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Thread: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

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  1. #1
    Charter Member #11 IrishTornado's Avatar
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    Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    I helped Indy limp his home after LSCR about a week ago and yesterday I had the same thing happen. End of rotor just came apart and dumped the wheel bearing...Thankfully I saw it fail and pulled over...The spindle and axle are fine, but the rotor,wheel bearings and seals are junk...I'm not sure why it failed, but I can tell you I still say these trailers are not built for the weight we haul...I have 3700lb axles and full of fuel mine weights close to 10,500lbs just not enough IMO!

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    Re: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    I keep a digital thermometer in the door pocket on the truck and check the bearing/hub temps at every stop. Usually can see a problem developing ahead of time that way. Last week on the way home one was 10 degrees hotter then all the rest. Checked and found bearing a little tighter then the rest. Disassembled when we got home and cleaned and greased prior to next trip and temp was right back down. Point is if I never would have checked it then i would probably be on the side of the road fixing it instead of my garage.

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    Charter Member #11 IrishTornado's Avatar
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    Re: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    What was weird on mine Jeff is where the outside bearing race usually is is now gone on mine along with bearing...This is the same thing that happened to INDY, but he didn't see his going so it trashed the spindle before it went....I'm going to tear mine down and redo all of them with new seals and bearings...I've went 4yrs without issues, but I really don't tow alot. I'm also putting new wheels and tires on...

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    Re: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    So did the rotor/hub fail or did the bearing fail and it took out the rotor/hub? I could see if the rotor/hub failed there might not be a warning but if it was the bearing that failed and took it out then it might be possible to prevent with monitoring hub temps. Just sayin.

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    Re: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    I have put 5 long trips on a '92 Eagle trailer in the last 5 years. 2 trips to LOTO, 2 to Table Rock and one to Beaver Lake AR this June. I have not had an issue on the long hauls, but have had 2 bearing failures on short trips within KY. Go figure. Luckily both times I have back on the road relatively quickly, but both incidents completely destroyed the hub. So now I keep 2 complete hub kits in the truck just in case. Pre-packed with grease and ready to go. The tough part is trying to get the bearing races off the spindle after they are practically welded on there.
    I have one rough spindle and that's the corner that has failed twice. I'm just going to replace the entire axle assembly this winter.

    I just check all the hubs by feel everytime we stop for gas or pee breaks (Lots of stops. I travel with 3 women). That one corner always runs a little warmer.

    Trailers are a pain. Especially an older one!

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    Charter Member #11 IrishTornado's Avatar
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    Re: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    Quote Originally Posted by JMAASKE View Post
    So did the rotor/hub fail or did the bearing fail and it took out the rotor/hub? I could see if the rotor/hub failed there might not be a warning but if it was the bearing that failed and took it out then it might be possible to prevent with monitoring hub temps. Just sayin.
    It's really hard to tell???? I had just pulled the boat out of the water and was only going 35mph leaving the ramp and it failed. Luckily I could see it going so I pulled over..The hub was packed full of grease, but the outside where the outter bearing/race was is gone! I'll take pics after I get it apart.

    I will say this. My trailer is only rated to carry 8600#'s and I'm pretty sure that my boat full of fuel and gear weighs more than that. I'm pondering changing all my axles to 6000# axles to avoid bearing failures...I feel that dragging the wheels on a tri axle turning can't be easy on the bearings and with the trailer right at it's limit puts added stress on the bearings.

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    Charter Member #11 IrishTornado's Avatar
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    Re: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    Well after talking with Eagle in depth about this they have determined that my trailer was built on the minimum requirements for the weight of my boat. This is hauling the boat empty of fuel, no gear and not counting the added things into the boat. My trailer was rated to pull a boat weight of 9800#'s the weight of a stripped out 302 with small blocks in it weighs 6800#'s(these are Baja's weights) I'm going to figure out what mine weighs the next chance I can to the exact weight, but regardless it's getting 6000# axles and 15" wheels and tires. The weight rating on my trailer will be 15000#'s after installing new everything...This includes axles, springs, wheels and tires along with new calipers and 12" hubs/rotors.

    As some may have seen I've listed 2 axles complete and the 14" wheels and tires that are coming off the trailer on Thursday. These are more than ample for a tandem trailer with a single engine boat. I will completely inspect everything before selling it as after pulling apart the axle that failed found that the spindle was indeed ruined from the bearing failure. Thats what prompted me to further investigate this so I wasn't just throwing money aways by putting the same stuff back in...

    So while proper maintenance will keep you off the shoulder check your weights as you may find like myself that your trailer isn't rated to haul what your actually hauling on it...It would've cost a extra 1500.00 at the time of manufacture to have this trailer upgraded to what I'm doing. The dealer never informed me of this and just sold me the cheaper trailer.

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    Re: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    Dave,
    When we bought our 30 the Magnum trailer that came with the boat had 14" tires on it. I argued and argued with the owner of Magnum telling them that I didn't think that the tires were big enough. Sure enough we had a couple of blow outs--they still wouldn't do anything about it. I finally bought all new wheels--15" and new tires--Maxxis 10ply and never had another problem. I agree that some manufactures build the trailers to the bare mininum to save on costs. I also agree that you can never check your trailer too often--no matter how far you tow.
    Jay

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    Re: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    This past August we were towing in a caravan. I was towing our boat and my hubby was in his work truck towing his buddies boat. We hit a rough bridge and a mile down the road the bearing buddy came flying off and bouncing down the road at him. we limped into the next town and replcaed it. We traveled to the lake with no further ado. On the way home 30 min. after wew left the bearings have an epic fail. It happened as I pulled around a corner to refuel so I at idle. Found a tractor supply with a hub kit on a Sunday. I think we live a charmed life.

    A few years back this same wheel bearings failed. We service them all regularly so we are thinking it is the spindle. The bearing buddies are hard to get on though. Anyone think it might be the axle itself? I am waiting for an opening at the trailer shop. It will get a lot of towing this summer. There is no slip or storage big enough for our boat where our cabin is so it will be towed 200+ miles per trip on one of the worst rated roads in the country.

  10. #10
    Charter Member #11 IrishTornado's Avatar
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    Re: Check your wheel bearings and rotors

    Carol make sure you don't have the type of axles that are greased from the spindle. I don't know exactly when the trailer companies switched. I've "never" been a fan of bearing buddies for the main reason they only push grease from the front of the hub. Also make sure you inspect your rear seal if this fails a hot hub will pull cool water in when you put the trailer in the water again water is not good in a bearing. I always let me stuff cool down before putting the trailer in the cool water and I imagine with the temps you have in OK in the summer they are really hot when you get to the lake. Are you running 14" tires and 5 lug wheels? I'm guessing your weight rating is ok it could be just bearings running too loose or the spindle is warped from previous failure? I know when mine went it trashed the spindle and I was crawling when it failed.

    When I was running with Indy last summer his went out just as we where coming off the ramp to get fuel and it welded the bearings right to the spindle. NOT GOOD!

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