Part two of Mitch’s complete trailer rebuildPRODUCTS REQUIRED
- ARK complete hub and bearing kit x 2
- ARK bearing dust caps x 2
- Marine-based bearing grease
- Disposable latex gloves
You can pick one of these complete hub and bearings up from ARK for around $60. This will include bearing kits, bearing races, dust cap and hub. Before you leap into this, it’s a good idea to lay all the components out in order so that it takes all the guesswork out.
Time to get messy – grab some disposable gloves and marine-based bearing grease. To pack bearings, wipe a good dollop of grease into the palm of one hand. With the other free hand, use a rolling motion to squeeze the grease through the bearing rollers. You want to see grease being pushed all the way through – do this to the inner and outer bearing.
After many years spent up and down the boat ramp, the hubs and bearings on the trailer can start to get a tad neglected. Despite being one of the easiest parts to replace for any DIY bloke, it can be a complete deal-breaker.
With the leftover grease in the palm of your hand, wipe all bearing surfaces on the axle, threads and inner and outer race.
The last stage of the hub is the dust cap. No need to panel beat this into place – just a light tap around the edge and it will fall into place.
Fit the ARK dust cap before tapping into place.
There are so many tyres out on the market these days, but it’s worth investing some coin on decent tread as it’s the only thing that keeps your trailer on the road. I went for a larger diameter to give me some more clearance when off the beaten track.
Once you have packed all bearings with grease, it’s time to assemble the hub. Place the inner bearings in first (the bearings will only go in one way), followed by the waterproof rubber seal then simply turn over and put the outer bearing in.
Slide the complete hub straight onto the axle; try not to damage any of the bearing surfaces as you will reduce the life of the hub. Tighten the nut all the way up to seat the bearings, then back it off about a quarter of a turn – you want to achieve no play. Once split-pinned, pack with grease so water can’t seep into the hub. This means more time fishing and less time on the side of the road.
This piece of the kit is one of the best inventions out there, it’s known as the Trailer Rescue Kit. The hub saver comes as a complete hub on an extension bar so that you can mount your spare wheel onto it. The extension bar is held into place with two U-bolts and a set of lock nuts. So if your bearings let go simply, slide on a complete hub – just keep in mind that you will need a spare split pin handy.