H260 Trailer Maintenance Checklist

From the Magic Tilt Trailer Website


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Note: They make a great triler, but I found Magic Tilt won't talk to retail customers. I wanted info on where to get a spare hub, but Magic Tilt referred me to a couple of dealers in my area. When I called the numbers provided, one was a bank the other said they no longer carried the Magic Tilt brand because the company was too difficult to deal with.


I discovered that the axles, bearings and brakes for my trailer are made by Unique Functional Products (UFP)  http://www.ufpnet.com/ makers of the Trailer Buddy Axle. They were very helpful and send me free hub covers to keep the grease from splattering the wheel. They also referred me to Weymeir Marine, a company in Indiana that carried their products. They too were very helpful and helped me get a spare hub for my trailer.




1. Prior to using your trailer, apply a light coating of bearing grease to hitch ball. 
2. Engage the hitch ball and the coupler. 
3. Tow your trailer to ensure grease adheres to all surfaces 


Grease jack

Some tongue jacks have a small ZERK fitting. ZERK fittings allow you to easily use a grease gun to lubricate the part. If your tongue jack has a ZERK fitting: 

1. Ensure your grease gun has wheel bearing grease (or equivalent). 
2. Secure grease gun to ZERK fitting. 
3. Pump grease until grease comes out of the jack - usually excess will come out of the bottom of the jack. 
4. Crank jack between completely up and completely down several times to allow grease to adhere to all surfaces. 

If your jack does not have a ZERK fitting:

1. Remove the black plastic cap on top of the jack. The cap is usually secured by a small set screw on the side of the jack. 
2. Push grease into opening on top of tongue jack. Reapply cap and secure with set screw. 
3. Crank jack between completely up and completely down several times to allow grease to adhere to all surfaces. 
With swivel jacks. 

In addition to the procedure for applying grease to the jack, you should lubricate the swivel surfaces. 

1. Apply a light coating of penetrating oil (such as WD-40) on and around the swivel surface.


Oil gears

1. Verify the winch assembly is free of dirt and debris.
2. Apply a light coating of household oil (e.g. 3-in-1 oil) on the gears only. 
3. Operate the winch to ensure proper adhesion of oil onto all gear surfaces. 
Inspect strap, cable, rope 

You should inspect your winch strap, cable or rope every time you launch and recover your boat. Stowing your winch strap, cable or rope evenly and neatly will also extend its useful life. 

1. Verify the bow eye hook is secure to the strap, rope or cable. If necessary, re-tie bow eye hook to the rope. 
2. Completely extend the rope, cable or nylon strap. 
3. Check the entire length of winch strap, cable or rope for cuts, burrs, rust, tears or any other damage that would degrade the performance of the securing strap. Replace as necessary. 
4. Ensure the end of the strap is secure to the winch assembly. 
5. Rewind the winch.


Check lug nuts 

1. Before each use, check torque on all lug nuts. With trailer wheels blocked to eliminate the chance for accidental movement, tighten each lug nut to 85 foot-pounds. 
2. If replacement nut/nuts are required, ensure you replace with the correct size and type. 

Grease bearings 
There are three widely available types of bearing covers. Some trailers have a cap (painted or galvanized) on the end of the hub that protects the bearings. To add grease to this hub assembly, you must disassemble the hub. With this system, a semi-annual inspection and repacking the bearings is recommended.

The second type of bearing system is a Posi-Lube spindle. On the end of the spindle is a small ZERK fitting which allows grease to enter the spindle and get routed to the bearing surfaces. To lubricate this bearing, perform the following steps: 

1. Remove the dust cap from the hub exposing the ZERK fitting. 
2. Using bearing grease, secure the grease gun to the posi-lube ZERK fitting. 
3. Gently add grease. 
4. When grease comes out around the outer edge of the bearing, stop pumping grease. 
5. Reapply the dust cove 

The third type uses a device that use a piston to keep positive pressure of grease on the bearing assembly. Because the piston is spring loaded, the piston exerts a slight (3 psi) pressure against the grease, which maintains a slight pressure between the inside of the hub and the outside environment. When the hub is submerged, water cannot enter the hub because of this pressure.The two most common bearing grease device's on the market are the "Trailer Buddy" and the "Bearing Buddy" unique functional products traaa


To correctly lubricate a bearing equipped with Trailer Buddy or Bearing Buddy, complete the following steps: 

1. Remove the protective bearing cover from the hub exposing the Trailer Buddy or Bearing Buddy. 
2. Attach a grease gun (with bearing grease) to the ZERK fitting at the center of the hub. 
3. Gently add grease. 
4. When the center plate of the grease Buddy starts traveling forward, stop adding grease. With experience, you will be able to feel the additional pressure against the grease gun when the Buddies are close to being filled.  
 Repacking bearings 

At least once a year when equipped with Trailer Buddy or Buddy Bearings or Posi-Lube spindles (and semi-annually when these lubrication systems are not installed) your trailer should have the bearings repacked by your dealer. Your dealer will perform the following: 

1. Remove the tire. 
2. Remove the dust cover or cap from the hub. 
3. If present, remove the "Trailer Buddy"  
4. Remove the cotter pin from the spindle. 
5. If equipped with a tang washer (some torsion axles and posi-lube spindles), bend the ears of the washer and remove. 

CAUTION. Never re-use a tang washer. Never use anything but an actual tang washer. Reusing the tang washer or using a part other than a tang washer can cause the wheel to become separated from your trailer. This could cause serious property and personal damage.  

Note: This advice from Magic Tilt conflicts with the Buddy Bearing website that says Buddy Bearings need service every 5 years -- some have gone as long as 15 years. Check this link for more info on the Buddy Bearing http://www.bearingbuddy.com/ 

6. Back off the axle nut (the large nut on the threaded spindle). 
7. Remove the hub assembly from the axle. 
8. Disassemble the seals and bearings in the hub assembly. 
9. Carefully clean the bearings and hub with mineral spirits (or other parts cleaning liquid). 
10. Clean the spindle where the hub is seated on the axle. 
11. Perform a careful visual inspection of the spindle face, bearings, hub compartment. If you notice any cracks, scoring or voids, replace the damage part. If metal shavings are evident in the grease, replace all bearings and seals. Magic Tilt strongly recommends replacement of bearings at this same time. 
12. Replace (do not reuse) grease seal. 
13. Reassemble hub assembly with repacked bearings. Grease should be applied liberally to all surfaces. 
14. Place hub on spindle and secure with axle nut. While making sure that the bearings properly seat, never over-tighten axle nut. 
15. Insert new cotter pin or new tang washer. Do not reuse either cotter keys or tang washers. Bend securing device to lock axle nut. 

WARNING. By failing to use or improperly using an axle nut securing device (cotter pin or tang washer) you jeopardize your property, your safety and the safety of others. Always ensure that cotter pins or tang washers have been properly applied.  

16. Re-apply Bearing Buddy and protective bearing cover. 
17. Secure tire to wheel (with 85 ft-lbs of torque per lug nut). Tire should spin but not wobble when bearings have been properly packed. This procedure may have to be slightly modified if the trailer is equipped with brakes. 

WARNING. Keep tires properly inflated. Failure to maintain correct pressure will result in tire wear, potential tire failure and possible loss of control of your trailer. Improperly maintaining tire pressure will void your warranty but more importantly creates a very dangerous road condition.  


Checking brake fluid 

1. Remove the brake fluid reservoir cap on top of the actuator. 
2. Refill as necessary using DOT 3 heavy-duty brake fluid to 3/8 inch below the top of the reservoir. 
3. Reapply cap.

Check line connections 

1. With your boat removed from your trailer, trace your brake line from the actuator to all brake clusters. 
2. Verify that the brake line does not have cracks, abrasions or holes. Replace components as necessary. 
3. Verify all brake line connectors are secure and not leaking. Replace as necessary. 
4. If you have had to replace line and / or connections, you must have your dealer refill the brake fluid and properly bleed your brakes.   

Verify actuator travel 

Your actuator operates like a piston. When fully extended it does not apply pressure to the brake fluid. When your vehicle slows, the actuator is pressed in (toward the rear of the trailer) and applies pressure to the brake fluid. The fluid in turn causes the brakes to engage. Any item or debris that hinders the travel of the actuator diminishes the effectiveness of your brakes. 

1. Annually have your dealer verify the distance over which your actuator travels between fully extended and fully engaged. 
2. Your dealer will compare this travel distance to information in your brake owner’s manual or published brake system operating characteristics. 

3. Your dealer may also apply a lightweight oil to inhibit rust from accumulating on the actuator. 
Adjust brakes (Drum Brakes) 
Brake adjustments should only be done by a qualified mechanic. Magic Tilt strongly encourages you to return to the dealer where you purchased your boat, trailer and engine. Only this dealer understands the unique nature of your boating equipment as well as the local road conditions. Correct the adjustment of your drum brakes after the first 50 miles of operation, again after another 300 miles and then every 600 miles. Regardless of the amount of miles you put on your trailer, Magic Tilt recommends a drum brake adjustment at least annually. Adjust each wheel brake assembly separately. To perform this maintenance, the mechanic will have to safely jack up your trailer. When scheduling your service appointment, you may wish to ask the mechanic whether they can remove your boat from the trailer or if you will have to make arrangements to have the boat taken off the trailer.   

To complete this adjustment, the mechanic will do the following:

1. Locate the brake adjustor - behind slot at bottom of the back side of each backing plate. 
2. Tighten adjustor with brake adjustment tool until you cannot rotate the wheel by hand. 
3. Caution, only rotate the drum forward. 
4. Back off the adjustment ten notches (or ten clicks).  


Check tail lights / brake lights / verifying ground 

1. Before attaching the wire harness from the trailer to the wire harness from the tow vehicle, trace the wiring system from the tow vehicle to the trailer and back. Look for bare wires, cracked or chafed insulation and corroded or rusted terminals. 
2. While tracing the system, verify the white ground wire is connected to the trailer frame. Your tail lights may have an independent grounding system (evident from a short white wire from the tail light assembly). Verify that this wire is also securely attached to the trailer frame. 
3. Replace any wires, wire harnesses or securing screws that are damaged, worn or missing. 
4. Attach the wiring harness from the tow vehicle to the trailer. If equipped with disc brakes, also attach the single wire for the reverse lock-out solenoid. 
5. Have another person depress the brake pedal and the turn signals while you remain behind the trailer and verify that the correct lights illuminate on both the trailer and the tow vehicle. 
6. On trailers equipped with disc brakes - to verify the reverse solenoid works correctly, gently back the trailer. 
7. Replace cracked, damaged or poorly illuminating bulbs. Replace crack, work or defective light shields and light covers. Some tail lights have a removable insert that can be removed through the bottom of the tail light. With these tail lights, you do not have to remove the lens cover to gain access to the tail light bulbs or their sockets. 
8. A small amount of electrical socket grease on plug contacts and light bulb bases will help prevent rust and corrosion. 
Winterization Procedures  


1. Park in a protected area such as garage, carport, etc. If you cannot park in a protected area, cover your trailer with a boat cover or tarp. 
2. Repack wheel bearings to remove any lingering water or debris. 

NOTE. If water stands on bearing surfaces for as short a time as several weeks without the wheel being turned, rust and bearing damage will begin. Before storing the trailer for prolonged periods, bearings should be re-packed. 

3. Lubricate moving parts such as rollers, winches and other rolling parts with lightweight household oil. 
4. Tighten loose nuts and bolts. 
5. Block the wheels, or better, jack up the trailer so the tires do not come in contact with the ground. If your boat and trailer are not protected in a car port, garage or with a boat cover, you should still cover the tires to protect against ultra-violet rays. 
6. Block the tongue and crank the tongue jack to the completely closed position.