How to tell if my trailer wheel bearings are bad?? update

31 replies to this topic
  • sdjclevland

Posted March 28, 2010 - 06:59 AM


I have a small armor rex trailer, single rail. I got it used and it made a trip to florida from ohio and back and thats all. When i first got it, i would hardly notice it behind me except it would let off a rattle or vibration here and there then go away. Then this became worse and worse, almost sounds like a flat tire noise. There is some play in the one tire, not a lot but some. The trailer pulls perfect until i get up to about 55mph. Do i need to replace the one bearing?

Edited by sdjclevland, April 01, 2010 - 01:38 PM.

  • 07RMZ450RC4ME

Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:06 AM


Probably ready for both while you are at it. Supposed to grease them every 500 miles. Do they have grease fittings? Take them apart for an inspection.

  • sdjclevland

Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:20 AM


whats a grease fitting? is it the nipple think you can pump grease on to? I am clue less about trailers, i have never owned one, worked on one, and i dont have a manual for it. I want to say, no, it does not have grease fittings., but am not sure till i look at it.

  • SMarquez

Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:29 AM


Jack it up one side and spin the wheel. You are looking for grittiness, grinding or dragging. Grab it from the top and bottom, and wiggle it, you're looking for looseness or any slop. If you have any of that you need bearings. Run a google search on trailer wheel bearing maintenance and you'll find all the info you need to service or replace.

  • sdjclevland

Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:32 AM


thanks. Yeah i found some good videos on it and stuff but just was unsure about it since it pulls perfect until it gets up to highway speed. Gonna go remove the bearings today

  • CaptainKnobby

Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:33 AM


You need bearings. Just hope they didnt weld thereselves to the spindal cause it with be a PITA to get off. You will have to heat it uop with a torch and beat it off with a hammer.

  • aakmetz

Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:35 AM


don't play w/ trailer bearings, its not worth the aggrivation of a break down or ruining an axle, replace them all and the seals, pack them w/ a good synthetic grease, and you're worry free, for about 30.00 in parts. and an hour or so of labor. i replace mine about every 2 years. i pull my trailer about 2,000 miles a year, and never had bearing troubles.

  • Sundog

Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:37 AM


Supposed to grease them every 500 miles.

Huh???? Where did that number come from?

That would mean last trip I made in one day I would have had to done them 2.5 times.

Good grease and repacking, once per year....and this was with 17K miles on the 3 rail trailer in a 5 month period.

What are the hub temperatures telling you?


Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:40 AM


Trailer bearings need to be watched pretty closely, especially if you have 4.80 X 8 tires. Those things spin huge RPMs at 70mph highway speeds.
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  • Sundog

Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:46 AM


Bearing buddies are OK IMO. Problem with them is people get lazy, and don't repack/inspect their bearing per year.

Plus the bearing buddies do absolutely nothing for the inner side bearing.

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Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:57 AM


In all my years, boat trailers, bike trailers, lawn mower trailers, etc. I've never had an inside bearing fail, always been the outside, and on an axle that didn't have Bearing Buddys. Never had a bearing failure while using them. Dunno, maybe I've just been lucky.

  • markgoodall

Posted March 28, 2010 - 10:32 AM


Trailer bearings need to be watched pretty closely, especially if you have 4.80 X 8 tires. Those things spin huge RPMs at 70mph highway speeds.

You're right about those small 8" wheels.

I've owned many small trailers over the years and have learned to stay away from those small wheels. Most trailers, even the cheapest ones from NorthernTool, etc, can come with optional 12" wheels for about $10-$20 more. If anyone has the need or opportunity to replace the wheels on a small trailer, replace them with 12" ones.

Hey, wait a minute....... 70mph highway speeds? Don't the manuals with these trailers and tires warn you from taking them over 50mph :thumbsup:

  • brownclown

Posted March 28, 2010 - 04:57 PM


If you are clueless please take it to a repair shop. DO NOT heat bearings! They run on races in the hub, if you get a race too hot the race can explode! Yes steer clear of bearing buddys I replace more hubs in my shop on trailers that have bearing buddys than those who do not.

  • R.D.

Posted March 28, 2010 - 05:51 PM


A good easy indication of the condition of your bearings is to feel the hub after a drive. They should not be hot. If they are hot to touch they need serviced right now.

  • markgoodall

Posted March 28, 2010 - 05:58 PM


Look at the ads..... Look at the ads...... They are listening I tell you.... listening.

Notice how the ads on this thread are all related to trailers?

They are listening, I tell you.... listening.

Hey, look... did the eyes in that photo move?

They are listening I tell you.....


  • brownclown

Posted March 28, 2010 - 07:09 PM


get sum sleep mark

  • sdjclevland

Posted March 30, 2010 - 10:45 AM


Ok I finally got to work on it today and my one inner bearing had some rust on it. It looked like the one hub needed more grease and the seal was crappy. Besides that everything looked good from what I could tell. The races looked new and the other bearings looked great.

  • skisnh

Posted March 30, 2010 - 11:10 AM


I'm just about to prep my trailer for a trip to Hatfield McCoy:banana: Has anyone tried those oil bath hubs? any feed back.

Thanks in Advance

  • brownclown

Posted March 30, 2010 - 02:33 PM


Oil bath hubs are great I see them alot on boat trailers. Real low failure rate

  • SkyHarborCowboy

Posted March 30, 2010 - 02:59 PM


You havent greased them in 6 months is a good start, lol!


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