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Old 03-25-2019, 04:16 PM   #1
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Lippert 4400# axle spindle blimish

I re-packed my bearings for the first time and noticed some very ugly spots on my axle spindles. – See picture
All four of them have the blemish. It is in a spot where there is no contact with anything, but the way it looks does concern me.

This is a 2007 Keystone Cougar - I bought it a couple of years ago.

Is this just a case of “doesn’t show - doesn’t matter” manufacturing, or do I have some sort of corrosion that could cause my axles to break and wheels to fall off?

Another thing I noticed is the grease zerk on the end of the axle only lubes the back (or inner) bearing. Does anyone know the theory behind this? Why would I only want to lube the inside bearing and not the outside?

Is seems unlikely that the manufacturer would have accidentally missed drilling a grease hole on all 4 spindles.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:22 PM   #2
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The hole is where grease gets to the bearing and the spot is unmachined as cast metal. Nothing to worry about.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:23 PM   #3
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I would guess the axle was made by turning on a lathe. That "blemished" area isn't completely cut by the lathe.
I am guessing the inner bearing is more difficult to service because the grease seal needs to be removed to pack it, hence the lube provision.
The outer bearing behind the axle nut just slides out.
All just guesses, someone at a higher pay grade will chime in.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:40 PM   #4
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If you want to pump in about 3/4 of a tube of grease it will flow forward and through the front bearing. That being said, I have that zerk lube feature as well, but I treat my bearings as the "normal" type and just pull the hub for a regular packing and inspection. Although putting fresh grease on the bearings via the zerk is a good idea, it is not a substitute for a visual inspection of the bearing and other surfaces. It's too easy to just pump in some grease and end up going way too long between actual inspections.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:27 PM   #5
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Your pic looks typical as noted above. Nothing wrong.

Here is a great video the ezlube axle. https://www.dexteraxle.com/resources...-z-lube-system

They really do work.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:41 AM   #6
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Bearing lub

Quote:
Originally Posted by upflying View Post
I would guess the axle was made by turning on a lathe. That "blemished" area isn't completely cut by the lathe.
I am guessing the inner bearing is more difficult to service because the grease seal needs to be removed to pack it, hence the lube provision.
The outer bearing behind the axle nut just slides out.
All just guesses, someone at a higher pay grade will chime in.
I had wondered the same thing, your explanation makes perfect sense. Outer is easy to remove. Thanks 👏🏻
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:59 AM   #7
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Thanks Guys

After posting these questions I found the Dexter video on lubing with the zerk.


By using the zerk, you are pumping the old-used grease from the inner bearing into the outer bearing. Doesn't seem to be the best way to lube bearings but I guess it is better than nothing.


It seems a better way would to have both bearings lubed with the zerk, then when the grease pushes out the front it would be time to take it apart and clean it.


I figured the un-machined spots were typical. To me it looks like sloppy manufacturing and a good place for the axle to break.
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plocklin View Post
After posting these questions I found the Dexter video on lubing with the zerk.


By using the zerk, you are pumping the old-used grease from the inner bearing into the outer bearing. Doesn't seem to be the best way to lube bearings but I guess it is better than nothing.


It seems a better way would to have both bearings lubed with the zerk, then when the grease pushes out the front it would be time to take it apart and clean it.



I figured the un-machined spots were typical. To me it looks like sloppy manufacturing and a good place for the axle to break.
Actually... you ARE pumping the old grease through the inner bearing AND through the outer bearing. You pump the grease until new/good grease comes out towards you at the zerk after it has also passed through the outer bearing. No need to remove the outer bearing when doing the EZ Lube procedure.

The grease goes in the zerk, through the drilled passage, into the rear of the inner bearing, through the inner bearing and into the hub cavity. Once the hub cavity is filled, the grease continues through the outer bearing and out into the area by the zerk. This entire process is TOTALLY dependent on the inner seal keeping the grease from pushing past the lip(s) of the seal.

You will get varying opinions on whether to lube the bearings via the EZ Lube procedure or just hand pack them. There are TONS of past threads on this subject.

My take is this, in theory, the EZ Lube procedure works.
Unfortunately there is no way to know for sure when lubing the bearings via the zerk, whether you've pushed grease past the inner seal and into the backing plate/brake area. None of us have X-Ray vision!

So, the only SURE way to know would be to remove the hub to have a look and if you are doing that, you may as well just pack the bearings by hand and be done with it.
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:38 AM   #9
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Spindle is mostly normal just low quality lippert . the zerk works if you do it right . i pack the olds fashion way . installing new seals when i do this . but in between full packs i will use the EZ lube . before i get on the road i always jack up and check for any play in the bearings and then some gease through the ez lube . if done right it works well never had issues with grease past the rear seal
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
Actually... you ARE pumping the old grease through the inner bearing AND through the outer bearing. You pump the grease until new/good grease comes out towards you at the zerk after it has also passed through the outer bearing. No need to remove the outer bearing when doing the EZ Lube procedure.

The grease goes in the zerk, through the drilled passage, into the rear of the inner bearing, through the inner bearing and into the hub cavity. Once the hub cavity is filled, the grease continues through the outer bearing and out into the area by the zerk. This entire process is TOTALLY dependent on the inner seal keeping the grease from pushing past the lip(s) of the seal.

You will get varying opinions on whether to lube the bearings via the EZ Lube procedure or just hand pack them. There are TONS of past threads on this subject.

My take is this, in theory, the EZ Lube procedure works.
Unfortunately there is no way to know for sure when lubing the bearings via the zerk, whether you've pushed grease past the inner seal and into the backing plate/brake area. None of us have X-Ray vision!

So, the only SURE way to know would be to remove the hub to have a look and if you are doing that, you may as well just pack the bearings by hand and be done with it.

Thanks,


I guess I will know the seals are bad if my brakes stop working or smoke comes pouring out when stopping.

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Old 03-27-2019, 11:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by plocklin View Post
Thanks,


I guess I will know the seals are bad if my brakes stop working or smoke comes pouring out when stopping.

Very important to jack up the wheel and spin while pumping in grease slowly
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