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How Tight Should Nut and Cotter Pin of Trailer Hub/Drum Be

Question:

hello, i just replaced the hub assembly on my boat trailer and i see mixed answers to the question of how tight should the castle nut be..most say after seating the new bearings, back off the castle nut, then hand tighten and put in cotter pin. if the hole isnt lined up when its hand tightened, then back off until hole is aligned and you can put pin in.. i did that, but there seemed to be quite a bit of play, so i was torn on what to do.. when i tighten it up to the next space, it seems too tight, but it gets rid of the play.. but i read where if its too tight, it could overheat. its like a dam if i do, dam if i dont deal. could i add a washer, or get another that is a little thinner than the original so the holes line up with a little more pressure from the castle nut? i decided to change out this hub because i noticed a little play that i didnt think was there before. if i do go with the finger tightened alignment, there will actually be more play then i had with the old hub assembly.. sorry i rambled on, but we are leaving on vacation in less than a week, and pulling the boat about 1000 miles! thanks..

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Expert Reply:

I like your idea of finding a thin washer so that you get a snug, but not too tight, fit that allows you to fit the cotter pin through. Typically a washer isn't needed but it sounds like your hub is the perfect storm of being right between two holes.

When it's on the tighter side does the wheel still spin as freely as the looser side? If so, then that would be okay to use.

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Jameson C

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