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Potential Causes for Trailer Hub to Heat Up


I ordered this one accidentally for my lippert axle. I noticed today after i used it down the road, the hub was scorching hot. Bearings are packed and spindle is lubed. Castle nut isnt over tightened, it was backed off 1/4 turn. Any idea if its cause its a dexter hub and lippert axle causing the overheating? The grease wasnt burnt up nor did anything look damaged. I also installed a new brake on the mounting plate unless that has something to do with it?


Expert Reply:

So long as a hub uses the correct bearings that match the dimensions of the spindle that is on the axle there is no worry about using two different brands of products, such as a Dexter hub on a Lippert axle. That in itself is not a concern.

When a hub heats up it is usually from either inadequate lubrication or a castle nut that is too tight; you confirmed that neither of these applies in your situation.

If the trailer is overloaded with more weight on each hub than they are rated for this too can lead to higher hub temperatures. So can using the wrong type of grease; be sure to use high-temperature wheel bearing grease like # L11380. Do note that it is generally not a good idea to mix grease types. The linked article on lubricating grease may help you too.

The other most-common cause is a problem with the brakes. If the drum brake pad pressure is adjusted too high or if there is a damaged component in the brake assembly those things could also cause the hub to heat up to an excessive temperature. Since you did recently install a new brake shoe I would check that installation. You can use the brake adjustment tool # W80630 to adjust the brake shoe pressure so that you can still just rotate the hub by hand, but not have it spin freely. Please refer to the linked video.

Although we do offer brake shoes and other small components to re-build drum brakes we usually recommend to customers that they replace the entire brake assembly. Sometimes this option is actually LESS money than even just a few replacement parts. A whole new brake naturally offers you the advantage of having no old parts left in the brake and the installation of an entire assembly often takes less time than replacing even just a few small parts.

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