Thursday, August 28, 2014

Making Solid Progress With the Bearing and Brake Rebuild...

I suppose a guy could just pay somebody to do the work... but there's a confidence that is a good feeling to have when you remind yourself every now and again that you're not at the mercy of mechanics...

But, it's been a while since the last brakes and bearings I replaced. The first wheel went fairly slow while I figured out what I was doin'... while trying to avoid doin' something that shouldn't get done! It's still a fairly simple task.

... Even when you do it dodging the weather. Yup... surest way I know to make it rain, and have six other things jump up all demanding attention is to dive into something that really needs finishing before you can move on to anything else! ;)

Well... There's but five bolts on the backing plate and only two wires really to deal with... well... if you discount changing out the bearing races with a couple of hammers, a screwdriver, a piece of PVC, a chunk of 2X4... because you're doin' this job without a press ;)

Now the quickest way is to jack up both axles and pop both wheels on a side at the same time... I thought about trying that... and then chose to be juuuust a mite more conservative and do one at a time. That-a-way if Murphy come around and knocked a jack out, I'd still have one wheel holding up the rig! ;)

First thing right off I realized I wasn't gonna be able to use a jack stand under that lifted axle. They're just too tall. I'd have to jack the trailer up way too dang high. So, I opted to use two jacks. One hydraulic floor jack and a screw type. I figured that if one failed I'd still have one under there.

I also set the jacks on heavy wood plates to keep them from sinking into the soft ground...

With the tire lifted off the ground I quickly found the next weak spot in my system... My compressor. That lil' compressor I have on the truck is great for keep tires on the rig and the bike aired up out in far country... buuuuut... good as it is... she just don't make enough air to operate an impact wrench much :)

*Truck Mounted Compressor Compartment*
So... I had to use the old fashioned lug wrench and cowboy muscle a little more than I'd hoped. Yeah, it's a rough life. But that went quick and I had the axle stripped to replace the backing plate with the new brakes in no time...

For as old as they are, with as many miles... things really didn't look to bad. The pads are pretty cracked and glazed from... ahem... getting warm a time or two :) but otherwise... in amazingly decent shape... needful of replacement... but not OH MY GOD! bad.

*Ready to swap backing plates*
 Splicing the wires isn't/wasn't a big deal... I didn't go run down any special waterproof connectors. I just tightly wire nutted the splice. Then tightly electrical taped it...

... and then coated the whole splice with "Liquid Tape" to seal it up well and strong. I'll be surprised if there's any issues with the connections.

The other task was to knock out the old bearing races and set the new ones in place. Again, the old ones looked to be in fine shape for something approaching 75,000 miles, less than stellar maintenance and carrying a close to max load...

But, it's better on deals like this to just replace 'em rather than have a failure on the road... and have to do this job sitting in a roadside rest... or worse... the shoulder of a highway!

*First Bearing Races knocked out*

One benefit of having a flat bed on the truck is... you've always got a workbench with you!

*New Race started... still a half inch or so to go...*
I had to improvise for drivers. A piece of PVC plumbing fit the outer race perfectly... the inner, larger bearing race was a little problematical... but a combination of a chunk of 2X4 and a couple big hammers actually worked out quick and fine...

The second wheel went about twice as fast as the first... what with my memory being warmed up about what had to be done when.

Working between spurts of rain and other chores I've done one a day. Yup...really pushing hard ;)

Was gonna see if I couldn't get the thing buttoned up and do two today... but it turns out a run to Denver is in the offing... the kid has a surgery that came up pretty quick... so I'll take the day off and try and finish up tomorrow.

 I've just better than two weeks to finish it up... so it's lookin' like I'll be in good shape... but it won't pay to go and get cocky ;)


1 comment:

Judy said...

Hope 'the kid's' surgery goes well.

It is amazing what knowledge we have in the dark recesses of our brains if we can find it. ;>)