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Do not put off checking and repacking your bearings as it will save you a lot of trouble down the road. It may be messy but is well worth it, time well spent. Joe spells it out for you step by step making it all very easy.
Now that we have everything cleaned up and all of the old grease out of the way what we are going to do is basically is go ahead and get the bearings reinstalled. What we want to do first is put a layer of grease on the bearing surface to help keep down the resistance of the initial rolling so we will just put a finger full on there and then do the same thing for the inner bearing also, take a finger full and just wipe it around the outside edge a little bit. Again, the grease is going to come out on top of this here between the seal it is going to pack itself fill all this up and go right back through the bearing. So now that we have got that initially lubed up we will go ahead and put the seal back on and we will just tap that back into place. The thing about the seals it that you do not want to drive them into the bearing at all you want to get them actually flush with the outside edge here that way you have plenty of movement for this to seal on top of the spindle itself because sometimes they sit farther back than others. The same thing for the front, just do a finger full to cover it in grease, same thing for the bearing.
At this point we will go ahead and reinstall it on the spindle. Now we will go ahead and just put our spindle nut back on which holds everything together so when we put the grease in the air that is trapped inside it right now will have an easier time getting back out than having the washer and stuff on top of it. We will just install our grease gun here and fill it full of grease. At this point we will go ahead and take off our nut, put our washers back on and reassemble it. Our adjustment on our nut here, what you want to do is just run it until it just stops and then you snug it just a little bit and then spin your hub. One this will get that grease running around the bearings and two you might just loosen it up a little bit more like that. And then what you want to check for is any movement left to right and also up and down. On certain spindles I should say if you run it all the way up and it stops and does not go any more, it naturally just stops on its own because it ran out of threads or whatnot. If you have a little bit of movement that is ok because it is better to have it just a hair on the loose side than it is to have it too tight which would actually put the bearings in a bind and heat up faster. What I like to do is do that just a few times, get a feel for it and then back it off just a hair and then go ahead and put our cage back onto it and it should be fine. Within this cage the nut will probably have to float back and forth to find its own tension. There is just barely some movement which is just fine. And also when you put your whole wheel assembly on you can check it that way too because one you get a little more leverage and two you can actually measure easier. You should not have any more than probably an eighth to a quarter of an inch movement on the outside, that would be on the outside of the wheel itself.
The last thing we need to do is install our grease cap. We are going to switch out to a new one because if you have to beat it up to take it off chances are it is going to be out of round to begin with. What you can do is simply get it on straight and tap it on. Some hubs are easier to do than others. If you actually have a brand new hub and you are reassembling it what you can do is go out and get yourself an union for two inch metal conduit and use this union, this will actually fit perfectly this dust cap here for 3,500 lb axles. You can use this which is a lot easier, you can just beat it on straight and you do not have to worry about messing up the cap itself. When we put it on we have a little air trapped in there so we can just vent it a little bit and this will sit just like that and you have one hub repacked.
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We will go ahead and get the bearing out and wipe it down real fast. Makes it a little bit easier to see, rotate the bearing cage, look for anything that bounces up and down too much. This is almost a continuous line so I think the cage is pretty good on this one. So we will just keep cleaning it up until it spins freely. Im looking for little nicks or stuff like that. Sometimes you can see a little bit of wear, it is like a dark band here, light band here, dark band here. For the most part that is kind of acceptable, it is not perfect, but in this case I think it will be fine. If its really dark you definitely want to change it out because that part of the bearing, this actual roller got overheated, but this one looks pretty darn good. We will pack this side and then flip it over and then pack the other side. Get a good gob, and put a light coating on the race itself. Actually, it doesnt take much, you dont have to pack it full. Because a lot of it doesnt get really used. In a marine application like this, you want to go ahead and get the grease gun out and use it since we have the special spindles. Go ahead and fill the cavity that way, but for most land trailers this is pretty much enough as it is. Grab your new bearing here, and all you have to do is work it inside of here a little bit at a time. Keep going around, flip it over and we want to get inside it here. Just get inside, so when the bearing starts spinning, it gets all worked up in there. Give it a couple of spins maybe before you pop it in there.
This seal has to come out. Every time you pack the bearings you have to destroy a seal and put a new one in, its just the way works. There are actually two different ways of doing it, I know that there is a special tool for it, I dont have it, most people dont. What I like to do is take a punch and push this in a little bit, or actually make a hole in it, so it pulls the seal away from the edge where you can stick a screwdriver in there, tap it in a few times and pop it out. It is a little bit less stressful on the bearing. The other way of doing it, if you dont have that, is to take a wooden stake or something like the handle of this and go in though there and beat it out that way. It puts a lot of wear and tear on the bearing, but its another way of doing it. I dont know if you can see there or not how I punched it in and it brought the seal away from the edge. And that is where we will try to work in our screwdriver. There we go.