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Dexter Trailer Hub and Drum Assembly Installation

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How to Install the Dexter Trailer Hub and Drum Assembly


Hi there, trailer owners. Today, we're going to be taking a look at Dexter's seven inch diameter hubs with a 5 on 4 1/2 bolt pattern. These come as a quantity of one. So, if you're replacing an entire axle's brakes, I'd recommend getting one for each side. And this is what our hub looks like when it's installed. It's a seven inch diameter hub that's designed to work with 2,000 pound axles and provides a 5 on 4 1/2 bolt pattern.

These work with wheels between 12 and 15 inches. It's constructed of a cast iron with a black powder coat finish on it to help protect it against rust and corrosion. This kit comes with everything you'll need to replace the hubs on your old axle. You'll want to make sure that you refer to the bearing numbers on your old bearings to ensure that you're getting the appropriate hub kit for that one because 2,000 pound axles can be a bit tricky in determining the appropriate one. But you can't go wrong by getting the numbers off your old bearings.So here, you can see our old hub and why we're going to be replacing it compared to our new one here.

The old one, our grease seal had worn out. You can see all the grease that got flung on the inside. That causes excessive heat due to the poor friction that you're getting against your pads and the drum here. That's going to prematurely wear out both the drum because it's going to get hot, and it's going to warp. And it's going to lose its roundness, and it's also going to wear out your pads as well and saturate those with grease.

And we can see here, we've had some pretty poor contact. It looks like it probably hasn't worked in a long time. The grease likely got on the magnet as well, which can cause it to not grab and apply also. So, it's really important we've got a good grease seal and everything stays clean up in here for this to work properly. All the rust on the inside here is telling me these brakes haven't worked properly in quite some time.If we look at our new assembly, they've minimized the amount of work you got to do here because the races for your bearings are already preinstalled.

And that's one of the most critical and difficult jobs when replacing the bearings is putting the races in so it's awesome that they've got that done for you. Both the inner and outer are done. Along with your kit, you're also going to get your bearings, and we've got L44649. This is the same for both the inner and outer bearing on this kit here. And you do get a new grease seal with it as well, and that's one of the most critical things. And we're going to be putting that in. You do also get new lug nuts with it, so that's nice. If you're wanting to replace some old, damaged lug nuts, maybe you had some studs that we're kind of messed up, and it's messed up some of the threads on the inside. And you do get a new cap with a plug for your E-Z Lube axle, so you can get in there and grease those up. The one we're going to be installing it on today doesn't have an E-Z Lube axle, but this cap will still work just fine with it.Today, we're going to be replacing the hub on our trailer here. And with that, we're also going to be replacing the brakes because they're not operational, and it's best to replace both together so that way, they wear properly, and you don't get any premature wear on either of the components. We'll begin our installation by jacking our trailer up so we can rotate the tire. I just use the floor jack on the frame and then put some jack stands under it to hold it up. And we're going to use our socket to remove all the nuts. We're using a 21 millimeter on this one, but it's going to vary likely depending on your trailer.Now that we've got all those removed, we can just slide the tire off. So here, we've got our old hub. We're going to start removing this now. I went ahead and set a rag down here because it is going to get quite messy. There's a lot of wheel bearing grease in here. The cap here on the end's the first part we need to take off, and we can do this actually just with a rubber mallet. Kind of tap it on the side there. Just kind of work it off.Now that we've got it removed, we'll have our nut on the inside with the cotter pin. So, we're going to take off our cotter pin. I like to start with a screwdriver just to get those pushed away a little bit. And then we can take our pliers and bend those down. It's good if you straighten them out just a little bit. It'll make it a little bit easier to get this pin pulled out if you get those little straighter. And a lot of times, you can use the smaller screwdriver on top and get it in the little islet here at the top. And you can pull it out if you can't get it real straight. So this one here, we're having a little bit of difficulties getting it straight just because of the way it's moving in there so we're just going to grab a small screwdriver and stick it in that islet, and we can pull it up from there. So, we're just going to poke our screwdriver in there, and you can see you can just kind of pry it out if you're having a difficult time.Want to make sure you save all your parts. We can then remove our nut. I like to use pair of channel locks because it's not on there very tight. And we're just going to grab it and twist it off. Our hub now can slide off, but our outer bearing's right there. So, I can take a screwdriver and just put it here on the edge, and then when I pull out, it'll catch that bearing. And we can see here that it does look like some moisture's entered in there. It's got kind of a rusty color to it. It's no longer just your black or red grease that you would normally find in there. So, there has been a little bit of moisture intrusion on this one. So, we're going to slide it the rest of the way off now, and this whole assembly here, we can go ahead and just set this aside. We're going to be replacing this.So now, we've got our brakes exposed on the inside so we can start removing those. I recommend getting some of those grease out of the way you start removing everything. That would help minimize the mess. And our bolts that hold our brakes on are actually going to be found on the other side. Even though we've got these off, these are our studs here. So, we're going to head around to the other side and remove those nuts using an 18 millimeter socket wrench. For the lower ones, you may find that a socket doesn't really fit in there so you may need to use a wrench to get these ones off down here.And once your last nut is removed, we have two wires that are still attaching it. We're going to want to make sure we cut those. Here's our wires here. We're just going to cut them on the other side of their connectors here. And now, the whole unit will just slide right off, and we can set this aside.So now, we can take our new assembly here. We're going to just slide it around. The studs in the backside are going to poke through the holes in our axle there. And then we'll use the nuts that come included with our new brakes and install those on the backside. Just line up your nuts with those studs and then just reinstall them. They should be the same size as our old ones so we're going to tighten them down with our 18 millimeter socket or wrench. Now, we can go back and snug these down. Now, we can go back and torque our hardware to the specifications found in our instructions.We can now hook up our wiring. So, the two that we had cut over here, we're going to strip these back, and we're going to be connecting these using heat shrink butt connectors, which you can purchase here at etrailer.com. So if you are planning on doing this, you can go ahead and add those to your cart. Now that we those stripped back, we're going to take the wires from our unit over here, and we're going to connect those to them. Now, I know those are. You see a white and a blue wire there. It doesn't matter which one you're hooking it to. One needs to be power. One needs to be ground. It doesn't matter to the electric brakes which one it is. It'll still magnetize and work properly.So, we're just going to grab one of those wires, slide our heat shrink butt connector on it. We're going to crimp it down. Then we're going to come over to one of our other wires. I like to give him a little bit of a twist. It just makes it slide into the butt connector a little easier. Slide that guy up in there and then crimp it down. We'll then repeat this for our other wire. You can then use a heat gun to shrink down our butt connectors. This will keep out any moisture, ensuring a long lasting connection.Now that we've got our brakes installed, we're going to move over to our hub here. The new hub has the races preinstalled so we're going to start with our bearings. We're going to go ahead and get those greased up. We're going to use our grease tool here. You can get one like this here at etrailer.com, and this is going to make the job go a lot faster. It's much easier to grease them with this than it is by using your hand and smashing the grease down in there. It's a little bit more effective in here, and it does help minimize the mess. Now, this whole unit here's been pretty heavily used so the amount of mess we're going to minimize here's probably not as much as you would at home if it wasn't being used regularly in a shop every day. And we're just using wheel bearing grease on this. You can also pick that up here at etrailer.com.So now that we've got our bearing fully packed, we're going to drop it down in the backside. Clean up some of the stuff on our hands, and then we can install the seal here on the backside to hold this bearing in place. So now, we can put our grease seal in. Now, if you're working with grease, it's not a bad idea to wear gloves if you're unsure because some people do report that they have irritation from it. I've been working with it with a long time, and I haven't noticed anything. But if you have sensitive skin, it is something to consider.Our seal here does have an inside and outside. This side's going to go towards the inside towards our bearing. It's at the cavity with our seal. And then here's our outside. It's got the metal surface here on top. That's just going to drop right down there, and then we're going to drive it in. The easiest way to drive this in is to just use a block of wood, a two-by-four works great. So, we're just going to set that on there and then just tap it down. We're trying to do it evenly so it tacks down nice and easy, nice and even. And we're just feeling around the edges now. We just want that seal to be flush, and it's nice and flush now. So, that's fully installed.Our other bearing will need to be packed. So, we're going to go ahead and pack that bearing. And then I also like to take some, the excess grease here, and smear it on our axle. Just helps make everything slide together a little bit easier. Just put a little bit around there. Try not to get any on the other side of your grease seal there because we want all this. We don't want any grease getting into where our brakes are. We'll now take our whole assembly here, and we're just going to lift it into position. Try to be careful not to nick the seal on your shaft there when you're going on. And that's what we're looking for right there. Should just slide right on.We can then take our other bearing. We want the smaller diameter of the taper to go in this time, and then we can go ahead and clean off our nut and reinstall that. Just get that old grease off there. You don't have to get a hundred percent of it off of there. Just get the bulk of it off of there. And then we'll just snug this guy down, and I'm just going to tighten this with the channel locks like we did before. And this guy, what we're going to do first is we're going to fully tighten it down. I like to rotate the hub as I'm doing this just to make sure it gets all the way seated. You should feel your hub getting tighter as you get it nice and tight. It's pretty tight right there. And now, we want to back it off. We don't want it to actually be that tight. We're just ensuring that our bearings are fully seated. So, we're just going to back it off until it's loose, nice and loose. Because if you remember when we took the nut off the first time, the nut wasn't even really that tight to begin with. So, we're just going to turn it until it touches, and then we can reinstall our cotter pin.So now, we're just going to slide our cotter pin down in there. Sometimes, you got to kind of tap it down in there if it's a little beat up. We do have cotter pins available here at etrailer.com if you want to replace it. In most cases, you can just reuse it. It's fine. But if it's an older trailer and it's been maintained several times, that cotter pin may be wore out. And we're just going to bend these back towards the center like they we're before.Can now take our cap. We're going to just set it in place and our rubber mallet can tap it back on. Sometimes, the newer caps here can be a little bit tricky to get them started because you don't want to bend up your cap real hard tapping on it. So if we take a screwdriver on the outer lip on the side that's kind of sticking out, you can get just one side to start. And it usually taps it in pretty easily after that.And then at this point, if you had E-Z Lube axles, you would want to fill those up as much as possible. You don't want to have it come all out, but you want to fill it up till you see it coming out of your bearings to ensure that you've got it fully packed. We're just going to be putting ours back on. We don't need to add grease just here inside this cap. That doesn't do us any good.And now, we can go ahead and reinstall our tire. We're replacing our tires as well. You can get tire and rim assemblies here at etrailer.com that are pre-balanced. Our old one was dry-rotted and had some wear on it. So in order to ensure that we're not going to have any problems when we go on our next trip, we've got nice new brakes, rims, and tires. You want to tighten down your wheels in a star pattern. Before we torque these, we're going to go ahead and adjust the brakes because we need the trailer to be back on the ground when we torque them. But we need to be able to rotate it to properly adjust our brakes.At the bottom here, the oblong cutout is going to give you access to your adjuster. So, we can go ahead and spin this to bring our brake pads out until we've got just this subtle drag. Right now, as we spin it, we feel absolutely no resistance whatsoever. So, we're just going to turn that little star with our screwdriver here. You can just push on one of the little ears of the star to rotate it. They also make brake drum tools that have a little angle to them that work a little bit better than a flat-bladed screwdriver. But a flat-bladed screwdriver will work in most instances.And we've now turned it to the point where we've got just a slight drag on it. Before when we spun it around, you could hear a little bit of noise, but you didn't feel any resistance whatsoever. And now when we spin it around, you'll see the tire stops much faster than it was before. And every time it goes around, there's a little spot where there's a very slight amount of resistance, and that's our pads touching. And that's where we want it to be because these don't move very much. They need to be close in order to properly apply themselves. So now that we've got this side on and adjusted, the only thing left to do before we lower it down and torque everything is to put the little covers into those oblong holes in the back. So, we're just going to go back and pop these in place. They just push right in. We can then go back and torque our wheels to the manufacturer's specifications. We'll then repeat the same procedures over here on the driver's side. And that completes our look at Dexter's seven inch diameter, 5 on 4 1/2 bolt pattern hub assembly.


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Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee David F
Installed by:
David F
Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K

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