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Maintenance & Repair on Surge Brake Axle

FIRST....As you start into this job as with any, you need to study and analyze how it's put together so you can remember how to put it back together.

Step 1: If equipped with Bearing Buddies, remove them for a quick inspection.. (as shown in the reference pic).  This shows signs of water.
Grease becomes very light colored and can even turn white from being saturated with water.

WB&B.jpg (28646 bytes)  Step 1: - Shows signs of water.

Step 2: Time to jack up trailer to remove the hub assembly.  You can either leave the tire and wheel on hub or remove it, your choice. (I leave it on the majority of the time.)
Step 3: After it's raised up put a jack stand under trailer frame. For your safety!

WB&B2.jpg (38018 bytes)  ** Notice all the grease that has been forced out past 
      seal and is all over everything.

Step 4: Remove the cotter pin in spindle nut.  Then the nut.  Once you have the nut off you can remove the washer and outer bearing.
Step 5: Pull the hub assembly straight out and off of the spindle.
Step 6: Turn it with back side facing you, and pry out the old seal. 
Several tools will work.....big flat screwdriver, pry bar, etc.  I use a roll head bar.
Step 7: Lift out the inner bearing.
Step 8: Time to clean and inspect all the parts and pieces.....hub, inner bearing & cup, outer bearing & cup, spindle/seal surface area.
Do not remove the bearing cups inside hub or brake system parts unless they need to be replaced, (covered in Step 12.)

Note 1 - Cleaning can be done with several parts cleaning solutions; as a last resort use gasoline.
Note 2 - Cleaning solution needs to be off and parts dry.  Blow them off with compressed air.......DO NOT LET BEARINGS SPIN, it can damage the bearings.

WB&B3.jpg (28015 bytes)  Step 8: Note 2 - Indicates water damage.

Replace any damaged bearing & cups, if either one is bad, replace both
bearing and cup.

WB&B4.jpg (24220 bytes)  Photo shows the various parts.

Step 9: After all is clean....time to re-pack the bearings.  This is done by placing grease in the palm of your hand as shown.  Hold bearing in other hand as shown.  Rock bearing up and down into grease until it is forced out top of bearing, then rotate it and repeat until full all the way around bearing.  Make sure it's full!

WB&B5.jpg (24664 bytes)  Step 9: Indicates proper way to re-pack bearings.

Step 10: Once you have both bearings packed, put the inner bearing back into hub.  Inner bearing is normally the larger of the two.

Step 11: Install the NEW wheel seal.  Be careful not to knock off the garder spring. (It's the little spring around inside of lip of the seal). Make sure it's in square and flush with hub.

Step 12: If you have brakes, it's time to inspect and do any repairs that are needed to the brake system.  Roll the boot up on the wheel cylinder to inspect inside bore/piston area.  Hope it doesn't look like this one pictured, if so, it will have to be replaced.  (The brakes were not working!)

WB&B6.jpg (23695 bytes)  Step 12: Indicates need for replacement.

Check the brake shoes for wear and if they have rivets holding them make sure that they are recessed in the shoe.  You do not want the rivets contacting the brake drum.  Check the adjuster, repair & replace as needed.

Step 13: Install hub back onto spindle.  Push it as far back on as it can go.
Then put the outer bearing back in, then the washer.  Then the nut.

Step 14: After you have the nut up slightly snug, rotate the hub a few revolutions, (easier if tire & wheel are on the hub).  As you rotate it, tighten the spindle nut until you feel it loading up the bearings (will get harder to roll).  This seats the bearings.  Then back off one notch (if it's a castle nut), or a little less than a 1/4 of a turn.  You may have to go a little more or less to get it to line up for the cotter pin.

Step 15: Install the cotter pin; bend it so that it won't be rubbing on dust cap or Bearing Buddy.

Step 16: If you have Bearing Buddies, pump with new grease until the inner piston moves out a small amount.  Don't over-do it!  You shouldn't need to grease it again most of the season.  Too much grease can blow out through the seal causing a weak seal that can let water in.  And, it also 
gets on your brake shoes causing another problem.

Step 17: If you have brakes......check the adjustment.  You should be able to hear and feel a slight drag of shoes to drum when you rotate the tire.
If not, you need to tighten up the brakes by removing the access cover on backing plate and with a screwdriver, roll the adjuster wheel.  Keep checking until you have the slight drag.

You're done! (with one wheel).  You now need to do the other side, (or 3 more in the case of a tandem).   
Sherman Truss