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Old 12-26-2010, 10:45 PM   #21
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Finally got all the grease zerks changed. Couldn't find the correct fitting grease zerks. Finally found one part store in town that had them. Went thru 2 tubes of grease flushing out the old grease. Had a Walmart grease gun that kept stopping injecting the grease. I was always disconnecting/reconnecting, pumping, stopping, disconnect/reconnect. Went to 1 of my favorite stores, Sears, and got a Craftsman grease gun. Not a single stop. Smooth easy pumping. Certainly feel more confident my bearings are well greased. Will flush them again upon return from Medford trip.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:43 AM   #22
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Yes, I initially got one of those little grease guns at the home store with the tiny tubes of grease. What a mess.

AutoZone had a big gun (expensive but worth it) that took standard size tubes and made the job so much easier.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:52 AM   #23
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I think it's important to know--
IF you have a bad seal and pump grease into the zerk it
can wind up on your brakes.
There's no easy/good way to know if you have
bad seals or not.
I believe you will be less likely to "grease your brakes" if you
raise the axle and slowly turn the wheel while you grease it.
There is no guarantee here but I believe it's good practice
to what Lou suggests.

We towed our new trailer 2 years without checking
our bearings. Once I did disassemble them I found at
least some grease in each hub but the were not "full".
I think I was lucky. I also agree that most dealers will
NOT spend the time and labor to visually inspect your
brakes or bearings on a new trailer. I agree that the
axle manufacturer should completely fill the hubs with
grease before shipping them to the trailer assembler.
It doesn't happen.
You should either fully fill your new hubs with grease
or get your dealer to do this. I consider this cheap
insurance against wheel bearing failure.
Sitting on the side of the road with your wheel off
in the weeds sucks, whether you are in warranty or not.

Once I decided to check them I just went
online and bought wheel/bearing kits.
They were cheap enough and each one came with
bearings, double lip seals and new cotter pins and washers.
My axles did not have grease zerks in them but they were tapped
and ready to accept them.
I removed each wheel and brake drum.
On my trailer the brake drum and bearing hub are one piece.
I carefully inspected each brake for unusual wear and made sure
wires and coils were not rubbing and/or damaged.
I drove out the old seals and bearing races (cups) and drove in new ones.
I installed new bearings and seals and re-assembled
everything.
I slowly turned each wheel while I pumped each hub full of grease.
It took almost 2 full large cartridges to fill 4 hubs.
I adjusted brake shoes on each wheel before lowering it.
It was a 2 afternoon 4 beer operation.

We drove 4500 miles this summer and I checked the hubs at
several of my fuel stops by touching with my hand.
They all ran slightly warm which I consider normal.
Remember that some brake drum heat is normal and
if you've been driving in stop and go traffic or hills/mountains
they will be quite warm or hot to the touch.

I don't plan on doing much of anything else to the bearings
for a couple more years.
I plan to adjust my brakes and check for play in the
hubs this spring but I don't plan to open them up
just yet....

I wish I could remove the drums to inspect brakes without
pulling the hubs but mine are one piece--
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:50 AM   #24
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We towed TTs and 5th wheels several years before moving to a motor home and I always packed my beaings and replaced the seals every year. Yea I know I had grease fittings too, but someimes the bearings don't get the adequate grease they need. A slow pump of grease also helps between seasons if you use it a lot. I always made it a practice to check the bearings for wear and know how tight thay are before setting the cotter pin. If someone else did the job, i was standing right behind him. All during that time, we never had a bad bearing or hot wheel because of norease. We do the same thing with our boat trailer tandum wheels. But use waterproof grease.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:56 PM   #25
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When I picked up the TT in Elkhart I checked the bearings by pulling the rubber covers and seeing grease, looked OK. When I got it home I had grease leaking from 1 wheel. I took it to a dealer and they changed the bearing cap (or so they said). After a short camping trip I had grease leaking from the same wheel. I pulled the bearing cap and found the sealing flange was gouged pretty bad. It looked like some one removed it with a screwdriver and hammer and this is the one they had replaced. I went to the local trailer shop they had the cap in stock for $5. Installed the new cap and put grease in all wheels, they took a lot. I wonder how much they charged FR for that bearing cap they did not replace? Might be why they are bankrupt.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:56 AM   #26
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I think the "owners manual" for my Al-Ko axles says to inspect
bearings monthly.
GIVE ME A BREAK
That's just lawyer speak.

Properly inspected, adjusted, and greased hubs should
be good for a year or 10,000 miles or much more.
This is my opinion.
Your mileage may vary.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:16 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
I think the "owners manual" for my Al-Ko axles says to inspect
bearings monthly.
GIVE ME A BREAK
That's just lawyer speak.

Properly inspected, adjusted, and greased hubs should
be good for a year or 10,000 miles or much more.
This is my opinion.
Your mileage may vary.
i thought i had read the same thing but went back and looked at it again and it is 12 mos or 12000.
if i'm going to do that, the seal is going to be replaced also.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:33 AM   #28
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If you're going to actually check the bearings for pits you have
to remove the cones (rollers) and wash them in solvent.
In order to remove the rear (inside) cone you have to pull it
thru the seal.
If you do that you are correct, the seal needs to be replaced.
THAT's why I just remove everything, clean out the hub and
start fresh. It's not that expensive for parts and it's no more
trouble than washing and inspecting 8 different cones.
And if you do remove them and wash and inspect and re-use
them you need to be careful that each one goes back in the
same hub.

So I start fresh (new parts) but don't do this more than every few years.
My 2
YMMV

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