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Old 01-07-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
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When to service trailer hubs

We have about 25,000 miles on our Surveyor; everything original on the axles; bearings, brakes, tires, etc. I've been consistently making sure the bearings get new lub; via the easy-lube. I'm starting to wonder whether it is times to go to the dealer to have the hubs dis-assembled, inspected, etc. Brake adjustment, We're planning a 3,000 miles trip to Louisiana in April; it's got me wondering. Probably time for new tires too; tires were manufactured in 2007.

What do you guys think? Better safe than sorry? There are no indications of trouble. The brakes aren't quite as effective as when we bought it.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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The brakes are not self adjusting, so at 25,000 miles they need to be adjusted. I adjust the brakes on our fifth wheel at least once a year and always notice an improvement in braking afterwards.

I would want to have the bearings at least inspected. I have to replace the left side bearings on our fifth wheel every two years. It is the heavy side with the slide. The right side still has the original bearings. Our previous HTT had the original bearings till the day we sold it.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:46 PM   #3
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Bearings should be disassembled, cleaned and repacked yearly. 4 years is kind of scary IMHO. Same for brake adjustments, unless you are towing a lot of miles, them more often is the rule.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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I would have them disassembled and inspected and seal replaced. Then brakes adjusted after reassembly. Mine made it 14000 mile doing the same as acadianbob, when I lost a wheel bearing and spindle on alligator alley in FL 2 years ago. When I got home found 2 more of the 6 bearings had to be replaced. Replace bearing and races as sets.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
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I too have just used the easy-lube hubs. If one of my hubs starts to run warmer than the others, then I plan on taking those puppies apart at that time. So far, so good, so I ain't a gonna mess with them.

IMHO, the hubs are getting new grease every time you use the easy-lube hubs, so there shouldn't be too much to go wrong unless a bearing just plain fails.....and that would be hard to predict even with tearing the hub down, unless failure was imminent and there was some visible sign.

As a precaution so I don't shoot grease out of the back seal, I only use a hand operated grease gun, and I spin the wheel while I am injecting the grease.

I do adjust the brakes every couple of years, and check for hub tightness while I have the trailer jacked up.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:01 PM   #6
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With that many miles, I would just replace the bearings and races. They "should" last longer, but if you do it now, you will probably never have to do it again.
Besides, the cost of labor to do the job will be far more than the cost of the bearings.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:24 PM   #7
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I used the easy lube hubs to grease the bearing before the trip west. I did not realize that the rear seals were leaking grease until i got to the first large hill and had very little breaking power on the TT. Had to replace the whole breaking system ( over $500) If I had taken the hubs off and greased the bearing at a dealer ship the cost would have been less the $200. I will no longer be using the easy lube to grease the bearing.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:35 PM   #8
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So, I'm afraid of over-tightenting my brakes. How much drag do you guys think is acceptable? If you give it a good twist, how much rotation of the wheel do you expect to see?
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:52 PM   #9
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Here is the exact quote out of my Lippert axle manual and it's pretty much standard practice. I have the manual on digits. PM me and I'll email it to you.

"With a screwdriver or standard adjusting tool, rotate the starwheel of the adjuster assembly to expand the brake shoes. Adjust the brake shoes out until the pressure of the linings against the drum makes the wheel very difficult to turn.

Then rotate the starwheel in the opposite direction until the wheel turns freely with a slight lining drag."
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h20ski View Post
Here is the exact quote out of my Lippert axle manual and it's pretty much standard practice. I have the manual on digits. PM me and I'll email it to you.

"With a screwdriver or standard adjusting tool, rotate the starwheel of the adjuster assembly to expand the brake shoes. Adjust the brake shoes out until the pressure of the linings against the drum makes the wheel very difficult to turn.

Then rotate the starwheel in the opposite direction until the wheel turns freely with a slight lining drag."
And back from my auto mechanic days we were taught to tighten the star wheel until the brakes locked up the wheel, and back them off 10-12 clicks.
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