Harbor Freight - Hub, Rim or Tire Problem?

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Harbor Freight - Hub, Rim or Tire Problem?

Postby garywi » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:00 pm

Hey Guys, I just finished my assembly of the trailer. I have it up on jack stands and I am spinning the tires to see if they are true.

The wheels are not spinning truly. As I look at it, how do I determine if the hub, rim or tire is the issue. I keep spinning the tires and watching them spin. It almost looks like the hubs make a slight wobble, the rim is not straight and the tires are out of round. :oops:

I did not expect perfection with a HF trailer but any thoughts on troubleshooting before I get HF on the phone to ask for replacement parts...

Thanks!

Gar
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Re: Harbor Freight - Hub, Rim or Tire Problem?

Postby KennethW » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:53 pm

spin wheel and mark with a marker the high spot as it spins then remount the wheel 180 degs then mark again. will tell you if it is the wheel or the hub.
Last edited by KennethW on Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Harbor Freight - Hub, Rim or Tire Problem?

Postby garywi » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:58 pm

Thank you Sir. What do you mean spin wheel with a marker.. :D
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Re: Harbor Freight - Hub, Rim or Tire Problem?

Postby Wolfpack » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:42 pm

Are the wheel bearings lose?
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Re: Harbor Freight - Hub, Rim or Tire Problem?

Postby KCStudly » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:21 pm

If you don't have a dial indicator, you can use a stiff piece of wire and clamp it to the spring just barely skimming the edge of the rim at its closest point, then rotate. This should give you an idea if it is out of round and/or the hub face is not true, and the magnitude. You can use the same technique at the hub with the wheel removed, or on the tread of the tire, just don't expect the tire to run as true.

The reason I suggest using the spring or trailing arm as the reference point is so that you don't induce error due to suspension movement.

You might also have a close look all around the bead of the tire on both sides of the rim to see that it is seated properly.

I seem to recall other people having reported problems with bearings not being fully seated, and hubs being bored grossly off center. You might have a look for those threads and see if your problem is similar.
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Re: Harbor Freight - Hub, Rim or Tire Problem?

Postby backstrap bandit » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:35 am

I just assembled mine and re packed bar rings and I can tell u those bearings r tuff to get down all the way I would check that before anything else that is if u re packed your bearings if you did check to make sure you don't have grease between bearing an bearing flange that will prevent bearings from seating all the way in
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Re: Harbor Freight - Hub, Rim or Tire Problem?

Postby robj » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:18 pm

which trailer do you have? light duty or the heavy duty. On my 1150# the hubs are stamped, not cast and they have bent. I'm looking to replace mine with a better axle.
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Re: Harbor Freight - Hub, Rim or Tire Problem?

Postby DrewsBrews » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:12 am

On my HF folder(used for motorcycle/utility hauling) I found the wheel wobble and runout could be made better/worse by pulling the wheel off and rotating it so different lugs go in different holes. Might try swapping sides too..takes some experimenting. I'd guess that means both hubs and wheels are not true but at least you can use them against each other to end up somewhat true. Yes the tires still have some runout which leads to shuddering around 20-30mph but settles down over that and I've got about 2500mi on it as is without issue, mostly highway.

Initially I cleaned out as much of the cosmoline from the bearings that I could and packed with high temp bearing grease. I torqued down the spindle nut a bit to seat the bearings then backed it off so I could hear and feel a slight "thunk" when I pull the wheel side to side. Some play in the bearing is good so it doesn't bind up when it expands due to warming up to normal running temp.
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