Once you have your trailer jacked up and ready to work on, you can shake the wheels to see if they move up and down or side to side. If they do, it’s likely that you’ll need to replace the bearings. You’ll have to remove the wheel and hub in order to replace the bearings, and there are some steps to follow in order to get to the bearings.
After you’ve taken off the trailer tire and wheel, you’ll have to remove the bearing protector or grease cap. From there, you can remove the cotter pin and any washer that’s holding the castle nut on the hub. You will likely need a screwdriver to help remove these parts. Once the pin, washer, and nut are removed, you should be able to pull the hub off of the axle spindle. If the hub won’t move, you can rotate it in a circular motion or tap it with a mallet to get it unstuck. Be careful not to damage the outer bearing or seal while you’re doing this. If the hub is frozen onto the spindle, you may need to take it to a professional mechanic who has the proper tools in their shop.
Once the hub is off, you can remove the outer bearing and seal, the inner bearing and seal, and the inner and outer race. Check for any chips, nicks, or dents, and if there is any damage, it’s best to replace the part instead of putting it back in place. Hopefully, you have replacement parts on hand so that you can reassemble the hub and put it back on the spindle right away. If not, we can help you find the right kit.
Everything, from the inner race to the outer bearing, will need to be properly greased to ensure optimal performance. We carry several different bearing grease options, and it’s a good idea to keep a tub or tube on hand for each time you inspect, replace, or repack your trailer bearings.