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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While getting my new (to me) trailer ready for inspection I noticed that on one side the outside of the hub visibly has rust flaking off it.

I guess I need new hubs but what of to get? Basspro has sealed hubs and so does Cabelas. Basspro also has oil bath hubs that I have never heard of.

Also, anything I need to know about mounting them, any adjustment? The trailer has no brakes so I'm hoping it's just a bolt-off bolt-on process.


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If you do not have brakes it's not that bad. Buy galvanized hubs. I would buy hubs that are not sealed and not an oil bath type (I have two of those type sitting on my workbench).

Replacing them is easy. Take your wheels off the trailer leaving the trailer on a jack stand for safety, pop off the dust covers or Bearing Buddies (whatever is there), remove the cotter key from the castleated nut (you'll need new ones everytime you use one), back the nut off to the end of the axle, and pull on the hub. The outer bearing should come loose and the nut will prevent it from falling out. Take the nut off and remove the bearing putting it in a empty can or plastic butter container.

Pull the hub completely off the trailer. The rear bearing will stay with the hub as there is a grease seal that will hold it in place.

Putting the new hubs on requires packing the new bearings with grease prior to installing them, installing the grease seal on the rear of the hub, filling the hub with grease, installing the hub on the axle, putting the new outer bearing in place once it also has been packed with grease, and then pre-loading the bearings on each axle.

Pre-loading is accomplished by turning the nut down on the installed hub until it is tight (10 - 15 foot pounds of torque). Then turn the hub (sometimes putting the wheel on with a couple of nuts makes this easier) about 10 -12 times in the same direction (I do it in the direction of forward travel although it won't make any difference).

Once you've completely rotated the hub 10 -12 times, back the nut off so that you can turn it with your fingers. DON'T disturb the hub!!

Tighten the nut so it's finger tight and you are able to put the new cotter key in place. Do NOT tighten with a wrench. If the cotter key won't go in then back the nut off slowly to where you have the first chance to put the cotter key thru the nut thus locking it in place. You are better off a little tiny bit loose than you are having to tighten the nut to accomplish this task.

If the bearing is too tight, you can burn it up a few miles.

Now, about the grease. Use the water resistant grease that LUBRIMATIC puts out and can be bought at Boater's World or West Marine. Do not over grease the new hubs as you will blwo out the grease seals on the back side of the hub.

If you were to use the oil bath hubs (tractor trailers have been usnig these things for eons) and the cover comes off or you spring a leak you'll be on the side of the road in no time. Grease will get you on down the road.

My thoughts on using a non-sealed hub is that it is easier to inspect and this will allow you to easily determine if you have had any problem with water intrusion into the hub.

For directions on the above go to


and look for the section on hub packing and installation.

Good luck. [grin][grin][excited][excited][grin][grin]
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