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Author Topic: Summer Trailer Maintenance-July 9, 2016  (Read 33193 times)
Rowdy_Gator
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« on: July 05, 2016, 07:16:56 PM »

Summer Trailer Maintenance:  JULY 9th @ 8:00am.                                                                                           

1) Check your bearings. Raise wheel off ground and spin while listening for a grinding noise. You can also lightly touch the hub after driving several miles to see if it is hot. If it is making a grinding noise or is too hot to touch with a bare hand, it needs replacement. Pull off buddy bearing cap. If you have mustard or milky grey color grease, that's an indication of water in the grease. Regular axle grease should be a dark color. You will have to inspect the back bearing for water damage too. Start by removing the wheel (makes it easier but not necessary). Then remove cotter pin and castle nut and slide hub off shaft. Pry out the seal on the back of the hub (screwdriver and hammer). Remove both bearings and clean in mineral spirits or kerosene (never gasoline). Inspect bearings for wear or pit's. If they show any signs of wear, discoloration or pits, replace the bearings and outer races. Some people find it easier to just replace the whole hub rather than replace the bearing, races and seals. If you want to save a few bucks...just change the bearings and races.
a) If there's no evidence of water and the bearings look good, go to step c.
b) If you see any evidence of water, clean out the old grease from the hub too.
c) Repack the bearings with grease (a grease packing cone from any automotive store makes this task easy). Reassemble the hub: install the bearings (installing a new seal on the back of the hub) and slide it on the axle. Tighten the axle nut snug, then back off castle nut to a notch where you can insert the cotter pin. Hub must spin freely or it's too tight. Install buddy bearing and pump it up with grease. Add grease periodically as the Bearing Buddy is spring loaded and grease can escape. The Zerk floats and should be maintained at close to maximum distance from the hub. This keeps positive pressure within the hub to prevent water intrusion. Dab a little grease on studs, install wheel and lug nuts.

2) Check tire pressures. Correct tire pressure will extend the life of the tire. Make sure the tires are set to the correct tire pressure (pressure is printed on the side of the tire). Note: wear on the outside of tires...pressure is too low. Wear in the center of tire ...pressure is too high. Look for dry rot cracking or tire separation at the tread. If you see cracking...time to start thinking about new tires. If you see any signs of separation, cord showing through or a bulge on the tire: replace it ASAP.  Always carry at least one spare (plus lug wrench, jack, etc).

3) Check lights. Most common problems with lights are:
a) corroded connector to car: clean connectors with a small wire brush or mix 10% muriatic acid with water and dip connectors in solution. Once connector is clean (30 seconds?), rinse connectors with a 10% baking soda and water solution.  Dry connectors then lightly lube with Vaseline.
b) corroded wires where you attach trailer wires to the light: solder these connections then cover with RTV and slide a piece of heat shrink tubing over them. Shrink it down over the connection where the RTV squirts out and you will never have that problem again. If your wires go into the lights, seal this area with RTV too.
c) Ground connections have a habit of loosening and/or wires breaking at the connector on the light or the trailer.
d) Fuses – sometimes there are several fuses that can go bad. Check your Owner’s Manual for location as some may be under or on the side of the dash, and some can be under the hood.
e) A little Vaseline works well on lubricating the light bulb and socket (use a acid brush to lube the socket).
f) Another option is mount your lights on "guide posts" where the lights never go in the water.

4) Receiver: insure you use the right ball for your receiver (never use a 1 7/8" ball with a 2" receiver), you can adjust the tightness with a 3/4" socket on the bottom side. Should be tight enough it's not loose, but loose enough you can pull the lever over with your hand. Always use a lock or pin in the lever to prevent it from coming off in transit. A little spray grease on the moving parts will also make it operate smoothly.

5) Inspect bunk U-bolts, axle U-bolts, springs, spring bolts, etc. Replace if badly rusted (U-bolts will usually rust out before the springs). Don’t forget to inspect the underside of the beam and trailer frame for physical damage and corrosion. Water can collect inside the tubing and corrode from the inside out.

6) Pictures of some bad leaf springs, bearings, etc are located at : http://s1122.photobucket.com/user/explorer3114/library/Trailer%20maintenance%20pics. From these pictures you should have a idea of what they will look like when it's time to replace them.
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