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Old 11-07-2011, 04:43 PM   #1
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Al-Ko ultralube problem

We purchased a new 2011 Rockwood 8280ws fifth wheel at the end of Sept. 2011. The roadside axles will take grease with no problems, but the streetside axles will not take any grease at all. I have contacted Al-Kousa and followed all of there instructions with no sucess. I have torn down one of the hubs and it will take grease with the hub and bearings removed, but when assembled it will not take any grease. I am going to tear it down again and reverse blow out the grease hole with air then I am going to put the bearing alone back on the spindle to see if I can detect any problem. Maybe the outlet hole needs to be opened up a little with a Dremel tool. Anyone else had this problem and if so what did you find and do. Thanks, Tom-s
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
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I had the same problem. Your mechanical aptitude is most likely way above mine. However, and I'm sure you already checked this, but I installed new grease fittings and everything was fine. I bet you wish your problem was this easy of a fix.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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Ditto new Zerk fittings.
Not worth messing with.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:16 PM   #4
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your never to old to learn

Well this one takes the cake for this old man. When I first started to fix this problem, I did as I have always done which is to go to the cheapest thing first. That was to check out the zerk fitting when the ultralube would not take any grease. I removed the zerk and put it into the end of my grease gun and it passed grease with no problem. So I ruled that part out. The rest was in my first post. Today I disassembled the hub again, inspected every part and blew air both ways through the grease hole. No problem , so I repacked the bearings and put is all back together again. Tried to get it to take grease and no luck. Now I was stumped so I took the zerk fitting out again and put a rubber air blower nozzle tip onto the grease gun and tried it through the open hole where the zerk fitting goes and the grease flowed with no problem. Now why a zerk fitting will pass grease when removed, and also when installed into the bare spindle but will not pass grease when the hub is completely assembled is a puzzle to me. I will get new zerk fittings tomorrow. I hope this experience will help someone someday so they do not go through the same process.
thanks, Tom-s
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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Well, are you sure it is not taking grease?

Is it splooshing out around the Zerk (like it is not going in) or just not coming out the front?

There is a huge void between the inner and outer bearings so you may not see grease extruding for many pumps of a large manual grease gun. If you are using the small tube gun it can take two or even three tubes to fill up the hub the first time.

After I got mine back from the dealer who did my first brake and bearing service, my hubs took a large tube and a quarter to fill all four hubs. They had only "hand packed" the bearings and stuck them in. The hubs were dry.

Needless to say they no longer get any of my service work.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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I wonder if the bearing is partially covering the hole when hub is installed ? air will blow through but not grease ?
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:00 PM   #7
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I recently had the same thing happen on a brand new flat deck with 7K Alko axles... one axle wouldn't take grease, replaced the zerks, all was well.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:05 AM   #8
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We have an Al Ko 2,200 lb torsion axle on our 2011 'Little Guy' 6 Wide Tear Drop trailer and was very surprised to find that Al Ko had not even installed Zerk fittings in the end of the spindles. They must have just 'hand packed' the bearings, as Lou commented and grease was oozing out of the threaded hole in the end of the spindle. Once I found and installed the correct size Zerk fittings, it took 35 squeezes with a small grease gun on each spindle before I saw any grease moving. I am glad I checked the bearings before we got on the road with our new trailer.

To be completely fair, I don't think it was Little Guy's fault that there were no Zerk fittings, as they simply ordered the axles and installed them under their tear drop trailers. They were trusting that the manufacturer of the axles did their work properly. It appears Al Ko has a real quality control issue! This has been brought to Little Guy's attention, so maybe they'll catch the problem before any more trailers leave the factory.

Clyde and Linda
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:39 PM   #9
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I just got back from the auto parts store with new zerk fittings. Installed them in the curb side axles and now they both take grease with no problems. All this thinking and work to fix something that could have and should have been caught at the factory. I have some experience in assembly lines and it looks like one side of the axle assembly line had a box of defective zerk fittings. It would help if the factory would try the "ultralube" system out before shipping their product to RV factories. Thanks for the comments and advice, Tom-s
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
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I will try to replace the fitting also in the spring. I have a hard time to push the grease into my 2011 minilite fittings. Only one fitting was easy and all the rest I was able to push hardly nothing in the fittings.
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