Flying Fifteen Wheel Bearing Change….Part 1….

What’s the dirtiest job for a Flying Fifteen Owner??  I’ll tell you…. that’s easy…changing your wheel bearings….

A few days ago we talked about how you’d know if your bearing should be changed.  I think Non-Dom told me he had done the bearing-job on his last trailer about half a dozen times in 15 years. I must admit I just changed mine after 2 years. Conversely I got about 7 years out of the bearings on 3644. Perhaps bearing quality ain’t what it used to be….

If you don’t tow much, and sail in fresh water, you might well not know how to do it and what you will see…. So Mervyn Wright kindly photographed his wheel bearing change in June for you to see what it all looks like, and what to expect when you do yours…

 You can see on the left here that you need to think about how to jack up your trailer. Mervyn and I use a simple scissor jack – which I got from Halfords specially for the alarmingly low price of £15. It may melt in the sun, but it did the job… Notice that Mervyn has left the old wheel on at this point, just to give something to yank if the hub resists removal.

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This is what the hub and bearing kit looks like straight out of the bag. There will probably be a plastic hub cap too – and I have found the size changes slightly over the years.

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I did this in 2010 and the price of each hub and bearing kit was £25 straight from the trailer manufacturer.  Next time I’m going to do it, I’ll buy three – if one of these things goes on the road, you’ll be lucky to recover your day without a spare.

Gently prize the hub cap off and this is what you’ll see (behind a wall of grease). There is a castelated crown nut holding the whole lot in – with a a big stainless split pin to lock it.

I’d suggest you buy some new pins with the hub kits if you can. The round end of the pin needs to be large enough not to slip down the locking hole in the axle.

The first job is to whip that pin out with a pliers. Now most likely as the bearing will be worn, you will be able to spin that castle nut with your fingers…..

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Obviously you need lots of paper towel on hand to keep wiping your fingers free of grease. And we haven’t got to the dirty bit yet…

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When you have removed the hub and wheel, you should see the old inner bearing still sitting on the axle. It should slide off easily with your fingers….

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So now you have an empty, hopefully clean smooth axle spindle…..

We’ll show you how Mervyn finished the job in tomorrow’s posting.

3 thoughts on “Flying Fifteen Wheel Bearing Change….Part 1….

  1. The diagram is great
    I would say this is one of the most easiest jobs to do if you are organised this is my check list
    A block of wood to left the trailer so the wheel is just off the ground
    throw away thin rubber gloves
    waterproof Greese
    a container with turps (put all the bits in to clean)
    Flat headded screw driver to prize off the plastice hub
    lots of paper towels
    A bag to pop the rubbish in straight away
    new pin is advisable, specially if has been bent a lot
    If you clean the bearing everytime you go travelling you will generally only need to replace the bearings once every other year. the moment the bearings are starting to look rusty or down roll smoothly that is the time to change the bearings only.
    The Hub only needs to be replaced if you failed to service the trailor regularly. One thing to remember is when trailing always take a kit with you so you can do it on the road side easierly.
    (15 minutes a wheel)

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