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Old 08-25-2020, 08:49 PM   #1
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Greasing the bearings

I just discovered my 2506S TT Rockwood has zert fittings on the ends of the axials.. Does anyone have a procedure for applying grease..? or just do you just give each one a couple of shots..? (how often ?) I think it important to use the correct grease so I think I will make a trip to where I purchased my trailer.
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Old 08-25-2020, 09:13 PM   #2
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There are people who rely solely on the fittings to apply grease, however I give each one or two shots of grease once or twice a year. But I repack my bearings every spring after the long winter sit. After the repack I give a shot mid summer and again right before the last trip before storage. But really to each their own. The only thing you need to be careful of when using the zert fittings is to not pump in to much grease or to fast which could blow the seal out in the back and allow dirt and water in.
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Old 08-28-2020, 12:24 PM   #3
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Personally, I like to read the manual:
https://www.dexteraxle.com/docs/defa...sn=cfe1e328_42

Pages 57-58 cover EZ Lube
Grease specs are on page 53

And just a note....the grease fitting is Zerk.
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Old 08-28-2020, 03:30 PM   #4
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Manuals are good, Thank you
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:57 PM   #5
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Lots of threads on this. Jack up the wheel and slowly spin the tires slowly adding grease until you see it beginning to come out. Good manuals on this. Careful not to overload with grease or you will have a mess.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
Personally, I like to read the manual:
https://www.dexteraxle.com/docs/defa...sn=cfe1e328_42
Me too...manual page 52 is to repack every 12 months or every 12,000 miles.


Quote:
Along with bearing adjustment, proper lubrication is essential to the proper function and reliability of your trailer axle. Bearings should be lubricated every 12 months or 12,000 miles. The method to repack bearing cones is as follows:1. Place a quantity of grease into the palm of your hand.2. Press a section of the widest end of the bearing into the outer edge of the grease pile closest to the thumb forcing grease into the interior of the bearing.3. Repeat this while rotating the bearing from roller to roller.4. Continue this process until you have the entire bearing completely filled with grease.5. Before reinstalling, apply a light coat of grease on the bearing cup.



Also here. every 12K miles or 12 months...inspect and repack.

https://www.dexteraxle.com/docs/defa...4.pdf?sfvrsn=0



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Old 08-30-2020, 05:16 PM   #7
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Ahh...

A million posts pro con about how to lube brngs.

I believe Dexter as any other manufacturer " has" to put out a manual outlining how to properly pack a brng.

Yeah, if your wheel is off, and you pulled your seal and washed out the brngs to inspect, then yes, hand pack your brngs, lube the races, fill the void between brngs with grease...

But, for routine maintence, the EZ Lube zerk few pumps of proper grease into the hubs with a hand grease gun rules.

If you have the wheel off the ground, the hub spins free and smooth, no end play, grease is visible in the hub assy looking in after you pull rubber hub cap... my experience with that scenario shows hub and brngs are fine, add a few pumps of proper grease with a hand grease gun, you should see the fresh grease squeeze out the outer brng. Close it up, you are good.

With a hand grease gun, how in the world would you push the grease seal out and fill the brakes with grease? As long as hub rubber plug is removed?

I would think you need a closed hub and a powered grease gun to hydraulically push the grease seal out and fill the drum with grease.

If that is how it happens, these folks should have never trusted themselves to work on their own equipment.

Jus' sayin'...
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:50 PM   #8
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With a hand grease gun, how in the world would you push the grease seal out and fill the brakes with grease? As long as hub rubber plug is removed?
It happens all the time. There are MANY people on here, including ones with pictures, that show it happens. On a boating site I am on, many have had it happen. It doesn't push the seals out..it pushes grease past the rubber portion of the seal.

You need to inspect your brakes anyway so the wheel needs to come off. There is a reason I call them LAZ-Lube.

It seriously takes only a few extra minutes once you jack up a wheel to do a complete job...I don't believe in doing it half A...'d
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:07 PM   #9
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It happens all the time. There are MANY people on here, including ones with pictures, that show it happens. On a boating site I am on, many have had it happen. It doesn't push the seals out..it pushes grease past the rubber portion of the seal.

You need to inspect your brakes anyway so the wheel needs to come off. There is a reason I call them LAZ-Lube.

It seriously takes only a few extra minutes once you jack up a wheel to do a complete job...I don't believe in doing it half A...'d
On seals where grease has been pushed out through the rubber portion it would be interesting to see if seal was actually a double lipped seal with garter spring.

Both types fit and single lip seals were widely used before EZ-Lube. Not unreasonable to expect a mixup at the assembly point or someone just buying the cheapest seal available when servicing.
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:35 PM   #10
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You'll always get a lively discussion about "EZ Lube". Some swear by the invention ... some swear at it. Personally, I don't care for the invention, but accept the fact that some users have success. Without getting into the pros and cons, I want to point out to the folks that believe 2-3 pumps in spring, summer, and fall is beneficial ... you are just going thru the motions. Dexter does not send out their axle assemblies with a full hub of grease which is essential for the invention to work ... dealerships are supposed to pump away and fill up the hub ... many do not. As an owner, you'll find it takes near a full tube of grease for EACH wheel hub the first time the invention is put to use should your dealership skip this step ... did I mention many do skip this step??? So for those of you that pump 2-3 squirts a couple of times a year and feel a sense of accomplishment ... put pen to paper and do the math on how many years of 2-3 squirts will have to happen before the wheel hub cavity is filled to make the invention work.
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:27 AM   #11
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On seals where grease has been pushed out through the rubber portion it would be interesting to see if seal was actually a double lipped seal with garter spring.

Both types fit and single lip seals were widely used before EZ-Lube. Not unreasonable to expect a mixup at the assembly point or someone just buying the cheapest seal available when servicing.
Ours were factory Dexter double lip seals with under 12 mo and 3,300 miles on them.

I never added grease, but somebody must have prior to us picking the trailer up at the dealership.

I'll never use the zerk fittings.

Found this while repacking the bearings -

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Old 08-31-2020, 12:22 PM   #12
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So for those of you that pump 2-3 squirts a couple of times a year and feel a sense of accomplishment ... put pen to paper and do the math on how many years of 2-3 squirts will have to happen before the wheel hub cavity is filled to make the invention work.
In my opinion, and in my experience, here's how the system is supposed to work:
  • Bring your new trailer home.
  • Raise the wheel, remove the dust cap, and ensure that the bearings on your new axles are properly adjusted. You would be surprised at how many are not properly adjusted from the factory.
  • Fill the hubs with grease, use a hand grease gun only. Pump in grease and fill the hub until the new grease pushes through the outside bearing. Dexter says to raise the wheel and turn it while greasing, I have other brand axles on other trailers where the axle manuals do not say lifting and turning the wheel is necessary. Do what works for you. It is your equipment.
  • Once you have the hub completely filled with new clean grease, all that grease in there is new clean grease. Until any given unit of grease makes its way into an actual bearing, it remains new clean grease. Being in the center of the hub between the bearings does not in and of itself make this full quantity of grease into "used grease".
  • Every year or whatever interval you decide upon for your situation, when you add 3-5 pumps of new grease to the zerk (you only need to add enough to push the old grease out of the bearing and replace it with new), it will push the used grease from the inside bearing along with the new clean grease trapped between the inside bearing and the outside bearing outward toward the outside bearing. The new clean grease trapped between the outside and inside bearings will push out the old used grease from the outside bearing by the same amount that you added to the zerk.
  • After 3-4 "normal" service intervals where you have added grease to the zerk, it is also probably time to visually inspect the bearings and/or brakes, and by this time the old grease from the inside bearing will be getting near the outside bearing.
  • When you pull the hub to visually inspect the brakes and bearings, remove and clean all of the grease from the hub.
  • Reassemble, refill the hub with new clean grease, and the cycle begins again.
I've been doing this procedure on my trailers for many many years... with 100% success rate. I use a hand powered grease gun with a squeeze handle, and I have not pushed out any seals or pushed grease past any seal yet. Go slow. Do not pump rapidly and cause excess pressure to build within the hub.

To whomever is reading this:


As with all things, your equipment is your equipment, and ultimately, you get to maintain it as you see fit. It is your decision, and yours alone. This is how I do it... it works for me. It works with my axles. In the real world, alternate maintenance procedures are used in lieu of the manufacturers recommendations in millions of instances every single day, the work still gets done and the seasons change and the sun still rises and sets on time. This is not a recommendation for you to change your maintenance procedures in any way in favor of mine. This is only a testimonial on my procedures that I follow and my results achieved. In case you are wondering, my reasoning for following my procedures is this: In my opinion, doing a full teardown and repack every single year when the axles have only been used for ~3000 miles is wasteful in both labor and materials. It is easy enough to ascertain the general condition of the bearings and brakes through non-teardown inspection, if you know the signs to look for. My procedures have allowed me to roll down the road with confidence and still sleep like a baby at night. They will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.


Again, ultimately, what you do with your equipment is your decision and your decision alone.


Use your time and resources wisely. Go camping.
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:50 PM   #13
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Wow...I could have taken off a wheel and hand packed a set of bearings for the time it took to read that last post!
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Old 08-31-2020, 11:33 PM   #14
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LOL, that's OK... most of us can read much faster than that
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:33 AM   #15
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LOL, that's OK... most of us can read much faster than that
And some don't have the skills to handpack bearings...at least in a reasonable amount of time!

But if you go 3 or 4 service intervals which I am guessing means years...it all ends up averaging out....according to the thesis that was written.
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:52 AM   #16
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That might be true. Especially if you've never done it before.


Others may have hand packed countless bearings, and just don't care to do it if it's not needed.



The best part is, you can do it any way you want.
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:53 AM   #17
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The best part is, you can do it any way you want.
Yep...agree on that!
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:24 AM   #18
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And some don't have the skills to handpack bearings...at least in a reasonable amount of time!

But if you go 3 or 4 service intervals which I am guessing means years...it all ends up averaging out....according to the thesis that was written.
I agree hand packing is best mainly because you need to see the brakes. I disagree on timing for most to complete the job. Dexter's youtube video is 7min and they cut most of the work out...thats 30min minimum for just the bearings on a tandem axle trailer not counting jacking etc.

I just did mine and average time was 1.5hrs to replace and pack bearings seals and runs PER wheel counting getting everything jacked, mounted unmounted and cleaned up. I had not done it before on a TT with brakes for those looking to do it for the first time. I have done other trailers (repack only no brakes or replacement) and they went much faster. Started at 2hrs for the first and got shorter maybe best was 45min on the TT.

I ran into issues with a few brakes needing adjustment as I had never dealt with them before, as well cleaning from grease getting past the rear seal on two...I never used the easy lube so perhaps the dealer? I also had issues pulling the factory seals as most would tear apart in peices before popping out and it was painful to get done even with a seal puller.

I will take any tips you have for next time to speed things up. I also found the brass punch would not always stay on the race when driving them out because they were so soft.

Should some decide to use EZ-Lube take note that dexter has a single hole at the back of the axle for grease to come out. If cool and you are not rotating the wheel I can see grease getting past the seal quickly before coming out the front.
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Old 09-01-2020, 06:56 AM   #19
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many of you pull the hubs and hand repack the bearings, even if you have the ez-lube axles. i'm fine with that as you get to see the brakes. i intend to do this myself.

my question has to do with the bearings that you pull out. is there an expected life expectancy on these bearings? our are 6 years old and have thousands of miles on them. they were repacked a couple of years ago by a rv tech when he replaced the brakes. but to be honest i do not know if he hand repacked them or just used the ez-lube feature.

there are many rebuild kits out there that include new bearings, races, seals, and cotter pins. they are much cheaper than buying the parts individually. plus they would have matched and consistent parts which you might not get if you ordered the parts individually. would it be worth it to just bite the bullet, buy the rebuild kits, and just plan on replacing the races and bearings on all hubs at the same time with consistent parts?

is there a rule of thumb as to how often the bearings need to be replaced?
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:26 AM   #20
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When properly maintained and kept within thier load limits bearings will last a very long time. Boat trailers fail more often due to submersion and a lack of maintenance.

If you check them regularly and there is no sign of wear you can keep going. A quick check can be done without pulling the wheel. Jack it up then try to twist the wheel. If you feel play in it then you need to pull the wheel to check the bearings.
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