SpindleLube Axle

Sun, 12 Dec 1999 21:21:14 -0800

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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See Champion Trailer Parts Supply at <http://www.championtrailers.com/>.

I decided to replace all the working parts on my 32-year-old Little Dude
tilt-up trailer, so I ordered a new axle, hubs, u-bolts, and springs from
Champion and new 12-inch wheels and tires from West Marine. Everything
possible was hot-dip galvanized and upgraded in size and/or load rating. I
thought I would have to readjust the fenders and possibly the boat rollers
to accommodate the 12-inch wheels, but the stiffer springs increased the
clearance just enough to allow the larger wheels and tires without changing
anything else.

I changed from 8.70x8 tires to 520x12, which reduces the rotating speed and
should contribute to longer bearing and tire life. The larger diameter
tires have a higher load rating also. The boat launches as easily as ever.

If you do get a new axle, measure very carefully according to Champion's
instructions, especially the distance between the spring pins. My axle fit
the springs perfectly, but I could have added an extra inch to the
flange-to-flange measurement. It all assembled nicely except the outer
u-bolt is right at the end of the square part of the axle. I would have
preferred another 1/2 inch clearance beyond the outer u-bolt on each side.
It's apparently quite secure though. You will have to order matching hubs
and u-bolts if you get the axle, but you can use your old springs and
wheels. I ordered 4-lug hubs so I can use one of my old smaller 4-lug
wheels as a spare.

The Spindle-Lube axle works well, but I haven't had it long enough to know
how the bearings will hold up. When you pump grease into the fitting in the
end of the spindle, the grease is pushed all the way through the bearing
and old grease emerges around the grease fitting. They claim you never have
to take the hub apart. In fact, I followed their recommendation and
assembled the hubs and bearings without grease, then added the grease after

If you don't want to replace the axle, I believe they have Spindle-Lube
hubs you can use with your existing axle. If I remember right, the old
grease comes out the back of the hub instead of the end of the spindle,
which is a little more awkward, but might be satisfactory. All necessary
information is on the Champion web site and/or in their paper catalog,
which is well worth receiving.

I was pleased with the service from Champion. The woman who took my order
understood exactly what I wanted and kept me from ordering the wrong size
springs. Although the axle had to be made to order, it was shipped the
following day. It took a while to get here from Louisiana, of course.

There may be equivalent parts you can get locally, so you could check with
a local trailer shop. But Champion's catalog was so complete, I found it
simpler to just decide what I wanted and order from them. The assembly was
easy; I didn't even remove the boat from the trailer.

I previously had Bearing Buddys, but my bearings seemed to wear out
regularly anyway, and the seals tended to leak.

Harry Gordon
P14 #234, Manatee
Mountain View, CA

>Hi Harry!,
>was reading your reply to geoff. i have some questions.
>what kind of spindle-lube deal is on your trailer? i have bearing buddies
>and seems like the seals are blown. your set up sounds better i'd like to
>switch. what exactly do you have and where did you get it?
>thanks harry!
>Ken Silverman, p-15 "vegan Lorax", sailing on lake washington, Wa