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How to Check Trailer Axle Bearings and Replace Them

A good trailer owner like you wants to make sure your trailer is well maintained. Checking the bearings is a part of that preventative maintenance. Here's how to it.

*disclaimer* follow the instructions on your axle manual, this is not a comprehensive guide, and may only apply to select axles.

Check to see if you need new bearings

  1. Jack up your trailers so the wheels are off the ground. Make sure the jack is on the frame and not the axle.

  2. Take the wheel and wiggle it back and forth to check how much play there is, or spin the wheel to see if it wobbles.

If there is any wobbling or wiggling, then your axle bearings need to be replaced.

Remove the Hub

  1. Jack the trailer up

  2. Remove the wheel

  3. Remove the grease cap

  4. Remove the spindle nut retainer

  5. Remove the spindle nut

  6. Remove the spindle wash

  7. Remove the hub from the spindle

Seal Removal

  1. Pry the seal out of the hub with a screw driver or suitable tool. Do not drive it out.

  2. Inspect and clean the bearings along with the spindle with a solvent and dry them.

  3. Make sure to inspect the bearing inside the hub

Bearing Cup Replacement

  1. Place the hub on a flat surface.

  2. With a brass drift punch, tap around the diameter of the cup.

  3. Tap in a new cup with the brass drift punch.

Putting it back together

  1. Grease the bearing

  2. Replace the seal and apply sealant

  3. Tap the seal into place

  4. Replace the hub bearings, washers, and spindle nuts

  5. Rotate the hub assembly slowly while tightening the spindle nut to 50 foot pounds

  6. Loosen the spindle nut to remove the torque

  7. Rotate the spindle nut until snug

  8. Cover with grease cap

Here's a great video on axle maintenance from Dexter.


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