How To Guides
Trailer Wheel Hubs
Trailer wheel hubs play an integral part in keeping trailers moving, the wheel hub assembly connects the trailer to the trailer axle and facilitates their spin. If they corrode or are improperly installed it will throw the trailer tires out of alignment and could cause serious damage to your vehicle and trailer.
The purpose of the wheel hub is to serve as the glue between the tire and the axle, the tires are attached with studs to the hub assembly. The hub assembly then fits on to the axle, which connects the tire component to the rest of the car. The wheel hub is the bridge between the tire and the entire vehicle, if one of its parts breaks it creates a ripple effect that could cause many issues, such as impaired steering or a broken axle.
How to Tell a Good Hub vs. a Bad Hub
There are some signs to look for when trying to diagnose a “bad” wheel hub:
- An obvious grinding or rubbing noise can indicate one of two things when it comes to the wheel hub assembly. It could signify that the wheel bearing is worn out and needs replacing, if the noise if noticeable when the vehicle is in drive the whole assembly may need to be replaced.
- Though a rubbing or grinding sound is the most obvious indicator, a humming sound coming form the wheels can also indicate that there is an issue.
Determining the Size of the Wheel Hub You Need
Wheel hubs are not one-size-fits-all parts, they have various dimensions based on the size of the trailer wheels and the bearing load.
- You will need to count the number of lug bolts on one wheel, most trailer hubs typically have 4 or 5 lugs per wheel/hub. (Heavier duty trailers generally have 6 or 8 lugs)
- If the trailer hubs have an even number of bolts holding the wheel measure from the center of one bolt to the center of the bolt directly opposite using a ruler, tape measure or caliper. The hub bolt pattern will be determined by the number of lug bolts and the distance between the opposing hub bolt, all but 5-lug bolt patterns are measured in this manner.
- For 5-lug hubs measuring is different, choose any lug bolt and measure the distance between the back of one lug to the center of another that is directly across from it. (Be sure to skip one bolt when measuring, and you can measure in either direction)
*4, 6 and 8 lug trailer wheel hubs are all measured in the same way.
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