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bobbymalone

Yikes! & Do I need a new axle for my trailer?

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This is old stuff, but I finally got around to taking pics off the camera so i thought I would post for some help and as a reminder to all to check your trailer hubs often.

Heading towards the end of the open water season, I was taking my boat up to Mille Lacs and I started to hear that nasty sound of a trailer wheel bearing going bad. I am pretty anal about trailer wheel bearings, so I was a bit surprised. When I stopped to look I see my bearing buddy is gone and a lot of grease has flung out. No problem, I hit up the auto parts store get a new buddy, pop it on and start pumping in the grease. By this time it's too late to head to pond so I give up and start heading home. Sounds gone, problem seems fixed.

That was supposed to be the last trip of the year, so thought I would repack the bearings and put 'er in the garage for the winter. When I get that bearing out this is what I found:

full-20574-6851-pb061476.jpg

that's new bearing on the left and the two rings on the right are what's left of the old bearing.

Yikes, so the outer bearing basically exploded inside there. Lucky i didn't end up with no wheel on there....

So I go to pull the inner bearing off the spindle and it will not come off. I felt around a bit on the spindle and see there is a bit of a gouge and a bump on the spindle from where the exploded bearing once was. Hit it up with a file just a little bit to even it out a bit and get the inner bearing off.

Now I am left with this. Sorry the picture is bad, it was a tough angle: full-20574-6853-pb061475.jpg

the yellow arrow marks the gouge i am talking about.

Hmmmmm. I am guessing that little bump is going to cause premature and possible catastrophic failure of the bearing --- as I already saw. It's smoothed out some, but I would rather just fix it than have to put a new bearing on all the time and worry about it.

So can I just get a new spindle mounted on that side or is it a total axle replacement? Any ideas on the cost or any suggestions on where to take it?

It's just a regular old boat trailer..carries a 17.5' alumacraft, just a good old fishin boat nothin fancy. I think the axle is somewhere around 75-80" from spindle tip to tip. Connected to the trailer with U bolts on the leaf springs.

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I would just replace the spindle, did it on my old Shorelander, grinder and a welder fixed it right up. I did put in heavier spindles when I did this to.

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that's what i was hoping for but I wasn't sure if you could remove the old one and weld on a new one and still have it spin... uhh, not sure what word to use here... true? I thought that might require a whole new axle if I can't afford to lose a couple inches.

Good to know. That's more money left in my pocket. Any recommendations on where to get the work done in the south metro?

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You know, and this is just a thought. But that gouge doesn't look that bad or look like it goes clear around the axle. (unless it's worse then what the picture makes it look) I might try filling it in with JB Weld and smoothing it down thats some pretty tough stuff. I only say this because the inner race doesn't spin on the axle and you just need a solid surface for the bearing to set somewhat tight on. If the bearing is really sloppy on that part of the axle then I probably wouldn't, but if it helps just to fill in those gouges I would give it a try.

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With a second look at the axle pic I can see the threads have what looks like a flat spot wore into them. I'm assuming the axle probably has a flat spot where that gouge is too? JB Weld's probably not your answer then, sorry.

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i think that flat spot on the threads is actually just grease filling in the threads. It didn't feel like a flat spot, it felt like a gouge with a bit of a raised bump on one side. I I filed that bump down.

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I would just replace the spindle. Jack the trailer up and inspect the axle for any damage, but if it looks ok I would just replace the spindle.

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Go to the place that sells tools, welders & hydraulic stuff. They have everything you would need to buy a whole new one or just the parts you need to repair your old one! wink

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I had this happen on my way to the pond about 4 years ago with a utility trailer and my 4 wheeler. Only difference is that by the time I looked back, mine was smokin' so I limped into NH in rogers and 3 hours later after cutting the inner ring off the shaft and sanding the shaft smooth I was heading up to appledorns. I put the new bearing on and greased it up and have not had any problems since. As long as the inner ring of the bearing is able to grab onto the axle so it spins the bearing and NOT on the shaft you should be OK. Its not the shaft that takes the wear, it is the bearings.

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I had this happen on my way to the pond about 4 years ago with a utility trailer and my 4 wheeler. Only difference is that by the time I looked back, mine was smokin' so I limped into NH in rogers and 3 hours later after cutting the inner ring off the shaft and sanding the shaft smooth I was heading up to appledorns. I put the new bearing on and greased it up and have not had any problems since. As long as the inner ring of the bearing is able to grab onto the axle so it spins the bearing and NOT on the shaft you should be OK. Its not the shaft that takes the wear, it is the bearings.

And make sure the new bearing bridges that gouge. If not the bearing could tip and run even and fail again.

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Looks like the groove is small enough to be bridged by the bearing. As long as you didn't make a flat spot when you removed the burr you should be fine. If the spindle was tweaked enough to make the bearing not run true you wouldn't be able to get it back on.

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I personal would just spend the money and put a new upgraded axle under it. I had a older 16 foot that had a bad spindle and it took out the bearing. I posted on here for suggestions and was told about redneck trailer supply out of st cloud. I went there with the old axle they measured it so I would get the right one and in about a week they called and said the new custom axle was done and ready to be picked up. it was like less then $200.00 and the whole thing was new and didn't have to worry about it anymore other then greasing it every so often.

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I would not replace the axle $200 is alot to pay just for a axle . If you have a gouge it can be filled in by somebody with a welder remove the hole axle mark so you get it on the same side remove the spindle on the other side clean it up degreaser and use some emery cloth clean up area put tape over threaded area to protect threads if gouge is real deep take it to somebody to weld in the gouge(The welding shop I take it to would charge me a couple of dollars) file and use emery cloth to get the area smooth with a little work it can be a cheap fix .I did this to a spindle over 20 years ago and the axle held out without anymore problems.

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