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CE Smith Trailer Hub Assembly Review and Installation

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Review and How to Install the CE Smith Trailer Hub Assembly


Hi there trailer owners. Today, we're gonna be taking a look at and showing you how to replace your hub assembly with a pre-packed full hub kit from CE Smith. When you're ready to install your assembly you'll wanna lift your trailer up and support it on jack stands just so the wheels are off the ground. Now, before we get into getting our hub installed here I wanted to just kind of talk about the packaging and what you get here, because this is kind of a neat little package with what all's inside of here. This actually is gonna make your life a lot easier if you're really not that familiar with how to pack bearings and stuff, cause this is a prepacked assembly in here. But what also is really cool about this being a prepacked assembly it's in this hard case and it has a little tab to prevent it from opening up.

This is something that you could keep stored in your trailer. All the bearings are prepacked and everything. So if you're out camping, maybe you're on a trip in a few states away and you have any kind of issue you can quickly, right on the side of the road, slide off your old hub, toss it in the trailer and then open up this box and you've got everything you need right here to slide that new assembly on. Bearings are already packed for you. So you really don't gotta do any work other than just kind of cleaning up some old grease and just one simple nut that holds everything in place there.

You also get new lug nuts and stuff with it. So in case you had any kind of stud damage or anything like that, you're gonna be taking care of kind of everything all at once. So this is a really cool package. Something nice, that's nice to have on hand. Maybe even have two of them.

So you got a full axle's worth in your trailer for any emergency situation. Now our customer's gonna be replacing not only the hub, they're gonna be replacing the hubs with this, but the tires that he's got on here are all worn out. You can see that there's heavy dry rotting and these cracks are huge. The tread's worn down pretty good. There's still a little bit of tread left on it but the dry rotting is really bad.

This tire is not in a good shape. I wouldn't wanna take this out on any kinda long trip or anything. So we do have new rims here as well as wheels that we're gonna be putting on this to make everything nice. This is a five on four and a half rim and these are also five on four and a half for their lug patterns. So that way everything's gonna match up. And then it just kinda makes things more standard. The rim that's currently on here is kind of a strange bolt pattern for your typical trailer. You can see it's got like a Chevy hubcap on it. It's kind of, kind of a mocked up setup. So we're gonna make everything right here and we're gonna be using this to do it. I just wanna talk about how you could keep that stored in the trailer for this one situation. So let's get into our replacement here. Our wheel that we got on here, this is a regular passenger tire that he's currently got on there. It's not a trailer tire. I'm sure the rim is probably similarly probably just stolen off of some junk car or something. So we're gonna get the hubcap off of here. We're just gonna use our pry bar to do that. Pops off of there. We can set that aside. Might be a collector's item. All right, and then we're gonna remove our bolts here. This is not like your traditional hub assembly that's on here. It actually has lug bolts instead of studs with lug nuts. And I personally dislike the lug bolt set up. Cause once you remove all these lug bolts there's no studs or anything there. Their wheel just wants to fall off. There's nothing to support it. If you break a lug bolt, it's difficult to remove. You're gonna have to. if it broke where there's something left that you can grab onto you got to either the thread it out of there. If it breaks off flush with the hub then you gotta drill it out of there. Your stud style simply punch out. So let's get rid of this old style. This is not really recommended. For the most part, you only see these anymore on German vehicles like your Volkswagens and stuff. They still use lug bolts but for the most part, let's get it. Let's get it kind of modernized. So we're gonna zip these off of here. It's a 21 millimeter for these and pretty common size for your trailer is gonna be either a 19 or a 21. So we got that last lug bolt removed. As soon as you take that out, the wheel drop down you can see it's no longer centered because there's no studs. So this guy just kind of slides off of here. We're gonna get this out of the way. And there we have our hub that we're gonna be replacing. So the first thing we'll need to do to replace this is get the cap off right here on the end. The cap just kind of pops off of there. So we're gonna take our rubber mallet here and just kind of tap on it a little bit. There's something that kind of pops out right away. You can see here we need some suspension work done on this trailer. So it's always good to kind of inspect stuff while you're, while you're working on it. But it's got quite a bit of play in it there. If you do have play in it like that that does make it a little bit harder to do this, remove this cap, just because the movement of the suspension's taking up some of your impact but it should still be able to pop off of there. There we go. Once you get it popped out just a little bit. You can switch over to a flat bladed screwdriver or you can keep tapping on it, either way works. But you got a little more control with the screwdriver. So you can grab your cap there and set it down. I do got an napkin set on the floor here to minimize the mess cause this is filled with grease on the inside. So just kind of set, sprawl that out. So you got a place to set all your, your dirty items. There's a cotter pin holding the nut in place. We can see the head of the cotter pin over on this side here, on the opposite side over here you're gonna have your bent portion of the cotter pin. So we need to just straighten it back out. That looks pretty good. Once you get it straightened, you should be able to pull it out the other side Sometimes I take my needle nose here and I'll stick it in the head of the cotter pin. Kind of twist it a little bit and you can use that to pry it out of there. We do get a replacement cotter pin in our hub kit. So we don't need to worry about kind of bending that one up or anything. So now behind that and all that grease that you'll see there, there is a nut in there. We're gonna remove that. I like to use some channel locks to remove it kind of, keep the mess off my hands. This is a much bigger pair than you need, but any. as long as they open up wide enough to be able to grab the nut and just thread this guy right off of here. The nut's not gonna be tight, so you could do this by hand as well. Again, it's just trying to minimize the mess. Once you get grease on your hands, it actually spreads really quickly onto your clothes, your shoes, your entire garage before you know it. So try to keep that stuff together. After the nuts removed, there's a washer located there and then there's your outer race behind it. So I'm gonna grab my screwdriver to catch those. Just kinda line it up at the end of your spindle there. And then just slide that out. That washer and bearing will slide onto your screwdriver. You can drop it onto your napkin and then our whole hub assembly, will slide off of there as well. We can set that down on our napkin. So now we're gonna do some inspection here. Clean up your spindle, all that grease in there. We're looking for signs of, like, metal chunks and stuff like that. I don't really see any chunks. I'm sure there's probably some small debris, but we're looking kind of to see if there was signs that the bearing cages had come apart or anything like that, inspect the shaft. So that all looks good. Everything looks pretty good on there. There's no signs that any of the bearing cages or races came apart and caused any damage to the spindle. So here we got our outer bearing. This is the one that we've slid down the screwdriver. If we clean off the front face of it here, you'll find your numbers on it. And then you see it's a 44649 So you want to, it's good to have your numbers. So that way when you're ordering these kits, you're ensuring that you're getting the correct bearings in the kit. So that way it'll fit on your spindle properly. Now the other bearing the inner bearing there is held in by the grease seal. If you wanted to inspect that number, you just have to pop that grease seal out of there to look at it. But normally you can get by with just a single bearing number and then take a look at the kits and see, you know, what are the options And a lot of times there's just gonna be the one option for it to fit. So just double check that. That's where you find the number. Sometimes they are written on the back side. So if you don't see numbers on the front, just flip it over and clean off that side. So we're gonna get this stuff outta the way and get our kit opened up and get the new stuff installed. So we're gonna get our case opened up here. The tab with the little red plug, you might want to use a screwdriver or something to pop out of there. It's a little tight. Once we get it popped out a little bit, our. Those guys work pretty good. Pop that off of there. All right. And then here on the inside, this is our new cap, new cotter pin, and our lug nuts. And now here we got our bearing assembly. You can see it is all prepacked, the grease seal's already installed. It's fully greased inside there. There's our outer bearing there. Same number on it, so it's gonna match up and everything and you can see now we've got some studs to work with. This assembly here's gonna be a five on four and a half assembly. So that's gonna not match up with his old rims that he had. That's why he's purchased new rims there. And that's gonna put him on more of a standard for your trailer size in that 13 to 15 inch rim size. It's typically the five on four and a half in that size. Sometimes with a four on four, but this is kind of the most common. Just went ahead and got it out of the package so we can get a closer look. That five on four and a half bolt pattern's gonna give you half inch diameter studs. The bearing that we've got in here is a 44649 for the outer bearing. And then the inner bearing, you can't see it cause it's covered up by the grease seal there, but that's gonna be an L68149. And then that grease seal is a 171255TB. So you can look at all those part numbers and verify that those are gonna be the ones that match your trailer. These are designed for 3,500 pound axles. So if that's what you have, then there's a good chance that this is going to be all the correct sizes for you, for your components, but you should always just double check all that stuff. It'll work with up to a 15 inch rim. So just double check that as well. More than likely you're gonna have somewhere between 13 and 15 inches in this axle size. And then on the back side here, kind of just to the inside of where the grease seal is, you can see there's a grease fitting on there and that way you can fill this full of grease as well. So that's good for future maintenance and things like that. So that way you can make sure that you always have good grease. You might check your bearings in a couple of years and find that you might need to tighten the nut just like one more notch and reinsert the cotter pin. And then you can pack it with grease again there to pretty much make it like new again. We do have a couple parts we are gonna be reusing from our assemblies. We're gonna still reuse the nut that we took off. So I cleaned that off, just got all the old grease off, and then you need that washer that was on the outside of that outer bearing, clean that off as well. I'm gonna take the washer, and I like to just set it in place here on the outer bearing. Cause that's where it goes and I cleaned it up, so it keeps the grease off my hands while I'm going to put it on. And I'll grab our whole assembly here. And it's just going to slide in place. Try not to hit the seal on any of the lips or surfaces as you're sliding it in there. It should slide pretty much straight in. And we do need to make sure it is all the way inserted. Our outer bearing here's not quite all the way in yet. There we go. It's very tightly packed full of grease. So they did a great job pre-packing these. That makes it a little bit more difficult to slide it in there cause you're fighting the grease, but that's a good sign cause you know that all your cavities are likely nice and compact full of grease in there. This is mostly just excess grease on the end here, so I'm gonna get this out of the way. Yeah, You can see all that there. Just kind of get that outta the way. Maybe clean up a little bit on the bottom here. Okay. We can now take our nut And install it in place. And I like to use my channel locks again here since these are so tightly packed. And I'd do this any regardless, even if it was not a prepacked assembly. When I'm setting up my bearings here, I'll take my channel locks, I'll wipe off some of that excess there, just so I don't fling it everywhere, and we're gonna fully tighten this down. We're not gonna leave it that way cause that's gonna be too tight. It'll burn up your bearings if you leave it that tight. But the reason why we're doing that is to ensure that we do have it fully seated and fully installed. So I'm just kind of snugging it down here with the channel locks. That's nice and tight. You can't spin it. So you definitely don't want it to stay that tight, but we know that we're fully seated at this point. So then we can just take it, back it off. We're then just gonna, by hand, bring it back up until it kind of touches. And that's right where we wanna be. We'll now take our cotter pin and slide it back into place here. Looks like our nut is probably ever so slightly covering up the hole. So y'all don't want do it too tight, so I'm just doing it by hand. So there's our hole right there. If we go tight, It's gonna put the ear right on the hole. We don't want to go tighter, because we don't want it to be too tight. So we're gonna loosen it up just a smidge and then slide our cotter pin through. Cause in all honesty, you're better off being slightly loose than being too tight. Cause if you're too tight, it builds excess heat in there. Once things start to heat up, they actually start to expand and it was already tight to begin with. So if something's expanding that's already tight, it just gets tighter. You're forcing that metal into itself, into the other components that are metal, and it's just gonna burn it up. So you're better off gearing towards being a little bit on the loose side. Then we can just take our cotter pin here and we're just going to bend the end around. Just like that. And then we can install our cap. You do have the option if you wanted to, you can squirt some grease in here to shoot a little bit out to further ensure that it's fully packed, but just the way this thing feels here, they did a really good job packing this thing fully greased. So I really don't think we need to add any additional grease, but that is a something you can do here right before putting your cap on. Just kind of put a couple pumps in there and see that it comes out. All right, once you're satisfied with the grease there, you can go ahead and install your cap. They do again, do a very good job packing those. So that way you can just keep these on the, in your trailer and be able to throw it on the side of the highway and not have to worry about that. They do a fantastic job. So to install our cap here, we're just gonna set this in place. Try to kind of line it up to your hammer it in straight. These are very tight fit caps. So what I've found Is once you kind of get it kind of started a little bit like that, you can switch to a flat bladed screwdriver and use the lip. So that way you don't ding up the cap while you're trying to hammer it in. Cause it does take quite a bit of pressure. And as I'm doing this, it kind of moves around. See, it gets loose. You might need to switch back to the hammer. They are very, very tight. And then once you kind of get it to start, just work it kind of around like this, tapping it in, give it a rotate. Same thing. And I'm just kind of checking the lip as I rotate it, making sure that it's fully seated all the way around. And it looks like we got just a little bit of the gap there. So we'll switch to the screwdriver. We don't wanna hit too hard and break the cap. There we go. And at this point we've got our new hub installed. We can just go ahead and reinstall your wheel or perform any other maintenance that you need. We're gonna be telling our customer about his play in his suspension that he's got there. And you can get rims and tires, here at etrailer if you do need those to match this type of setup if you're doing like our customer is here where they're taking an older trailer and kind of making it new again. Now we're gonna go ahead and put our rim on here and it's that five on four and a half bolt pattern. That all lines up well. Make sure your valve stems towards the outside. And then we can take the brand new nuts that we've got here in our kit and thread those right on to the stud. I do like that it comes with the nuts. Sometimes when you get new hub assembly they could potentially be a different size stud than what you previously had in your the thread pitch will be different, and then your nuts just won't fit your previous ones if it's a different size. So I like that it came with it. So in any kind of emergency event, you pull this thing out of the box and you've got everything you need to kind of get back up and going again. And then we can run these down and then torque them to the trailer specification. And then we're just gonna go back and torque those. I did put a little wood block here in place to help prevent the wheel from, this whole trailer from wanting to move on me while I'm torquing them. And that completes our replacement of our trailer hubs with ones from CE Smith..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Randy B
Installed by:
Randy B
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Zach D
Video by:
Zach D
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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