bearing lube confusion - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-17-2015, 08:24 AM   #1
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bearing lube confusion

I have a one year old (2014 model) scamp 13 and want to be sure I'm understanding the proper procedures for bearing maintenance. It has the dexter EZ lube bearings. The Scamp owner's manual warns to use only "one or two" pumps of grease to avoid breaking the grease seal. The Dexter website video instructions Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - Video Gallery (as well as their printed instructions) indicate that one should pump in enough new grease to completely purge and replace the old grease. I'm inclined to follow Dexter's procedure (on the manufacturer-knows-best theory) but am nervous about Scamp's warning. Some of Scamp's videos seem a bit dated so perhaps the warning relates to an earlier axle system?

Also, with the EZ lube, does one still need to annually remove and inspect the bearings - which would seem to negate Dexter's promotion of the benefit of their EZ Lube? I can't find any definitive information in the Dexter site. If so, is the process the same as with old style bearings?

Too much safety riding on these little bearings not to get it right. Thanks for your advice and counsel.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:37 AM   #2
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If you use the EZ LUBE feature make sure you have the grease warm and pump very slowly while turning the wheel.
If you pump fast especially with cold grease you may well build up enough pressure to blow past the seal.
Warming up the grease gun is a good idea. Doing the job after driving the trailer long enough to get the grease in the hubs warm is also a good idea.
The new grease will also fill the bearing cavity too much and the hubs will be a little hotter until the excess grease is purged as well. It will come out of the same relief ports as the old grease does so don't be concerned if this happens.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:04 AM   #3
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I tell all my clients that buy trailers that come with them, when doing a walk though with them, not to use them. I see people over do it all the time. They end up blowing out the inner seal and saturating their magnet and shoes not only making braking unsafe but now you have to pay to have brake assembles replaced. A good bearing pack will easily last well over a year of use and it is suggested to once a year (I suggest before storage) pull your hubs check your brakes (adjust as needed) and inspect your bearings and races and such even with the EZ Lube. When you do that you clean them to inspect and then repack them and install new inner seals. Then your good to go for another years travels.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by WDavidG View Post
I have a one year old (2014 model) scamp 13 and want to be sure I'm understanding the proper procedures for bearing maintenance. It has the dexter EZ lube bearings. The Scamp owner's manual warns to use only "one or two" pumps of grease to avoid breaking the grease seal. The Dexter website video instructions Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - Video Gallery (as well as their printed instructions) indicate that one should pump in enough new grease to completely purge and replace the old grease. I'm inclined to follow Dexter's procedure (on the manufacturer-knows-best theory) but am nervous about Scamp's warning. Some of Scamp's videos seem a bit dated so perhaps the warning relates to an earlier axle system?

Also, with the EZ lube, does one still need to annually remove and inspect the bearings - which would seem to negate Dexter's promotion of the benefit of their EZ Lube? I can't find any definitive information in the Dexter site. If so, is the process the same as with old style bearings?

Too much safety riding on these little bearings not to get it right. Thanks for your advice and counsel.
You should pump enough grease into the EZ Lube to see fresh grease emerge into the dust cap chamber. Wipe out the excess with a finger.
Of course the hub will be full at this point, but that will not cause any increased heat in the hub.

I agree with your second paragraph. Redbarron is correct in saying that you should pump slowly. (A grease gun can produce 3000#+ pressure)

I don't see the need to warm the grease, but I have a heated shop and don't grease in freezing conditions, in which a heated grease gun might feel good.
My practice over the last 11 years with my Scamp13 has been to repack by hand only at those times when I disassemble for brake inspection or repair. That has been every few years or around 30000 mile intervals.

The EZ Lube has been a real blessing and has worked well for us for around 70,000 miles and eleven years of use so far with no signs of wear, rust, or heat damage.
We check tire, brake and hub temps at every fuel stop by touch and have had no problems to date.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:25 AM   #5
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Well there you have it!

"Bearing lube confusion" at its best!

Pick the one you like!
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Old 07-17-2015, 02:20 PM   #6
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You may not HAVE to warm the grease, but it will help it flow with less pressure on the seal.
Most likely the problem that people generate fot themselves is just like electric motor greasing is pumping the grease in too fast.
It is best to have the grease in the hubs a little warm from towing for a few miles and then jack up the wheel and also turn the wheel while you pump warm grease in SLOWLY!
The secret (if any) is slowly to keep the pressure on the seal as low as possible. Warm grease might well help as well, it can't hurt.
The only way grease flows out is the cavity is full. If the cavity the bearing is full as well and over greased at that point. However running it with the greaserelief ports always open as in the EZ-Lube the excess will be expelled any you will have a properly lubed bearing.
As noted above you should inspect your bearings regularly, but these hubs do work well if serviced properly. A spare set of bearings or two are good roadside insurance as is feeling the tires and bearing hubs at every stop, especially the first one of a trip.
here is a link to a IR thermometer from Harbor Freight for $20.00 and you can have a number to go by.
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:52 PM   #7
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Yes, there seems to be confusion. But both my trailer maker and my brake mechanic cautioned me to only put one or two pumps of grease in if I use EZ-Lube, and that I should have them pulled and inspected every 5000 miles or once a year or every other year. My brake mechanic (the man who adjusted my brakes) told me that he has seen many cases where the EZ-lube was pumped so much that grease was forced through the seals and ruined the brake linings. It seems to me that it makes sense to err on the side of caution. I plan to have them pulled and inspected yearly as I plan to put about 3000-5000 mile per year on the trailer.
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hwdornbush View Post
Yes, there seems to be confusion. But both my trailer maker and my brake mechanic cautioned me to only put one or two pumps of grease in if I use EZ-Lube, and that I should have them pulled and inspected every 5000 miles or once a year or every other year. My brake mechanic (the man who adjusted my brakes) told me that he has seen many cases where the EZ-lube was pumped so much that grease was forced through the seals and ruined the brake linings. It seems to me that it makes sense to err on the side of caution. I plan to have them pulled and inspected yearly as I plan to put about 3000-5000 mile per year on the trailer.
If you are going to disassemble every year or 5000 miles, don't bother with the two squirts.
My mechanic advised doing just what I said above, but you should do what makes you comfortable.
BTW...I'm my mechanic!
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:47 PM   #9
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You cant beat the removal, cleaning, and inspection of the bearings.
Filling the cavity between the bearings is a waste of grease. There is no mechanism in there to make the grease circulate through the bearing rollers.
So, a properly hand packed bearing will work just as well as one with the hub filled.
Do you have brakes? then you really do not want have grease spewing out and getting into the brakes.
No brakes? You still don't want to have grease leaking out and messing up the wheels and tires.
I would base service intervals on mileage, not time. Our Scamp sits on its parking pad most of the year. As Floyd says, feel the hubs at each pit stop. If you can hold your hand on them, no problem. If too hot ... either they are dry, or set up too tight. In either case it is a signal to pull the hubs and inspect the bearings.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:38 PM   #10
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Filling the cavity between the bearings is a waste of grease .
At most 25 cents a year?? Heck some people throw away their tires every three years! 7" brake hubs don't hold much grease.


Tangent but relevant...
For those of you with 2WD pickups.... how often do you actually repack the front wheel bearings?
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:20 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=floyd;For those of you with 2WD pickups.... how often do you actually repack the front wheel bearings?[/QUOTE]

Good point Floyd and the answer for most is probably never. I'm in that group too with this truck but it is now on my to do list. Thanks for the question as I hang my head in shame
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Old 07-18-2015, 02:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
At most 25 cents a year?? Heck some people throw away their tires every three years! 7" brake hubs don't hold much grease.
There is the pollution factor. Homelet gets lots of grease thrown up from Rosie.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:25 AM   #13
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Sounds like bearing maintenance like so many things in life doesn't resolve to a simple answer. Thanks to all your responses however I feel in a better position to make an informed decision. I am BTW a regular checker of hub temps, both by feel and an IR thermometer. I will definitely take Red Barron's suggestion of carrying a spare bearing and seal set. I know I can get them from Scamp, but assume that it will be the more expensive source. Where do I look for part numbers so I can ask for them at a local automotive parts store? Or are there better sources?

Again, many thanks for all the thoughtful advice
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by WDavidG View Post
Sounds like bearing maintenance like so many things in life doesn't resolve to a simple answer. Thanks to all your responses however I feel in a better position to make an informed decision. I am BTW a regular checker of hub temps, both by feel and an IR thermometer. I will definitely take Red Barron's suggestion of carrying a spare bearing and seal set. I know I can get them from Scamp, but assume that it will be the more expensive source. Where do I look for part numbers so I can ask for them at a local automotive parts store? Or are there better sources?

Again, many thanks for all the thoughtful advice
You can get them in a blister pack at just about any boat place for under 20 bucks.
Older Scamp13s (1200# axle) have 1" spindles, newer ones have 1-1/16" spindles so either mic your spindles or get the numbers off your bearings.
What year is your Scamp?
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