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Choosing the Best Trailer Bearing Races Caps and Seals

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Choosing the Best Trailer Bearing Races Caps and Seals


Today we're gonna be taking a look at some vital components for our trailer. Specifically, bearings, races, seals, and caps.One part of having a trailer is gonna be the maintenance on it, and our bearings are gonna play a crucial part to make sure that we can get from point A to point B safely.Now if you're not quite sure of how to find your bearings, or where exactly they are in your trailer, we'll give you a representation of how to find them.First and foremost, you wanna chalk the wheels and safely support your trailer so you can remove the tire.Next, we can remove the grease cap. That'll be on the front.And behind there, you're gonna find a castle nut and a cotter pin. Now keep in mind, there will be a lot of grease in there, so you may need to wipe some things off, but we can remove the cotter pin, and then we'll unthread the castle nut that's holding everything in place.Now, in some cases, you may not have a cotter pin. It may be a washer that has a tab on it, but in any case, you're gonna be removing that so we can access the bearings inside the hub here.Now, with that, you're gonna pull on the hub, and the bearing in the front will probably fall off, so you're gonna wanna make sure you support it when you pull it out. And in this demonstration, we don't have everything pressed in, but the inner bearing and the seal would come off with it as well, leaving you with just your spindle here.With everything taken apart, now would be a great time to check the spindle.

You wanna make sure that there's no major gouges, because a lot of times when you have an old or damaged bearing, what will happen is it'll ride crooked on the spindle, causing a lot of damage, and we don't wanna have to go through the whole same process again later on. So if you do have any damage, you may need to replace the spindle or the axle itself.Now, when we pulled our hub off, most likely the bearing fell out, but if it did stay inside, you can go ahead and pull the bearing out, and if you look on the inside of your hub, there's gonna be that shiny silver surface. That's gonna be the race. The main purpose of the race is really just so that the bearing has a surface to ride on so that we don't have to worry about the hub being messed up, it's gonna be a replaceable surface.On the backside of the hub, you're gonna have the seal. Now, ours isn't pressed in right now.

It's just sitting in here. So we can give you an idea of how everything looks, but once we get the seal out, you're gonna have the bearing on the inner side, and another race.Now that we've identified our components, let's show you how to find the correct replacements for your trailer.When looking for bearings, all of our bearings are gonna have a number on them. So you're gonna wanna clean it off really well and find the number that's printed on the inside of the bearing. Now, if that's worn off or you can't find it, or it's really hard to read, there is another way to find out what size it is.You're gonna wanna use a digital caliper. That way we can measure the inner diameter of our bearing so we can make sure that it's gonna fit our spindle.

The reason why we're gonna measure the inside diameter of our bearing is because if we look from a side view, it is tapered, but the inside diameter is gonna be a straight shot, and that's what's gonna slide onto our spindle.When looking for a race, it is important to remember that the bearing and race are gonna be matched up. There's no wiggle room where the bearing's gonna be moving around in there, but it still can turn freely.Now, just like our bearings, there is gonna be some numbers printed on our races. Again, if you can't find it, it's worn off or it's too hard to read, instead of measuring the inner diameter, we're gonna be measuring the outer diameter of our race. And the reason why we're measuring the outer diameter is because our race is going to sit inside of our hub, and we need to make sure that it's gonna fit inside the hub bore.When looking for seals, it's not gonna be that easy. We're not gonna have a number that we can go off of.

So again, we're gonna take our micrometer, and we're gonna be measuring both the inner, as well as the outer diameters.Now, the reason for both measurements is because we wanna make sure that the outer diameter is gonna match up to our hub bore on the back, so that the seal can seat in there nicely. And the reason for the inner diameter measurement is because we wanna make sure that our seal is gonna seat properly on our spindle, and it's not gonna move around and be loose.Now there's one more thing we're gonna need to find, and that's gonna be the size of our grease cap. The way we're gonna find that is if we come to our hub, we're gonna take the measurement on the inner diameter of the face of our hub, and that number should match up with the outer diameter that's on our grease cap.All of our components are sold individually, but we also have them available in kits, and chances are if we're replacing our bearings in races, we're most likely gonna have to replace our seal. Because in order to get that inner bearing out, we're gonna have to take the rear seal out, and most likely, it's gonna get damaged on removing it. So I just recommend getting a kit. It's gonna make things a lot easier, we're gonna have all the components we're gonna need, and we're gonna know that everything's gonna be new and fresh on the inside of our hub.There is an alternative style bearing, and it's gonna be a sealed bearing. If we look inside, we can see that there's a line, and this is gonna replace both the inner and outer bearings together with the race. However, this is a very specific application. It is designed to work with certain hubs and certain axles, and it is not interchangeable.If you have sealed bearings on your trailer, you're gonna wanna measure the inner diameter of the bearing itself to find out which size you have.So whether you do get a kit or buy the individual pieces, when it comes to bearings and races, all you really need to worry about it matching up the components in sizes to what's on your trailer.Our seals are gonna serve two main purposes. They're not only gonna keep the lubricant inside of our hub to keep our bearings nice and lubricated, but it's gonna keep it from coming out and getting all over our brakes.We're gonna have a grease seal, and that's gonna come either in a single-lip design or a double-lip design. Now, the double-lip design is just gonna give you a little bit more added protection in that grease coming out, or any kind of contaminates coming in, and you'll see that a lot in most marine applications.Now, we're also gonna have an oil seal used if you have an oil bath setup. This is gonna be designed a little bit differently, because the center section of our seal is actually gonna stay stationary on the spindle while the outer section is going to rotate with the hub. Again, this is just designed to keep all the lubricant inside the hub off the brakes, and make sure that the bearings are nice and lubricated.On the front of our hub, we're gonna have our grease cap. That's gonna have a similar purpose to the seal. It's gonna keep the lubricant inside, making sure the bearings are lubricated and spinning well, but also serve as our access point so we can do maintenance on our trailer.We're gonna have our Studor 00:07:19 grease cap, which is typically just gonna be a dome that's gonna fit inside our hub, but we're not gonna be able to monitor anything or do any kind of servicing without removing it.Now if your trailer has some easy-lube axles . which are gonna be the ones that have a grease zerk on them . on the end here, our easy-lube cap is gonna make it really nice and convenient to lube our axles up. We're not gonna have to remove the entire cap. We can just pull the rubber plug off to access the zerk fitting, and apply grease as necessary.Then we're gonna have our bearing protector caps. These are gonna have a built in grease zerk, so we're gonna be able to fill the cap up with grease, but keep in mind these are not designed to work with easy-lube axles, because it's gonna have that grease zerk right behind it, it's not gonna have enough pressure to push it open. You're gonna typically see this in marine applications, because they're gonna have the cap filled up with grease, preventing any kind of moisture or water from getting inside and damaging the bearings.Now as we mentioned with the seals in the other oil system, you're gonna need an oil cap. In most applications, they are gonna be threaded, so the hub is gonna have threads that we'll need to match up. Although there is a conversion that we have, where you can have a regular style cap that has threads on it, so we can still get this in place and then have a reservoir on the outside so we can see the oil level and the plug to fill it up.Typically, with the oil bath systems, it is gonna be in a rather heavy duty application. Now the benefit of them is that since they do have reservoirs on the outside, we're gonna be able to see our lubrication level nice and easy. We'll be able to look in and see if there's any kind of contaminants.However, if we do have an issue with our oil bath system, oil does leak a lot quicker than grease does.Now most of the applications that we're gonna see are gonna be grease. The down side to grease is we're not gonna be able to see our lubrication level. We're not just gonna be able to look at it and see if there's contaminants in it. However, if our cap has an issue, or if the cap is missing, we're not gonna lose all of our lubricant right at once.Now that we know all about bearings, races, seals and caps, we can get all the components we need for our trailer and get back out on the road.


Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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