Almost Lost a Wheel

Current Location: Seligman / Route 66 KOA, Seligman, Arizona

Thought we’d give a shout out to our savior(s) today – Seligman Truck and Auto in Seligman, Arizona. Our mobile technician, John, was a great guy to work with and plans to do the work on our axle tomorrow, as well. Read on…

We left Las Vegas this morning and headed down US 93 to Kingman, Arizona. We stopped just a few miles east of Kingman and had lunch, then on eastward on I-40. About 45 miles east of Kingman, someone in a car pulled alongside us and waved at us to lower our window. They informed us there was something wrong with the trailer tire. The tire pressure monitor was normal, but we pulled off anyway.

Turns out we were about to lose our wheel altogether. Smoke was pouring out of the wheel well on the trailer and there was hot, liquid grease running down the wheel and tire. The tire was also sticking out further than the other one.

Grease running out the wheel opening

Grease running out the wheel opening

Wheel not in line with other one

Wheel not in line with other one

Back side. You can see the brakes clearly inside the wheel.

Back side. You can see the brakes clearly inside the wheel.

Where we pulled off

Where we pulled off

Malcolm had to walk down the road a ways to get a decent phone signal. He called Good Sam Roadside Service and they called back to indicate they were dispatching someone from Seligman Truck and Auto in Seligman, Arizona. They indicated it would be about an hour and a half. While waiting for the service technician to show up, Malcolm removed the lug nuts from the wheel and raised the trailer with the leveling system.

After pulling the tire off, Malcolm pulled the brake drum/hub assembly right off the spindle. It appears that the cap on the hub had come off long ago (and was lodged inside the decorative cap pressed into the back of the wheel). This apparently let a lot of the grease out of the outer bearing, which had disintegrated so badly it wasn’t recognizable.

Ouch

Ouch

More ouch

More ouch

The service tech showed up, cleaned everything up and found that the axle stub appeared to be in good, serviceable shape. He got some part numbers from Malcolm for bearings and headed up the road to Kingman to get parts. The round trip was about an hour and a half. When he returned, it was after 5:00. He found an entire braking assembly and new wheel hub and bearings at a trailer parts house.

Got it apart

Got it apart

New parts

New parts

Cleaned up spindle

Cleaned up spindle

Everything went back together fine except for the spindle nut. The threads on the end of the axle spindle were chewed up pretty good from removing the old axle nut (which had a ground off edge from the wheel flopping around). The technician got the spindle nut to grab a couple of good threads which was good enough to hold the wheel on for a short distance. He followed us to the campground here in Seligman, Arizona to make sure we got here fine (we did).

Once we got the campground, he indicated that he had called his boss who said they could get a new axle spindle in and welded on in a day if we wanted to do that tomorrow. We decided that would be the safest bet at this point, so we’re heading over to the shop to drop off the trailer at 9:00 in the morning. They indicated that they should have it back together by the end of the day tomorrow.

On another note, here are today’s license plate finds – 24 of 51 states.

License plates

License plates

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