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-   -   Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting (http://www.thedieselstop.com/forums/f32/trailer-wheel-bearings-pack-use-grease-fitting-105658/)

mrsmith 05-24-2006 01:13 PM

Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
Replacing the wheel bearings, drums and backing plate on my trailer. Dexter axles have a grease fitting to add grease to the wheel bearings.

Should I pack the bearings with grease then install or can I just add grease using the grease fitting after they are installed.

The only reason for this is I am doing the job in my driveway and it would be a lot less messy.

mrsmith

RDG 05-24-2006 02:43 PM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
Pack the bearings first. We had an issue with the ez lube hubs on our Outback. All the brakes were replaced [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif[/img].
Bob

twobit 05-24-2006 03:44 PM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
Repack by hand. This gives you the added bonus of inspecting the brakes, magnet, hubs, spindles, bearings, races. Clean everything, especially wash out all the old dirty hard grease from the bearings. Check for burnt bearings and races. Replace the seal always (cheap and easy). I just did mine on the fiver and found the seals were just starting to leak, the grease was dirty, and the brake parts needed a good cleaning out. You also get "piece of mind" knowing everything got inspected. I've repacked many bearing over the years by hand and this time I wore those blue nitryl gloves for the first time. The grease went into the bearings much easier than just having a glob of grease in the palm of my bare hand. Try it.

haul_n_horses2 05-25-2006 05:24 AM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
Another vote for repack by hand. I tried to use the EZ-Lube grease fitting but could not get the clean new grease (It was a different color) to emerge. Decided I was uncomfortable towing a heavy load of horses this weekend without inspection. So I took it to a dealer and watched over his shoulder as he disassembled the hubs. No new grease got into the wheel bearings! He showed me where the rear seals frequently blow out with this system. I have disc brakes so the damage would not be quite as bad if this occurred but the last time I checked, bearing grease was not a recommended contaminate on the rotor or pads. With drum brakes, that grease is contained within the drum and as it heats up and spins around it coats the drum, brake lining and magnets. BAD NEWS if you want to stop. Also they recommended replacing the seals at every repack as it is difficult to take the seals out without bending them. Just my $0.02.

FTG-05 05-25-2006 06:41 AM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
Oh great. I have the ezlube type axles on my car hauler trailer. When I picked it up, I asked about greasing the axle bearings and they said it was done at the factory. They told me to not grease them too hard or I could blow out the rear seal, coating the brakes in the process. Therefore, I just hit it with just a couple of strokes of the grease gun a couple of times.

I've never seen grease come out unlike my other trailer with Bearing Buddy axles. With the ezlube, is it supposed to come out or what?

The car hauler was bought new in Feb. and I'm taking it on a 5000-6000 mile trip to the desert this July.

Please advise.

Thanks,

Al

boatpuller 05-25-2006 08:32 AM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
The EZ lube design requires huge amounts of grease to get from the rear of the inner bearing to the front of the outer bearing, compleatly filling the void between the bearings around the shaft. If you have never seen grease come out, and the seal is not leaking, you are probably still filling the void. I found the best way to flush out the old grease using the EZlubes is to use a jack and spin the tire while pumping the grease in. the hole in the axle shaft where the grease comes out is fixed, and spinning does a better job of getting fresh grease on the whole bearings. (Repacking them by hand is better yet, as that removes all the old, not just much of it).

One of my EZlubes zerts broke off, and there is no good way to replace it, as it is the barb design instead of threaded design. You might want to watch for that.

Were I you, with your new trailer, I'd just do one of two things: fill the void with grease to the point where adding more displaces the old; or remove the dust cap to ensure there is grease on the outer bearing and trust that the factory did a fine job of greasing the bearings. (There is a warrentee, right?) On a trailer that new, you are probably good to go.

Drive safe.

CKing 05-25-2006 02:07 PM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
The zerk is really only good for boat trailers. It will fill the area between the inner seal and bearing. Clean and repack by hand.

Bob C. 05-25-2006 08:57 PM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
I am in the RV industry & this "EZ-lube" idea is one of the most stupid things I have seen in years.
Everybody thinks this is the same system as bearing buddies found on boat trailers.
It's not. Bearing buddies have a seal that can hold pressure & vacuum as well as a spring loaded hub cap that holds pressure on the hub so water wonít be drawn in when the warm hub is suddenly placed in cold water during the boat launching.
Since most travel trailers spend no time with the axles under water, why would you add grease to a sealed hub/ bearing assembly?
Where did the grease go that was in there originally? If you have a hub that is "using" grease, then you have much deeper problems than can be solved with a grease gun.
All this allows you to do is pump your hubs full of grease (that may not be compatible with the grease that is in there already) and force it out past the wheel seal & into the brakes. Yeah, thatís a great idea.
Despite what everybody may wish for, there is still no substitute for disassembling the hubs & cleaning & inspecting everything. Pumping fresh grease into a hub is not an acceptable replacement for real maintenance.

oldford 05-26-2006 04:13 AM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
Im not sure this applies but I once read that the grease fittings only lubed the front bearing and the rear still needed to be packed by hand but it was from a friend of a friends brother or somthing so it may not apply here.

typhoid 05-26-2006 11:24 PM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
[ QUOTE ]
Im not sure this applies but I once read that the grease fittings only lubed the front bearing and the rear still needed to be packed by hand but it was from a friend of a friends brother or somthing so it may not apply here.

[/ QUOTE ]

That is somewhat true for the bearing buddy design that I've seen, but it is not true for the EZ Lube design.

I've read some negative opinions on the EZ Lube, but I have them on my travel trailer and I like them. You absolutely have to follow the directions when greasing them, or you can pump grease past the inner grease seal into the brakes. Not a good thing.

However, when I follow the directions (jack the tire off the ground and keep the wheel spinning when pumping grease), mine work as designed. The new grease goes through the center of the axle and comes out between the inner grease seal and the inner bearing. From there, it works its way through the inner bearing, the center of the hub, and the outer bearing. The grease comes out all around the spindle, and its very easy to see the transition from "old" to "new" grease.

Note that you still have to pull the hub periodically to inspect the bearings, but not every time you need to re-grease. When I do pull the hub, I check carefully to make certain that no grease has been getting past the inner seal, and so far, so good.

Roadfrog 05-27-2006 09:34 AM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
[ QUOTE ]
I've read some negative opinions on the EZ Lube, but I have them on my travel trailer and I like them.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yep me too. I've towed over 40k over the past 5 years with no problems whatsoever. I like to think it's because I've actually read the EZ Lube instructions from Dexter Axle that came with my trailer. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

FTG-05 05-29-2006 03:31 PM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Im not sure this applies but I once read that the grease fittings only lubed the front bearing and the rear still needed to be packed by hand but it was from a friend of a friends brother or somthing so it may not apply here.

[/ QUOTE ]

That is somewhat true for the bearing buddy design that I've seen, but it is not true for the EZ Lube design.

I've read some negative opinions on the EZ Lube, but I have them on my travel trailer and I like them. You absolutely have to follow the directions when greasing them, or you can pump grease past the inner grease seal into the brakes. Not a good thing.

However, when I follow the directions (jack the tire off the ground and keep the wheel spinning when pumping grease), mine work as designed. The new grease goes through the center of the axle and comes out between the inner grease seal and the inner bearing. From there, it works its way through the inner bearing, the center of the hub, and the outer bearing. The grease comes out all around the spindle, and its very easy to see the transition from "old" to "new" grease.

Note that you still have to pull the hub periodically to inspect the bearings, but not every time you need to re-grease. When I do pull the hub, I check carefully to make certain that no grease has been getting past the inner seal, and so far, so good.

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, that's some good info. I never got any "directions" other than don't grease it too much or it will blow past the rear seal.

Thanks,

Al

typhoid 05-30-2006 06:02 PM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
[ QUOTE ]

Well, that's some good info. I never got any "directions" other than don't grease it too much or it will blow past the rear seal.

Thanks,

Al

[/ QUOTE ]

Here is the E-Z Lube Lubrication procedure from my Dexter Axle Operation Maintenance Service Manual (600-8,000 Lb. Axles & Related Components):

1. Remove the rubber plug from the end of the grease cap.
2. Place a standard grease gun onto the grease fitting located in the end of the spindle. Make sure the grease gun nozzle is fully engaged on the fitting.
3. Pump grease into the fitting. The old displaced grease will begin to flow back out the cap around the grease gun nozzle.
4. When the new clean grease is observed, remove the grease gun, wipe off any excess, and replace the rubber plug in the cap.
5. Rotate hub or drum while adding grease.

I haven't checked, but you might be able to download a manual at www.dexteraxle.com

I don't usually have any problem seeing the transition from old to new grease. Note that this *does* take quite a bit of grease, so the "directions" that you were given were somewhat less than correct.

ltatkinson 05-31-2006 11:52 AM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
As stated above I was told not to use the E-Z lube on any trailer that has brakes. I guess if you do it right there's no problem, but if you get grease on the brakes well you get the idea. I just repack them and do an inspect. yearly. To me that is the best way to make sure everything is ok.

Tim

Hoss350 05-31-2006 05:55 PM

Re: Trailer wheel bearings pack or use grease fitting
 
I'm a fan of doing both, myself. Every two years, I pull the bearings off my trailers and re-pack by hand. Every two (long) trips or so, I use the bearing buddies to stick some fresh grease into them. Both are valid ways of doing it, but neither replaces the other. The BB puts new, fresh grease in continuously, but never gets rid of the old, contaminated grease. The hand re-pack cleans everything out every once in a while to get rid of the schmangy old grease, etc.

So, I do both...


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