Timbren Axle-Less: important info for those building

geanes

Member
Which is why the 27 will give a smoother ride too.
Yup. If I wasn't so concerned about having additional spares, I'd probably just leave the 27"s on there. But, Big Bend State Park and super remote areas in Utah that I'll be traveling typically it's a good idea to have more than the 1 spare on the truck. Having another I can take from the trailer (even if I have to abandon the trailer and return with a replacement) seems to be a good idea.

I figure I'll run about 22psi on the tires when loaded. They are e-Rated like the tires on my LX which are stiff (KO2). I run 42psi front and 46psi rear on my LX which is right around 7900lbs in full overland mode. 38psi front/40psi rear when daily driving.
 

jwiereng

Active member
I wonder if the larger tires may result in smoother ride. Think of Skate board vs bicycle rolling along a sidewalk.
 

geanes

Member
I wonder if the larger tires may result in smoother ride. Think of Skate board vs bicycle rolling along a sidewalk.
Not sure. They are E-Rated, so they will be more harsh I would think. Just like on the truck where the E-Rated made a noticeable difference in ride quality. I know they will roll "slower" because of the larger size. The stock 205/75/15 would roll at 744 revolutions/mile whereas the 285/65/18 will roll at 619 revolutions/mile. That seems a substantial reduction in revolutions/mile.
 

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alia176

Explorer
This may or may not matter but here's my .02 cents worth. My Kamparoo is around 2200 lbs and rides on a set of 225 75 15 LT "C" rated tires. This thing has leaf springs and a Dexter 3500# axle with brakes. This is a whopping 29" diam tire and yet it has higher ground clearance than my landcruiser with a 4" of lift and 35"s, LOL!! The rims can be purchased at any hardware store, like those white rims found in the trailer section! Given that this trailer has no shocks and uses slipper springs, I adjust the tire air pressure to control the movements while off roading.

The biggest thing that impacted the trailer behavior was extending the tongue by almost 24". Not that it was ill mannered to begin with but extending the tongue and fabricating it the way I did, connected the whole system together. This resulted in way less bounce and even more stability while wheeling.
 

honda250xtitan

Active member
My conclusion from all this is that the person who built the trailer over-tightened the pre-load on the castle nut and left out the washers (for whatever reason) which led to binding and incredible heat build up in the hub.
This makes way more sense. Make sure you use cotter pins or else one side will spin the nut off and the other will tighten it down as the trailer goes down the road.... ;)
 

geanes

Member
This makes way more sense. Make sure you use cotter pins or else one side will spin the nut off and the other will tighten it down as the trailer goes down the road.... ;)
Definitely will use the cotter pins. Don't want a stray wheel going "rogue" on the highway :)

Good point on one tightening and the other loosening. Hadn't considered that. I'm used to bicycle bottom brackets and pedal threads which rotate clockwise on the starboard side to tighten and counter-clockwise on the port side to tighten. They do that so that the forward pedal stroke would only tighten and not loosen.
 

bshinn

Active member
Spend some time researching before you re-assemble. There is a pretty specific method for torquing the axle nut to seat the bearing and then backing the nut off and setting pre-load. If you've never done it before, you'll swear the nut isn't tight enough, that's what the cotter pin is for. The nut needs to just be tight enough to stop any axial play. Get it where you think it needs to be then drive it a few miles (and I mean a few) then re-check. if the hubs cool and no play, you're good to go. I learned how to do this the hard way just like you.

Good luck.
 

geanes

Member
Spend some time researching before you re-assemble. There is a pretty specific method for torquing the axle nut to seat the bearing and then backing the nut off and setting pre-load. If you've never done it before, you'll swear the nut isn't tight enough, that's what the cotter pin is for. The nut needs to just be tight enough to stop any axial play. Get it where you think it needs to be then drive it a few miles (and I mean a few) then re-check. if the hubs cool and no play, you're good to go. I learned how to do this the hard way just like you.

Good luck.
Thanks for the tip! Will definitely follow precautions/instructions when reassembling and will do a few short shake-down runs while checking temps and pre-load. Seems it's really no different than what I'd do with my mountain and road bike hubs: preload finger-tight, check for play, ensure hub spins freely, tighten in small increments while rotating hub, back off slightly and secure (cotter pin in this case). Drive a short distance, test for temp and preload...adjust as necessary. Rinse and repeat until positive results are consistent and repeatable. By chance, does anyone know what respectable temps should be? Will it be in the hub assembly documentation? Or, is it just "common knowledge"?

My big mistake was in "assuming" the preload was ok when I bought the trailer from the seller. I've rented from U-Haul plenty of times and never thought to once check pre-load. I assumed U-Haul maintained their trailers and everything was good. To their credit, U-Haul was always great and I never had issues despite multiple cross-country (FL to CA) trips. I've bought plenty of new vehicles and never inspected if wheels were tight or bearings preloaded correctly. I assumed the manufacturer had done that correctly. I blindly assumed the same when buying this trailer. I checked the grease, but didn't check the preload and didn't check to ensure the hub was properly installed i.e. washer between castle nut and outboard bearing present. Lesson learned: never assume, check and recheck.
 

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alia176

Explorer
Thanks for the tip! Will definitely follow precautions/instructions when reassembling and will do a few short shake-down runs while checking temps and pre-load. Seems it's really no different than what I'd do with my mountain and road bike hubs: preload finger-tight, check for play, ensure hub spins freely, tighten in small increments while rotating hub, back off slightly and secure (cotter pin in this case). Drive a short distance, test for temp and preload...adjust as necessary. Rinse and repeat until positive results are consistent and repeatable. By chance, does anyone know what respectable temps should be? Will it be in the hub assembly documentation? Or, is it just "common knowledge"?

My big mistake was in "assuming" the preload was ok when I bought the trailer from the seller. I've rented from U-Haul plenty of times and never thought to once check pre-load. I assumed U-Haul maintained their trailers and everything was good. To their credit, U-Haul was always great and I never had issues despite multiple cross-country (FL to CA) trips. I've bought plenty of new vehicles and never inspected if wheels were tight or bearings preloaded correctly. I assumed the manufacturer had done that correctly. I blindly assumed the same when buying this trailer. I checked the grease, but didn't check the preload and didn't check to ensure the hub was properly installed i.e. washer between castle nut and outboard bearing present. Lesson learned: never assume, check and recheck.
Well, you can't check everything after purchasing a trailer, so give yourself a break!!

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

bshinn

Active member
I've never seen published temps, but generally if they're hot to the touch (assuming no brakes) it's cause for concern.
 

geanes

Member
I've never seen published temps, but generally if they're hot to the touch (assuming no brakes) it's cause for concern.
Based on some cursory research, looks like 120F is on the high side of acceptable temps for non-braked trailer hubs. Most say the hubs shouldn't feel "hot" to the touch and that means one should be able to comfortably hold their finger on the hub for longer than 2 seconds without any discomfort. Also it appears that one should observe if there is a temp delta between the 2 hubs greater than a few degrees. Once I put on the new spindle and hubs and have a chance to do a few shake-down runs, I'll post some results. Might be helpful to others.
 

Timbren

Supporting Sponsor
So sorry to hear about the bearing / hub failure that you experienced. It is very true that over-tightening castle nut can cause excessive friction which could lead to overheating bearings (especially at higher speeds and harsher roads / off road conditions). If not detected early, this could lead to more serious problems including failure of bearings and even failure of spindle itself. Regular maintenance of hubs (which normally includes greasing / re-greasing the bearings and the spindle while rotating the wheel) is the key to detect and correct the problem at the same time. Glad that you’ve got it sorted out!
 

46flattie

Observer
To add to the temperature comments...rule of thumb for wheel bearings is if it is too hot to hold your hand on the hub, you likely have a problem or are going to. I think the ballpark temp I was always told for that was about 120F-140F is ok.

however, just an FYI...axle pinion bearings on drive axles make some heat (like like on your tow vehicle). Dana/Spicer has some temp specifications out there for the input end of commercial duty axles and they are way higher than I expected...250F continuous and 300F intermittent up to 30 minutes! When I re-geared my D44 rear axle, I was checking (by hand) for any hot spots...and my pinion was pretty hot to the touch...measured 140+F with a probe...was worried until I researched and found this spec. Axle has been running smooth for a couple years.
 

geanes

Member
So sorry to hear about the bearing / hub failure that you experienced. It is very true that over-tightening castle nut can cause excessive friction which could lead to overheating bearings (especially at higher speeds and harsher roads / off road conditions). If not detected early, this could lead to more serious problems including failure of bearings and even failure of spindle itself. Regular maintenance of hubs (which normally includes greasing / re-greasing the bearings and the spindle while rotating the wheel) is the key to detect and correct the problem at the same time. Glad that you’ve got it sorted out!
You guys have been GREAT! Sean in customer support help me sort everything out. He was responsive and incredibly patient with a trailer novice like me. It's rare to find quality customer service like that these days and very much appreciated.
 
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