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Old 01-09-2019, 08:24 PM   #1
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Wheel Bearing Issues / Disc Brakes

We have a 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. GVWR on our unit is 16,000 lbs. CAT scale shows we are at 14,800 when we travel. We added Kodiak disc brakes with new bearings in May 2017.

After putting 6000 miles on the trailer in 2017, when doing maintenance (inspecting and repacking bearings) it was discovered that the bearings were scorched. These bearings were of Chinese manufacture. The installer stood behind their work and paid for new Timken bearings.

When I discussed this recently with the installer he mentioned that they are now using Timken bearings on new installations, but he had not heard of problems with other bearings on other disc brake installations that they have done and they do many.

We used the trailer for 6000 miles in 2018. Again when doing maintenance it was found that the new bearings were scorched and also very loose. I had watched the installation of these bearings and it appeared they were installed, lubed and tightened correctly. We have verified the correct part numbers were used for the bearings and races.

Has anyone else had any of these problems either with or without disc brakes? Any idea what could have caused this to have happened twice? We are at a loss of how to proceed since this has happened twice now. Something else must be going on?
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:13 AM   #2
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When you first installed the disc brakes, were the original bearings damaged?

Were all the bearings damaged or just some of them?

Did the installer check the hub and axle bearing surfaces with a caliper when they replaced the bearings? I would suspect the hubs more than the axles. If they didn't, it would be time to make sure they are within tolerance. They should also be checked for Out of Round.

Which grease was used in them?
Was the same brand/type of grease used both times?
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:46 AM   #3
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Any chance of a photo?

I'd like to see what you are calling 'scorched.'

Maybe the incorrect grease is being used?
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:09 AM   #4
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Whenever I do new bearings and races, I will recheck them with a ‘wiggle the wheels’ check after 1020 miles or so. Assures me the races got fully seated.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:28 AM   #5
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When I had my trailer brakes replaced with disk brakes by Performance trailer braking the races for the bearings were already installed in the new hubs. So the races are almost always not the problem with new disk brake installations. I used grease that was recommended by Dexter axle the maker of my axles, Lucas red and tackey. I picture would really help here.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:48 AM   #6
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IMO...if you had 2 sets of bearings "fail"...IE 4 pairs of bearings fail. You have something miss-matched or something wrong... as in incorrect hub spacing or shaft length or something.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:15 PM   #7
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...scorched...?


wrong grease?
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:40 PM   #8
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Is it possible the brakes are overheating the hubs causing failure. Even with discs, Tow vehicle must do the bulk of holding the trailer on a downgrade. No way brakes even discs can handle that energy.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:07 PM   #9
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If it were a hub, spindle, issue these parts would be discolored also. Rotors or the other brake parts would also show signs of excessive heat if there was an issue with them. It's either a lube issue, or adjustment issue. As said several time, pictures are worth a thousand words.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:09 PM   #10
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If by "scorched" you mean bluish-black traces, that is a lubrication problem compounded by a speed/load factor. Two different sets of bearing, two failures is not a coincidence. If you take pictures of the Timkens that failed and sent them to Timken, I'd bet they'd tell you the same thing.
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