How to remove Plastic Bearing Caps??

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by kb0nly, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    I was looking over my 91 Skamper that i bought and i was thinking about checking the wheel bearings. The previous owner said they were repacked last summer when they put the new tires on it and it hadn't been used more than a couple times after that, but just to be safe i want to check them anyway.

    I have a 4x8 utility trailer with the same size axle and wheels, but that one has the usual metal caps that you can just take a flat screwdriver and rubber mallet to get them off.

    This Skamper has plastic covers, i know they are plastic because they are the really long ones that stick out the width of the rim and tire and they were originally silver but some of that has worn off and you can see the off white plastic showing from under the metallic finish on them. How do you remove these without breakage? I called a trailer shop that i know of any he wasn't sure since he is used to metal caps or bearing buddies being on most of the small trailers he works on.

    That brings me to question number two, after i get these off, has anyone put bearing buddies on these popups so you can give the bearing a squirt of grease now and then? I had a boat trailer and a utility trailer like that, nice to have a grease zerk to give it a squirt.



    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     
  2. Fly

    Fly New Member

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    I've never run accross plastic dust caps before, mine have always been metal. How I take mine off is by tapping them on the side (at the very end) with a small hammer, kinda working your way around on different sides. Sounds like plastic might only be good for one removal(?)

    Bearing Buddies have been a favorite of the boating trailers, to keep inside pressure in order to keep water out. You can do a Google on Buddy Bearings and get information on how they work. And I know of trailer towers who have had them installed for the reason you stated, to make sure there was grease present in the hub at all times. But there's always the caution that the bearings still have to be re-packed (and inspected), along with new seals, annually, inspite of having the Bearing Buddies. Boils down to if you think they are a good enough investment.

    Fly

    '99 Starcraft 1706
    '02 GMC Sierra
     
  3. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    Yeah i always checked the bearings regularly even with the buddies on them. Just wondering if anyone thought it was necessary to put them on a camper, i guess its not "really necessary" though.

    I don't know about removing these, the last thing i want to do is go tapping on them like you mentioned, thats how i remove mine also along with the help of a large flat screwdriver to help work them free on my utility trailer. If i break one then im screwed!

    I might have to bring it to a shop and let them look at it, if they break one hopefully they can replace it with a metal cap.

    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     
  4. Stepdad

    Stepdad New Member

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    Usually the plastic caps like those screw on, if their tough to get off you can try one of those rubber mats you use in the kitchen to open tough opening jars.

    An oil filter wrench can also prove handy for these depending on how severly they are angled, just use a rag or something else to pad it with so it doesn't scratch the plastic.
     
  5. DCampbell1969

    DCampbell1969 New Member

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    ARe you talking about the bearing seals and shields? Usually bearings will come in a variety. You can get shielded(metal on the flat side of ball bearings), double shielded, sealed(plastic on flat side of ball bearings), or double sealed. The seals are usually harder to get back in place without damnage.

    <center><b>D Campbell</b></center><center><b>'07 Fleetwood Niagara - '05 Nissan Titan</b></center> <center><b><font color=red>(camping pics)</font id=red></b></center><hr><center><b>(<font color=red>P.U.P.S.</font id=red>)</b><b> = <font color=red>Pop-Ups</font id=red> of the <font color=red>Peach State</font id=red></b></center>

    Edited by - DCampbell1969 on July 19 2007 13:49:50
     
  6. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    Nope, not the seals, the cap that goes over the end of the hub.

    I will take a picture later if i get a chance.

    Stepdad.. When they are screwed in as these probably are, are they left hand or right hand thread? Tried turning counterclockwise and i can't get it to budge. Was just afraid to go wrenching on it until i know for sure.

    Does anyone know a source for a replacement if i strip the threads on these plastic caps?



    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     
  7. phipps

    phipps Member

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    I have a plastic cap over the shaft on my PUP. I have to remove the wheel in order to take the cap off and get to the bearing cap.

    Gary N8WSQ

    Charlotte DW
    Gary Lee DS
    Kortney DD

    1997 GMC Sierra
    1997 Camplite 2218
     
  8. LynnAllen02

    LynnAllen02 Active Member

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    Same here, you have to pull the wheel.

    Yyour usual metal ones are underneath so my DH says!

    Lynn

    2006 Pony 283*2005 Liberty*14 Nights Reserved 2007:14 Camped: 6 nights
     
  9. BlackTalon

    BlackTalon New Member

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    Their just protective covers. You have to remove the wheel to access your bearing caps. Once the wheel is off the plastic covers slide right out of the rim.
     
  10. outdoorxman

    outdoorxman The mountains are calling me and I must go.

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    I put Bearing Buddies on my Coleman so that I can keep a better eye on the grease throughout the year. I also check the wheel and tire temps periodically. I like them but it may be overkill for a PU.

    Me '60 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bbq.gif border=0 align=middle> <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_beer.gif border=0 align=middle>
    DW '66 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_chef.gif border=0 align=middle> <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_smore.gif border=0 align=middle>
    DD '89 (only camps where there are no bugs)
    DD 92' (only camps where cell phone gets service)
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    TV '99 Sierra <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle>
    PU '00 Coleman Niagara Elite <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle>
    Days Camping (07) 10 & Counting
     
  11. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for that final bit of info, i pulled one of the wheels and AHA! The plastic cap is just held on by the rim, a beauty cap if you will. Then there is the normal old metal dust cap underneath.

    Pulled the dust cap and it's well and truely clean and greased in there, don't think i will go any further. It was done last year, that's obvious by its appearance.

    Next year i will be taking it for a long trip out to Yellowstone and will probably repack them before that. This year will be a few short local trips.

    I towed it about 40 miles and checked the wheel and tire temps, warm, but nothing hot.



    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     

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