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PeeBee

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Reply with quote  #1 
Sorry, watched The Wizard of Oz last night.

Our trailer has been put in for a health check and service (we bought it early this year second hand) just to be sure things are OK before the next trip. Unfortunately things may not be OK. I've been told that the wheels wobble around so badly when it's jacked up that the bearings must be so bad as to be non-existent. This may have damaged hubs and axle. Reports on repairs vary from $300 to $2000 dollars. Apparently you cant tell till you pull it apart .. then you may not be able to put it back together. I feel a little like ransom money is needed ...

So ... I'm not experienced in mechanical stuff (although once explained I'm OK) so I was wondering if anyone on the forum had a thought about whether a 2 year old trailer would have such reported terrible issues (it's only been off road once or twice), whether bearings failing would damage other bits, whether I should take it away for a second opinion, whether Conqueror has had bearing issues that we know of? Any ideas?

I have to say up front that while I'm more than happy to do electrical work and minor repairs I have no experience or tools to do proper mechanical work. So someone has to do it regardless if it needs doing.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts/ideas/help.
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8111colin

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Peter and Sam

Yes I had the same problem with my Companion , bearings stub axles and override mechanical brakes all in the bin , not worth a crumpet , the bearings were shot at about 10,000 kms , the axles not long after , the brakes are a joke and never worked properly .

We did 20,000 kms using that junk and all I did every week was either repack bearings or adjust them , drove me mad . also wheel studs snapped off as well so I replaced both sides with Commodore studs at the time .

When we returned I had 3 new stub axles made up inc  the spare on the back and 5 TONN electric brakes and 5 stud pattern drums to match my Toyota total cost was $1100 .00 and I fitted it all myself in a day .

So I think $1500.0 would be a fair price .

I am tipping you have a South African model and not the UEV ?

cOLIN
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comjero

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Posts: 271
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Peter,
 Taking inspiration from Colin we too have just upgraded our 2014 Commander S to 12 inch electric brakes, draw bar and hitch so basically removed all the override braking system. I purchased everything from `Huntsman Trailer parts` in Victoria, really nice people to deal with and the kit was $520 plus freight (not the draw bar I welded up that) and I did have to get the other end of the stub axles machined and a mounting plate welded on to suit the swing arm I would have done this myself but it freed me up to do some other work , the machining was $150 per side, pretty basic for a machine shop when given the sample to work from.  I`m not up with what brake and suspension set up the 345 has under it but if it runs the same over ride brake system as the Commander you can have everything that came off mine (it was all working fine when removed a week ago) if your wanting to stay with that system that would include hitch , hand brake and cables ,drums, baking plates and 2 x axles and bearing sets for $200 if that helps you out??.
Pending on the wobble???? it could be just a bearing failure, which if it hasn`t damaged the bearing journals (the shaft area the bearing inner race is pushed onto) or the housing its a standard replacement.
Anyway hope all goes well, noticed your in Sydney too so if the parts can help you out its an easy pick up.
Whilst doing all this we decided to fit a trailer breakaway switch purchase for about $ 70 and wired into a small sealed junction box attached to the A-frame

 Jeff P_20160516_104413.jpg  P_20160516_104342.jpg  P_20160512_144226.jpg 
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comjero

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Peter,
Just found an online video of a uev345 and it looks like you`ve got a beam axle 50mm square perhaps and electric brakes not sure what size?? and not the independent trailing arm type of the larger trailers so my bits are probably not going to fit, I Looked up Huntsman and they do a 2 tonne 50mm square beam axle with 12 Inch electric bakes complete for $800 This is probably bigger than what you`ve got but at worst you could fit something like that, you just need to get the correct axle width. Huntsman would be able to advise you how and what to measure if needed .
Jack it up put stands under, release the 2 sets of `U` bolt clamps  on the axle and away it comes.Refit new one, reconnect wires for the electric brakes (no polarity ,so pick any wire) away you go, in short reasonably simple. 
 Hope that`s of some help
Jeff
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PeeBee

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Posts: 54
Reply with quote  #5 
All info is greatly appreciated.

@Colin .. The previous owner bought it off Conqueror here. I have a copy of the receipt. It does have electric breaks not mechanical which is typical of the Aussie versions I think. Like midge proof screens not shade cloth. Although these were sewn in after the fact so who knows.

@Jeff .. Thanks for the research. Worst case scenario at least I have a place to start. Mind you, you guys make it sound easy but I assure you I would find it quite hard and would have to buy all the tools to do it as well. Although I like an excuse to buy tools.

I suppose I just bite the bullet and let them pull it apart. Maybe it will be easy but there's enough on this forum to suggest its like leaks. At some stage its a problem we all have to deal with.

I'll let you know later this week what happens. Or ... ask for a second second opinion. 
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4fun

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Reply with quote  #6 
I don't think that it's normal that an axle & bearing combo has a life span of 10K. That's just ridiculous. But then, the trailer may have been (unconsciously) overloaded, it may have done a lot of water crossings, it may have been going through mud, etc. All things that bearings don't like.

If I recall correctly our manual says that you should check bearings every year, but if any of the above has happened I'd say the smart thing is to check the bearings immediately after (or even during) the trip. I've done about 12K in total and recently checked one side and it's fine. Still need to do the other side. It's not that difficult and there are plenty of generic youtube video's that show how to replace trailer wheel bearings. However, I believe it's a really smart thing to have a spare set or two with you when on a big trip.

If you buy a trailer second hand, don't even think twice but replace the bearings asap.

Hint: do NOT count on Conqueror to be able to tell you which bearings you need. I tried that avenue and got the reply that it could be 4 different bearing models. They just don't know.

Let's think about that for a moment. A 50K camper, with a unique VIN number, purchased directly from the manufacturer and about 10 'consumable' parts on it that may fail in the outback: Springs, shock absorbers, bearings, brake pads being the most important components. And they can't tell me what bearing I need for my camper. Now imagine your only way of communicating with HQ is via an expensive satphone and at best they can send you four different bearings and in the outback you'll have to try which one fits.

I'm in contact now with Vehicle Components, and they are much more helpful/knowledgeable.
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8111colin

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Posts: 123
Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Forfun
A picture of my Brakes from 6 month old Companion .  
 Brakes all fell out onto the road when I removed the drum , I removed the other side as well and drove the rest of the trip without brakes .
The bigger and stronger the better , my brakes and new stub axles are over kill now .

Colin
IMG_0799.PNG 

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4fun

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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #8 
Colin, I'm lost for words. That just shouldn't happen. I guess the only positive note is that it's possible to drive without brakes. With a broken axle or bearings you'd be stuffed.

But yes, I agree with you: everything I do on my rigs (both UEV and Defender) is over engineered. Better safe than sorry.

Ed.
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comjero

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thats right about carefully driving without brakes  because if you do fit the `emergency spare hub` it is just that, something you would very carefully limp home on as you would have no brakes as there is no facility to fit them to it and on the 440/490 sized units they don`t full engage the swing arm. This means that the original stub axle goes right through the swing arm and has a M20 nut securing it plus the 4 socket headed cap screws in the square mounting plate plus a 60mm spigot, the emergency hub only attaches via the square plate and a 60mm spigot and the cap screws, it doesn`t have the extra support of the extra 180mm of shaft through the swing arm housing,. so be careful if you need to use it ,and if available and damage allowed, I would be do a bearing change rather than using it.
Cheers
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8111colin

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Posts: 123
Reply with quote  #10 
Our RH wheel departed from our trailer at 100 kph just out of Kalbarri .

 After stopping to inspect , all studs had snapped off flush with the hub , so rather than use the spare hub and risk that breaking I punched out all of the studs from the spare hub and fitted them to the drum , found the wheel in the bush against a tree with the remaining studs with all nuts attached  .

Arrived at Shark bay and replaced both sides with Commodore Studs and nuts .

One of the  studs on the other side also was cracked with rust forming in the crack .

One other thing I should mention is that when we arrived home 5 months later I was looking under the trailer and found that two of the four bolts that hold the stub axle to the swing arm were sheered off as well and one sheered of on the other side , Bearings were completely worn out and so were the stub axles where the bearings sit , huge grooves both sides . that's 20,000 kms of travelling.

 Colin



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PeeBee

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Posts: 54
Reply with quote  #11 
@colin

Should you realistically be able to get 20k out of these parts without a service given the hard work they do? Just asking as I don't really know or have experience yet with this.
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8111colin

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Posts: 123
Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Peebee.
I think regular checks should be made of any play or slack in the bearings by jacking up one wheel at a time and hold the top and bottom of the wheel and give it a shake to feel any movement in the hub .
I think you should clean and re grease at max every 10,000 kms , having said that I would suggest that on a good quality hub and bearing set .
As for S.A Conqueror hubs and bearings I personally don't trust them .

Colin
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PeeBee

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Posts: 54
Reply with quote  #13 
Well I now have the info I need from the repairers. I am EXCEEDINGLY happy to report that while the bearings are definitely completely shot (see below) they have not done any significant damage to wheel hubs and the axle is just fine.

Essentially the bearings that were installed were the incorrect ones. Something about the size of the outer ring being too small causing all the looseness. Add to that the cheap no-name brand and they inevitably failed. I apparently have a small bag of broken/worn out bits of metal to view if I want.

So in go the new super-dooper, correctly sized and fitted, high-end bearings made in a quality factory somewhere. Japan I think they said. I have been advised to service the brakes and drums in about 5K kms as these have been impacted just not significantly. Seems logical.

So I can breath again and stop panicking.

Thanks so much everyone for the advice, generous offers and support. Without this community I think these would be kind of hard trailers to maintain and keep on the road. The concepts and designs are so good but someone really has dropped the ball when it comes to attention to detail on what's allowed out of the factory. Wrong sized bearing? I know they are the originals. So seriously?

Anyway. Back to planning the ANZAC day weekend trip. Now I know the trailer wont shed bits of itself on the road unexpectedly.

Anyone around Barrington Tops that weekend?
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4fun

Senior Member
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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #14 
I'm thinking we, the community of UEV owners, should take the responsibility to write an on-line User Manual for these babies of ours. It's a shame that Conqueror is not taking ownership of their responsibilities, but together I believe we can write something that is more comprehensive than Conqueror is ever able or willing to do.

Examples of content are:
  • a comprehensive checklist that can be used by new owners when picking up their new toys (to prevent warranty claims two weeks later),
  • instructions for setting up all the variants of awnings that we have,
  • instructions for maintaining these beasts,
  • details about serviceable parts such as springs, shocks, bearings and brakes,
  • addresses of good shops around the country that can help fix issues,
  • and of course my favourite topic of all: hints to keep the weight down. 

What do you guys think?
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PeeBee

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Posts: 54
Reply with quote  #15 
Good idea. I know I found it nearly impossible to get any good info on setting up the 345. Nothing showed the awning. Id be happy to video, youtube and link to setting up and folding up of ours. If you had a template covering the bits and pieces I'd also be happy to complete that and add to it as we go.

Only problem is every model seems to be different. We'd all have to do it for it to cover the options. and everyone has modded everything :-)

Could it be done as a sticky thread (assuming the moderators can create these) at the top of each models topic in the categories?

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