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Old 10-14-2019, 08:32 PM   #1
masterdrago
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Tips and Tricks on Bearing Service

I finished up the full bearing service on our 5r. All new USA made Timkin parts. The one odd thing I noticed was that the front left wheel seemed tight after doing the preload to the bearings (torque to 50 Ft Lbs while spinning the rotor, then loosen and finger tighten the spindle nut). I backed off and did a repeat and it still seemed a bit tight but had a tiny amount of play. I'm going to take the 5r for a ride this week and will check the rotor temperature. Anyone have ideas on this?

Tips learned from the experience since I had not done any bearing work since the late 60s.

1) Although recommended here on the MOC, I thought I could break the lug nuts with an impact wrench by chocking the tire after lifting. A BIG NOT on that. Make sure to break the nuts b4 raising the 5r.

2: The tires are a lot heavier than I was expecting. Be prepared for that.

3) I chose to raise all the tires off the ground together using the 6pt level-up. Worked like a champ. Found it a good idea to add two 14x14x1 oak planks under each jack to make it easier for the lift. I also, for the sake of safety, put heavy duty jack stands under the frame. Plan on having a large number of 4x4 timber available to get the jacks up high enough.

4) Removing the rotor is a very dirty job (brake dust & grease). Have a large tub or litter box under the wheel you're working on. When the outer bearing drops out, it will not crash to the concrete. Plus, all the black, nasty brake dust will fall somewhere that will be easy to clean up.

5) Using a big screwdriver might work for some but I got a dedicated seal puller @AMZN $6.

6) You will need lot and lots of shop towels. I used the "Quicker Picker Upper". Nearly as strong and way less expensive. The shop towels work better if you are dropping heavy bearings into a place to dry after cleaning them.


7) I used 4 big (19oz) cans of CRC Brakleen ($47/case - dozen @AMZN). Cleaned up the rotor and all the brake related parts on the hub.

8) I found that a brass punch was no match for the pressed in races. They are incredibly hard and will eat up a brass punch. I used a 3/8"x8" steel pin punch. The rotor needed to be supported ~5" up on the edge to free up space under it to knock out the outer race. Much less for the inner race. Was an easy task and could be performed on the side of the highway if needed.

9) Put the new races in the freezer for ~10 minutes b4 dropping them in. Race and seal installation sets can be had from $18 to $1,050.99. Mine was $26 from AMZN. The installation is easy and again, can be done roadside if your freezer is cold.

10) The really nasty part is the grease. I used a Lisle bearing packer and just slightly over one 14oz tube of Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Automotive grease. $7/tube @AMZN.

11) If you have a socket for the water heater element, then you have one to torque the spindle nut. 1 1/2"

12) There is a huge difference of opinion on whether to use anti-seize on the lug nuts. A few of my wheel bolts looked to have slight rust on the threads. I used the tiniest amount of copper anti-seize that I've been using on nuts and bolts for 50 years. The torque values are listed in the LCI service manual for my 1/2"-20 studs as 1st stage 20-25ftlbs, 2nd stage 50-60ftlbs, & 3rd stage 100-120ftlbs. That's at 10, 25 & 50 miles.

If I think of any more tips, I'll pass them on. Please feel free to add some of your thought.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:56 PM   #2
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I am a little surprised all of your bearings needed to be replaced on so new a trailer. Well cared for bearings will normally outlast the trailer. They are fairly easy to inspect annually as they are repacked and the brakes checked. Always worthwhile to carry a spare set.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:56 PM   #3
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Thank you for the blow by blow. I have saved this post for future reference when I have to do mine in the spring.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Traveler View Post
I am a little surprised all of your bearings needed to be replaced on so new a trailer. Well cared for bearings will normally outlast the trailer. They are fairly easy to inspect annually as they are repacked and the brakes checked. Always worthwhile to carry a spare set.
Same with Thetford toilet. No name tires - replace b4 trouble. I've always been leery of the Chinese bearings after reading some of the horror stories, including one fire caused by either poor bearings or their installation. On my repair, I did find two bearings that looks scored and two seals that had begun to spray grease. I think the next thing that will get tossed is the pspoor stereo/sound system.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by AZ Traveler View Post
I am a little surprised all of your bearings needed to be replaced on so new a trailer. <snip> Always worthwhile to carry a spare set.
I now have two pair that were in good shape, so saved them.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:42 PM   #6
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Torque values should be reduced by 25% on lubricated fasteners vs dry. I think anti seize would qualify as “lubricated”.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Traveler View Post
I am a little surprised all of your bearings needed to be replaced on so new a trailer. Well cared for bearings will normally outlast the trailer. They are fairly easy to inspect annually as they are repacked and the brakes checked. Always worthwhile to carry a spare set.
I had to replace my bearings already and mine is a 2018 !! Zero quality control
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BB_TX View Post
Torque values should be reduced by 25% on lubricated fasteners vs dry. I think anti seize would qualify as “lubricated”.
Just curious if that would also pertain to the torque value when pre-loading the bearing using the spindle nut. There is really no way those threads are going to be dry. I was also wondering about "finger tight" since my "finger tight" might be a bit different than that of Hulk Hogan. I did notice when removing all the spindle nuts, that they were very, very loose. I almost would not have even used the term "finger tight". They were more like very lightly "pinky tight".
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Last2Die View Post
I had to replace my bearings already and mine is a 2018 !! Zero quality control
Just looking at the original bearings it was hard to determine that they were made any differently than the USA Timkins. I might do a microscopic look a bit later since I'll be doing another pre-load on the front left wheel.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:56 PM   #10
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Bearing Service

I have a 2018 High Country and have replaced my bearings with Timkens. The old ones, made in China were fair with a small amount of scoring on the left front but the big surprise was that the left rear had an overload of grease that had leaked into the hub and on the brake which could have caused a fire. Since I had not added grease it would appear someone at the factory did not know what he was doing. Poor quality control I will never assume everything is fine when done at the factory
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:47 AM   #11
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amount of grease

Quote:
Originally Posted by masterdrago View Post
I finished up the full bearing service on our 5r. All new USA made Timkin parts. The one odd thing I noticed was that the front left wheel seemed tight after doing the preload to the bearings (torque to 50 Ft Lbs while spinning the rotor, then loosen and finger tighten the spindle nut). I backed off and did a repeat and it still seemed a bit tight but had a tiny amount of play. I'm going to take the 5r for a ride this week and will check the rotor temperature. Anyone have ideas on this?

Tips learned from the experience since I had not done any bearing work since the late 60s.

1) Although recommended here on the MOC, I thought I could break the lug nuts with an impact wrench by chocking the tire after lifting. A BIG NOT on that. Make sure to break the nuts b4 raising the 5r.

2: The tires are a lot heavier than I was expecting. Be prepared for that.

3) I chose to raise all the tires off the ground together using the 6pt level-up. Worked like a champ. Found it a good idea to add two 14x14x1 oak planks under each jack to make it easier for the lift. I also, for the sake of safety, put heavy duty jack stands under the frame. Plan on having a large number of 4x4 timber available to get the jacks up high enough.

4) Removing the rotor is a very dirty job (brake dust & grease). Have a large tub or litter box under the wheel you're working on. When the outer bearing drops out, it will not crash to the concrete. Plus, all the black, nasty brake dust will fall somewhere that will be easy to clean up.

5) Using a big screwdriver might work for some but I got a dedicated seal puller @AMZN $6.

6) You will need lot and lots of shop towels. I used the "Quicker Picker Upper". Nearly as strong and way less expensive. The shop towels work better if you are dropping heavy bearings into a place to dry after cleaning them.


7) I used 4 big (19oz) cans of CRC Brakleen ($47/case - dozen @AMZN). Cleaned up the rotor and all the brake related parts on the hub.

8) I found that a brass punch was no match for the pressed in races. They are incredibly hard and will eat up a brass punch. I used a 3/8"x8" steel pin punch. The rotor needed to be supported ~5" up on the edge to free up space under it to knock out the outer race. Much less for the inner race. Was an easy task and could be performed on the side of the highway if needed.

9) Put the new races in the freezer for ~10 minutes b4 dropping them in. Race and seal installation sets can be had from $18 to $1,050.99. Mine was $26 from AMZN. The installation is easy and again, can be done roadside if your freezer is cold.

10) The really nasty part is the grease. I used a Lisle bearing packer and just slightly over one 14oz tube of Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Automotive grease. $7/tube @AMZN.

11) If you have a socket for the water heater element, then you have one to torque the spindle nut. 1 1/2"

12) There is a huge difference of opinion on whether to use anti-seize on the lug nuts. A few of my wheel bolts looked to have slight rust on the threads. I used the tiniest amount of copper anti-seize that I've been using on nuts and bolts for 50 years. The torque values are listed in the LCI service manual for my 1/2"-20 studs as 1st stage 20-25ftlbs, 2nd stage 50-60ftlbs, & 3rd stage 100-120ftlbs. That's at 10, 25 & 50 miles.

If I think of any more tips, I'll pass them on. Please feel free to add some of your thought.
So that was 1 tube used for the total job or 1 tube/wheel?
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masterdrago View Post
Just curious if that would also pertain to the torque value when pre-loading the bearing using the spindle nut. There is really no way those threads are going to be dry. I was also wondering about "finger tight" since my "finger tight" might be a bit different than that of Hulk Hogan. I did notice when removing all the spindle nuts, that they were very, very loose. I almost would not have even used the term "finger tight". They were more like very lightly "pinky tight".
We found the spindle nut 'pinky tight' as well. Could this be due to the EZ lube design? Allowing the grease to permeate the bearing?
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Irv View Post
So that was 1 tube used for the total job or 1 tube/wheel?
It was a total of 1+ tube total to grease all eight bearings manually. One tube would have not been enough. The Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Automotive Grease was dark and seemed thick compared to the tub of Timkin red grease I had originally planned to use.



I have chosen not to use the EZ-Lube system due to excessive grease usage and the possibility of blowing grease past the seal. There was clear evidence that some grease had been pushed passed two of the seals at the factory.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:09 PM   #14
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If you do the job just as stated in the Dexter manual and do initial torque after installing and back off the axle nut will be loose.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:28 PM   #15
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Where did you get the new bearings, and how do I determine the correct part number?
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:32 PM   #16
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I applaud you for installing what you feel the best in wheel bearing choice and for posting a blow by blow account. For others contemplating this job ... a reminder about what I have mentioned 2-3 times over the years about "Timken" bearings ... be sure you look on the box or packaging and be sure they are made in the USA. Around two weeks ago, I got two sets of Timken bearings from a local parts house that were made in India. Yes India. Further ... unless you have the equipment and know how, removing bearing races and installing new ones could cause more grief than simply using the originals with new Timken bearings. Replacing races can become a real job. Unless the pockets that the races fit in are clean and void of any metal burrs, they may not seat 100% and that will cause issues down the road. Masterdrago's one wheel issue may be because one race didn't seat 100% ... just a possibility. Also a bearing race driver is a must to apply the last tap to completely seat the race even if you do freeze the races to shrink them before install. I admit there are several dozen stories about bearing failures out and about on any RV forum, but what about the thousands of RV owners that run the OEM bearings without issue year after year?? I fully understand masterdrago's intent of personal peace of mind concerning his equipment ... I just want others following this thread to fully understand many of the what ifs in changing out bearings and races just because of the old ideal Made in USA is way better. We all know or should know that ideal of the past doesn't hold as much promise as it used to.
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:07 PM   #17
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Where did you get the new bearings, and how do I determine the correct part number?

On your Dexter 7,000 lb axle, the inner bearing, called the cone, is 25520 and the race for that bearing is 25580. The outer bearing is 14125A and the race for that bearing is 14276. These are industry standard numbers, not Dexter's part numbers, so you can find the Timken bearings with these numbers and you will be good to go. Do not replace the bearing without also replacing the bearing race at the same time. I got ours on Amazon about four years ago and they were USA made, but with Timken, their quality is the same anywhere on the globe, so country of origin is not really that important. I also used my brass punch and a hammer to remove the old races and install the new ones. As long as you drive the race fully, you will have no issues. If you are not capable of doing this part, take the drums to a good auto repair shop and have them replace the races.
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:27 PM   #18
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Lifted from Rohrmann's previous reply ... "but with Timken, their quality is the same anywhere on the globe, so country of origin is not really that important". I have always valued your down to earth knowledge and input on RV issues. However, I do have some ocean front property in southern Kansas with a view of the Washington Monument that could be had.

Until I retired a couple of years ago, I worked maintenance at a large manufacturing plant. We tried to continue to use parts on our machines as long as physically possible because no matter what manufacturer's name was on say a valve ... the same manufacturer's replacement valve seldom acted the same or lasted for long. Companies are bought and sold, merged and separated, consolidated and reinvented so much now days that it is near impossible to stand behind a brand name we all had unwavering allegiance to 15 or 20 years ago. I realize I'm hijacking the OP's intent of this thread while beating a drum few are willing to hear, so I stand at parade rest.
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by rohrmann View Post
On your Dexter 7,000 lb axle, the inner bearing, called the cone, is 25520 and the race for that bearing is 25580. The outer bearing is 14125A and the race for that bearing is 14276. These are industry standard numbers, not Dexter's part numbers, so you can find the Timken bearings with these numbers and you will be good to go. Do not replace the bearing without also replacing the bearing race at the same time. I got ours on Amazon about four years ago and they were USA made, but with Timken, their quality is the same anywhere on the globe, so country of origin is not really that important. I also used my brass punch and a hammer to remove the old races and install the new ones. As long as you drive the race fully, you will have no issues. If you are not capable of doing this part, take the drums to a good auto repair shop and have them replace the races.
Thanks guys, I think that's the same axles on my 3121, but I'll crawl under to make sure. Now I'm wondering who replied to my question, Bob or Becky?
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Old 10-26-2019, 12:25 PM   #20
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Unfortunately, even though we want USA made parts, sometimes even those aren’t exactly what they seem. I had disc brakes installed in June and had Timkens installed with them. The boxes and bearings said USA, but on the boxes there was a note that said assembled in the USA with components possibly from other countries, or something to that effect. No different from most anything we buy anymore, including our vehicles, and especially our RV’s. At least with the Timken bearings, you at least know what company is connected with the product, unlike the Chinese bearings, even though they are sold through Dexter.
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