DIY - tire replacing and wheel bearing repacking - need advice

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by Camper054, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    Hi all,

    If you followed some of my recent posts, you know that I got a 2002 Cheyenne about two weeks ago and was worried about towing it back 450 miles as the previous owner did not change tires or repack the wheel bearings for at least six years he owned it!

    Anyway, I made it back safely and there are some issues I need to fix and my priority are the tires and wheel bearings. I called couple of places previously suggested by fellow experienced campers and most of them will not do both. For example, most tire places (including Walmart) will only change the tires, but not repack wheel bearings. The only place I found locally is an RV place who will do both. Estimated price is close to $500 (including tire price)! So, I decided to do it myself. A set of (two) tires cost around $115 (Amazon 175/80D13 - yes, I could have bought the radial tires, but oh well, these are cheap -:)). Even if I need a new set of wheel bearings, DIY cost will not exceed more than $150. I have changed car tires, so not completely novice -:).

    What I am worried is that in the cars, you have a specific place to put your jack, not sure where I should place the jack to lift the camper. Should I use one jack or two on both sides of the tire? Besides, there are stabilizer jacks on the other side (as opposed to wheels) of the camper. So, I am thinking there must be something I should do - like up the jacks from the floor/driveway a little so when one side is lifted up (even just a bit to pull the tire out), there is not much pressure on the stabilizers on the other side.

    Lastly, the camper is sitting on a slope in my driveway - not a lot, but still you know that most of the driveways are inclined. So, I have to account for that as well.

    So, please let me know your thoughts, suggestions, advice and learnings if you have done this work. A million thanks in advance to you all!

    MC
     
  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Just how much slope are we talking about? Too much slope will make the use of a jack dangerous. If not too much slope, then I would suggest you put the jack under the axle, and only do one side at a time. Use jackstands under the frame rather than the stabilizers. The stabilizers are not designed to support the weight of the camper.
     
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  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    When jacking you always want to make sure the camper doesn't roll away. If you can hitch it ti your TV. The wheels and jack leg should be blocked/chocked. Never place the jack just under the body or on the axle between the frame rails. I try to position the jack where it bolts to the spring of a spot where the the spring attaches in the frame.
    As for tires, I would have bought tires with wheels .... sometimes cheaper than just the tire and then paying to get it mounted. And now you have extra spares...... I remove my good tires/wheels in the winter and just put my old spares on.
    As for the wheel bearings. Remove the cap, Is the grease look clean/bright? Check for looseness ........ Remove the cotter pin from nut and remove nut. Pulling on the wheel the outer bearing should fall out .....CATCH IT .....keep it out of the dirt. Now put the drum off. I suggest not driving the inner seal out
    you may beat up the inner bearing, You are going to replace the seal anyway so just pry it out.
    A good quality wheel bearing will last for ever. 100,000 miles on a car. Bearings that have roughness or metal flakes will need to be replaced. But if the grease look clean ....... just repack them. You will have to order new seals, your old ones should have a number on them. I only use double lip seals.
    Well I said enough.
    .
     
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  4. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Just to add ...... you should have a 3500 pound axle with 10 inch brakes
    seals ..... 171255VB
    inner bearing L68149 with a L68111 race
    outer bearing L44649 with a L44610 race
     
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  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Just for the future, i had a place do mine as i ran out of time bedore my first trip to do it. Look for places that service boat trailors etc. I wouldent take it to a camper specific place. It cost me 80 bucks to have them repack the bearings and change the tires.
     
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  6. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    I found a place that builds custom trailers, and paid him to do it. (He was about $80 as well).

    The Boat trailer place quoted me $90 to replace each side entirely (comes with pre packed bearings)
     
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  7. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    Hi, not too much of a slope, so I should be okay! Besides, THANKS to the rest of you, I will have my trailer attached to my truck - so I should be good (if I decide to do this myself).

    Also a huge thanks to Sjm9911 and mpking! I found a place who will do both at the same time. Only $49 for the wheel bearing repacking and $10 per tire to mount them (I bought the tires). So I am thinking I will take my tires to them and have my wheel bearings done too. (it is a messy work to do the wheel bearings...).

    Folks, THANKS a lot and wish you all the very best. Happy camping!
    MC
     
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  8. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    You are wonderful! I was trying to find the 'right' wheel bearings. I could get them from the Coleman pop up camper parts, but each cost $20, which I am sure is half or less at other places, if I could find the correct ones. So, a HUGE thanks to you!!!
    MC
     
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  9. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    You need to replace the spare tire, also.
     
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  10. CoolCanuck

    CoolCanuck Member

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    I know that when I changed the bearings on my camper last summer, the part number I required was not the one mentioned in the Coleman manual... ended up having to find some other ones.
    Previous owner didn't change them, I didn't trust them. Glad I didn't, as one was a bit blue/brown from heat. Just make sure you get the outers just right- not loose, but you don't want them tight either...

    Bought new tires on rims while I was at it.

    Installed all & left for southern Oregon a couple days later. No problems found.
     
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  11. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    If the bearing is discolored, the outer race needs to be replaced, because it over heated, also. The outer bearing race is pressed in, so it should be tight. If the outer bearing race is loose, the hub needs to be replaced.
     
  12. CoolCanuck

    CoolCanuck Member

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    Naturally, I replaced the whole bearing... checked out the brakes as well.
    If I don't have history of how often / when the grease was changed, bearings inspected etc., then I swap the stuff out. At least that way I know what was done.

    The previous owner had some easy grease axle hubs installed. Bearing Buddies...
    Of course that style doesn't lube the inners properly before the grease squirts out...

    BTW- I inspected the races with a Stereo microscope. When I did this on my car a few years ago, I found some pitting as well as a couple of voids. Not pretty when there are voids in the metal below the plating...
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  13. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    Hi,
    What do you use to replace the races? I do not want to 'destroy' them by using a screw driver to push them in. Do you recommend buying something specific for the races or any 'cheap' suggestions? I probably wouldn't be doing it every year - most likely once every two (or may three :))...

    I got the tires, and my local trailer service place will mount them for $10/piece and $49 for repacking wheel bearings. I am not sure if I should take it to them or do it myself - check the bearings, races, as well as the break to make sure everything is good and replace if needed. Or, ask them...

    Being a 'newbie' I am nervous and probably over-worrying -:).

    CoolCanuck, you have posted (I believe) good info regarding Coleman ABS roof repairs. I have hairline cracks that the previous owner used 100% silicone caulk. There are some new ones as well. Not too bad, but I don't want to take any chances. I am thinking of applying grizzly grip to the entire roof (after removing silicone as much as I can). I am not planning to use any ABS goo or anything to fill the cracks. These are really small hairline ones. What do you think? Thanks!

    Thanks all
    MC
    Thanks!
    MC
     
  14. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    CoolCanuck, I just saw your reply to my question in our conversation. Thanks a LOT
     
  15. CoolCanuck

    CoolCanuck Member

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    I happened to have a steel "pusher" just the right size from my previous life in the aircraft industry....

    You could use a large socket as well... or just a piece of hardwood that fits the OD in order to gently push (hammer) them in place.
     
  16. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    Thanks so much CoolCanuck. I am still leaning toward having the local trailer shop do the work...will call them and get a feel of what they can do if i need a replacement wheel bearings, breaks etc.

    There is a chance that I may need a new wheel bearing - as I believe the originals has not been greased or replaced. I think the breaks are okay as the previous owner did not use the trailer break as his van did not have the integrated electronic break system.

    I just have to hook my camper, take it to the shop and either leave it there or wait few hours. I'll let you know :).

    Thanks!
    MC
     
  17. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    You can use a large punch to work the outer bearing race out. Just be gentle with it and go around it a little at a time.

    If the brakes have never been used, they definitely need to be checked. If they haven't moved in years, don't expect them to move now.
     
  18. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    WrkrBee,

    Wow, I did not think the way you are thinking that if the brakes were not used, it need to be checked! However, one thing I remember: my truck has an integrated brake system and there is a switch to squeeze that will apply brake to the trailer without applying break on the truck. I did that, and it seemed to work - meaning, I felt the brake in the trailer was working. Believe me, I am really novice as pulling the trailer was my first tow after I bought it. So, I am nervous with everything. But, I am 'brave' - it was t he first time I pulled anything with my truck as well as driving back 450+ miles! :).

    Thanks for your insight and I will definitely check the brakes. I saw some youtube videos on how to check the brakes - if the magnets are working or not. I can use it, or maybe I can use my truck and ask my son to press the brakes while the wheel and the bearings are out to see if the magnets are working.

    OR, I can ask the shop to check it - hope they can have better ways!

    Thanks a LOT!
    MC
     
  19. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    You could also do the easy way.

    Jack it up. Spin the wheel, apply brake. See if wheel stops. :)

    If your feeling resistance, it means at least one of the brakes is working. Possibly both. (I had only 1 brake for about a year till I got around to replacing it. Significant difference in stopping ability with the second brake working)
     
  20. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    That is why I need to bounce my ideas :)....thanks so MUCH again!
    MC
     

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