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How To Identify & Check Axle Bearings

Article by Peter Smith - Caravans Plus

Most caravans and trailers use Holden or Ford bearings, while some large and offroad ones use Parallel bearing sets. The terms Standard bearings or Holden bearings are the same thing. The terms Slimline bearings and Ford bearings are also interchangeable.

The simple way to identify your bearings is from the code printed on the bearing itself.

Bearing number bearing-kit
Above: If possible, identify your bearing by the number on the cone. A bearing KIT will include all parts shown for one wheel.

Having trouble reading the bearing number?

See where to measure your existing axle to identify which bearing kit will fit. The popular ones are shown below with diagrams.

Why are there different bearings?

The requirement for different bearings is due to different load carrying capacity. The more weight to be carried means a thicker axle and larger diameter bearings.

A bearing kit will contain all components required for one wheel. A bearing comprises of two parts; the cup which is pressed into the hub and also the cone that contains the rollers. The smaller cup & cone are called the outer bearings, because they fit the outside face of the wheel with the grease cap. The grease seal and inner bearings go on the inside toward the centre of the trailer or caravan.

The hubs can be either non-braked or braked and can be used with either the Ford, Holden, or other bearing kits.

Quality can vary between brands. At Caravans Plus you can be assured we only sell quality bearings. The relativly small price difference can in no way compensate for the problems of a failed bearing.

We also sell some individual components as it is recommended to replace a seal after re-greasing.

Holden Bearings

Holden bearings are rated for 750kg for each pair of wheels (axle). The 39mm round section and 40mm square section solid steel axles are manufactured to suit the Holden bearings that sit on the 31.75mm shoulder (inner bearing) and the 19.05mm shoulder (outer bearing) of the axle spindle. If you cannot read the bearing number, you can check the internal diameter of your existing bearing.

The same size spindle may be used on offset axles and independent suspension systems.

Holden bearing sizes
Above: This diagram shows a spindle, a brake hub, and the components for a Holden bearing kit.

ALKO Standard (Holden) Bearing Kit Complete

ALKO Standard (Holden) Bearing Kit Complete

1 In Stock Now.
$41.95
$34.95
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Ford Bearings

Ford bearings are rated for 1450kg for each pair of wheels (axle). The 45mm or 50mm solid steel axles are manufactured to suit the Ford bearings. These bearings sit on the 35mm shoulder (inner bearing) and the 22mm shoulder (outer bearing) of the axle spindle. If you cannot read the bearing number, you can check the internal diameter of your existing bearing using a vernier caliper.

The same size spindle may be used on offset axles and independent suspension systems.

Ford bearing sizes
Above: This diagram shows a spindle, a brake hub, and the components for a Ford bearing kit.

ALKO Slimline (Ford) Bearing Kit Complete, 484005

ALKO Slimline (Ford) Bearing Kit Complete, 484005

12 In Stock Now.
$39.95
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Parallel Bearings

Parallel bearings are generally considered superior for off-road usage with a rating of 1600kg per pair. The same sized bearing (L68149/L68110 - Ford inner) is used on both sides of the hub.

Parallel bearing sizes
Above: This diagram shows a spindle and the components for a Parallel bearing kit.

ALKO Parallel Bearing Kit. 484501

ALKO Parallel Bearing Kit. 484501

6 In Stock Now.
$57.95
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2 Tonne Bearings Kits

These are fitted to larger axles than above, with the inner bearing matching an axle spindle diameter of 50mm, and the outer bearing going over a 31.75mm shoulder.

The component part numbers are:

  • Grease Seal: 64607, Housing 89.96
  • Inner Bearing: HR30210, Housing 89.96mm, Spindle 50mm
  • Outer Bearing: 15123 and 15245, Housing 61.95mm, Spindle 31.75mm
  • Grease Cap: DC2, Housing 63mm

    Other Bearings, Studs and Nuts

    For spare wheel studs and nuts and separate seals and bearings check out the full list

    Checking and Re-packing Bearings

    There are plenty of videos on YouTube that show how to inspect and repack your trailer or caravan wheel bearings, we suggest you do this each year, and replace if worn or damaged. If travelling in remote areas you should always carry at least one spare set of bearings and some grease.

    One typical cause of bearing failure is towing while the trailer hand brake is engaged. This causes the grease in the bearings to melt and the bearings must be checked.

    A quick check with your hand for heat at the hubs should be carried out after you have travelled for 30mins or so on your first days travel. It takes just a moment and can save a wheel coming off and all the trouble that can cause.

    Checking and Re-packing Bearings

    How to Check and Re-packing Bearings

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  • 2 Comments

    • comment-avatar

      Great video, the only thing I would of done differently is put a new split pin through the nut. These in my opinion are a one use only item, as they can become weakened considerably after being re straightened.

    • comment-avatar

      Ian

      Good info and skill to have and informative, agree with previous comment about using a new split pin. Also would suggest using brake cleaner to thoroughly clean the inside of the drum before re assembly to ensure any stray grease is removed.

    Add a Comment. Share your knowledge.

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