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Old 03-08-2020, 01:06 AM   #1
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Bearings repack

My 2015 Cherokee Limited 274RK has a zerk grease fitting on the end of the wheel spindle for lubing the bearings. I removed the break hub anyway and discovered grease had penetrated the brake hub and lubed the brakes. Well the brakes on this trailer have way out preformed the ones on my old 5er by miles of stopping distance all ready. I was only able to get to one of them today, will clean the others as well.

The whole bearing thing looked to be in great condition. The brakes I cleaned with brake cleaner, I think that will be adequate for this one hub. Iíve been a dyi car guy fo 40 years.

I watched a few YouTube vids on how to lube the bearings with this set up. The dude pumped in new grease until all the old grease came out the front followed by the new grease.

Did the grease penetrate the brake drum because he did it like he did and created great pressure within the hub or because the bearing seal needed to be replaced?

The seals, spindle as well as the bearings looked brand new on this 5 y/o camper. I just got it so I donít know the history of the maintance.

See you on the road, samTummo
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Old 03-08-2020, 02:21 AM   #2
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I found it

Found the existing string for al-co bearings. Got all info needed there thanks
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:16 AM   #3
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I always do it the old fashioned way. Take off the wheel, pull the seals, clean the bearings, inspect and repack or replace, install new seals. I also inspect the spindle for excess wear. I have been doing this for 49 years and this procedure never fails me. I pick a day every year for this routine and stick to it. Has always served me well on my cars and camper. Grease and brake shoes make my blood curdle. The two should never meet!
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:25 AM   #4
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I agree with RockDodger, this is the only way to go.

Did you replace the brake shoes or clean them? I had an axle seal go on an older Blazer with brand new shoes. It wasn’t much of a leak, the shoes were not saturated, but did get wet somewhat. I cleaned them very well, several times. Those brakes were never the same and I wound up replacing them.
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:44 AM   #5
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"brake" pads need to be replaced if coated in grease. Do not use the zert fitting on axles with brakes....or you see what happens.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by samTummo View Post
My 2015 Cherokee Limited 274RK has a zerk grease fitting on the end of the wheel spindle for lubing the bearings. I removed the break hub anyway and discovered grease had penetrated the brake hub and lubed the brakes. Well the brakes on this trailer have way out preformed the ones on my old 5er by miles of stopping distance all ready. I was only able to get to one of them today, will clean the others as well.

The whole bearing thing looked to be in great condition. The brakes I cleaned with brake cleaner, I think that will be adequate for this one hub. Iíve been a dyi car guy fo 40 years.

I watched a few YouTube vids on how to lube the bearings with this set up. The dude pumped in new grease until all the old grease came out the front followed by the new grease.

Did the grease penetrate the brake drum because he did it like he did and created great pressure within the hub or because the bearing seal needed to be replaced?

The seals, spindle as well as the bearings looked brand new on this 5 y/o camper. I just got it so I donít know the history of the maintance.

See you on the road, samTummo
At 5 yrs old the hubs need pulled . the seals will be bad weather they used the ez lube or not . The EZ lube feature will not ruin new seals . It's all in how it's done . I do believe that hubs need to be pulled and bearings hand packed . every 12000 miles . But if you're not towing 12000 miles a yr there is no reason not to use the EZ lube between packs if done right . In 5 yrs i have used the ez lube feature 3 times . last fall i pulled and replaced the bearings and not one bit of grease was pushed through the real seals . Of course i installed good seals the first yr of ownership . the seals from dexter or lippert are not very good to begin with
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:25 AM   #7
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Agreed

Replacing brake shoes, seals and bearings. Thanks for the input!
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:50 AM   #8
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I have a snowmobile trailer (no brakes) and after using the EZ lube feature, spinning the wheel as I slowly pumped in the grease, after a load trip it still slung grease everywhere
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:13 PM   #9
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I have a snowmobile trailer (no brakes) and after using the EZ lube feature, spinning the wheel as I slowly pumped in the grease, after a load trip it still slung grease everywhere
That's what happens to a spindle full of grease when it gets warm from driving. It expands and has to go somewhere, usually directly through a seal and into a brake drum, if so equipped.
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:18 PM   #10
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Glad you got everything repaired before it turned into a real problem.
There's a lot of good info on EZ Lube axles here, including a way to get a visual on the condition of the seal without removing the hub (might not work on all axles).

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...es-199382.html
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Old 03-08-2020, 02:54 PM   #11
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That's what happens to a spindle full of grease when it gets warm from driving. It expands and has to go somewhere, usually directly through a seal and into a brake drum, if so equipped.

Yep that's why I do it old school with the trailers hubs. Plus as noted above you can inspect the bearings and races.
Now that spring is here I can take off the snowmobile wheels and power wash the grease off.
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:55 AM   #12
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WHY Using The EZ-Lube is a VERY BAD Idea!

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!!
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:26 AM   #13
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DouglasReid, wow! This highlights why i also hand pack my trailer bearings. Glad you averted a crisis!
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:29 AM   #14
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DouglasReid, wow! This highlights why i also hand pack my trailer bearings. Glad you averted a crisis!
Thanks, I have been doing this my entire life. I learned from my father when the front wheels on ALL cars were hand packed.

In My Humble Opinion, that EZ Lube is a recipe for disaster. OK maybe it is not so humble as it might be, but it is my opinion nevertheless
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Old 04-03-2020, 03:10 PM   #15
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Hey Doug......Thats the way it is supposed to be done.....I used those zerks on my trailer the first year and ended up with grease all over...The inside grease seal would pop out and grease everywhere withonly three or four pumps from grease gun....Talked to Dexter and now I use permatex on outside of seal to keep it in place....Should stay put now....I'm gun shy now and pull the hubs every year....
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Old 04-03-2020, 04:23 PM   #16
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Hey Doug......Thats the way it is supposed to be done.....I used those zerks on my trailer the first year and ended up with grease all over...The inside grease seal would pop out and grease everywhere withonly three or four pumps from grease gun....Talked to Dexter and now I use permatex on outside of seal to keep it in place....Should stay put now....I'm gun shy now and pull the hubs every year....
You've solved one mystery. I'd read on dexter's website to put permatex on the oil seal. I couldn't understand why for the life of me. Now it makes sense, glue the seal in so the grease gun doesn't blow it out. I'll stick with doing it 'old School".
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Old 04-03-2020, 04:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DouglasReid View Post
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!!
What you describe sounds suspiciously like improper adjustment which overheated the bearing and also caused it to stick to the spindle (burnt grease). Your prying to remove the hub is more likely the cause of the seal not remaining in the hub.

Considering the force usually required to both install and pull a seal (if using the proper sized seal to begin with) I doubt many seals are actually pushed out by using the EZ-Lube system PROPERLY.
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Old 04-03-2020, 04:51 PM   #18
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You've solved one mystery. I'd read on dexter's website to put permatex on the oil seal. I couldn't understand why for the life of me. Now it makes sense, glue the seal in so the grease gun doesn't blow it out. I'll stick with doing it 'old School".
According to the Dexter manual I have, they recommend using the permeates even if you donít have the ez lubes.
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Old 04-03-2020, 04:54 PM   #19
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A grease gun is a hydraulic pump and it will blow a seal out with no problem, usually the lip and not the seal itself.
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Old 04-03-2020, 05:29 PM   #20
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A grease gun is a hydraulic pump and it will blow a seal out with no problem, usually the lip and not the seal itself.
Have you looked at the seals used in the EZ-Lube hubs?

They're built just like the seals in the end of a hydraulic cylinder, not your flabby single lip seals that were never built to withstand any pressure.

Only time pressure can really build up behind the seal is if one is using a powered grease gun that can deliver grease faster than it bleeds back through the bearings. It also isn't a problem if one uses the correct grease.
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