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Old 06-15-2014, 07:40 PM   #1
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Axle Bearing Service Interval?

How often to the axle bearings need to be greased? Mine were done last year at a shop, but I've put some distance on them since. Just wondering if I need to jack the trailer up and repack them before moving on.

I might as well ask what the torque spec is on the bearing adjustment nut. I assume they are packed in the same manner as an automotive bearing.

It's a 2001 All American Sport.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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I go every other year, my dealer's recommendation. Typical mileage is 1000-1400 miles per year on the trailer.

Moisture is the bearing enemy. If I racked up 10K+ a year, then I would have them serviced every spring.

Some like to have them re-packed every year regardless. I've been doing it this way for the past seven years, no problems. Everytime my dealer re-packs, everything checks out fine (I admit I have a good dealer, both trailers, of different makes, have been trouble free. Same for their service.)
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:58 PM   #3
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I like to check my bearings yearly but I put miles on my TT and my boat sees salt water(w/bearing buddies). I have not found many problems with bearings but I do find issues with brakes and grease seals. As well, I like to grease the suspension and do an overall look under the trailer(welds, tanks, wires, pipes ,insulation, strapping, spare tire,……just anything I can see down there). Looking under my trailer just gives me that warm and cozy feeling knowing what’s going on.
I am nothing more than a home mechanic and would only do my families bearings so I can watch them afterwards to do any adjustments if needed. I always recommend a 10-20ml trip after adjusting bearings and brakes, then jack up each tire and check for any extra play(must be less then 1/8inch of play wiggling tire from side to side) or tire not spinning easily enough(too tight). On my trailers(boat, camper or utility) I put my hand on my lug-nuts/rim/hub to feel for any extreme heat buildup at every gas fill, a warning too bearing or brake issues(what else do I have to do while filling).
I just use a home mechanics approach(no torque numbers). I tighten spin, tighten spin, tighten spin, tell it doesn’t want to spin much(setting the bearing), then back off 18%-25% of a turn(45-90deg), should spin freely but be no noticeable play. I imagine its easy to get it wrong: to tight, to loose, to much grease, not enough grease, grease seals, spindle issues, brake issues, jacking up the trailer issues, type of grease, judgment of what is a warn bearing, race issues, drum issues, tire wear….. Now we have these new axles with grease fittings so I am still learning how to use those to my bearings best advantage.
This is where the tire hits the road and there is a lot going on it is no where near rocket science but its important.
Good luck, be safe
John
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:34 PM   #4
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I was kind of curious as well with the EZ lube hubs / Dexter axles. We don't rack up a huge amount of miles like we used to, but I still add a shot here and there, at least enough to see the grease coming out where it's supposed to.

In this case, how often should one completely remove and inspect?
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:45 PM   #5
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If you have the EZ Lube or Ultra-Lube axles, you can get away with lubing before every trip. I pump until fresh grease appears.

NEVER just "pump a few squirts" as you may not be moving enough fresh grease to flush the bearing out.

Every so often you will need a LOT of grease to get fresh grease appearing because the back bearing dirty grease moves forward each time until it meets up with the front bearing dirty grease. You will then need to clear ALL the dirty grease out.

The manual still says to inspect the bearings every year.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantahertzdonut View Post
How often to the axle bearings need to be greased? Mine were done last year at a shop, but I've put some distance on them since. Just wondering if I need to jack the trailer up and repack them before moving on.

I might as well ask what the torque spec is on the bearing adjustment nut. I assume they are packed in the same manner as an automotive bearing.

It's a 2001 All American Sport.
Per LIP Sheet - 0132 revA

The Lippert manual reads every 12000 miles or 1 year, which ever come first.

Bearing Adjustment
1. Tighten spindle nut to approximately 50 ft-lbs and rotate hub.
2. Stop hub, back off nut so you can tighten by hand.
3. If spindle hole aligns with slot in nut, install cotter pin or bend over locking tab of tang washer .
4. If it doesn’t align, back nut off until it does, never go in the tighten direction.

I think there is an axle manual in the "Library".

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Old 06-16-2014, 08:10 PM   #7
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My manual says to spin the hub while adding grease, does anyone do that?
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:41 PM   #8
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The first time I lubed the bearings via the EZ lube system, I did spin the wheel. It took quite a bit of grease to fill the system the first time. This year (second year for the trailer), I did not spin. I pumped until grease started to come out the front, and it only took a few pumps to get the grease to start coming out.

I was planning on doing this for three years, then in the start of the fourth, pulling it all apart and replacing the seals. Then start the cycle over again. However, I have decided that next spring I will be replacing the current brake system with a self-adjusting system, so seals and bearings will be replaced at that time.

Dealer told me that unless you are doing 10K or more miles per year, one lube per year is ok.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h20ski View Post
Per LIP Sheet - 0132 revA

The Lippert manual reads every 12000 miles or 1 year, which ever come first.

Bearing Adjustment
1. Tighten spindle nut to approximately 50 ft-lbs and rotate hub.
2. Stop hub, back off nut so you can tighten by hand.
3. If spindle hole aligns with slot in nut, install cotter pin or bend over locking tab of tang washer .
4. If it doesn’t align, back nut off until it does, never go in the tighten direction.

I think there is an axle manual in the "Library".

Thank you for that, it's exactly what I was looking for. I have a little less than a year of time since the last service, but just a few more miles than 12k on the whole mess. We're staying put for a little while so I'll get to it before we go.

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