1989 13ft Scamp Axle - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-07-2006, 08:27 PM   #15
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Bearing Buddy is completely different from Dexter's EZLube and AL-KO's AG Hub (aka UltraLube, I think) systems.

With BBs, grease is pumped into the axle from a zerk in the dust cover, goes thru the outer bearing, fills the air in the hub and expands a spring in the cover -- In theory, when the warm hub is dunked in cold water at a launch ramp, instead of water being sucked in past the seal, the spring moves -- Problems that seem to arise is that if the grease has stiffened, the spring may not move -- Also, if the hub gets hot, the spring is putting tension on the hot grease and the only outlet is the seal -- Also, there is no way for new grease to get to the inner bearing unless the seal is leaking a lot of grease.

With the other two systems (now provided on many axles), a rubber cap in the dust cover is removed, exposing a zerk set in the center of the spindle -- Grease pumped in (slowly, by hand pump, not compressed air gun, with the wheel jacked up and turning slowly, according to Dexter) goes down a hole drilled in the center of the spindle and emerges between the seal and inner bearing -- Taking the course of least resistance, the new grease goes thru the inner bearing, then the hub, then thru the outer bearing to emerge by the zerk -- If the grease expands, the rubber cap lets the grease escape on the outside of the hub, not thru the seal and onto the brakes.

Here's a nifty animation showing AL-KO's system.

According to the moderator on a pop-up group, Dexter and AL-KO did a lot of testing to ensure that a hub full of grease didn't cause problems compared to bearings greased the conventional way with a hub full of air.

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Old 10-07-2006, 08:57 PM   #16
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Thanks for the explaination Pete. I stand corrected.

Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 10-08-2006, 05:33 AM   #17
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You and I bought learned something about our Scamp's Byron. Thanks to Pete, I know the axle on my Scamp doesn't have Bearing Buddies. I knew I had ordered the EZ-Lube bearings...but was starting to think they were the same thing. Now I know they're not
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Old 10-08-2006, 12:58 PM   #18
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Okay, now we have the distinction between a conventional axle end with a Bearing Buddy (grease fitting in special cap) and an E-Z Lube axle end (grease fitting in end of spindle).

While the E-Z Lube (or Al-Ko AG) hub avoids continuous pressure on the grease, and other problems described by Pete, it is still not the best combination with brakes on a travel trailer. From Dexter's FAQ:
[b]E-Z LUBE - What is the E-Z Lube option?
The E-Z Lube option was designed specifically for the marine application where the axles are constantly being immersed in water. This feature provides a convenient method for purging the water from the hub cavity without having to pull the hub every time. The hubs should be removed every 12 months or 12,000 miles to inspect the bearings and it is imperative to replace the seal at this time to assure that the grease does not leak out the back onto the brake linings rendering the brakes non-functional.
As I mentioned the last time this topic came up (the last half of Lubing and Repacking), I see no advantage to use of the E-Z Lube system in an axle with brakes, because proper maintenance requires tearing down the hubs just as frequently as with a basic axle.

By the way, Dexter had a very nice one-page description of E-Z Lube on their website, but it seems to have been lost in a recent restructuring. I think anyone interested in trailer axle technology should consider downloading their complete manual (but be ready for a large file). The best I can do at the moment is this image clipped from an earlier version of their manual:
[b]Dexter E-Z Lube Hub

Click image for larger version

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I don't know how I missed it before, but Dexter does still have their E-Z Lube description available in their Trailer Axle Resources.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:04 PM   #19
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Here's the quote from recent RV.NET thread:

While originally the EZLube axles were specifically designed for baot trailer use where the axle could be submerged, so many RV towable manufacturrers has spec'd them as OEM equipment on dry land trailers that Dexter and AL-Ko with their UltraLube axles have tested and rated them for dry over the road trailers. They are specifically designed to be run full of grease and so far after a few years of use show no tendencies to push grease past the seals when run for long periods of highway speeds.BUT as both Al-Ko and Dexter sites say, they are not a replacement for removal, cleaning, inspecting, rgreasing and reinstallation of the bearings.

I don't recall the add'l cost to the RV manf for the EZLube option, but it isn't much, so it makes sense to put them all axles -- Like the brake flanges, you can't add them later and you don't have to use them (Bearings can be removed, cleaned, inspected, packed and reinstalled with new seal in the traditional manner without ever using the grease zerk).

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