Front wheel bearings

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:13 pm

Can I drill and tap the front wheel bearing caps and install zerk fittings for grease? Will this keep the inner bearing greased? The tractor is a 1947 and gets used a lot. Thanks

Re: Front wheel bearings

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:47 pm

I have drilled and tapped farm trailer rims for zerks. This puts the grease in and fills the center of the rim between the bearings. After center of rim is full of grease, any additional grease is forced into the bearings.

Back to the question, don't see why you couldn't do it.

Re: Front wheel bearings

Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:24 am

I have done it to my 48. Cap is plenty thick enough to tap but it's overkill for my trailer queen :)

Re: Front wheel bearings

Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:47 am

If it is a working tractor, the fitting sticking out of the cap could get damaged, plugged with dirt, etc. Some of them had a grease fitting in the hub itself, though that requires more work to install since you would need to remove the hub and clean the grease out to make sure no cuttings ended up in there.

Re: Front wheel bearings

Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:19 am

Good point John but what I want to do is install fitting on the side of cap.I would use a 90 degree fitting. I know that if I needed to remove cap I would have to remove fitting first. Thanks

Re: Front wheel bearings

Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:21 pm

I completely agree with the end result you seek. But gun grease is typically very different from wheel bearing grease. The gun grease applied with some frequency may work well enough since this is for a low speed application. If you decide to try it, why not buy spare bearing caps in advance in case the attempt does not go well. That would limit the down time for the tractor.
If I was going to do it, I might build up a mound of brazing, drill and tap the hole there for longer threads.

Re: Front wheel bearings

Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:59 pm

I grease the bearings on my pontoon trailer with a grease gun and red wheel bearing grease. You can buy a small grease gun and grease tubes from Walmart in the auto center. I keep one in my boat box.
PS. I have Bearing Buddies in my trailer wheels that works somewhat like you are doing.

Re: Front wheel bearings

Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:36 pm

The only thing negitive that I see that might happen is the oil seal may blow out of the hub. You'll never know when you have enough grease in the hub to lube the rear bearing until you see it coming out the rear of the hub. I don't remember if the seal is lip out or lip in on the hub. If it is lip in, it will blow the lip out to allow the grease to escape which will ruin the seal. If it is lip out, no problem grease will simply push past the seal indicating the hub is full of grease. Just something to think about.

Re: Front wheel bearings

Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:46 pm

I GO ALONG WITH BUS DRIVER AND WOULD ALSO WELD A SHORT LENGTH OF 3/4 IN PIPE
AROUND THE ZERK MAYBE 5/8 IN. LONG----THIS WOULD PROTECT THE ZERK---MY $0.08 WORTH-----

Re: Front wheel bearings

Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:06 am

Just a thought.... I repack the front wheel bearings of every Cub I have owned. The only ones that have ever been bad were apparently either submerged or had a bad seal (allowing water in).

There is a big difference between trailer bearings and a Cub. Think tiny tires at highway speeds with cheap bearings and seals vs pretty heavy duty Timken bearings at slow rotation.

The bearings on a 49 and 50 Cub (both heavily used) were perfect and the two I replaced were on a 71 and 77. One had a bad seal and the other apparently sat in a puddle for a time.

You do want to leave room for heat expansion, so never completely fill the hub with grease.