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Trailer Wheel Seems Stiff, Not as Easy to Turn After Repacking Bearings with Grease

Question:

I did my first bearing repack last night on a very light popup. Prior to the repack the wheel spun very freely. Afterwards it felt stiffer and clearly did not spin easy anymore. It didnt take effort, it just spin forever. Could this be the new grease or perhaps an indication that I missed lubricating something? It was just the castle nut, cotter pin, and two bearings with a 10-9 grease seal, and Im fairly certain I didnt overtighten the castle nut.

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Expert Reply:

Before you added the new grease did you completely remove all of the old grease from everywhere? I bring it up because not all greases are compatible with each other and it can cause the grease to break down. It wouldn't happen over night but it is something to think about.

You should be able to spin the wheel but it wouldn't just spin and spin like the Price is Right wheel; it would go around maybe once or so (depending on how hard you turned it). Also, if this is a hub and drum brake assembly then the pad material drags on the inside of the drum which would slow it down some.

Provided the bearings where packed fully with grease I doubt you missed anything. If it is an EZ lube axle then you could pack the bearing by hand, put everything together, then add more grease to the grease zerk while spinning the wheel at the same time. But for a regular axle you would pack the bearings, lube the spindle, and put everything back together.

The castle nut should be tightened and backed off, repeated a few times, and then the last time it should be backed off 1 notch and then the pin put through (or tang washer).

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