers, place one of the hammers against one side of what's left of the bearing on the axle, and with the other, give a good hard strike on the opposite side to where the other hammer is. As a result the bearing will shatter in many pieces quite effectively and with very little effort. Please be warned that this steel is very high tensile and will shatter with very sharp edges, hense the reason to use safety goggles or glasses with a full face shield being more appropriate. If you can't access a full face shield I'd recommend wearing a cap, safety glasses and wrap a towel around the rest of your face protecting your nose downwards. It's not as bad as it seems but better to be safe than sorry.
Another tip to reseat the cups back into the wheel hub is to use a hammer to seat them as far as you can and instead of using a punch to reseat them all the way, use a socket that's just a bit smaller than the cone, this will evenly reseat it and is more efficient. Be sure not to use a socket that is too small that it damages the cones surface.
Hope this helps a little next time you change your bearings on your trailer.
Thanks for posting Bracey, Used the bead of weld around the bearing case just last week on a set of discs.