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Remove, Inspect, and Reinstall Trailer Bearings, Race, and Seals Demonstration

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Demonstration on Removing, Inspecting, and Reinstalling Trailer Bearings, Races, and Seals

This seal has to come out. Every time you pack the bearings you have to destroy a seal and put a new one in, its just the way works. There are actually two different ways of doing it, I know that there is a special tool for it, I dont have it, most people dont. What I like to do is take a punch and push this in a little bit, or actually make a hole in it, so it pulls the seal away from the edge where you can stick a screwdriver in there, tap it in a few times and pop it out. It is a little bit less stressful on the bearing. The other way of doing it, if you dont have that, is to take a wooden stake or something like the handle of this and go in though there and beat it out that way. It puts a lot of wear and tear on the bearing, but its another way of doing it. I dont know if you can see there or not how I punched it in and it brought the seal away from the edge. And that is where we will try to work in our screwdriver. There we go.

We will go ahead and get the bearing out and wipe it down real fast. Makes it a little bit easier to see, rotate the bearing cage, look for anything that bounces up and down too much. This is almost a continuous line so I think the cage is pretty good on this one. So we will just keep cleaning it up until it spins freely. Im looking for little nicks or stuff like that. Sometimes you can see a little bit of wear, it is like a dark band here, light band here, dark band here. For the most part that is kind of acceptable, it is not perfect, but in this case I think it will be fine. If its really dark you definitely want to change it out because that part of the bearing, this actual roller got overheated, but this one looks pretty darn good. Then you have to clean out this hub here. Here is something you might want to take a look at. See these marks on the race. Usually you see that when there is too much weigh that has been sitting on the bearings, and it sat there for a while. So it made an imprint and you get these dark bands in there. With something like that, you probably want to go ahead and replace the race at this point, and since you replace the race you usually get new bearings with it. So we will go ahead and take out the races here, and just rebuild the hub at this point. Weve got to take out the races. So what weve got to do is catch the back edge of this and force it out. Couple of different ways of doing it, most people just use a nice wide screwdriver and catch the edge of it and wail away. You go alternating sides, just work it out both sides. Another way of doing it is if youve got a piece of pipe like this, where it catches most of, or bigger chunk of the circle and then we have more force going down on it to push down on one side or the other. I like to start it off with a screwdriver and then finish up with that. Couple more times. And theres the old race. Dont throw this away because well need this to push the new one back in. We will set that to the side and we will drive the inner race out through the back side.

Grab our new race and one end is wider than the other. Put the narrow end, or I guess the cone facing out that way, coned in this way. Go ahead and just lay it on there and tap in a circle. You can hear it change the tone and that means it bottomed out. Take your other race, your old one, put it on top and drive it down just a little bit more with that. Dont go too far because, you might get this one stuck in there too. Find the biggest socket you have so you can put it up against the edge, where you can grab most of this edge right here with the socket and just go back and forth and work it. Kind of maybe go in a circle and work your way down. You know when you hit bottom when the strikes make a different tone, and do the same thing for the backside. We will pack this side and then flip it over and then pack the other side. Get a good gob, and put a light coating on the race itself. Actually, it doesnt take much, you dont have to pack it full. Because a lot of it doesnt get really used. In a marine application like this, you want to go ahead and get the grease gun out and use it since we have the special spindles. Go ahead and fill the cavity that way, but for most land trailers this is pretty much enough as it is. Grab your new bearing here, and all you have to do is work it inside of here a little bit at a time. Keep going around, flip it over and we want to get inside it here. Just get inside, so when the bearing starts spinning, it gets all worked up in there. Give it a couple of spins maybe before you pop it in there. We will pop in a new seal. It just goes in rubber side facing up, and you will notice that this is a double lip seal, which is really good for marine applications. You can tell it is a double lip seal because it has a spring in there. There is one lip here, and there is one on the outside. It is a lot more durable seal. Pop that on like so, and go in our circle again. There we go. Dont get crazy, it just has to be flush right here. Dont bang it down in there or anything like that, flip it and do it again.

Cliff H.


One of the most critical parts is getting the right pressure on the nut that holds the bearing. I have my method torque to 40 flb. while rotation the drum, back off, and then finger tight and set the key but was interested in seeing what you recommended.Also, for under $20 bucks, you can get both a seal extractor that works good and a seal driver that really helps get it on straight the first time.Think you should go into a little more detail on repacking the bearings - all old grease should be cleaned out. Also a little more detail on repacking them by hand would help the shade tree mechanic type .Knock on wood - I have repacked all my vehicle and trailer bearings for 45 years in my garage and have never had any trouble.

Etrailer Expert

Rachael H.


Thanks for the reply, and suggestion for the additional tools. We do have several other resources that are available regarding information for packing bearings. I have linked our FAQ for your reference. Also, it is recommended to replace the grease seals every time that the bearings are removed.



Video ends before reinstalling the hub. Is there a follow-on video?
Etrailer Expert

David B.


Here are couple of videos that should help.

Jerry S.


why not use a brass punch

Patrick B.


You certainly could use a brass punch or drift, even better a would be a press for those races. We try to keep in mind the Average Joe when we create this videos. Not everyone has set of brass punches in the garage, but just about everyone has set of screw drivers and couple of hunks of wood.

Info for these parts were:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Randy B
Installed by:
Randy B
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Zach D
Video by:
Zach D

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