Sunday, March 22, 2015

Repacking the Bearings on your trailer...You really can find everything on YouTube!

Because I am so excited to share this with you, I will start this entry with The Tip of The Day:
Here is an excellent link to a YouTube video on how to repack the bearings on a trailer

Watch this video and you will have all the information you need to repack the bearings on your vintage trailer. Besides, the guy in the video has such a soothing voice and down-to-earth style, you too will feel (mostly) relaxed about the process, as I (mostly) did!

As I continued my quest to get new tires on my camper, I was told in no uncertain terms that I needed to do something called "repack the bearings" in order to insure many miles of smooth, safe travels on this old axle. Geez, who knew getting new tires on this baby would involve so many steps? As it turns out, it wasn't as complicated as I thought once I came across the YouTube video (link above).

The other saving factor for me was visiting "The Wizard" at Six Roblees in a gritty part of Oakland. I had to gather my courage to walk in to the place, gripping the greasy old hub, and asking for parts I had only just heard of for the first time in a Youtube video the day before. These guys were awesome, and I quickly appreciated why this guy was called The Wizard. You see, I didn't know what size grease seal I needed, but I had found some old notes from the previous owner (often referred to in the vintage camper community as "PO") in a dusty corner of a drawer in the trailer. These hieroglyphics were all The Wizard needed to know exactly what I needed. Amazing! What was like Greek to me, was as plain as the nose on your face to The Wiz. Apparently, the original seals were Hadco 3077. The Wiz quickly recognized my need for current grease seal part #PHLE AE2592N on this 1964 Aristocrat travel trailer. It is important that the grease seal is the correct size as they are made to the millimeter of the size needed for the inner and outer diameter of the seal (creating a snug, leakproof fit).

Additionally, I had some trouble "banging out" the grease seals (looks so easy in the YouTube video). The Wizard perhaps took pity on me, but without making me feel incompetent, and with a decisive whack of a hammer and dowel, made quick work of the old grease seals for me. As he wouldn't accept money for this, I paid him  instead with a much stronger currency... I am talking of course about beef jerky and beer!

Note the old, rusted dust cap (center). As with most projects, the simple act of removing the cap wasn't that simple. I again used some PB Blaster to help free it up. It also requires some patience tapping the edge of the screwdriver around the rim, making sure it frees up in an even manner as opposed to coming out "wedged".

Dust cap removed. Cotter pins can be difficult to remove, but with perseverance, pliers and a strong grip, it can be done. The trick is to use pliers to crimp the ends of the pin back to as straight a configuration as possible (reverse the bend) so she will slide right out.

Dirty hub with old grease seal that The Wiz quickly identified. Of course it is imperative to get the correct size measured to the millimeter for inner and outer diameter (ID, OD). It is best to have the part number which can be tricky for older parts, as I discovered.

Old, dirty axle

Cleaned up axle
Cleaned up hub with brake cleaner (see outer race inset here). The Wiz did mention to take care of this hub as "they don't make these anymore".

Repacked bearing with new grease seal in place. Looking NICE!!! And I thought I would only get this excited about the cushions and curtains. Who knew?
Outer bearing repacked with castle nut and cotter pin in place.

Dust cap cleaned up with vinegar, water and a good scrubbing.

Thanking The Wizard at Six Roblees Oakland!!! You guys are awesome!


  1. Hey Kit... I am in the procress of doing this on our Aristocrat '71 Starliner. Turns out we have the same seal (2M - HADCO 3077) and it is incredibly difficult to find. Your post actually helped me out and I stopped at the local Six Robblees here in Portland and had them take a look at my hub. They are ordering the seal from the Oakland store and I hope to have it here in a day or two. I am going to put up a post as well on our blog to help anyone else out who runs into this problem. I will include the part numbers for the bearings, races and seals. Our site is . Thanks for your post that helped out alot.

  2. Excellent! So glad it helped. Keep me posted and Happy Trails to you!