MyronGains7 New Reader
4/15/24 11:10 p.m.

Hi All,

I purchased a 2-car trailer last year, and with my first track day of the season coming up soon. I'd like to knock out the annual maintenance. The problem I'm running into is that trailers aren't like cars. Trailering in general is a lot of research and fact-finding and experimentation and YouTube rabbit holes, which makes it doable. But with maintenance? It seems like there's nothing. 

With a car I have an owner's manual that tells me everything I need to do, and when to do it. With a trailer, that doesn't exist. Even things like lug nut torque, I search around and the results I find don't inspire confidence. I ask the people who made the trailer and they don't reply when I ask for specs or a maintenance schedule. 

My trailer is here, it's got some of the specs listed:

I'm very pleased with my purchase, but again. I ask people and they say stuff like "Oh grease the axles and torque the lugs." 

What sort of grease? To what lb-ft do I torque a lug nut to when I know nothing about it? 

thashane Reader
4/16/24 2:31 a.m.

I'm no expert but,  your axles are likely made by dexter. There should've been a very generic sticker with with lug torque values on your trailer, or with your documents, but if not you can usually google it for the stud size. I'm assuming they're not oil-bath.

One thing on grease, avoid greases with molybdenum, internet lore says that it's so slick, it can cause the bearings to flat spot. So stick with whatever your preferred nlgi-2 grease. I run the lucas red'n'tacky because it was affordable and I could find it everywhere when it was carried by walmort and home despot.

The thing with maintenance is trailer use and mileage are so varied person to person. I installed tongue jacks into the sides of my car/ equipment trailer as rear stabilizer jacks. This also allows me to easily suspend both axles and freely rotate each wheel, where I listen for noises and can check for bearing play. I also store the trailer with the wheels covered and suspended, so I generally check before each trip I take.

How many miles did you tow last year? Sounds like you should pull your drums and check/relube your bearings, just for your own piece of mind. I doubt you'll need to replace the bearings & races, but you'll want to get new seals. There should be numbers stamped on your current one. I find e-trailer to be especially helpful in cross referencing seal numbers. They're also very affordable. You can also likely get the seals at your local auto parts store, but last time Iooked they wanted $20ea since it  cross-listed as a rear main seal, etrailer had them for $3ea, local trailer supplier $6ea.

I bet your grease still looks brand new. But you'll need to set your own maintenance schedule based on your own use case. Dexter says 12k or 12 mos. Don't over torque the axle nut, and have fun trying to remember if the brake cam is supposed to go up or down- when adjusting.

MyronGains7 New Reader
4/16/24 4:57 p.m.

I only got about 1000 miles in last year over two trips. It's been sitting since May (?) of last year, so I'm attempting to solve for things that will need to get done on a time basis vs a mileage basis for sure. Very informative, thank you!

Purple Frog
Purple Frog Dork
4/16/24 9:32 p.m.

I have found the most important thing on trailers is tire condition.  If you run within the load rating of the axles they are pretty damn durable.   Proper tire pressures and not glancing off of curbs, etc and things should last like Dexter says.    I am a bit anal, I toss trailer tires every 3 years no matter the wear.   Never had an issue on my 2003 enclosed trailer or my 2005 work trailer that is towed daily.

dps214 SuperDork
4/17/24 9:17 a.m.
buzzboy UltraDork
4/17/24 9:22 a.m.

Check your spare! We popped a tire on an 11 hour trip then had our spare shred at 75mph.

Rodan UltraDork
4/22/24 9:11 a.m.

Tires and bearings are the the things I pay the most attention to.  Then brake adjustments.  I'm with thashane: red n' tacky works fine, is cheap and available everywhere.  A power greaser is the best thing since sliced bread for doing trailer wheel bearings!

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