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Old 04-05-2020, 11:19 AM   #41
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i use this method . there is only 1 hole the grease to comes out of , So, pump 4 strokes all hubs. start at 12 o'clock, pull trailer up to 3o'clock.3 pumps, etc till back at 12o'clock. then a couple of pumps each. used this technique for years and never had a problem .From my understanding the shaft throws the grease from the back bearing to the front bearing for lubrication.
In reality the grease doesn't move much within the hub as the wheel rolls down the highway. Hub temps under normal operating temps don't get hot enough to liquefy the grease.

As the hub turns grease is sheared and where it's coating the non moving part a slight "dam" is created to retain the grease that is being constantly worked between moving parts. Look up "Thixotropy".

Grease is used in many applications where the stationary grease dam is the only real seal used. Fresh grease is introduced regularly to flush out contaminated grease and dirt. The process continues.
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Old 04-05-2020, 12:50 PM   #42
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Fresh grease is introduced regularly to flush out contaminated grease and dirt. The process continues.
So...if the rear seal is so great, how is this grease getting contaminated and how is dirt getting in? Wouldn't it be better to annually pull the bearings, clean them with a solvent and just repack them with your hand if that is the case? That would get rid of all this dirt you are talking about and let you examine the bearing closely.
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:49 PM   #43
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On the many 1970s and 80s cars I worked on, we would pack the front wheel bearings when the front shoes or pads were changed. Bearings were packed by hand or with a packer tool. No grease was put in the hub, and they were not touched sometimes for 50,000 miles. No failures. Why do trailers need it every year or sometimes every 5-6000 miles? I can tell you for sure that the seals on those cars were single lip type, nowhere near as good as today’s double lip seals.
I understand it in a boat trailer, where the wheels were often submerged but why on a TT or 5th wheel? Jay
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:35 PM   #44
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On the many 1970s and 80s cars I worked on, we would pack the front wheel bearings when the front shoes or pads were changed. Bearings were packed by hand or with a packer tool. No grease was put in the hub, and they were not touched sometimes for 50,000 miles. No failures. Why do trailers need it every year or sometimes every 5-6000 miles? I can tell you for sure that the seals on those cars were single lip type, nowhere near as good as today’s double lip seals.
I understand it in a boat trailer, where the wheels were often submerged but why on a TT or 5th wheel? Jay
This is what I have been wondering as well. Drum brakes are not even remotely new technology. All the old cars I had with front bearings that needed repacking I generally only did when doing something else, usually brake work. I don't remember if we would get 50-60K miles out of drums but it was well over 12K. It seems that trailers are overly frail for some reason.

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Old 04-06-2020, 12:53 AM   #45
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On the many 1970s and 80s cars I worked on, we would pack the front wheel bearings when the front shoes or pads were changed. Bearings were packed by hand or with a packer tool. No grease was put in the hub, and they were not touched sometimes for 50,000 miles. No failures. Why do trailers need it every year or sometimes every 5-6000 miles? I can tell you for sure that the seals on those cars were single lip type, nowhere near as good as today’s double lip seals.
I understand it in a boat trailer, where the wheels were often submerged but why on a TT or 5th wheel? Jay
Maybe you should send an email to Dexter and see why they recommend doing it every 12K miles or 12 months!
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Old 04-06-2020, 12:54 AM   #46
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I worked on Ford cars in the 70s and 80s and as mentioned in previous post only repacked the bearings when replacing front brake shoes or adjusting the play in the bearings, this was done may be every 10,000 to 20,000 miles, i dont use the EZ-lube system as i think you can over grease the hub,i only check mine every 2 years as i like to see whats going on inside the hub, i clean out the grease as req and add grease direct to the front bearings, in all the years and hundreds of repairing Fords 80% of the time have never added grease to the rear bearing as not needed as always have plenty of grease and bearings have been in serviceable condition, going back to my own TT have checked the brakes as mention(every two years) and the brakes and bearings are perfect even no play in bearings after doing approx 15,000 miles, so repacked with fresh excellent quality grease. and just one last thing if you keep pumping fresh grease into the hub via grease nipple its got to keep pushing the old grease somewhere and that will be of the rear seal onto the brakes.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:01 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Jay2504 View Post
On the many 1970s and 80s cars I worked on, we would pack the front wheel bearings when the front shoes or pads were changed. Bearings were packed by hand or with a packer tool. No grease was put in the hub, and they were not touched sometimes for 50,000 miles. No failures. Why do trailers need it every year or sometimes every 5-6000 miles? I can tell you for sure that the seals on those cars were single lip type, nowhere near as good as today’s double lip seals.
I understand it in a boat trailer, where the wheels were often submerged but why on a TT or 5th wheel? Jay
I think the answer lies in the fact that the axles on these campers are loaded up to or very near their maximum weight limits. This is putting much more stress on these bearings than ever was on the older cars.

Add to that the side loads applied to those bearings when backing into tight spots and you have stresses once again, never experienced by the older cars.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:25 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Jay2504 View Post
On the many 1970s and 80s cars I worked on, we would pack the front wheel bearings when the front shoes or pads were changed. Bearings were packed by hand or with a packer tool. No grease was put in the hub, and they were not touched sometimes for 50,000 miles. No failures. Why do trailers need it every year or sometimes every 5-6000 miles? I can tell you for sure that the seals on those cars were single lip type, nowhere near as good as today’s double lip seals.
I understand it in a boat trailer, where the wheels were often submerged but why on a TT or 5th wheel? Jay
My thoughts exactly. You didn't grease the bearings on the old cars usually until you did a brake job.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:42 AM   #49
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I'm in agreement with the above. Repacked my car every 30,000 miles.


As to the comment about side loading just thing how much there is when you turn the wheel hard at speed on a car, I'd guess much more than the little bit you get parking the trailer 12 times a year.
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Old 04-09-2020, 12:53 PM   #50
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I have seen on my previous travel trailer what can happen to the China bearings...caught some as they were starting to fail at @20,000 miles. ....and I had used the EZ lube before that first inspection.

If we used good bearings...like Timkens....and they are not undersized....then you might have the same results as something from the 70's

They crap they put on these trailers ....is no where close to automotive grade ...IMHO
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Old 04-09-2020, 01:10 PM   #51
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I have seen on my previous travel trailer what can happen to the China bearings...caught some as they were starting to fail at @20,000 miles. ....and I had used the EZ lube before that first inspection.
One of the first things I did after I bought my trailer was replace the chinese bearings and races with USA made Timkens.
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Old 04-09-2020, 01:53 PM   #52
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On the many 1970s and 80s cars I worked on, we would pack the front wheel bearings when the front shoes or pads were changed. Bearings were packed by hand or with a packer tool. No grease was put in the hub, and they were not touched sometimes for 50,000 miles. No failures. Why do trailers need it every year or sometimes every 5-6000 miles? I can tell you for sure that the seals on those cars were single lip type, nowhere near as good as today’s double lip seals.
I understand it in a boat trailer, where the wheels were often submerged but why on a TT or 5th wheel? Jay
Dexter, and other axle manufacturers have no idea what their axles will ultimately be used for. They may be for a Travel Trailer, Mobile Home, Utility/Farm trailer, Boat Trailer, etc.

Because of this they write their instructions to deal with the "lowest common denominator" which in most cases will be the Boat Trailer.

Boat trailers often get the hubs fully immersed in water, often salty, which takes an obvious toll on brakes, hubs, seals (the metal retainer portion usually), etc.

For those that only do what the manual recommends, fine with me.

For those that assess their use and apply a more practical approach, if it works for you, fine with me.


FWIW, some will pull the hubs annually, inspect brakes, hand pack bearings,

Others will merely pull hubs, inspect and clean brakes, then replace (yes, using the same seal that's been merely inspected), lubing with the EZ-Lube system. That's still fine with me.

While still working in the industry where I saw all kinds of bearing failures, most of them were not attributed to faulty produce but improper installation and adjustment.

As the old saying goes, "whatever works for you".

Another old saying "the more you mess with something the more likely it will break".
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Old 04-14-2020, 04:17 PM   #53
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I repack my bearings each year. Since we are locked down it seemed to me an ideal time to perform this easy yet messy task.

I NEVER use the EZ Lube fittings. They do not allow you to inspect the mechanical parts (brake shoes, magnets, springs, bearings, seals, etc. of the wheel.

They give you a sometimes Very False sense that all is well if you simply push some new grease into the hub.

Here is what I found...........Pictures at the bottom.

Everything went well on the left side. When I got to the right side and unbolted the tire it came off fine. After removing the dust cap and then taking off the keeper and large nut, the hub/brake drum would not come off. It was Stuck.

Tugging and looking showed me it was not stuck on the brake pads, as I had initially thought. I was able to get to wiggle enough to pull the outer bearing and its flat washer off but still it was Stuck.

I had to use a short stout pry bar to get it off, working one side, the top, bottom and finally it came off. to my surprise the inner bearing and dust seal were still on the spindle, not in the hub as they should have been. (See picture #1}.

Again with the pry bar and a 2x3 staub as a fulcrum I was able to pry the bearing from the spindle. After cleaning the spindle it looked perfect. The bearing was another matter.

The inner race of the bearing was black and blue. It had overheated, even though there was plenty of grease on it and the outer race (see Pics #2&3).

I took it to a local trailer manufacturer/repair/maintenance shop, Thibs Trailers, and parts house for all things towable where I get my axle supplies. Their shop foreman told me I had averted a BEARING FAILURE.

That would never have happened if I simply used the EZ Lube method of axle bearing maintenance.

Im NOT saying this will happen to all who use the EZ Lubes on your axles. But to you want to be the one it happens to? I think not!

My advice to those of you who do, hand pack them. If you dont' know how or dont' have time, take it to someone you trust who Will do it correctly. Else you could easily be on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Think About it!!
I'm trying to wrap my head around your post. You say your always hand pack your bearing but your bearing burnt up anyway?
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Old 04-14-2020, 06:00 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Learjet View Post
I have seen on my previous travel trailer what can happen to the China bearings...caught some as they were starting to fail at @20,000 miles. ....and I had used the EZ lube before that first inspection.

If we used good bearings...like Timkens....and they are not undersized....then you might have the same results as something from the 70's

They crap they put on these trailers ....is no where close to automotive grade ...IMHO
Sorry, never worked on bearings. A couple of dumb questions:
1. How do you know what size and type you need? Do all 14” wheels take the same size?
2. Where do you buy Timkens? Do auto parts stores sell them, or buy online?
Thanks
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:38 PM   #55
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Sorry, never worked on bearings. A couple of dumb questions:
1. How do you know what size and type you need? Do all 14” wheels take the same size?
2. Where do you buy Timkens? Do auto parts stores sell them, or buy online?
Thanks
Clay
Best thing to do is go to the axle manufacturer's website, there's usually a tag or some other ID on the axle assembly if you're not sure who built it. Somewhere on that site you'll find downloadable manuals, including an illustrated parts catalog for your style of axle. If you want to get a different brand, like Timken, then you should find a cross-reference guide on their website for comparison.
I little research like that should get you all the info you need.
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:33 PM   #56
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I'm trying to wrap my head around your post. You say your always hand pack your bearing but your bearing burnt up anyway?
It was overheating, yes.

And the packing on that bearing was done at the company who does my axle maintenance. They are not just a dealer but a manufacturer of any type of utility/farm/horse trailer you care to have constructed.

I mention that because I KNOW they wee just as well as if I had repacked them myself.

And without having taken them apart and inspected them I would never have known I had an impending failure in my future.
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:36 PM   #57
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Sorry, never worked on bearings. A couple of dumb questions:
1. How do you know what size and type you need? Do all 14” wheels take the same size?
2. Where do you buy Timkens? Do auto parts stores sell them, or buy online?
Thanks
Clay
1. To be absolutely sure the part number is imprinted on the outer rear of each bearing. As soon as you clean off the grease it is readily visible.

2. any good bearing store or online with the part number. That part number will be the same for all bearing manufactures.

Timken, Moog, Spicer, all good US made bearings.
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:05 AM   #58
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It was overheating, yes.

And the packing on that bearing was done at the company who does my axle maintenance. They are not just a dealer but a manufacturer of any type of utility/farm/horse trailer you care to have constructed.

I mention that because I KNOW they wee just as well as if I had repacked them myself.

And without having taken them apart and inspected them I would never have known I had an impending failure in my future.
Ok but then the shop foreman said you wouldn’t have had a failure if you used the EZ lube system?

I’m sure the place that did the bearing did a proper job but one of the mistakes a lot of people make is not ensuring the removal of the residue from the cleaning solvent from the bearing. You need MEK, brake cleaner or even baking the bearing to fully remove solvents like varsol. If not, any residue may prevent the grease from sticking to the bearing. This is what we do in the helicopter world for bearings that are lubed by grease and not oil.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:18 AM   #59
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Ok but then the shop foreman said you wouldn’t have had a failure if you used the EZ lube system?

I’m sure the place that did the bearing did a proper job but one of the mistakes a lot of people make is not ensuring the removal of the residue from the cleaning solvent from the bearing. You need MEK, brake cleaner or even baking the bearing to fully remove solvents like varsol. If not, any residue may prevent the grease from sticking to the bearing. This is what we do in the helicopter world for bearings that are lubed by grease and not oil.
You need to read his post again. He was saying that if he had used the EZ Lube method, he would of never caught the burnt bearing. But because he actually repacks and inspects his bearings by hand, he averted a bearing failure.
I'm not sure what point any of your posts in this are trying to make. But if you are advocate of EZ Lube, then you should use that method. But there is also nothing wrong with deciding not to use it, and repacking by hand. Either way, you can still have an occasional bad bearing. Nothing is perfect.
On the farm we have several trailers with EZ Lube. We thought it would save us time and money (seals), but it didn't. It also resulted in more failures during harvest due to not inspecting as we would during hand repacking.
So now we just ignore the EZ Lube and hand pack. We have bearing day, where we do an assembly line approach with several guys and a grease pump with bearing packer that sits on a 120# grease drum. Takes a few minutes a wheel, and everything is inspected.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:19 AM   #60
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You need to read his post again. He was saying that if he had used the EZ Lube method, he would of never caught the burnt bearing. But because he actually repacks and inspects his bearings by hand, he averted a bearing failure.
I'm not sure what point any of your posts in this are trying to make. But if you are advocate of EZ Lube, then you should use that method. But there is also nothing wrong with deciding not to use it, and repacking by hand. Either way, you can still have an occasional bad bearing. Nothing is perfect.
On the farm we have several trailers with EZ Lube. We thought it would save us time and money (seals), but it didn't. It also resulted in more failures during harvest due to not inspecting as we would during hand repacking.
So now we just ignore the EZ Lube and hand pack. We have bearing day, where we do an assembly line approach with several guys and a grease pump with bearing packer that sits on a 120# grease drum. Takes a few minutes a wheel, and everything is inspected.
That’s what I wanted to clarify. The point of any of my posts are - to clarify. It could be read either way the way he typed it. I don’t use, or even have, EZ lube axles on our TT. Maybe our sled or gooseneck trailers do but haven’t owned them long enough to be due for a repack. I repack every year if we plan to do a long trip.
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