Rusty bearing race
As I suspected, the nearside outer wheel bearing was rusty. Getting the hub off the axel was not at all difficult. After removing the retaining nut, I gave the hub a sharp blow with a wooden mallet and it flew off.
My third phone call brought the good news that replacement bearings were available at Basildon. An hour-and-a-half later, with a shiny, new set of bearings in my hand, I was home in time for lunch. Having eaten to increase my energy levels, I set about inserting new outer bearings, but not before squelching grease into all of their nooks and crannies. I didn’t think I would enjoy having dollops of grease on my hands, but I found it fun.
Rusty tapered sheave
A neighbour remarked that what I had done must be quite satisfying, and I had to agree. I think another neighbour was amazed that I had succeeded in doing the job, and I must admit that I surprised myself.
Hub back on the axel
As far as I can see, the trailer should be good for many more miles, providing I do not let water enter the wheel bearings. I observed that water did not enter the inner bearings because they were sealed with rubber rings. Therefore, if I can prevent water seeping in between the edges of the hubcaps and their tiny breather holes, all should be well. To bring that about I have greased the joints between the hub caps and the hubs, and before I launch the boat I shall cover the breather holes with small pieces of insulation tape. I shall make sure the bearings have cooled by not launching too soon after arriving at a slipway.
Before tapping in the hubcap
Time taken to replace the bearings prevented me from launching the boat today; therefore I am hoping I shall be able to do it tomorrow shortly before high water – most likely at Burnham Yacht Harbour.
I am pleased that I became aware of the defective bearings, because had I taken the trailer for an appreciable distance, the nearside wheel could have seized because of overheating. By replacing the bearings I have saved a bit of money and I shall feel confident about taking the boat further afield.
Bill, what you need are a set of these, I can personally vouch for them - http://www.bearingbuddy.com/
Well done Bill. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. You'll be much happier now towing Sandpiper. If you keep both wheel bearing well greased, you'll probably never need to do them again!
Well, to be honest, it is pretty surprising that you were able to replace the bearing without any difficulty! And it’s definitely a good thing you replaced that right away before anything else happened. Grease would definitely be the key here. Keep the wheel bearings greased to prevent the occurrence of friction or wheel damage.
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