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Repacking Trailer Wheel Bearings

Repacking the wheel bearings on your utility or boat trailer is quick and easy, and you'll avoid the breakdown that'll leaves you stranded along the road. How many trailers have you seen on the side of the road this year with one wheel propped up? Don't let it happen to you. If you haven't checked your wheel bearings lately, read this article. You can complete this simple task in about an hour and save yourself a big repair bill.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Project overview

Many trailer manufacturers recommend this maintenance every year if your trailer gets normal use, or at least every 20,000 miles. To do this job, you'll need a jack, a pair of jack stands, a large screwdriver, a hammer and a needle-nose pliers, clean rags, a small pan, about a quart of kerosene and a spray can of brake cleaner.

First, loosen the lug nuts on one wheel and raise the side of the trailer with a jack. Support the trailer with jack stands and then spin the wheel and listen to the bearings. If the wheel spins freely and quietly, proceed with repacking the bearings. If you hear friction or a growling sound, you most likely have a bad bearing or spindle. If this is the case, take the trailer to a service center to get the bearings replaced.

Bearings and hub parts

Bearings and hub parts

Figure A: Typical trailer hub assembly
Note: You can download and print Figure A from the Additional Information section below.

Bearing repacking – start to finish

Simply follow the photo series for the complete project.

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Repacking Trailer Wheel Bearings

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