wheel bearings maintenance - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-23-2016, 01:45 PM   #15
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
This summer I had to replace the brakes* and so had an opportunity to check out the bearings. My Scamp is 2004, the first two owners put very few miles on it, as far as I know. I have pulled it about 40k miles in three years that I owned it, and the bearings and grease were in perfect shape. Like Jon, I store the Scamp on stands and give the wheels a little spin when walking by occasionally. To actually inspect them, feel the wheel when turning it and listen for a sound other than the shoes lightly rubbing. The hubs allow for a good supply of grease, so it should last many, many years. Bear in mind that boat trailers are a totally different story. They may get dunked in (salt) water while they may be hot and they will suck the water in.
*) Replaced with self adjusting assemblies and repacked the bearings.
*) self adjusting brakes do their adjusting when you reverse and apply the brakes.

Boat trailer wheel hubs have the inner seal installed with the lips pointing outward. The bearings are packed full of grease, so water cant get in, but grease can squeeze out.
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:07 PM   #16
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*)
Boat trailer wheel hubs have the inner seal installed with the lips pointing outward. The bearings are packed full of grease, so water cant get in, but grease can squeeze out.
LOL in theory that is how boat trailer bearings are suppose to work but suspect there are a few owners of boat trailers that might suggest from experience that the theory is flawed

Its just as many folks (including most large axle manufactures) here through their experiences suggest that those who believe a trailer bearing will go for years without needing inspection or repacking is also flawed
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:56 PM   #17
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Finally got to greasing my bearings today. Here are the pictures I promised. Trailer has 11.2 k miles since they were done at the beginning of the season. First picture, the outer bearing is on the right, inner on the left. Both from the drivers side. The other side looked similar. Raz
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:32 PM   #18
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Finally got to greasing my bearings today. Here are the pictures I promised. Trailer has 11.2 k miles since they were done at the beginning of the season. First picture, the outer bearing is on the right, inner on the left. Both fron the drivers side. The other side looked similar. Raz
Good pics Raz, but how are the bearings? Spin freely? Are you going to clean them or just replace them?

I need to do maintenance on mine sometime real soon! Best of luck to ya!

Frank
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:01 PM   #19
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On my Scamp 13 I try to do them every 2 years but sometimes 3 years. On the Scamp 13 the tires are small diameter and the bearing are very small diameter and very narrow in width. They are getting much more workout than larger trailer axles and tires. I think it is better to be on the safe side. My trailer sits allot and currently used on short trips. I think it is prudent for me to check them more often than most. I am fortunate to be doing my own work so it is more of a 1/2 days inconvenience than a cost issue. Not nearly an inconvenience as a failure on the road would be. Bearings don't like sitting around in old grease going unused for long periods of time. Frequent use keep the grease in a more fluid state and keeps moisture cooked out of the system. You only get a certain amount of vacation time, wasting it broke down on the side of the road trying to figure your way out of the predicament is no fun. Most of these trailers you can't unbolt the spindle and replace a hub and drive off with a simple fix.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:15 AM   #20
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Good pics Raz, but how are the bearings? Spin freely? Are you going to clean them or just replace them?

I need to do maintenance on mine sometime real soon! Best of luck to ya!

Frank
Bearings looked fine after cleaning. New grease. New seals. Good to go.

In regard to the original question, I think they were due to be serviced. What do others think?
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Old 10-12-2016, 12:33 PM   #21
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In regard to the original question, I think they were due to be serviced. What do others think?
I think your did it at the right time for your bearings. Red grease is turning black and the dirty grease is looking very wet like a little viscosity breakdown.
Once you cleaned the bearings and races you didn't see any discoloration and any striations in the bearing surfaces did you?
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Old 10-12-2016, 01:08 PM   #22
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I think your did it at the right time for your bearings. Red grease is turning black and the dirty grease is looking very wet like a little viscosity breakdown.
Once you cleaned the bearings and races you didn't see any discoloration and any striations in the bearing surfaces did you?
No, they looked fine.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:08 PM   #23
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Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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I did mine today on the Casita. Probably 6000 miles or so since done a year ago. At that time I installed new bearings from my local parts store on the right, (their "better bearings" option) and the cheapo Redline bearings on the left. Packed with Pennzoil 707 red grease. The grease in the right hub was still clean red, the grease in the redline bearings was more black looking. Replaced them with USA made bearings. New seals, new tang washers, new rubber caps.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:48 AM   #24
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I did mine today on the Casita. Probably 6000 miles or so since done a year ago. At that time I installed new bearings from my local parts store on the right, (their "better bearings" option) and the cheapo Redline bearings on the left. Packed with Pennzoil 707 red grease. The grease in the right hub was still clean red, the grease in the redline bearings was more black looking. Replaced them with USA made bearings. New seals, new tang washers, new rubber caps.
This is the longest I've let the bearings go and the worst I've seen. I assumed the black is brake dust that got past the seal? Two trips over the Rockies and Cascades. Brakes got a workout. Both sets are Dexter made in China bearings that came with the drum kit. Both looked the same. Perhaps it's not brake dust. Do you have any idea why your "better" bearings (USA?) were cleaner?

P.S. just so you know, this service took way more than an hour. I lost the clip that holds the magnet on in the dirt.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:34 AM   #25
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Raz; I was thinking the discolored grease was due to excess bearing wear, not brake dust, but that's just a guess. There was no pitting in the bearings and they looked OK. I'm sure they were good for many more miles. I was just doing a routine inspection before heading south, and decided to install the US made bearings after reading comments about Chinese bearing failures. I have the EZ lube axle, but have never used that feature. I prefer the disassemble and inspect method. I have a 3" flat magnet on a telescoping handle because I'm good at dropping parts in the dirt or grass
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:54 AM   #26
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I have a magnet from an old TV set for the same purpose. No joy this time but I had a spare clip I bought after a previous adventure. We all need a hobby.

If you're headed south soon do check road conditions first. Most of eastern North Carolina is under water. Lots of road closures. Safe trip, Raz
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:05 AM   #27
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About heading south, we got a phone call yesterday (automated call) that our reservation at Hunting Island campground in SC for late November was cancelled due to storm damage. LOL, we had cancelled it months ago. But we are booked at Cheraw SP in SC and their website says they are closed until further notice. We don't leave until late November so hope that by then it's open. A couple friends got cancelled out of Skidaway SP in SC later this month because of storm damage. We may have to change our planned route and destinations.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:36 AM   #28
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The color in the grease is merely a dye added by the manufacturer.
All of out blue Mobile grease will turn black after a while.
We use Mobil PolyRex EM which is a polyurea synthetic electric motor grease which has a higher break down temp and almost all motor manufacturers have migrated to this over the years.
Probably it matters little what grease you use since these trailers probably suffer more from disuse and use.
That being said I saw three (boat) trailers with either smoking hubs or stopped on the side of the road with spindles destroyed and bent form the heat.
But this is boat trailers which probably had the hubs immersed in salt water while still warm from towing to the ramp.
Here is a situation where bearing buddies or EZLUBE is really helpful.
If the bearings are over packed then the excess grease will make them run hot untill it is forced out, either through the outside vent in the EZLUBE or back into the Bearing Buddy or through those new seals you just installed. This is most likely the main cause of grease getting on the brake system from the hub.
The beauty of the EZLUBE is that the excess grease has a known path to escape if you manually overgrease or pump it through with the grease gun.
After you service the axle with EZLUBE if you use the grease gun and don't pull the hub and do it manually there will always be some more grease that will be forced out.
Remember the balls in the races (or rollers for that matter, either way) do not run in grease, they are lubricated by the oil that is carried in the grease and flows into the races over time from being next to the races and in close contact.
The rolling elements make clearance through the grease if you will.
Over greasing forces too much grease within the races and the churning action will cause the overheating and very likely cause the soap and clay to separate the oil and actually end up starving the bearing from oil it needs to lubricate.
The bearings should never be hand packed more than 1/3 full to allow the room for the bearing to run.
When we grease motors here in the plant we have temperature readouts for both ends and we add the recommended amount and the bearings run hotter for several hours until the excess is pushed out of the grease relief ports.
We are transitioning to an ultrasonic measurement of the bearing noise which indicated when the bearing need a little more grease and we then add it until the ultrasonic nois level drops to avoid over greasing and track the actual bearing condition.
If I were to regrease my bearings I would be tempted to use the Mobil PolyRex EM, but this and the more often used lithium based greases are incompatible and should not be mixed. However if you carried your own grease gun it would definitely be better.
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