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Old 08-24-2012, 05:13 PM   #1
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Wheel Bearings and Trannies

Once more I turn to the gurus on FRF to guide me. I would like insight on two observations: The first has to do with wheel bearings spitting grease. Recently embarked on a 3000 mile trip through NW USA and SW Canada, traversing almost every 5000 ft. pass therein. Shortly after commencing the trip I noticed grease on the outside of two of my wheels. I checked one and it seemed a bit warm, so stopped at the nears Les Schwab, which happened to be in Sequim and had seals replaced and packed with grease. After about a hundred miles in plus 90 degree weather, I noticed black grease on my nice white wheels, one wheel from each axle. I phoned another Les Schwab in a panic. They told me that often more grease than is needed is packed into the wheels and it is quite normal for them to bleed. I was encouraged to soldier on, which I did. We returned home without incident, but the same two wheels continued to dribble grease and remain cool. Am I just stuck with dirty wheels, or am I missing something.

Secondly, am towing a Rockwood 2304s with a 2008 Chevy Trailblazer, I6 300 horse engine with a 3:41 rear end. I am well under the maximum towing weight for the TB. Have tranny cooler with new tranny oil and synthetic oil in enging. While traversing the long climbs, I found myself down in first gear. I held RPM's to 4000 and plubbed along at about 30 MPH. No heat problems and after all said and done, tranny oil is still a nice red color with no burn smell. I do recall doing the same passes pulling a 30' fifth with a 3/4 ton GMC, 454 with 3:73 rear. Even with that power I was down in first for the climbs, but not as long. My question is: are you doing any harm towing up long grades in first gear? I will listen.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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First question, yes sometimes a tech will pack too much grease, and they will bleed. Just check the temp on the hub each time you stop. If you have them done again, go with a synthetic grease, doesn't bleed as bad.

As for lugging along in first gear, better for everything. As the rpm's are up on the motor, the cooling system is working better, radiator fan and water pump are spinning faster. The trans should stay cooler as the pump is spinning faster pushing more fluid through the cooler. No others have a a different opinion, and one trip may not change the color or smell of your tranny fluid. The trick is to change it often if the vehicle is used for towing a lot.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:36 PM   #3
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wheel bearings and trannies

Thx windrider, good advice all. I will certainly move to synthetic for wheel bearings.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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I would not worry too much about the excess grease. Just be sure the idiots actually installed the bearing caps on the outsides of the axles.
As for your TB? That is exactly why we traded ours after the first pull. Within the ratings and the motor was screaming all the way. Hated it. traded it for a Tahoe and no more problems. The TB is simply too small a vehicle for anything more than a tent trailer
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:00 PM   #5
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With regards to the grease I found this write-up helpful: http://www.reliabilityweb.com/art04/..._of_grease.pdf

For the TB it looks like you were running at near peak torque and HP for the engine - IMHO operating as designed:
Engine4.2L L6 DOHC 24-valve HP (hp@rpm)285 @ 6000 Torque (lb.ft@rpm)277 @ 4600

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Old 08-24-2012, 10:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flugelboneman View Post
Secondly, am towing a Rockwood 2304s with a 2008 Chevy Trailblazer, I6 300 horse engine with a 3:41 rear end. I am well under the maximum towing weight for the TB.
I'm not sure that I'd agree where you are in terms of towing capacity. According to the Trailer life guide, your Trailblazer has a tow rating of 5200 or 5400 lbs depending whether it's 4WD or 2WD. Here's the link (it's on p2)...http://www.wilkinsrv.com/PDFs/2008TowGuide.pdf

The Rockwood 2304S has a dry weight of 4211 lbs and a GVWR of 6192 lbs. With the camper loaded, you're probably exceeding the tow rating and that's why it's very marginal on steep grades.

More rear end ratio helps a bit...3.73 rated at 5900, 4.10 rated at 6400 lbs in 2WD.

I'm sure that's not what you want to hear, but that's the numbers.

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Old 08-24-2012, 11:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dave_Monica View Post
I'm not sure that I'd agree where you are in terms of towing capacity. According to the Trailer life guide, your Trailblazer has a tow rating of 5200 or 5400 lbs depending whether it's 4WD or 2WD. Here's the link (it's on p2)...http://www.wilkinsrv.com/PDFs/2008TowGuide.pdf

The Rockwood 2304S has a dry weight of 4211 lbs and a GVWR of 6192 lbs. With the camper loaded, you're probably exceeding the tow rating and that's why it's very marginal on steep grades.

More rear end ratio helps a bit...3.73 rated at 5900, 4.10 rated at 6400 lbs in 2WD.

I'm sure that's not what you want to hear, but that's the numbers.

Dave
That is probably why the OP found himself pulling the hills in 1st gear.
To my way of thinking, if the TV is struggling that badly, it is more than likely overloaded.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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Weighed loaded trailer and we are 5400 lbs. My info is TB rating is 5800 lbs. I agree we are closer to max than I would like. TB is only working hard on these monster grades. Otherwise, it handles the trailer quite comfortably. Absolutely no sway and overall MPG of 12 according to my readout. That is compensating for the US Gal. display. I certainly would prefer a Tahoe, but we are a one vehicle fambly & the TB works great for us when not towing, yet it rises to the demands of towing.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:55 AM   #9
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Thx for all the input BTW.
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