Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

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Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:36 pm

I am now putting together a Super Duty Harbor Freight Trailer and have some questions.

So I reached it and found some answers so I am referring them forward.
how to handle the space gap between the sides and the cross bars.
viewtopic.php?t=50462&p=936490
tung weight
viewtopic.php?t=46858&p=874506
will they last
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=36936
can I weld parts
http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=52186
reinforcing the tung
http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=35343&start=0
how fast can you pull them
viewtopic.php?t=49532&p=921631
can the axel be moved above the string?
viewtopic.php?t=15409&p=205400
HF review
http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=50644
this goes on for 10 pages so if you are looking for more see
viewforum.php?f=35
what does harbor freight say about them?
http://live.harborfreightblog.com/haul- ... lers/2125/
you tube lots to see
one mans thoughts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy99Od9-wJ0

I have many questions but some of these help.
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:46 pm

Ok my trailer is assembled and it said I should regrease the bearings!!

I have one apart the front bearings that is.... the back is sealed in and if I remove it I will need to get a new seal which by the way has never seen the road.

My question is
1. would it be wiser to replace those bearings with better quality, I have seen several folks mention that they needed to later.
2. I have not done this for a long time. When I put the bearing in I saw one guy on a youtube put a grease gun to the spindle and pump grease in before tightening the nut. ??? etrailer youtube
3. I have heard of folks carrying an extra hub when traveling is that common?

I am using plastic gloves keeping the hub in a plastic trash bag and bearings in zip bags until it is ready for putting back together. it is very sandy where I live.

Any tips on doing the bearings on a HF?

Ron Dickey
build number two. Cross Bow which is beginning to look more like a chariot!!
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby les45 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:11 pm

Ron,
I've repacked the bearings on my older HF utility trailer and my newer NT teardrop trailer many times. You definitely need to get the inner bearings out and change the grease in those too. This is how I do it:
1. If I have new seals, I simply slip the tip of a long, wide blade screwdriver under the inner lip of the seal and carefully pry it up. I have done this many times without damaging the seal. Some people remove the outer bearing and washer and reinstall the castle nut and pull on the hub until the inner bearing and seal come loose. I prefer not to do that since it could damage the bearing. Even if you have to buy new seals, you really need to repack both bearings.
2. I clean the bearings in small plastic cups with mineral spirits and a toothbrush until all the old grease is gone. I then let them dry out completely before packing the new grease.
3. They make a packing tool for this, but I prefer to pack grease the old fashioned way by simply pressing the grease in with one hand as I rotate the bearing in the other hand. I manually pack a ring of grease on the inner part of each race, install the packed bearings, and then add more grease all around the face of the bearings.
4. Re-install the seal by placing it level on the opening and cover it with a wood block. Tap the wood block carefully keeping it level as the seal goes into the opening and becomes flush with the hub.
5. The bottom line on grease is to make sure both bearings are totally covered on both sides. I do not advocate using the zerk fitting cover to simply pump new grease in to fill up the center cavity. That is a waste of grease. I do rub a coating of grease on the entire spindle before re-installing the hub.
6. Also make sure you use a good quality grease. I started using "Red and Tacky" after a lot of research online. I found that a lot of boat owners prefer this grease for its high temp qualities.

I also looked around to see if I needed to replace the bearings with something better, but I found that most of the aftermarket bearings in the boat stores were the same Chinese made bearings with the same part number. At the auto parts stores, all the bearings were made in Mexico. You can go to an industrial bearing store and get better quality bearings like Timken, but I really don't think it is worth the investment. If the bearings that come with the trailer are maintained properly by periodic repacking and not overloaded, they should last a lifetime. I repack mine about every 1,000 miles and my old HF utility trailer is 20 years old and still looks like new.

I also carry a spare hub assembly with my spare tire and emergency tool kit. My logic on the hub assembly is this: if your bearings go out they will probably damage the races. It would be a real chore to have to change bearings and races while sitting on the side of the road in busy traffic on the hottest day of the year (Murphy's Law). With a spare hub, you just pull the old one off and slap the new one on in just a matter of minutes. For my NT trailer (1" bearings X2 and 1 1/4" seal), I found an entire hub assembly on sale for $30 and it comes with a new cotter pin and lug nuts. Yes, the lugs can come loose and become as much of a problem as the bearings. A bearing set alone will cost $15 or more. I just consider it cheap insurance. If you go with a spare hub assembly, don't forget to repack the grease in it, too.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:48 pm

Thank you that helps

Very well said.

today I plan to do just that.

Ron
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:11 pm

I found this youtube of a harbor freight TTT build with nice music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Jv62vGZWQ

I put on all the bolts tight then realized the top ones need to be removed and replaced with carriage bolts and longer ones that made me wonder about the strength of holding the front corners on top tight.
I am thinking of a. putting in a right angle horizontally and drilling a new hole on the side.

at the corners I plan to install corner vertical beams and the bolt will not work there.

has anyone had that problem and what did you do to get around it?

I could run horizontal pc's of wood and cut out where the bolt is and attach the vertical to that horizontal beam.
I could attach the vertical beam to the front of the trailer on each side
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:56 pm

les45 wrote:Ron,
I've repacked the bearings on my older HF utility trailer and my newer NT teardrop trailer many times. You definitely need to get the inner bearings out and change the grease in those too. This is how I do it:
1. If I have new seals, I simply slip the tip of a long, wide blade screwdriver under the inner lip of the seal and carefully pry it up. I have done this many times without damaging the seal. Some people remove the outer bearing and washer and reinstall the castle nut and pull on the hub until the inner bearing and seal come loose. I prefer not to do that since it could damage the bearing. Even if you have to buy new seals, you really need to repack both bearings.
2. I clean the bearings in small plastic cups with mineral spirits and a toothbrush until all the old grease is gone. I then let them dry out completely before packing the new grease.
3. They make a packing tool for this, but I prefer to pack grease the old fashioned way by simply pressing the grease in with one hand as I rotate the bearing in the other hand. I manually pack a ring of grease on the inner part of each race, install the packed bearings, and then add more grease all around the face of the bearings.
4. Re-install the seal by placing it level on the opening and cover it with a wood block. Tap the wood block carefully keeping it level as the seal goes into the opening and becomes flush with the hub.
5. The bottom line on grease is to make sure both bearings are totally covered on both sides. I do not advocate using the zerk fitting cover to simply pump new grease in to fill up the center cavity. That is a waste of grease. I do rub a coating of grease on the entire spindle before re-installing the hub.
6. Also make sure you use a good quality grease. I started using "Red and Tacky" after a lot of research online. I found that a lot of boat owners prefer this grease for its high temp qualities.

I also looked around to see if I needed to replace the bearings with something better, but I found that most of the aftermarket bearings in the boat stores were the same Chinese made bearings with the same part number. At the auto parts stores, all the bearings were made in Mexico. You can go to an industrial bearing store and get better quality bearings like Timken, but I really don't think it is worth the investment. If the bearings that come with the trailer are maintained properly by periodic repacking and not overloaded, they should last a lifetime. I repack mine about every 1,000 miles and my old HF utility trailer is 20 years old and still looks like new.

I also carry a spare hub assembly with my spare tire and emergency tool kit. My logic on the hub assembly is this: if your bearings go out they will probably damage the races. It would be a real chore to have to change bearings and races while sitting on the side of the road in busy traffic on the hottest day of the year (Murphy's Law). With a spare hub, you just pull the old one off and slap the new one on in just a matter of minutes. For my NT trailer (1" bearings X2 and 1 1/4" seal), I found an entire hub assembly on sale for $30 and it comes with a new cotter pin and lug nuts. Yes, the lugs can come loose and become as much of a problem as the bearings. A bearing set alone will cost $15 or more. I just consider it cheap insurance. If you go with a spare hub assembly, don't forget to repack the grease in it, too.

Hope this helps.


This is good advice, I pulled out the seal around the back bearings I found a forged steel tack puller to work very well it get up under the seal. Until I looked at the back of the seal there is a spring type gasket around the inside and that tool destroyed the spring :x now I have to get a new one and might as well get two incase the 2nd one gets destroyed also. Looking at etrailer it looks like that spring is a O ring on other models. So be carful taking it off. :worship:


I keep snack size zip locks handy and make sure nothing gets near any dirt. I handled those parts with plastic serving though away gloves. I keep everything in a larger plastic bag double protection. I realized why a cloth is needed to clean it off, Paper might get into the bearings.

My hub on this HF trailer has a grease fitting!!!! on the barrow, between the two bearings chamber. :thumbsup:
I plan to put grease in by hand but if I want I can pump more in later.

Ron
Last edited by Ron Dickey on Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:22 pm

This is what I will use to grease my bearings.

Image
The one I am using is older and has no threads.

If you look under images google or bing enter "bearing grease packer" and you will see all the ways they do it.

I asked my cousin what to do after using mineral spirits.... he said 1. let it dry, 2. use air on it like the mechanics do, 3 use a heat gun.
Then when dry put on the grease.

My grease gun is universal it will take a cartridge, can be filled buy putting the end to a grease container and pulling back on the piston that pushes it for ward like a caulk gun would and it has a fitting where it can be filled via air pressure grease filler. I did not remember buying such a good one.

Ron
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby bobhenry » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:40 am

Brakekleen spray can be purchased at any good parts house and will solvent rinse the bearings and flash off almost immediatly leaving no residue. Acetone and Hexane will also work well and flash completely away.
Growing older but not up !
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby GuitarPhotog » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:44 am

I repack mine about every 1,000 miles


Man, if I did that, I'd be sitting along side the highway two or three times on every trip. Last year's trip was just under 3K miles.

Maybe you meant "every 10,000 miles?"

I repack mine once a year, before the camping season starts.

<Chas>
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby les45 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:03 pm

GuitarPhotog wrote:
I repack mine about every 1,000 miles


Man, if I did that, I'd be sitting along side the highway two or three times on every trip. Last year's trip was just under 3K miles.

Maybe you meant "every 10,000 miles?"

I repack mine once a year, before the camping season starts.

<Chas>
:beer:


That has been my experience with my old HF utility trailer but I only put about 1,000 miles a year on it so I repack about once a year. Haven't had the teardrop long enough to know what it will be. I do know that I won't be taking any 3,000 mile trips in it. I'll probably repack it about once a year also.
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:11 pm

How do you dispose cleaners and old grease? California is real tight on that stuff. I want to toss it in the trash but I guess I will need to take it to a special place.

On my old trailer I only did it once. :oops: when I first put on the road in 2007. I wiggle the tires to see if they are loose and check the air. But never even thought about regreasing the hub. :?

I never knew to feel the hub for heat, Now I am learning to be a re-grease pro.

Whether a trailer is pulling horses or a boat, the safety of the cargo inside depends on proper maintenance of the trailer's wheel bearings. Greasing the bearings must be done at regular intervals for proper load distribution and mechanical integrity of the wheels. Improperly maintained wheel bearings can cause wheels to detach without warning and result in damage to the trailer, its cargo, and perhaps people.

Read more: How Often Should You Grease Wheel Bearings on a Trailer? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5556322_shoul ... z2Myd18k97

Wheel bearings are a critical part of the trailer body. They help support the trailer's weight and keep the wheels turning on the axle. Properly maintained bearings allow the wheel to spin freely, without putting unnecessary friction on the trailer axle. A wheel bearing that has been neglected eventually leaks and deteriorates. Dirt and other foreign objects can contaminate the bearings, cause breakdown of the assembly and possibly enable the wheel to detach from the axle.

Time Frame
Wheel bearing maintenance frequency depends on the trailer type, wheel size, and average load weight. Some manufacturers recommend inspecting and greasing an RV's wheel bearings once every season, or at least every 10,000 miles. But boat trailers with small wheels require re-packing every 2,000 miles. Generally, the smaller the tire, the faster the wheels spin, which puts stress on the bearings. Frequency can also be determined by considering how the trailer is used and where it has traveled.

Ron
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby dshideler » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:34 pm

I take all of my old grease and oil to my local big box auto parts store. They take it for free and properly dispose of it.

Darren
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:49 pm

found this in my search online for my replacement seal ttt feb 2011.
viewtopic.php?t=42700&p=801786
title: Lost wheel bearing

bobhenry came one with saying this

But I would like to RESTATE these little chinese trailers DO NOT come with greased bearings. The goop you see in the hubs is nothing more than a rust inhibiting gel.
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:11 pm

I copied this over from my cross bow site.

I did degrease one set of bearings. in so doing I damaged the bearing gasket ring in the back, so far know one has it. I will have to go into a larger town and see if they have it. I tried one small trailer placer auto Zone, tomorrow I will try napa, and a couple of trailer places down south.
I have one bearing greased and was about to do the 2nd but decided to wait until I have the seal. Metric 30-52-10 I hear it is hard to get metric ones. I did not find it on HF web site.

I found this on another forum

The HF trailers use metric parts for the axles, bearings, and seals. These are not typically available at the walmarts, Tractor Supplies, Napas, etc...

Here is the part number that I have for the HF seal.

Metric 30-52-10

When I was towing a HF trailer, I was able to find that size from one of the online seal retailers, but not at a local shop in my area. They were cheap, just a little tougher to find than the "standard" non-metric seals.

I also heard you can order them directly from HF.

any one on this forum have any input?
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Re: Harbor Freight trailer questions and answers

Postby Ron Dickey » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:16 pm

found these tnttt sites on bearing and seal for HF trailer

viewtopic.php?t=37944&highlight=

http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=11178 near middle of page under Bearings and Seals/Covers you will find HF info too.

I for one am beginning to think it worth replacing the hub with one where parts are more available.

http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=49313
this site is called Bearing Hub Change

Ron
121377.............134179.........134805
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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