How to Replace Boat Trailer Hubsby Christian Killian
Replacing the hubs on a boat trailer is easy, and with the amount of time that boat trailers spend in the water, sometimes it is necessary to combat rust or corrosion. Often repacking the bearings will be all the maintenance needed; but if the hub is damaged or extremely rusted, you can remove the entire hub and replace it with a new one. You need to make sure the new hub has the correct dimensions to fit your trailer axle so if you are not sure what to use, check with the local trailer dealer or repair shop.
Jack up the trailer and support it on a set of jack stands. Make sure that you place the jack stands under the frame so that the trailer does not shift or move on the stands.
Remove the lug nuts using a socket and breaker bar. Remove the tire and wheel from the trailer. Pry off the dust cover from the center of the hub using a flat bladed screwdriver.
Locate the cotter pin on the end of the spindle located under the dust cover and remove it. Just bend the ends straight and pull the cotter pin out of the axle with a pair of pliers.
Wipe the grease out of the hub with a clean rag. You will see a washer under the castle nut that has a tang on it that is engaging the nut. Pry the tang away from the nut and remove the nut and washer from the axle.
Pull the hub straight off the spindle and axle. Place the new hub onto the axle and spindle by simply sliding it into place. You will need to have already placed bearings and seals in the new axle prior to assembly.
Slide the tang washer in and install the castle nut onto the axle. Tighten the castle nut and then bend the tang on the tang washer down to lock it into the nut.
Install a new cotter pin into the hole in the axle shaft and bend the ends around the axle with a screwdriver or pliers. Replace the dust cover on the hub. Align the cover so that it is square to the hub and tap it into place with a rubber hammer or mallet.
Reinstall the tire and wheel onto the trailer, tightening the lug nuts to the manufacturer's specifications. Remove the jack stands and lower the trailer to the ground. Move to the other side of the trailer and repeat the process to replace the opposite hub.
- Use a high quality, waterproof wheel bearing grease for longer life and better protection of the bearings.
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Socket set
- Breaker bar
- Large flat blade screwdriver
- Rubber hammer or mallet
Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.