Wheel Bearing Dust Cap Problem

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by cruzer33, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. cruzer33

    cruzer33 New Member

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    I just bought a 1994 Coleman Pioneer pup. There were no dust caps in the hubs so I decided to clean and repack the bearings and put on new dust caps. I measured as best i could for the dust caps..went to the auto supply store and bought new caps. Went on just as I thought they would (used a rubber mallet to beat on). I decided to take the pup around the block. Pulled out into the street...drove about 50 feet and one cap came off. The wife was watching from the driveway as it came off..rolled around in the street where it was run over by another car.
    I got about halfway around the block when I heard the other one come off. Are there special sizes for these dustcaps for my pup? I hate to run it without dustcaps. Thanks
     
  2. Matt O

    Matt O Strangers are friends who have not yet met

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    I have a 1992 Coleman Seneca and had the SAME problem last year, only for 1 side.

    I just could not get a dust cap to stay on. What I found is you HAVE to get one from a trailer store. You can't get one from an auto parts store. They are off by like 100th of an inch or some ridiculous small amount, but that makes a difference. I went through 2 auto parts dust caps, 1 from the trailer place, then they had a special to repack the bearings so I figured I'd be smart and they would have to put the dust cap on. They all fell off. I went back to the trailer place and they banged it on again in the parking lot. I noticed there seemed to not be on all the way but the guy banged it on and the cap started to mushroom. We pulled on it and it wasn't coming off.

    I started driving away and was smart. I pulled into a parking lot 100 yards down the road and checked it. Sure enough, it was just about to fall off. I banged it on with my hammer (no wimpy rubber mallet either, I banged on it). It seemed to go on just a hair more. Then I was almost home I had a feeling and pulled over again. It was there but loose. This time when I banged it on it went all the way on. It hasn't fallen off in the past year.

    My theory is the hub heated up and expanded. When the dust cap wasn't on all the way it released the cap and it fell off. The last time it heated up I banged it on and it seated all the way. Then when the hub cooled it shrank and bit into the dust cap.......This is just my theory, but it is still there.

    I don't think I will repack the bearings again unless there is a problem. The dust cap was too much of a PIA. I know people repack them every year but I don't believe in that. I don't repack the bearings on my car that often so why do it on the trailer that travels so much less.
     
  3. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    There are different sizing on those dust caps. On a utility trailer I had once upon a time, went to a size a tad too big to fit the hub. Then using an hack saw, made a cut across the edge (which made two grooves) that fits into the hub and banged it home with the mallet and that ended the problem.
     
  4. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Heat will cause metal to expand, but I seriously doubt that your hubs are getting hot enough for this to happen. I tend to belive like Matt O says is that the caps were not installed tight enough in the beginning.
     
  5. ogeer3

    ogeer3 New Member

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    I had the same problem with the right hub on my pup for a long while. I replaced the dust cap about a half dozen times. I tried everything and finely used a screw driver and cut some gouges in the part of the cap that fits up in the hub and then did the same on the inside of the hub with a punch. That finely cured the problem. Good luck.
     
  6. md-500man

    md-500man Member

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    Not all dust caps are the same, Yes there are different sizes but I have also seen dust caps with short sleeves ( the insert that slides inside the hub) and I've seen some with longer sleeve's.
    I have found that after years of use not only does the hub get slightly worn but so does the dust cap. One solution I have found to be a permanent fix is to take an electric engraver and knurl the outside portion of the dust cap sleeve that slides into the trailer hub. in some cases I have had to knurl the inside of the trailer hub also. I start by making circles with the engraver so that each pass overlaps the last circle. When I'm done 90% of the dust cap sleeve is engraved / Knurled.
    Do the same thing to the inside of the trailer hub IF needed.

    MD
     
  7. apachejeep

    apachejeep New Member

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    How about spray painting the lip of the cap, enough to hold it on.
     
  8. cruzer33

    cruzer33 New Member

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    Thanks all for your input...its appreciated!!
     

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