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The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
2,100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Along with the annual tune-up/maintenance of my 50 h.p. Yamaha, this year I decided to do some trailer maintenance.

I bought my 17' Triumph from a fellow WFF member a couple years ago and outside of fixing some initial wiring issues and periodically pumping some grease into the Bearing Buddies, I've kind of neglected the trailer. OTOH, each spring I seem to always need to clean up the trailer/vehicle electric plug by spraying contact cleaner and maybe running a little sandpaper across/around the connectors.

So last week I decided to check the wheel bearings. Jacked up the trailer, stuck a jack stand under one side and spun the wheel. No noise, great! No play in the wheel either so it seems like I'll just do a bearing re-pack on the starboard side.

Jacked up the other side the same way and spun the wheel. Crap, pretty noisy so it seems as if the bearing(s) are bad on this port side. Got two new bearing kits from EZLoader as I wanted to have one as a spare.

Started on the bad side first. Took off the hub and removed the seal, bearings and races. Packed the new bearings with good marine grease, installed the races, bearings and seal and put the hub back on the spindle. Pre-loaded the bearings as advised, adjusted the nut and then spun the hub and it seemed nice, quiet and smooth. Put the tire/wheel back on and spun it.

WTF? Noisy again! Did I do something wrong?

Continued to spin the wheel and I noticed the noise went away when I increased the RPMs. Hmmm........?

Put my ear really close to the wheel as I spun it and it sounded as if the noise was coming from the outside of the wheel, not from the hub. Could there be something inside the tire that's causing this noise? If so, maybe when the wheel spins fast the centrifugal force keeps the stuff pinned to the tire but at slower speed the junk is falling onto and hitting the metal rim?

So I took off the other wheel and mounted it on this side. Spun it vigorously at various speeds and no noise whatsoever!

By shaking the other tire/wheel I can hear something inside. Maybe there's some spalling on the interior of the rim that's shed some small flakes of metal? I'll take that wheel into my local tire shop next week and have them dismount the tire in order to see what's going on.

Also, I have a spare tire that's mounted on the trailer tongue. It's mounted horizontally on the frame with a fairly inexpensive bracket that allows a padlock to secure it. Each year I check and lube the lock.

This year I can't even get the key into the damned thing as the tumbler pins are frozen up solid! Granted, this boat is used in the saltwater much more than fresh but I thought I'd been pretty good at keeping this padlock lubricated. I've tried dousing it with penetrating oil but so far no love. I might have to cut either the lock or the bracket off. Probably easier to cut the bracket I suppose.

So that's my story and I'm stickin' to it! ;)

From now on I'm going to pay more regular attention to the boat trailer. Lesson learned!
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