Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby TimC » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:42 pm

Yes, wood block and a mallet. Start with light blows and check each hit to see that it is going in straight. It won't at first but will eventually. I've tried tapping with a ball peen to get it started but it does not work as well as the wood/mallet from the start.

So, is the frame of your seal plastic or metal. Just curious. I don't think the quality will be less if plastic. It's just a frame for the rubber seals.

It was interesting to read folks listing prices that seals are going for. My local mom and pop auto supply, an Auto Value affiliate, sells trailer seals for a couple bucks each. I change them when they need to be changed which is every two or three repacking tasks.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby QueticoBill » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:14 am

No metal exposed. I assume it's fully encased.

I bought two on Prime for $6 each. Knew I could get for less but not at my door in 2 days. If I reuse the original I can return or keep for next year/change.

I wondered if a smear of grease was kosher for installing these.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby TimC » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:50 am

Yup, grease em up all around, install, then wipe away the grease on the outside to keep it from collecting road grit.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby QueticoBill » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:49 am

I assume that tightening the castle nut will pull it in if not completely seated against casting?

They're all apart. All cleaned. I get the "hand packing" of the bearings and have DIF at hand. Not sure why I shouldn't put "fill" the hub with grease, not pack. Seems like there is no reason to use teh zerk fitting.

Hopefully I can feel and hear it's assembled correctly - mainly how tight. Will re-watch YouTubes for tips.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:05 pm

QueticoBill wrote:I assume that tightening the castle nut will pull it in if not completely seated against casting?

They're all apart. All cleaned. I get the "hand packing" of the bearings and have DIF at hand. Not sure why I shouldn't put "fill" the hub with grease, not pack. Seems like there is no reason to use teh zerk fitting.

Hopefully I can feel and hear it's assembled correctly - mainly how tight. Will re-watch YouTubes for tips.


Just my little side note: I've heard that a castle nut ought to be tightened to 50 lb-ft or so in order to make sure everything is seated: bearings in their races, seals in their grooves, hub over the spindle, etc. After it's tightened, then it's backed off to allow free spinning motion.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby QueticoBill » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:14 pm

Never having done this, that is about what I pictured. I just don't know how fine the line is between too tight and too much play.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:46 pm

QueticoBill wrote:Never having done this, that is about what I pictured. I just don't know how fine the line is between too tight and too much play.


Well ... etrailer.com has some great info on this stuff. I've heard something like 1/32 of a inch of play. So if you can slid the hub back and forwards to where you get evevn a little impact "thunk," then it's too much.

Better a smidge too much than a smidge too little, though.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby Dale M. » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:40 am

I have always gronked ( highly technical term) nut down some what tight and to a point where it was tight to spin wheel (seat bearings) ... Then back if off a tiny bit so wheel spun freely and then grasp the wheel at top and bottom and rocked it in and out from top to bottom and if I could detect the tiniest but of free play (slop) in bearing it seems to be right and if castle nut did not line up with hole in axle LOOSEN it till it does, bearing will last longer running a tiny bit loose (with proper lubrication) then to tight...

I always check bearings after first 100 miles or pit stop to see if there is excessive heat build up to indicate a problem after doing bearing work.... They might be a little warm ( slightly more than ambient temp), but not uncomfortable to the touch...

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Last edited by Dale M. on Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby Dale M. » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:42 am

Andrew Herrick wrote:
QueticoBill wrote:Never having done this, that is about what I pictured. I just don't know how fine the line is between too tight and too much play.


Well ... etrailer.com has some great info on this stuff. I've heard something like 1/32 of a inch of play. So if you can slid the hub back and forwards to where you get evevn a little impact "thunk," then it's too much.

Better a smidge too much than a smidge too little, though.


Believe 1/32 is way to much play ...Detectable play yes, measurable may be to much...

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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby QueticoBill » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:15 am

Reading hear and watching youtubes, it seems that it makes sense to tighten it with a wrench tikl hard to turn hub by hand - at least no coating or free wheeling - to be sure bearings are seated - then back off to cotter pin hole. That should allow the hub to rotate 3 or 4 times after after hands off of a spin.

There is a mix of just pack the bearings and rub some grease on the axles, races, and seal seat versus pack the sucker with grease. I'm leaning towards what can it hurt to fill the hub with grease school of thought.

I'll do something this weekend. With any luck, I'll have trailer assembled and out for a test drive this weekend - maybe pick up ply and foam with it.

I really appreciate the patience and help.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby Pinstriper » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:16 am

I'm watching this thread with great interest, having just transitioned from "let the shop do it" to "I can do this myself".

I share some of the concerns being asked about. I didn't torque the castle nut down with a wrench, or to the point where the hub wouldn't spin. I only tightened to the point where there was drag, then backed off 1/6 of a turn to the cotter pin hole. There was "detectable play" but not to the point you could call it movement. Can't express it any better.

I did take her on one trip since, round trip of maybe 225 miles, with no signs of heating, scraping noises, grinding noises, etc.

But I live in terror and suspense. If I messed it up, shouldn't it have shown up by now ? These should fail like a bathtub curve, I would think... Right ? Right ??

Going 300 miles round trip this weekend with trepidation.

I also took to heart the advice of not mixing grease of different types or supplier, as unknown chemical reaction could supposedly degrade the grease. That seemed implausible to me - there oughta be some kind of standards for compatibility, right ? Anyway, I followed it and completely cleaned and degreased everything using Gunscrubber spray solvent. Took a full can each side. ymmv

I am suspicious of the whole "never pack your bearings again, just use the fitting and pump 'til new grease comes out" school of thought. I could see that for intermediate lubrication between regularly scheduled repacks, but not as a substitute. I just seems to me that cleaning and repacking everything gives you a better opportunity for inspection.

I used marine grease because...just because, I guess.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby Andrew Herrick » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:02 am

Dale M. wrote:
Andrew Herrick wrote:
QueticoBill wrote:Never having done this, that is about what I pictured. I just don't know how fine the line is between too tight and too much play.


Well ... etrailer.com has some great info on this stuff. I've heard something like 1/32 of a inch of play. So if you can slid the hub back and forwards to where you get evevn a little impact "thunk," then it's too much.

Better a smidge too much than a smidge too little, though.


Believe 1/32 is way to much play ...Detectable play yes, measurable may be to much...

Dale


Thanks for the edit. You're right ... 1/32 was the number in my head, but after reading my installation manuals, they basically echo what's been otherwise said on this forum: Crank the castle nut down to seat the assembly, then back it off just enough to get free spinning. Too tight, though, and you'll overheat the bearings ...
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby godskid » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:18 pm

Pinstriper wrote:I'm watching this thread with great interest, having just transitioned from "let the shop do it" to "I can do this myself".


I just got here, but I'm scanning this thread with great trepidation .... and while I've installed my own hitch receiver and the wiring, in my car, I'm ready to transition to "let the shop do it" if somebody can suggest what shops are good. Is Merlin reasonable for this kind of thing? I've got about 11k on my teeny teardrop, and I suspect it's time I had the bearings looked at.

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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby QueticoBill » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:18 pm

Well, I did this a few weeks ago and it was easy. I was able to pop out the seals with a piece of wood closet rod, clean it all (I'd just use mineral spirits next time), hand pack the bearings with good red grease, wipe my hands around the spindles before cleaning, and assemble. Don't forget to have the Dif or Gojo before you start.

I tightened castle nut till the wheel clearly felt it and was bogging down and then backed off. Did that twice to be sure bearings had seated and backed off just enough so it did not seem to affect wheel turning. Trying to move wheel on and off was not visible movement but I could just hear a "click" as hit the axle or castle nut.

Having read this and done it myself and having read of what shops do and get away with, I'm glad I did it my self. Maybe an hour or hour and a half.
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Re: Pull seals or clean and use zirk?

Postby jondbar628 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:37 pm

Opinions on greasing bearings are like noses - everybody has one.. :D .....so here"s my story......For years, I packed bearings as others do - clean & pack bearings, grease the races, pack the hub with grease so the bearing grease can't "go" anywhere. Never had a bearing failure......Then the plant where I worked as a tradesman brought in a rep from Rotanium (they're a manufacturer of high-end industrial greases, specializing in high-temp applications). HE went through the cleaning & packing process (pretty much standard fare), then went on to say that many, if not most folks use way too much grease in their applications - filling the hub (as I did) being the main fault.
He said that you have to remember that grease is not just a lubricant, it's also an insulator. So if you pack a hub full of grease, and you have a bearing running a little hot for some reason, that heat has nowhere to go. It will just keep increasing at an accelerated rate, causing earlier bearing failure as the grease in the bearing will eventually break down. Leaving an empty space between the inner & outer bearings will allow some of that heat to dissapate, extending the life of the faulty bearing. .......I switched to his method, and still have not had a bearing failure, so who is right?.....food for thought.......jd
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