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Old 12-03-2019, 07:49 PM   #1
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Kodiak Oil Bath Hub kit on KYD Youtube

I noticed in this weeks episode of "Keep Your Daydream", they upgraded the trailer brakes to EOH disk brakes and also installed a Kodiak Oil Bath Hub conversion kit. It's a different, 2 part rear seal that rotates against it's self in the middle and not against the spindle like a normal rear seal. Clear front cover with a synthetic oil bath.

I know this has been in use for decades on commercial trucks and trailers, but they kit price from Kodiak seems fairly reasonable at around $40 to $50 per axle for the 3,500lb model (they have a couple of different sizes for other axles). It is supposed to be less rolling resistance than with grease and have a much longer life. They did the install at E-trailer and it was filmed for the E-trailer web page as well. I did notice he used Valvoline gear oil instead of the Kodiak in the video.

The KYD folks are on the road year round, but I wonder how this would be for someone who goes say 1 week a month or slightly less?

Anyone use this system? Here is the KYD video:

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Old 12-03-2019, 09:14 PM   #2
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I converted a boat trailer (but not the brakes) to oil fed bearings with a product called Liqua Lube. The seals were the same double lip ones used with grease. No leaks no problems. Jay
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:04 AM   #3
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Don't know about the brand your talking about but I have oil filled hubs on a boat trailer that I've had since 2005 with no problems. I think all TT should have them as standard feature.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:49 AM   #4
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https://www.liqualube.com/ Is where I got mine for the boat trailer I had. The key to making this system work is having enough flat surface at the end of the hub to drill the holes for the screws that hold the caps on. The next boat we got had what was called the “vault system” on it. No bearing maintenance at all, under warranty for 5 years, you could buy another 5 years if you wanted to. In year 7 I somehow lost a cap and inside was just a light weight grease that I was able to match up at Walmart. That Vault System was pretty tough, I had 2 hung up calipers that got the hub pretty hot and no leaks. Jay
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:20 AM   #5
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The current bearing systems using grease are a legacy system going back to the first automobiles/trucks. Oil filled hubs require better seals and obviously more than just a dust cap on the other portion of the Hub.

HD commerical applications require the better oil filled hubs but for the average utility/travel trailer owner the "legacy" system is adequate. From a manufacturer's standpoint the extra expense of oil filled hubs, across their product line, is a HUGE expense and in a competitive market there's more pressure to remain status quo rather than upgrade.

Most of us aren't reaching the maximum capabilities of our greased bearings load wise or time wise (running hours and hours for days and days).

In my opinion a better solution would be a change to sealed bearings like most cars and light trucks use. Right now Dexter is using this setup on their 5200# and 8,000# axles. Maybe someday on the 3500-4.000# sizes.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:32 PM   #6
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Yeah, I'm hoping the Nev-R-Lubes make it down to the 3.5K axles... next trailer.

I wonder how much extra it would cost Dexter to make the axle with an oil bath. The product mentioned above is $50 per axle retail cost. So if dexter didn't have to pre-pack the bearings, and might save on warranty claims, the cost differential might be small. It looks like they would only need to include better seals, and a better grease cap. At volume maybe $5 per axle? Should be an easy up sell to the consumer like the ez-lube, Goodyear tires,....

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Old 12-04-2019, 09:11 PM   #7
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When I had my brakes upgraded to disc, the installer told me if I wanted to go with the oil bath system, to just clean everything out, change the rear seal to the oil seal and fill with oil. He told me this after he had already done it the conventional way or I would have opted for the oil bath setup.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:45 PM   #8
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It's only $35 per axle for the kit at Eastern Marine's website or $52.50 per axle in the 3,500lb size at etrailer. So for $70 some of the more common travel trailers can be converted. They also had a kit for 5,200lb axles for about the same price.


It sounded interesting and I like the fact you can just eyeball the oil level to confirm you still have protection in place. Yes, you would still have to pull hubs to inspect bearings and races at some point, but from what I've read this is a better system with less failures of that type on quality bearings and races (ie, Timkens). I wish I could find some recommendations on the actual number of miles between oil changes, etc... for these kits in a travel trailer application.

Looks like the Kodiak kit has a red sealant that is used to seal the aluminum center body to the hub when it is tapped/pressed in to replace the original center dust cap. I don't know if that is a bonding agent or just a sealant. The outer (removable) see through section has a o-ring seal and the directions say to torque that section to 15 ft lbs.

Like I said in my original post, I noticed E-trailer was using Valvoline instead of the Kodiak hub oil in the video. The labels on the Kodiak hub oil do not state the viscosity, but they do state it is "MIL-PRF-2105E". Mobile 1 75W-90 synthetic gear lubricant is also that same MIL SPEC as is the Valvoline SynPower 75W90 gear oil, so I presume any MIL SPEC gear oil of that type will work and Mobile 1 gear oil is easy to find.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dward51 View Post
It's only $35 per axle at Pacific Trailer's website or $52.50 per axle in the 3,500lb size at etrailer. So for $100 or less some of the more common travel trailers can be converted. It sounded interesting and I like the fact you can just eyeball the oil level to confirm you still have protection in place. Yes, you would still have to pull hubs to inspect bearings and races at some point, but from what I've read this is a better system with less failures of that type on quality bearings and races (ie, Timkens). I wish I could find some recommendations on the actual number of miles between oil changes, etc... for these kits.

Looks like the Kodiak kit has a red sealant that is used to seal the aluminum center body to the hub when it is tapped in to replace the original center dust cap. The outer (removable) see through section has a o-ring seal and the directions say to torque that section to 15 ft lbs.

Like I said in my original post, I noticed E-trailer was using Valvoline instead of the Kodiak hub oil in the video. The labels on the Kodiak hub oil do not state the viscosity, but they do state it is "MIL-PRF-2105E". Mobile 1 75W-90 synthetic gear lubricant is also that same MIL SPEC as is the Valvoline SynPower 75W90 gear oil, so I presume any MIL SPEC gear oil of that type will work.
Oil is just like differential lube only no gear shear. Just roller bearings. Probably really don't have to change oil other than when pulling hubs to check brakes. When you do pull to check brakes make sure to have plenty of Brake Kleen handy. You will have oil dribbling as the hub comes off and backing plate could get wet. The oil level is above the inner opening in the rear seal when filled as directed.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:56 PM   #10
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I wondered about that. The KYD install was in concert with disc brakes so inspecting the brakes was not as much of an issue with disc brakes.

That one fact alone may be a deal breaker with electric brakes on a 3,500lb axle. I'm used to repacking and checking brakes every "X" miles or annually just as a habit on the greased bearings. I guess you could go until the brakes started to fade with the oil if brakes are the only remaining wear items, but I'm a little leery of that. Looked promising though.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:48 AM   #11
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What we need is for them to use some form of Magnetic/Inductive brake similar to the modern roller coasters. Then there would be no brake wear to worry about.

Jim M.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:52 AM   #12
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What we need is for them to use some form of Magnetic/Inductive brake similar to the modern roller coasters. Then there would be no brake wear to worry about.

Jim M.
You already have that with electric cars yet they still have friction brakes.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dward51 View Post
It's only $35 per axle for the kit at Eastern Marine's website or $52.50 per axle in the 3,500lb size at etrailer. So for $70 some of the more common travel trailers can be converted. They also had a kit for 5,200lb axles for about the same price.


It sounded interesting and I like the fact you can just eyeball the oil level to confirm you still have protection in place. Yes, you would still have to pull hubs to inspect bearings and races at some point, but from what I've read this is a better system with less failures of that type on quality bearings and races (ie, Timkens). I wish I could find some recommendations on the actual number of miles between oil changes, etc... for these kits in a travel trailer application.

Looks like the Kodiak kit has a red sealant that is used to seal the aluminum center body to the hub when it is tapped/pressed in to replace the original center dust cap. I don't know if that is a bonding agent or just a sealant. The outer (removable) see through section has a o-ring seal and the directions say to torque that section to 15 ft lbs.

Like I said in my original post, I noticed E-trailer was using Valvoline instead of the Kodiak hub oil in the video. The labels on the Kodiak hub oil do not state the viscosity, but they do state it is "MIL-PRF-2105E". Mobile 1 75W-90 synthetic gear lubricant is also that same MIL SPEC as is the Valvoline SynPower 75W90 gear oil, so I presume any MIL SPEC gear oil of that type will work and Mobile 1 gear oil is easy to find.

Both are full synthetic.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:36 PM   #14
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You already have that with electric cars yet they still have friction brakes.
On my Volt I can get down to "almost stopped" when I press the regen braking paddle. The friction brakes are absolutely necessary to keep from running into a car ahead of me at the light.

After 15,000 miles on the Volt the grinding marks are still visible on the rotors. They'll most likely be true lifetime brakes.
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