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Old 11-24-2009, 03:09 AM   #1
Tom S.
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The Great Wheel Bearing Debate - Resolved!

A little history first to set the stage. We bought our trailer new in 06 but it sat idle until the summer of 07 after we retired. Later that year, we had to have both axles replaced. Again, in 08 we didn't do a lot of travel (about 6,000 miles total). This year, as I explained in several posts, when I went to use the easy lube system, it took a lot of grease before I started seeing grease come out the front bearings. Because of the 'raging debate' about how many times you should have to pump the grease gun, I contacted Dexter about the problem. Their answer was that the bearings come packed full from their factory, so one or two should be sufficient. They also said that while it was possible that one hub could have been over looked, it was very unlikely they all could be. That's when the light came on!!!!!

I am willing to bet the huge weekly allowance my wife gives me ($2.27 US) that when the axles were replaced, the hubs were never repacked properly, hence me having to pump and pump and pump before any grease came out the front.

So to those of you who posted it only takes one or two pumps, you were absolutely correct - provided the axle hasn't been 'worked on' by someone who didn't refill the system.

I humbly bow to your wisdom!!!
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:50 AM   #2
DHenry
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Just to be safe, I think I would pull a brake drum and check to see if you might have pumped grease into the brakes. It is unusual that a mechanic would not pack the bearings with grease before putting them in. You may have pushed the grease past the rear seal. Just a thought but it will not hurt to check it.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:56 AM   #3
Tom S.
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Doug, I did the bearings about 500 miles ago and have had on problems yet (knock on wood!). Trailer is stored for the winter though, and I'll be doing the brake adjustments in the spring as part of my 'take it out of storage' ritual, so I'll double check to make sure.

Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:41 AM   #4
PapaBeav
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When I had a bent axle replaced earlier this year I had them check the brakes and repack the bearings. It appears that I had over packed two of the wheels, because there was grease on the brake linings. He told me to just repack the bearings every two years and forget about adding any more grease. And I had only put in a couple of pumps from a hand pump twice a year.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:45 AM   #5
Delaine and Lindy
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I agree, question how often do you re-pack your wheel bearings on the Truck. I think ever two years is fine. How many miles do you tow your 5th wheel. The most we have ever done is 22,000 miles in one year and checked the brakes and wheel bearings and they were fine. However bearing adjustment is critical and should be checked yearly. You don't have to remove anything to check the adjustment on a wheel bearing. Just raise the wheel off the ground. We have had never lube bearings and I never added grease, you have to be very careful not to pump to much grease in, the seal is very fragile. And if you don't raise the wheel off the ground when you do put grease in you will more than likely add to much. And once you get grease on a brake shoe they have to be replaced. GBY....
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:24 AM   #6
Tom S.
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The truck bearing are sealed, which BTW, I don't care for because I used to repack bearings with every brake job. Despite what the mfg's say, "lifetime" bearings do have a life time and it isn't all that long! A friend replaced the sealed bearings on his Bravada with Lifetime bearings from a local parts place. After he tried to replace them the 3rd time, they gave him back his money and told him not to come back! The Olds had around 275,000 miles on it.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
mcgiver2
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My question ? if you add a few shots of grease ever year or ever ever 6 months so tell me where does the old grease go ? if the grease breaks down then i can understand to repack them but adding grease pumps for the peace of mine, i much rather have some one check my brakes and bearings at the same time, like ever 2 years or so. think about how often do you have the wheel bearings on your car or truck redone?
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:20 PM   #8
Tom S.
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mcgiver2

My question ? if you add a few shots of grease ever year or ever ever 6 months so tell me where does the old grease go ? if the grease breaks down then i can understand to repack them but adding grease pumps for the peace of mine, i much rather have some one check my brakes and bearings at the same time, like ever 2 years or so. think about how often do you have the wheel bearings on your car or truck redone?
With the easy lube system, old grease should be forced out the front bearing, which you would then wipe off. The one flaw I see in this system is eventually the old grease from the rear bearing is going to be forced in to the front bearing as it makes it's way forward. Of course, since we're only giving it a shot or two, it's going to take a long long time before that actually happens - probably longer than the bearing life itself.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:37 PM   #9
richfaa
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We did not have the easy lube or never lube fittings installed on our Mor Ryde IS system.Mor Ryde indicated they were more trouble than they are worth due to folks over greasing them. We will have them checked once a year as we always did anyhow.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:43 PM   #10
mcgiver2
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Well that makes more since to me what your all saying ,Lindy,Tom,and Rich. so i will have mine checked when i have my brakes checked .........
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:23 PM   #11
8.1al
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I'm sure that when Dexter assembles the axles They fill the bearings with grease but I'm not sure they fill the cavity between the bearings with grease because they don't need it.
Here's some good info on greasing bearings from Timken

http://www.timken.com/EN-US/solution...ts/Vol3No2.pdf
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:57 AM   #12
ARJ
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Boy, talk about making mountains out of mole hills!

Take the damn zerks out and throw them away. Follow the Timken instructions posted above by 8.1al. It shouldn't be necessary to repack the bearings more than every couple of years except to pull a wheel and check the crappy brake linings that were installed.

As far as the bearing adjustments-the outer bearing nut should be tightened fully and the backed off about an 1/8th of a turn allowing for the castle lock or cotter pin to be installed.

Now, come on guys-this ain't rocket science and have a happy thanksgiving. Sure hope I didn't ruffle any of those feathers!

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Old 11-25-2009, 04:40 AM   #13
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Enough said, Amen.
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:46 AM   #14
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ARJ is dead on in his opinion. After 2 yeasr we had ours re-packed by a dealer, will never do that again. One of the wrench apes used a power luber to pack my bearings, filled the hubs with grease. The dealer then had to pull all 4 wheels, clean up the mess (about 10 lbs of grease) replace all the brakes and manually pack the bearings as I asked for in the first place. Heck of it was about 100 miles down the road I had to adjust the brakes, they had put in new pads but didn't adjust them. Had to find competant help these days.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:10 AM   #15
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ARJ; you have my vote and support. Those grease guns can do a lot of damage at 1500 to 3000 psi in the wrong hands!!
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:16 PM   #16
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Pull the bearings for repacking. How else can the be inspected for damage and wear. Pumping grease in via the zerks fitting can easily blow out the seal. You have never had such a thrill ride as when your brakes are full of grease! My wife and I are very luck to be here today after an incompetent service guy used the zerks fitting when I asked them to "repack" the bearings. 3 out of 4 brake drums were FULL. NEVER trust this system, IT SUCKS!
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:20 PM   #17
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As for inspecting to see if there's grease on the brake linings and drums, I would think you could avoid that by first checking to see if the brake holds on each wheel. you could jack one wheel off the ground, then pull the cord on the emergency brake on the pinbox. Try to spin the wheel. If it moves, that brake is not holding and needs to be inspected whether the problem is grease on the linings or something else.

I know for fact when that emergency brake is tripped a 1979 Ford V10 will not budge a Montana, even when it's blocking the road, only partially turned into a campsite. Don't ask... I'm not sure whether you'd still be able to turn the wheel if there were grease on the lining.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #18
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will never use easy lubes again, not worth it
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:55 PM   #19
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I know this is an old thread brought to life, but I will use it to pass on a bit of advice to the people who make sure initially the bearings are properly repacked and opt to use the easy lube. The grease will flow easier and it will be less likely to bypass the seal if you take the Monty out for a little spin and exercise the braking system to heat up the drum and soften the grease.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by kab449

I know this is an old thread brought to life, but I will use it to pass on a bit of advice to the people who make sure initially the bearings are properly repacked and opt to use the easy lube. The grease will flow easier and it will be less likely to bypass the seal if you take the Monty out for a little spin and exercise the braking system to heat up the drum and soften the grease.
yes i agree, just BS that i had one get by the seal doing everything i was suppose to lol
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