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Old 02-18-2018, 06:39 PM   #1
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Wheel Bearing Grease/Repack Intervals

Add Grease to the Wheel Bearings? Repack Wheel Bearings? Your experienced replies are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for responding to this thread. We will have owned it 1 year in April. Towed about 2000 miles in our first year. For the rest of that year it has sat at our home base campground.
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Old 02-18-2018, 06:49 PM   #2
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My experience in auto parts and father an Air Force vehicle maint sup for 40yrs would say clean completely and repack with synthetic grease then you know it’s history and done right!
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Old 02-18-2018, 06:54 PM   #3
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If you know your wheel bearings were well greased from the factory then i would give it another year. I know you are suppose to grease every year or 12,000 miles but if your rig was well greased then there is no way you would need to be repacked after 12 months as little as it has been used.I repack every year and i travel about 5 to 6,000 miles each year and mine still look very good. As for as adding grease, if you have the ez lube then you could give each wheel a couple of pumps of grease but if no ez lube then i wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 02-18-2018, 06:54 PM   #4
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If this was a new rig, have the bearings repacked by removing the hubs and packing the individual bearings, and install new seals. The brakes should be checked also to make sure they are good so you have no surprises that there was a defect in any of the brakes. Once all that is done, then you can stretch it out to every other or every third year if your distance traveled is minimal. I would not recommend using the zerk fittings to just add grease as many have had issues with brake contamination from grease getting by the seals. The reason for getting the repack done the first time is due to not knowing how well the bearings were packed at the Dexter plant when the axles were assembled. If you can do the work yourself, even better. The EZ Lube system would need the entire hub cavity to be pumped full of grease to the point the grease in the inner bearing was pushed completely past the outer bearing and new grease was circulated in both bearings, all this while slowly turning the wheel while pumping the grease, and no idea if the brakes are good and also no idea if the seals are holding.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:17 PM   #5
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I recommend repacking this spring before heading out to know what you have. Then you can run a couple of years without repacking unless you put more than 12K miles a year on it. Would not simply pump grease in.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:46 AM   #6
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I agree with Bob and just had our new rigs bearings repacked. Having watched the assembly of RV's and their parts at the factory, I was not willing to trust that the bearings were full of grease.
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:11 PM   #7
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I agree that the bearings factory pack job should not be trusted. Repack them your self or have someone reputable do it for you. At least then, you know it has been done correctly. As far as repacking them every year, A TOTAL waste of $$ IMHO. As long as you are not towing it a lot of miles, like 15k+ a year, I would not repack them for several years. Me personally, my unit has disc brakes (repacked by the dealer when I bought it), so I can see the back side of the rotors and seals so I would see if the seals were bad. I pump grease in through the zerks several times a year with the wheels off the ground while spinning.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:31 PM   #8
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As new as your unit appears to be, I would be concerned about two things more than others. 1. are the hubs full of proper grease and 2. are the bearings properly adjusted. New assemblies can "settle in" during the early miles accrued. Find out what grease the factory uses and get the same. Assuming EZ lube axles, it is easy to pump grease into the hubs gently without doing any damage to the seals. You can check the function of the brakes many ways without taking apart.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:44 AM   #9
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Hi

This post is not intended to scare you.

Here is a post I out on the forum you may find some information useful.

http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...highlight=phil

This one explains about the different types of grease.

http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...highlight=phil

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Old 02-20-2018, 04:59 AM   #10
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I seriously believe there are too many who just can't comprehend that the manufacturer of these EZ-Lube hubs may just know the right way to put grease in them and when. If you've too much time on your hand (or money in your pocket if paying someone else to do it), go ahead and take each wheel and hub all apart and repack. Simply repacking won't get enough grease inside the hubs though and you'll have to finish the job by pumping the way Dexter says.

As beeje and Tucker said though, I wouldn't trust that enough grease is in them just because they're new. Jacking each wheel and rotating while hand pumping UNTIL GREASE STARTS COMING OUT will solve that problem easily. Since we've been traveling over 10k miles each of the last five years, I follow Dexter's instructions each spring. It takes somewhere around 1/2 to 3/4 a tube until the grease coming out is colored and not black/dark grey. I also check to be certain the bearings are seated (no wheel wobble) and adjust the fixing nut if needed. Never have needed more than a small amount.
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Old 02-20-2018, 05:41 AM   #11
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Dexter's bearing maintenance information says every 12 months or 12K miles for about everything but their Nevr-Lube hubs. They also give you several recommended greases - I use Mystick which is found at any Tractor Supply store. While I fully agree with the 12K mikes, thing that every 12 months regardless is too conservative and is a Dexter CYA. As far as owning a new unit - too many tales of woe about improperly lubed bearings plus the fact that many other have had problems, including myself, with unbranded, Far East manufactured bearings. And I wont use the E-Z Lube zerks. It's not a boat trailer that needs all the grease protection possible. I just get down and dirty for a couple hours every year or so but that's my choice based on several years of military motor pool and other automotive training/work before a clean hands work life.
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Old 02-21-2018, 07:00 PM   #12
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A new trailer, run it for a year. Pull wheels, inspect brakes, bearings. Hand pack, reinstall, you should be good for 30-40k miles.
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:06 PM   #13
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You might make 30 or 40 thousand miles but i would not have any peace of mind traveling that many miles on a repack .Peace of mind is worth something. It could be quite costly and inconvenient on the road if the bearings didn't make it.I realize i probably over maintain my rv but it is much easier to work on it on a concrete slab in my barn with all the tools and equipment than on side of the road.
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:21 AM   #14
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I at least follow the mileage part of the Dexter bearing maintenance information - 12,000 miles but even better, IMO is every spring regardless of miles is to at least inspect one hub if my miles are low such as last year with only ~2600 miles. 40K miles is looking for trouble
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:13 AM   #15
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Those of us who remember rear wheel drive cars from the 60-70's, we packed the front wheel bearings when we did a front brake job. Usually around 40k miles. I had mine packed by a shop that basicly does trailer axle work. They do a lot of hot-shot trailer work. Said I was good for several years. Used red syn grease.

Just comenting on my personal experience. I only put a few thousand miles a year on mine, so your maintance is probably different than mine. My truck just turned 26k miles on a '12 3500 Ram, so I spend a lot of time sitting. Last year the trailer saw less than 3k miles, same with the truck.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlb27537 View Post
Those of us who remember rear wheel drive cars from the 60-70's, we packed the front wheel bearings when we did a front brake job. Usually around 40k miles. .
I worked as a mechanic in that period of time while going to college after being a wheeled vehicle mechanic in the service. Every car manufacturer recommended 12,000 miles. Repacking wheel bearings was one of those cruddy jobs we tried to pawn off on the lowest service guy as it wasn't and still is not fun but a necessity with the then petroleum based grease.

As far as brakes - seldom would the asbestos based lining media last more then 20-25,000 miles with 12-18000 being closer to the norm.

Today's RVs have bearings that are of a size that for all intents are too small for the carried load - i.e. 5.2-8000 pounds per axle for most 5ers.

That outer 5.2/6 K and most susceptible to failure is a transmission counter shaft bearing or a differential pinion bearing, both in an oil bath but drafted into greased wheel bearing service

.... 'nuff said about where I stand as I'm pretty conservative with my RVs running gear
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:07 AM   #17
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I'm taking a neutral stance, BUT for any that repack their own or have a shop do it, the most important thing is a clean, dry, and dirt free place to do the job. No matter how good a job is done repacking the bearing, one spec of grit can kill that bearing in short order.
The one and only bearing issue I've had was shortly after having them repacked at a shop.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlb27537 View Post
Those of us who remember rear wheel drive cars from the 60-70's, we packed the front wheel bearings when we did a front brake job. Usually around 40k miles. I had mine packed by a shop that basicly does trailer axle work. They do a lot of hot-shot trailer work. Said I was good for several years. Used red syn grease.

Just comenting on my personal experience. I only put a few thousand miles a year on mine, so your maintance is probably different than mine. My truck just turned 26k miles on a '12 3500 Ram, so I spend a lot of time sitting. Last year the trailer saw less than 3k miles, same with the truck.
It sounds like you only need to repack on account of the grease drying up on account of lack of use. lol.
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