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Old 05-04-2016, 08:02 AM   #1
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Trailer Wheel Bearings.

Need some feedback. Last year I replaced some of the wheel bearings on my Award trailer because the cages didn't look right. I haven't had the trailer out since.
When I replaced the the bearings (properly repacked) I didn't replace the bearing races.
Is this going to cause me a problem?
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:00 AM   #2
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It depends (typical lawyerly response). Only a close inspection of the races will reveal if they were damaged by the bearing cages. It is recommended to replace bearing and races at the same time. If you want to take a chance everything will be okay, get an infrared thermometer and check your wheel hubs for temperature differential at each stop. For example, if three of four hubs measure 120 degree and one is at 180, you might have a potential failure looming. If all read 180 degrees or higher, you better get off the road at the next stop and look for a bearing service provider. In retrospect, you might also want to get the one high reading looked at, too.
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:09 AM   #3
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Were the old and new bearings from the same manufacturer? I would be hesitant to mix and match race and bearing from different brands.

I agree, get a thermo gun and check temps. Drive a short distance and get a reading. If all similar readings drive a little further and check again and look for differentials in temps.
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:29 AM   #4
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If the races were in perfect condition, there shouldn't be a problem. That said, when I inspected my failed, cheap, Chinese bearings, I gave them a thorough inspection and found that the angles were out of tolerance. Yes, I obtained the blueprints and have the equipment to measure and test. Along with the angles being wrong, the poor surface finish and poor quality steel there is no wonder the bearings failed.

I don't know what you found regarding the cages. They are merely spacers and the finishes aren't very important.

Some information: Brakes, Bearings and Spindles
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:25 AM   #5
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The more I read about wheel bearings the more lost I become.. Races?? Now I gotta research races. How naive am I !!! Doh!! Lol
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:06 PM   #6
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I think the rollers are caged up while rolling around in a race.

Sounds like a confusing dream I had after a hard night of partying long ago!
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bigmess View Post
I think the rollers are caged up while rolling around in a race.

Sounds like a confusing dream I had after a hard night of partying long ago!
Oh so helpful!! Lol
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Old 05-07-2016, 06:59 PM   #8
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:03 PM   #9
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He is saying tapered here not tapper. LOL

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Old 05-07-2016, 07:08 PM   #10
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The outer "race" is the part (also called a shell by some) that is pressed into the hub. The bearing is what goes between the outer race and the axle. The gage is what holds the rollers to the inner race which fits on the axle shaft.
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:42 PM   #11
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Cup and Cone.

Tapered roller*bearings*are separable and have the following components: outer ring, inner ring, and roller assembly (containing the rollers and a cage). The non-separable inner ring and roller assembly is called the cone, and the outer ring is called the*cup.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:39 AM   #12
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And the big thing to remember, tapered bearings have to be adjusted. Unlike a regular ball bearing you don't just throw them on and go.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:01 AM   #13
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And the big thing to remember, tapered bearings have to be adjusted. Unlike a regular ball bearing you don't just throw them on and go.
Any bearing has to be properly adjusted whether it is ball or tapered. Too loose and the bearing will wobble and wear out quickly, too tight and the bearing will overheat, the grease will run out and the bearing will fail. A little play in a bearing is acceptable. As the bearing is heated up from running it will expand and close the tolerances. If you start out with a bearing tightened to tightly it will eventually seize and you will have a roadside failure.
Most modern day trailer hubs have tapered design bearings. Many of the newer ones have plastic cages. The plastic cages actually run cooler than the older steel caged bearings. They are not used just because they are cheaper. The opposite is true. They are there for a reason.
I would never replace a bearing without replacing the bearing and race. I buy these in sets if possible and most trailer bearings are available that way. At the very least I would use the same brand parts.
I use a high grade, high temperature wheel bearing grease. I don't use an all purpose grease which is cheaper.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:19 AM   #14
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From the Timken website (Bearing Terms Glossary)
CONE:
The bearing's inner ring that is fixed to and/or pressed onto a rotating shaft.
CUP:
The bearing's outer ring that sits on the housing and remains stationary during rotation.

I replaced 5 of the 8 (all 4 outers and 1 inner) on ours that had very low miles with USA made Timkens (Rock Auto Parts had the best prices). The OEM bearings cups looked like new and weren't replaced while several (Chinese made) cone rollers were less then great. 12K miles later, both looked like new. This doesn't prove that my method is correct as condition should be defining your decision. As a note, all bearings are supposed to conform to an international standard for a particular part number, Whether they do or not .............

Don't forget the new grease seals either
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