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Trailer Question?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by MOturkey, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I had a bearing go out of my tandem axle trailer a couple of months ago. It was the rear axle, with the brake, on the driver's side. Bearings were completely gone. Happened on a weekend, naturally, and my son helped me put new bearings in on Sunday, so I'd be ready to roll on Monday. We were able to get the right sized bearings at the local O'Reilly store, but not the right seal. We found one that worked, but had to be installed backwards in order to get the hub installed correctly. We were not able to remove the races from the hub, but they did not seem to be scored. The spindle showed some damage, on the lower side, but was worn only a few hundreths of an inch, at most.

    After installation, the wheels seem to "**** out" slightly at the bottom. I had noticed this before the bearings went, and contributed it to crowned roads and uneven tire wear, but now think it is from wear on the spindle and/or bearings. I've noticed this on other trailers as well.

    I used the trailer several weeks, and checked frequently to see if the hub was heating up any, which it did not. My question is, now that we are in the off season, should I consider replacing the hub and/or axle or just milk it as long as it lasts? The trailer is only a couple of seasons old, has perhaps 15,000 miles or so on it. I haven't checked, but assume a new axle and hub is not going to be cheap, but also don't want to have down time next spring. These are, I believe, 3,500 pound axles. Thanks for any input.
  2. wvaughn7

    wvaughn7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    It really depends on a couple things. Is this wheel the only wheel leaning outward? If it is then I would say that it has something to do with that hub/spindle. If all the tires look that way don't worry too much about it and just check it often which should be done anyway. Depending on the width of your trailer the axle shouldn't bee too much since it is only a 3500 pound axle.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

  4. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    did you load something really heavy on it, my 5x10 has a bent axle and tires stick out at the bottom, here a new axle for mine would be about 100-125
  5. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    We had a hub almost melt to our spindle because of total bearing loss while going down the highway--wheel about fell off the trailer.. The retainer seal is important as it does hold in the bearings w/races.
    Did you reinstall the hub/packed with grease/nut/keeper and cap? After that did you give the hub a outward tug to see if it seated in properly?? If it makes that popping sound, then you can guess that it may not last very long.
    Our spindle had some rough spots and burrs after the bearing melted into the steel and pitted it some. We were able to re install another complete hub for around 35.00 but it didn't last long with a damaged spindle. This is a temporary fix but I feel you will need another axle if not now, but in a short while if you are hauling heavy equipment. Those turns exude excessive force on that rear tire and hub.
  6. SouthSide Cutter

    SouthSide Cutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,331

    If you got good axles when you turn the wheels will not bow in or out the tires might. If they do the axles are cheap. Trailer I have now does this a little. My old CornPro did not do this and I don't care how sharp you turned it. I have replaced axles on a few trailers. Get the biggest axle you can afford then spring it to the trailer so it rides right, Like 7000lb axles on a 3000lb trailer with 3000lb springs. A lot of bearings (cheap) are the same size inside as outside this is a big flag right there. The inside bearing should be a lot bigger than the outside bearing. Most trailer people do this to cut costs. A good axle is a Dexter and like Richard said they can be replace pretty cheap.
  7. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Thanks, guys. If the axles aren't any more than that, I guess I should just consider replacing it this winter.

    About the suggestion to go to a heavier axle, this wouldn't work changing just one, would it? Plus, isn't the bolt pattern of the wheels different on heavier axles?
  8. SouthSide Cutter

    SouthSide Cutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,331

    Most of the time they are. 5 bolt 3500, 6 bolt 5200 then up to 8 bolt. One thing you can do is take a hyd jack and chain. Place the jack in the center if both wheels bow and wrap the chain around each spindle and put some arch back in the axle. You can put a piece of solid stock and small piece of 1/4 inch by 3" for a brace to keep the arch. Done this a few times. Took the bend out of one side when a friend hit a large curb. The same way but only out by the spindle and on the side of the bend and just keep bending and putting in back on the ground till it looked right.
  9. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I contacted the dealer where I bought the trailer. He has complete assemblies (axle/hub/brake), everything but the springs, for $289 carryout price. I think this is the way to go, so I won't have to worry about it come spring. Thanks for all the advice. If I were a little more mechanically inclined, and liked to work on stuff, I'd probably go for a fix, but I'm not, and I don't, so this will solve the problem.
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Sounds like a good plan to me.

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