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Old 04-25-2015, 06:11 PM   #1
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Lippert LCI/SBS Sealed Bearing Update Question

Wondering how Cats with the Lippert Sealed Bearing System (SBS), still in service, are faring? I have a 2009 Cat, 25RL, with a dry weight of 7460, a GVWR of 11,400 lbs. My axles are rated at 5300 lbs. each. All seems to be fine, with no issues yet. The play on the wheels is fine and inspection of the bearings with the dust cover removed looks ok. I am wondering how other SBS bearing users are faring. I have thought about upgrading the axles with serviceable wheel bearings, or maybe just replacing the bearings with Dexter 42mm inside diameter SBS bearings. Any experience would be helpful. Thanks
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:52 PM   #2
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why? If my tt came with sealed bearings I would be ticked pink. The sealed bearing system is what the front wheel cars are using now for the drive axles. There is no maintenance needed.

Not sure if I misreading your post Tim
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:34 PM   #3
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Lots of FR owners have reported troubles with the Lippert SBS bearings. Many only got 2-3000 miles before the bearings failed They were discontinued by Lippert about 2012 and are not supply supported any longer. Lippert was replacing axles with failed SBS bearings at no charge, even picking up some labor on the change out. My Lippert SBS bearing axles seem to be doing fine, however my 5th wheel is low mileage and low GVWR. One thought I have is that the SBS bearings may do fine on low GVWR RVs and have a high failure rate on RVs that are close to the weight ratings on their axles. The reason for my post was to see what other FR RV owners with the LPI SBS bearings still in service are experiencing with them.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:04 AM   #4
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Knock on wood, my 2010 hasn't had any problems with the sealed bearings yet. I hope I haven't jinxed myself!
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by garym7 View Post
Lots of FR owners have reported troubles with the Lippert SBS bearings. Many only got 2-3000 miles before the bearings failed They were discontinued by Lippert about 2012 and are not supply supported any longer. Lippert was replacing axles with failed SBS bearings at no charge, even picking up some labor on the change out. My Lippert SBS bearing axles seem to be doing fine, however my 5th wheel is low mileage and low GVWR. One thought I have is that the SBS bearings may do fine on low GVWR RVs and have a high failure rate on RVs that are close to the weight ratings on their axles. The reason for my post was to see what other FR RV owners with the LPI SBS bearings still in service are experiencing with them.
Garym is 100% correct, LCI replaced my SBS axles on a 2010 CC with new hub. You should call LCI give them your RV number and axle numbers. The side to side play in the SBS caused frailer in most systems and caused tire wear. Get them checked and replaced if possible for any size RV, its not a question of will they fail but just when and where.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.
I pulled the center grease caps today and checked the torque on the axle bearings. All had backed off from the nut position markings from initial installation, with an as found torque today of 130 ft-lb. Lippert calls for 170-180 ft-lb in their current Sealed Bearing System (SBS) maintenance procedure they sent me last week I suppose they probably loosen with use and the increased play in the bearing may contribute to the ultimate failure since they do not call for checking the bearing torque except when reinstalling the axle nut. I have read that Dexter Axle calls for 150-160 ft-lb torque on their SBS axles nut. I torqued mine to 150 ft-lb, each moved about a 1/16-1/8 turn CW.

Inspection of the bearings showed all looked similiar, a little grease around the end of the bearing, the washer between the bearing and the axle nut was flat and in good shape. Some owners have reported that their washer had become conical, making it difficult to re-torque.

One other note: both Lippert and Dexter indicate the axle nut takes a 1 1/2 inch or 1 7/16 inch socket, I found my axle nut to be 46 mm.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:25 AM   #7
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We have a 2010 Wildcat 31TS and had a major problem with our axle. We were coming home from camping and the axle broke. Forest River called it a catastrophic event and replaced it with a new axle!! This happened when the camper had only been ours for 6 months!!
My hubby always stops when we are out camping and he see's our 5th wheel and lets them know to have it checked!
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:38 AM   #8
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It seems like computer modeling is all someone needs to go to market nowadays. The consumer is the test lab. Id have a hard time running a product that the MFG bailed on. The question is, how long does it take for the bearing to go from looking fine to full destruction?
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Old 05-23-2015, 01:01 PM   #9
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The question is, how long does it take for the bearing to go from looking fine to full destruction?
I can tell you that sealed front bearings/hubs will last many miles before they fully fail on cars. mine went about 500 miles making all kind of racket before I got a new one, and a buddies at work went months with all kinds of tire slop before he replaced his, but cars dont carry the weight a camper axle does.
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