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One hub sizzling on dual axle trailer with surge brakes

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  • One hub sizzling on dual axle trailer with surge brakes

    I have a '97 PS 190 with the original dual-axle trailer. I got new brake cylinders on all four wheels three years ago.

    I drove about an hour to a lake on Friday for a weekend camping trip, and when I arrived the bearing buddy rubber cap had come off and the grease was sizzling on one wheel (it sprayed all over my tire, too, like one of those spin-art things). The other three hubs were their normal warm temperature.

    I assume I should jack up the trailer and spin the wheel to see if it spins freely. If not, then the brake is staying engaged? Is there a way to adjust this?

    I should also try to wobble the wheel, right? If it wobbles then I could have a bearing problem?

    Anything else I should do to figure out the problem?

  • #2
    I'm assuming drum brakes? most likely requires adjustment or possibly the assembly has seized. Either way you're going to have to strip the hub down, replace the bearings and add new grease.

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    • #3
      If I just replaced the hub, is this the one I should order:
      http://recstuff.com/trailer-accessor...-lbs-capacity/

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      • #4
        If the brake seized, I would imagine your spun-art tire would be littering the highway in the form of strips and pieces of what used to be a tire. Had the same thing happen on a 2-horse slant with living quarters. Brakes seized and the rear axle tired came apart (didn't know it had happened until I arrived at my destination). It was an improper wiring issue, which is another story altogether that wouldn't help your situation.

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        • #5
          +1 on the brakes.. more likely the nut is to tight holding the hub to the bearings.. never tighten the nut just snug it then back it off until the holes match up .. never go tighter to match up the holes...

          it will wobble and you will need new bearings, likely hub hopefully you didn't destroy the spindle...

          check the nuts and bearings on the other three.. could be you just had a bad bearing.. or water intrusion...

          depending on you might need a new hub, you will need new bearings and a seal and a new cotter key...

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          • #6
            I just jacked up the trailer to check the problem wheel and it doesn't have any play but there is a light grinding noise when spinning the wheel.

            However, when messing with the wheel I noticed the tread on the inside of the tire is almost completely gone. I then checked all the other tires and the two on the front axle are fine, but the two on the rear axle both have excessive tread loss on the inside third of the tire. What does this mean?

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            • #7
              If I just replaced the hub, is this the one I should order:
              http://recstuff.com/trailer-accessor...-lbs-capacity/
              The hub pictured is freewheeling, has no provision for brakes.

              ...there is a light grinding noise when spinning the wheel.
              It may be time for new bearings. It's much better to change these in your driveway than on the side of the road.

              the two (tires) on the rear axle both have excessive tread loss on the inside third of the tire. What does this mean?
              If only one tire is worn it usually means the spindle is bent. If both tires are worn it may mean the axle is bent.

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              • #8
                If only one tire is worn it usually means the spindle is bent. If both tires are worn it may mean the axle is bent.[/QUOTE]

                Could the tire wear also mean the inside bearing is crushed and therefore putting more pressure on the inside of the tire?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TallSkinnyGuy View Post
                  I just jacked up the trailer to check the problem wheel and it doesn't have any play but there is a light grinding noise when spinning the wheel.

                  However, when messing with the wheel I noticed the tread on the inside of the tire is almost completely gone. I then checked all the other tires and the two on the front axle are fine, but the two on the rear axle both have excessive tread loss on the inside third of the tire. What does this mean?
                  the two with excessive wear... you can check the alignment yourself or take it to someone who can look at it.. my guess is bent axle...

                  time to take it apart and post up some pics....

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                  • #10
                    Could the tire wear also mean the inside bearing is crushed and therefore putting more pressure on the inside of the tire?
                    Your geometry is wrong, if the inside bearing was gone the wheel would have positive camber and would be leaning out and wear the outside of the tread. But, if the inside bearing is crushed the hub would have fallen off the spindle a long time time ago. IMO

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                    • #11
                      So I pulled the bearings, seal and races out today and replaced them with new. It was my first time doing this, so I had to watch some YouTube instructional videos, but I got it done. The items I replaced did not actually look bad, and I probably should have just left the old races in because the new ones looked exactly the same as the old ones.

                      After re-installing the hub with new bearings I spun it and it was still making a grinding noise and had much more resistance than the wheel on the next axle, so I tried adjusting the brakes. I found another YouTube video showing me how to do this, but the adjustment seemed to not change anything. Still a lot of spin resistance.

                      I then took it for a test drive just in case the brakes needed to cycle a couple times for the adjustments to take effect. I drove a few miles and stopped to check on things. The problem hub was significantly warmer than the other three hubs. Aargh. It appears something is wrong with the brakes on that wheel. Any ideas regarding what to do about this?

                      Also, it seems likely that I do indeed have a bent axle with the excessive inside tread wear. But at this point I just want to get through the end of the season (early November) before having to dig into a big project.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TallSkinnyGuy View Post
                        So I pulled the bearings, seal and races out today and replaced them with new. It was my first time doing this, so I had to watch some YouTube instructional videos, but I got it done. The items I replaced did not actually look bad, and I probably should have just left the old races in because the new ones looked exactly the same as the old ones.

                        After re-installing the hub with new bearings I spun it and it was still making a grinding noise and had much more resistance than the wheel on the next axle, so I tried adjusting the brakes. I found another YouTube video showing me how to do this, but the adjustment seemed to not change anything. Still a lot of spin resistance.

                        I then took it for a test drive just in case the brakes needed to cycle a couple times for the adjustments to take effect. I drove a few miles and stopped to check on things. The problem hub was significantly warmer than the other three hubs. Aargh. It appears something is wrong with the brakes on that wheel. Any ideas regarding what to do about this?

                        Also, it seems likely that I do indeed have a bent axle with the excessive inside tread wear. But at this point I just want to get through the end of the season (early November) before having to dig into a big project.
                        my guess is the bent axle is causing excessive pressure on the bearings... if you put in new grease and all that good stuff and there wasn't anything broken that is most likely it.. do you have drum or disk brakes? if drum make it so they don't work by shrinking them with the star drive ... at least eliminate that .. if it is disk... that might be harder...

                        if you still had grinding noises that would be odd..did the hubs or the spindle have any additional wear on them.. maybe some pics would help out... possible the spindle is bent?

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                        • #13
                          My brakes are drums, so I did try spinning the "star drive" to back them off -- that was the adjustment I mentioned. Sounds like a need to mess with that some more. Maybe I just didn't do it enough. Unfortunately, the access hole on the back of the plate is directly behind part of the axle frame, so the drive is only accessible by removing the hub.

                          The spindle looks perfectly clean and shiny. I really haven't been able to see any unusual wear on the bearing components or the spindle.

                          I called a highly recommended local trailer guy today (his next available appointment is in a month from today - aargh), and he suggested I pull the hub off again and check for wear spots that would indicate something bent and therefore causing the hub to rub directly on the backing plate. He said if that is the case I should not continue towing it until it is fixed.

                          I am obviously hoping that it is just the brake pads still making contact. I'll pull off the hub again this evening and do some more brake adjusting along with taking some pics.

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                          • #14
                            you should be able to spin the star thing all the way down and then the brakes won't engage at all..

                            can you put the wheel back on and try it with the shoes off? if it doesn't grind then it is the shoes if it does then you are back to square one....

                            pics help...once you have it apart again

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                            • #15
                              The bent axle is the wild card with this issue and could be the source of all your problems. That said as far as drum brakes go on boat trailers, they'll always be a source of maintenance. When working properly they'll be, OK. They'll never stop the boat as well or be self adjusting like discs. If you plan to keep the boat and can afford a conversion to disc, cut your losses now with the drums and convert to disc.

                              If conversion is out of the question, do the next best thing and replace the entire backing plate assemblies. There's too much to go wrong and replacing individual components will drive you nuts unless you like that kind of thing or are looking for a hobby. Based on what you're describing you could have a frozen wheel cylinder that's no longer moving back after pressure
                              from the master cylinder is released. Worse yet if it's like the one I had worked on this spring it only moved outward. This resulted in the shoes dragging even after adjusting them all the way in.

                              I bought mine from eTrailer which were for a single axle MC trailer for a 97 ProStar 190. It's a small light trailer and I believe these were the ones I bought.....

                              https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...UBRK-35-D.html

                              I remember after seeing the cost (under $100) that I decided not to screw with it any further and just replaced the entire assemblies for both sides. If you decide go this route let me know and I'll give you some tips I learned the hard way about replacing the assemblies.

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