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Old 07-16-2012, 08:08 AM   #1
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Not impressed with Easy Lube Axles

As the title says I am not impressed with the Easy Lube system at least for an RV. Let me start by saying last year I did the grease the bearing with the easy lube system and I will state I pumped very slooooowly to ensure the seals did not pop (so I thought) I as many noted how much grease had to be pumped into these things to get the grease to flow out of the front bearing and thought that they were poorly packed at the factory and that it was missed on the dealer PDI.

Fast forward to this spring, was under the trailer earlier in the spring and noted that the backing plate on one of the wheels appeared to have leaked grease so humm must have poped a seal. Now to this weekend. Pulled that wheel and sure enough the seal had let grease out and it had covered the brake pads and all the guts of the back plate etc. So I cleaned it all up got a new seal and repacked the bearing the way I was taught years ago and reassembled it all. Then took the other wheel apart on that side to discover some grease weeping out of it as well and the brake pads while not totally messed up like the rear wheel was the pads had a light coat of crap on them as well. So I cleaned it all up and did the same then reassembled it as well.

After doing some research on the Internet found various opinions on the use of these things and many believe the wheel hub should not be tatally full of grease as that area in the center of the hub is ment to dissipate heat which it does not do well though grease (I had some grease in the front hub that had coked itself to the spindle but there was no bearing damage and yes I used proper grease in the bearings) Also the reason we need to pump so much grease in these things the 1st time we do it is the bearing are properly packed from the factory and that cavity is empty or partially so the way it should be (again we are not pulling boats and having our axles submerged many times). Using a good quality synthetic grease in these things and packing them properly, they should only need to be repacked every 2nd year (they could probably go longer as how many cars ever had their bearing repacked every year and they got used far more and the greases back then were not near as goood as todays synthetics which I still have a 94 Ford Explorer 4x4 that I repack the front bearing every few years and it gets abused far mor that this TT)and leave that stupid Easy Lube thing alone. From the look of my brake pads I would wager I will have far better braking performance this year than last.

Sorry for the rant but I was not a happy camper when I tore into these things this weekend.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:51 AM   #2
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My brakes are due this year and I will let you all know what I find as well.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the post. I'm about to do mine and you helped me figure out how I am going to do them. I'm ordering the double lip seals tomorrow. Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:14 PM   #4
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Mine let go before taking a 3000 mile trip. Did not notice any problems till going down a hill in Northern Ontario and the brakes were faint had to put to full power in order to get the brakes to help. I do not have any grease fitting on the hubs. I have to pull the hub and grease the proper way.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:20 PM   #5
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I ordered my previous wildcat fiver with sealed hubs. Never understood the reason for easylube axles on tts. Don't have them on cars. But now I have them again on my rockwood. I give em about 3 pumps a couple times a year. I hate not knowing for sure.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:54 PM   #6
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I plan to pull mine once a year like I did my older TT before the easy lube and forget about the grease pumping. As long as you use good quality grease and the best seals you can get and put in the proper amount of grease why continue to pump in grease. Had I checked out the easy lube Dexter axels before buying trailer I would not have wanted them. The dexter manual tells you to pull them once a year to check anyway.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:26 AM   #7
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Lets talk safety! I have laid on the side of the interstate highway repairing a burnt wheel bearing in the dark (thank God to wasn't snowing or raining). Only to limp back home at two in the morning. As a full timer I put 5-10k on my 5r yearly. Bearings/races and hubs should be (depending on milage) removed, cleaned, inspected, hand packed, and new seals every year. I do this during the spring cleaning and preping for the begining of a new season. Just pick a nice sunny day, no problem.

This allows inspection of:
1) The emergency break-away switch operation to every wheel.
2) All magnets, brake lining, external wiring/connectors to every wheel.
3) Inspection of tire wear, inflation pressure, and brake lining adjustments.
4) Please please recheck the torque on those lug nuts and after the inital 20-50 miles down the road.

Some of us have lost wheels due to bearing and busted lugnuts.

I also do not trust the greese zert on Alco axels. However I do pump a little greese in them while on the road, until I get home and do that return inspection thingy.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:39 PM   #8
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I am a firm believer in checking the wheel bearings and brakes once a year. I would go so far as to say check them on a new trailer before going on your first trip.
That said I believe too much is made of TT wheel bearings. Boat trailers are a different thing and I think some are confusing the fact that boat and travel trailers are exposed to different operating conditions. The big issue with boat trailers is that the hot bearings are submerged in water which causes water to displace the grease. Not paying close attention to boat trailer bearings is inviting problems.
TT wheel bearings on the other hand should not be any different that truck or car bearings provided they are installed properly. The only exception may be the small wheels on some popup type TT. These turn so fast that they tend to overheat resulting in damaged bearings.


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Old 01-11-2015, 12:47 PM   #9
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IMO... EZ Lube is a gimmick!

I agree with Donanddona and Ddubya... All those components should be, depending on mileage, checked at least every second year. Some prefer every year.

How else are you going to know the condition of those made in china bearings, brakes, magnets, etc?

My last trailer I repacked the bearings after the first year to find one brake drum and shoes covered with grease from the factory.

Cheap insurance and easy to do!
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:00 PM   #10
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I don't even use the EZ lube axle on my boat trailer. Every year for a TT is overkill, imo. The bearings on a road trailer axle don't get any more abuse than the same bearings did on automobiles and we don't do those unless they are getting a brake service (about 40,000 to 60,000 miles). Every other year is good imo.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:44 PM   #11
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I guess I'll throw my wrench on the floor.
My camper is 4 years old and I've never looked at the bearings.
Only pumped grease in them once.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:26 AM   #12
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Agreed
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:16 AM   #13
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3 yo fiver around 8500 miles....filled with grease thru fitting when delivered, was told by mfg/seller of haulmark trailers to bring it in at 10k for new bearings....just put new tires on and was no movement that I could detect when wheels off ground giving them the 10 / 2 grab and make move.....well they were rock solid....did have a little grease on the outside - but feel this was from not cleaning out the zerc or a slight overfill in that hub....which worked out have wiped it clean and no noticeable grease when torque at 50 miles....the trailer guy did say not to over lube.
Brakes work fine, and will have them service along with axle replacement at 10k...


My only question then would be if brakes working well and no wiggle/play = no rush to get there right at 10k....maybe 11k would be okay .... if on a trip....any thoughts from others that have similar conditions.....would be helpful....
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:19 AM   #14
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BTW not replacing axle at 10k....ooops just the bearing and any needed brake work
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:58 AM   #15
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You'll get opinions all over the place with a question like that.
My opinion is at 10k miles it's probably time to do a visual inspection of your
brakes. In order to get the drum off to check brakes, you (or your mechanic)
has to remove the outer bearing and pull off the hub/drum assembly.
That can result in dirt getting into hub and inner bearing.
In order to clean the hub and inner bearing you have to remove the
grease seal...... removing the seal destroys it- you get the idea.
An "inspection" requires just about
as much labor as a bearing check with seal replacement.
I personally think it's just about as easy to put on new bearings as it
is to completely clean out and dry and then repack old bearings so when
MY rig was due for brake check I replaced bearings and seals at the same
time.
I found 1 seal had failed and there was some grease in that drum.
All 4 wheels had minimal wear on brake parts and no brake parts were
replaced- just bearings and seals. Guessing here-- brakes had ~ 10k
miles on them. Bearings and seals half that.

YMMV!!
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:22 AM   #16
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As KyDan stated,just to have a (Look See) will cost (4 NEW seals,4 New cotter pins, LOTS of Cleaning supplys,solvent/paper towels/grease/ 4 new Better ZERKS, I agree with KyDan,if I go to this much WORK Replace the Bearings also!! Youroo!!
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:36 AM   #17
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I will pull mine this year, the trailer is now in it's fourth year and I have used the EZ method to pump grease in twice, I do hope that when people are doing this the wheel is off the ground and you are turning it as you pump the grease in, I will only replace the bearings if there are signs off wear or water damage, the seals should be replaced every time you pull them, but, we don't always do what is right.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:35 PM   #18
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EZ lube caps on boat trailers are working and getting hot ( not enough grease) than you automatically back in the water cold water and what's happening is the grease is cooling way to fast and you get cracked bears. I know this to be true.


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Old 02-24-2015, 06:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TURBS View Post
I guess I'll throw my wrench on the floor.
My camper is 4 years old and I've never looked at the bearings.
Only pumped grease in them once.
Yes, I agree. I pumped grease in last year. I only have 8,500 km on the trailer. There is no way they need anything more.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:13 PM   #20
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None of you mentioned yet that you need to raise the tire off the ground, slowly pump the grease in and ALSO rotate the tire. Rotating the tire distributes the new grease around the axle and bearings. I'm assuming it also keeps some pressure off the rear grease seal so it does not fail.

The EZ lube style hub is used on so many different types of trailers besides RVs it's crazy. Snowmobile, motorcycle, boat, ATV, cargo, etc. They all have the center zerk fitting for adding grease. Leaky rear seals is not unique to RV industry. What is unique to RV industry is the axle is not covered under your Forest River 1st year warranty. Think I'm kidding, go read your owners manual, find the warranty section and read the short little section called exclusions.

Here is what my Forest River Travel Trailer Fifth Wheel owners manual says:

EXCLUSIONS FROM THIS WARRANTY: Warrantor expressly disclaims any responsibility for damage to the unit where damage is due to condensation, normal wear and
tear or exposure to elements. Warrantor makes no warranty with regard to, but not limited to, the chassis including without limitation, any mechanical parts or systems of
the chassis, axles, tires, tubes, batteries and gauges, routine maintenance, equipment and appliances, or audio and/or video equipment. Their respective manufacturers
and suppliers may warrant some of these items. Warranty information with respect to these items is available from your dealer.

The Warrantor further makes no warranty with regard to any product used for commercial purposes, as a permanent residence or as a rental unit, or any product not
registered and normally used in the United States or Canada.

Proper and timely maintenance, high quality double lip seals on inner hub, high quality synthetic or hi temp grease. Those are the keys to getting rid of grease on brakes problems due to failed inner hub seals. The ez lube center grease zerk system works if used correctly and correct high quality parts are used. However, I am with most of you guys, it is a gimmick feature that is not really needed in RV use. Hand pack the bearings and clean inspect replace every 5,000 miles or every year like the manual says is a good path to follow.
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