Grease gun question - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-17-2016, 07:41 AM   #21
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Well I'll say the EZ lube has the hallmarks of being a "gimmick", but just because something is a gimmick doesn't mean it doesn't work. Probably the absolute right way to service an axle is to pull the bearings and clean and re-pack them the way it's been done for decades, and will continue to be done for decades unless the EZ lube really is "better".

Because really, if the EZ lube was really the best way to do this and a true innovation and stop forward in technology, all axle bearings would be that way.

But does it "work"? Seems like it does. Do the cheap knife sharpeners I buy work as well as the old way of sharpening knives which actually requires skill? Probably not. But can I get a completely adequate edge on a knife with them? Yes. Does an automatic car wash get my car as clean as the old fashioned sponge and bucket and wax afterward? Nope. But millions of people seem to be getting away with auto car washes.

There are better analogies but they don't seem worth my mental effort right now so I'll have to settle for those...But there are a lot of things different industries have come up with to try to clean or lubricate the inside of things without taking them apart, because they take a lot of time and effort to disassemble and clean/lube. They all work to some extent. Just not as well as the "real thing". But in many cases probably "good enough".

Seems to me the EZ lube is an imperfect method allowing a person with less mechanical skills to do their own bearing maintenance. Seems like in general it must work "just fine", though not as well as the traditional method.

Reading what I've read in the this thread I think that if I had known more when buying my axle, I would have gone with a traditional axle. But Dexter must be pushing the EZ lube pretty hard because I didn't even see the option of a traditional axle. They were all EZ lube.

My guess is that it's going to work just fine. I just need to be aware that lubing the bearings is not the only maintenance that needs to be done. I'll still need to open things up now and then and check the brakes and maybe do a "traditional" clean and repack of the bearings.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:33 AM   #22
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I have been somewhat critical of the E-Z Lube feature, and even though it came "standard" on my current trailer, I will never utilize it. While I have no doubt that if you raise the trailer and spin the wheel while you are injecting grease, the grease will be forced and probably distributed throughout the inner bearing from the tiny opening of the passageway that goes through the spindle. And once the entire hub is filled between the inner and outer bearing, pumping in more grease can displace grease in this cavity pushing it through the outer bearing. So yes it works, BUT AT WHAT POTENTIAL COST? The hub heats up when the trailer moves down the road and the grease expands somewhat. If the entire hub is crammed full, it has to go somewhere. Hopefully, as it expands it passes through the outer bearing. Than again, perhaps it seeps out around the seal behind the inner bearing onto the brake components rendering them ineffective. And that is assuming that the hydraulic pressure of pumping in grease in the first place hasn't already unseated the seal, allowing the incoming grease to flow all over the brake components. And the seals available today are often not the quality of seals made in years past. I have seen far too many trailer brakes contaminated with grease from the use of E-Z Lube.
If you think I am being overly dramatic, I would suggest that you speak with a mechanic at any reputable RV service facility.
I cannot speak for all the proponents of the E-Z Lube on this forum but I do not want to tow my 4,400 lbs. trailer without functioning brakes. Not only would I put myself in jeopardy, I would put my trailer in jeopardy as well as all those on the road in close proximity to me.
Certain maintenance tasks should be done properly, even if it takes more work and more time. If you don't wash and wax your vehicle or trailer the old fashioned way with bucket and sponge, the car wash certainly may do an "acceptable" job. But if your brakes fail to work at a critical moment, the consequences could be severe, even fatal to someone.

I promise I will post no more on this thread. I've already said enough. Maintain your bearings in whatever manner you choose.


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Old 03-17-2016, 08:36 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
IMHO:
EZ-Lube is nothing but a sales gimmick that should never be used. If one truly understands how it works, he/she would not use it. When grease is pumped in, it travels down a channel to the back side of the inner bearing, where if it doesn't displace the grease seal and contaminate the brake shoes and drum rendering them unable to stop the trailer, it is forced through the inner bearing. Enough grease must be pumped in to then fill the entire hub. Three hours and at least two tubes of grease later the grease, possibly contaminated by particles from the inner bearing or the internal cavity of the hub just might be forced through the outer bearing. Do yourself and your wheel bearings a favor and forget the E-Z Lube "feature." Maintain the bearings properly. Remove, clean, inspect, repack, and reinstall them. This is the tried and true way to do it. OK, rant over.


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I completely disagree!
I have the necessary credentials to claim a true understanding of how it works, and I use EZ-Lube regularly with excellent results.
It takes only a few squirts, properly applied, to displace enough grease to have clean grease start to appear in the outer cavity.
12 years and seventy thousand towed miles have shown the utility of the EZ-Lube system.
Fact is, I have only removed the drums a couple of times when I wanted to inspect and adjust the brakes.

The angst over grease is a bit overblown anyway.
While clean and well lubed bearings are important the stuff isn't watching the clock or the calendar!
Dexter has CYA recommendations which include hand repacking often enough to obviate the need for EZ-Lube, yet fortunately they still make them. As with the care of most any mechanical device, a true understanding is an asset when expecting good results.


Below is a photo of what not to do...
I brought this trailer home over 600 miles in this condition. There were no seals and no dust caps, both of which had been obviously missing for years while being towed on Kentucky backroads. I replaced the bearings and installed seals and dust caps , but there was no significant wear on the old bearings or races.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:13 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
I am in the process of injecting new grease into my Casita's EZ lube wheel bearings. Why is it that when I squirt about half a 14 ox canister of grease thn the grease gun goes limp and will not inject any more. I then put in a new grease cartridge and I am again able to get grease to go into the EZ zert with a bit of pressure. Looking at the discarded cartridge, it looks about 1/3 to 1/2 full. That seems like a lot of wasted grease. This is my first time putting grease into the EZ lube bearings. I never noticed this when using bearing buddies or lubing the chassis of my lawnmower.

Do I need a new grease gun? If so any recommendations? Or what am I doing wrong.
There are sometimes air pockets in the tube of grease. Pull the T-Handle out and stroke it in and out a few times with the gun facing downward.
Then pump the handle on the gun until grease starts to flow. you may need to do this a couple of times to get results.

When installing a new cartridge into a grease gun air is often trapped at the pump end. Some guns have a release in the cap which allows you to clear the trapped air. Some do not, you can sometimes clear these by unscrewing the pump end just enough to let the air escape while operating the lever.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:32 AM   #25
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Seems like probably EZ lube is an acceptable option if you know the right way to lube it, then? In your opinion, is the Dexter video showing how to do this good? I want to make sure I know any "tricks" or what-not-to-do...





I've been around internet forums long enough to know that on technical issues where knowledgeable people come down firmly on either side of a topic, it's clearly not a black & white, either they're really great or really terrible, issue. Obviously they work. But some people will never be comfortable with them, and probably their concerns are legitimate, even if thousands of problem free trailers are on the road with EZ lube axles.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:47 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
IMHO:
EZ-Lube is nothing but a sales gimmick that should never be used. If one truly understands how it works, he/she would not use it. When grease is pumped in, it travels down a channel to the back side of the inner bearing, where if it doesn't displace the grease seal and contaminate the brake shoes and drum rendering them unable to stop the trailer, it is forced through the inner bearing. Enough grease must be pumped in to then fill the entire hub. Three hours and at least two tubes of grease later the grease, possibly contaminated by particles from the inner bearing or the internal cavity of the hub just might be forced through the outer bearing. Do yourself and your wheel bearings a favor and forget the E-Z Lube "feature." Maintain the bearings properly. Remove, clean, inspect, repack, and reinstall them. This is the tried and true way to do it. OK, rant over.


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Maybe a good idea for a boat because of water , trailer not so much ? I don't have them on my trailer and I don't think I am missing anything ? Pat
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:57 AM   #27
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EZ LUBE What's it REALLY for????

I've gone head-to-head with Dexter over cleaning/repacking bearings EVERY year.

The EZ LUBE? Words from Dexter- It was primarily designed for BOAT TRAILERS. Backing them off in the water continually... use the EZ Lube and it will "push out" the water if there's any in the hub and replace it with grease.

Some use it to replace grease on travel trailers.

Dexter (and other axle mfrs) REALLY over-blow the maintenance issue to scare people on these axles. As Floyd stated: simply a CYA issue! They admitted as much (not in those words) to me.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:02 AM   #28
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Just finished the other wheel. First wheel took 2 cartridges, but as I mentioned above, a considerable amount of grease was left in each cartridge but the gun would not squirt it out. The first half of each cartridge work fine, but the last half of the grease would not come out.

.
2 cartridges!!!! You sure you have not pushed the seal out and contaminated the brakes - resulting in no brakes?
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:11 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
I've gone head-to-head with Dexter over cleaning/repacking bearings EVERY year.

The EZ LUBE? Words from Dexter- It was primarily designed for BOAT TRAILERS. Backing them off in the water continually... use the EZ Lube and it will "push out" the water if there's any in the hub and replace it with grease.

Some use it to replace grease on travel trailers.

Dexter (and other axle mfrs) REALLY over-blow the maintenance issue to scare people on these axles. As Floyd stated: simply a CYA issue! They admitted as much (not in those words) to me.
Hi Darrel . Question for you I have about 8000 mi on my trailer . Trailer is Nov. 2013 . I have been acquiring what I need to do my bearings . Good idea or wait a little . I use to do my 1964 Chevy back in the day so I have done this before . I am just confused on when to do this . Pat
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:24 AM   #30
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2 cartridges!!!! You sure you have not pushed the seal out and contaminated the brakes - resulting in no brakes?
Hopefully all that grease was just filling the hub before it could come out the end
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:33 AM   #31
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Since the first two cartridges used on wheel #1 had a great deal of grease in each one, I am going to assume there was an air pocket in the middle or so of each tube. When it happens again, I will try pulling and pushing the plunger a couple of times and see if that works, as Floyd suggested.

I did check behind each wheel to see if any grease came out and I do not see any. I will do short hundred mile trips soon and that should tell me if the brakes are greased up, which I do not think they are.

Thanks to all that have replied.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:38 AM   #32
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Hey Pat. As a Disclaimer, stating what I do is by NO means a suggestion to others on how they should maintain their trailers. If in doubt, go by the manufacturer's recommendation.

But for me? I've been around mechanics (am a former machinist) ALL my life. Keep in mind, my Scamp 13' weighs only 1800lbs on a 2200 lb rated axle and I do NOT load it down traveling. When I'm not traveling, I keep my Scamp off the ground on jacks, spin the wheels regularly year-round. I take my Scamp out in the spring and pull for a min. 15-20 miles at apx 65 mph steady. I have an exit ramp on a 4-lane where I pull off....get out and check the temps. I do NOT use my trailer brakes when stopping to check the hubs as you WILL get a higher reading!! And this can throw you for a loop! I also check for "play" by placing my hands one on each side of the wheel and try to shake it back and forth. Vigilance is EVERYTHING on anything/any vehicle.

My hubs still run the same temps as when the Scamp was brand new in 2010 and 10000 miles ago from Scamp. I did adjust my brakes last year.

Again, this is just MY opinion and I dont recommend it for others. But do you pull the front wheels (or rear wheels on front wheel drive) vehicles and check the bearings every year regardless of the few or many miles you put on it?? That's basically what the axle makers are saying.

I'm not saying whether to grease through the EZ Lube regularly or not. Just dont know without thousands of miles of tests whether what is 100% right or wrong. Many feel to pull, clean, inspect, replace, repack their bearings EVERY year. I do not and will not unless I have a trailer that I KNOW is running borderline. If I have that trailer, I dont want it for long. Mine has built-in safety margins on both the axle and tires as you can see. My tires are rated at 1326 each. I have apx 900 at full load MAX!

Good luck and do you what you feel you should do.... I've seen/heard of some doing the maintenance job, and they get the bearings too tight going back together and REALLY have trouble. So, regardless..... KEEP A WATCH ON YOUR HUB TEMPS AT ALL TIMES!! I spot check mine at every fill-up.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:08 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
I've gone head-to-head with Dexter over cleaning/repacking bearings EVERY year.

The EZ LUBE? Words from Dexter- It was primarily designed for BOAT TRAILERS. Backing them off in the water continually... use the EZ Lube and it will "push out" the water if there's any in the hub and replace it with grease.

Some use it to replace grease on travel trailers.

Dexter (and other axle mfrs) REALLY over-blow the maintenance issue to scare people on these axles. As Floyd stated: simply a CYA issue! They admitted as much (not in those words) to me.
It's bearing buddies which are designed for and work for boat trailers. A completely different technology.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:49 AM   #34
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In the past Floyd and others have waxed poetic about EZLube. My trailer doesn't have them so I never took a close look at how they work. After reading Carl's "rant" and looking at Donna picture, I can see several reasons I wouldn't use it. It seems the idea is that the old grease is suppose to be displaced by new grease. But how can you tell if grease is travelling through the entire inner bearing. And it seems to me that you are pushing contaminated grease from the inner bearing through the outer bearing before clean grease arrives. How do you know the bearings are good? How about the seal?.How do you know the brakes and associated mechanism is in good shape? The last time I greased my bearings I found a wire had come loose just enough to make contact and insulation was worn. Finally it seems like when you do take things apart there will be one heck of a mess to clean up.

I had never greased bearings before I bought a trailer. I followed the instructions in the Dexter manual. It takes me an hour from start to finish to grease my bearings by hand, inspect the tires, and set the brakes. As some often say it's a maintenance issue. Raz
That would be more prosaic than poetic I'm sure!
Note that I use my EZ-Lube feature between brake servicing and have found the grease and bearings to be in excellent shape when I disassemble for brake service. The grease is not prone to contamination in this application and even condensation is discouraged since there is no void to allow it. Of course all the grease is replaced when the bearings are repacked by hand at that time.
Trailer brakes can be checked and adjusted effectively without disassembly between servicing as well.
My Ranger (rear drive) got its first hand repack at 92000 miles and seven years when the brakes were serviced, it is now 15years old and the brakes and bearings are at least as good as new.
Perhaps it is a waste of a few cents worth of grease and it has certainly a waste of time to inspect too often. The peace of mind received may help find the right balance....
My Gramma used to say that it is bad policy to uproot radishes just to see how well they are growing.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:07 PM   #35
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The peace of mind received may help find the right balance....
Yeah, that and the folks that make the axle say so.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:21 PM   #36
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I disagree. From everything I've read about bearing buddies...they're basically useless....by not sufficiently getting grease to the rear bearing.

A Dexter engineer is the one that told me they developed the EZ-Lube for helping displace the water in boat axles. So you need to disagree with them. Look up the "E-Z LUBE" article on their site. Quote: "E-Z Lube is designed to allow for immersion in water."

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It's bearing buddies which are desined for and work for boat trailers. A completely different technology.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:33 PM   #37
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I disagree. From everything I've read about bearing buddies...they're basically useless....by not sufficiently getting grease to the rear bearing.

A Dexter engineer is the one that told me they developed the EZ-Lube for helping displace the water in boat axles. So you need to disagree with them. Look up the "E-Z LUBE" article on their site. Quote: "E-Z Lube is designed to allow for immersion in water."
I'm confused. Are you comparing Bearing Buddies to the EZ-Lube? The Devil is in the Details Darrel, not just one sentence in a graphic or brochure.

This is a Bearing Buddy... and that's all they are.

Name:   BearingBuddy.jpg
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This is the EZ-Lube. Like Floyd says a different technology.
Click image for larger version

Name:	EZ-Lube.JPG
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ID:	93478
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:41 PM   #38
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I did check behind each wheel to see if any grease came out and I do not see any. I will do short hundred mile trips soon and that should tell me if the brakes are greased up, which I do not think they are.

.
Perhaps someone else will be able to confirm one way or another but I am not so sure that you would actually see the grease behind the wheel. May all be piled up in the hub around the brake assembly. If it was me I would take the 5 min. need to pull the wheel off and check it rather than waiting to drive down a steep hill to find I was wrong and have no brakes
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:57 PM   #39
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Nope...not comparing. I've just heard that the bearing buddies will only sufficiently grease the FRONT bearing on an axle. The EZ-Lube is designed to grease the rear bearing FIRST then push the grease forward through the front bearing then out.

I was simply stating that Dexter said they designed the EZ Lube with boat trailers in mind to help displace water that can get in there with the boat trailer continually being submersed. Maybe BB's were designed for boat trailers...dunno...that's not my argument...but I certainly wouldnt trust them for greasing my axle bearings.

Edit: I think the confusion is where Floyd said Bearing Buddies are designed for Boat trailers.... All I was saying is that is what Dexter said that about their Ez Lube. Alot of manufacturers are using the "EZ Lube" design under a different name...and I believe someone's already mentioned that.

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I'm confused. Are you comparing Bearing Buddies to the EZ-Lube? The Devil is in the Details Darrel, not just one sentence in a graphic or brochure.

This is a Bearing Buddy... and that's all they are.
Attachment 93477

This is the EZ-Lube. Like Floyd says a different technology.
Attachment 93478
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:02 PM   #40
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I put Bearing Buddies on my tent trailer ( I had them on a boat trailer too ). I can assure you that they liberally lube the bearings, and the wheels, and the tires, and anything in the vicinity.
Sold the trailer. Not my problem.
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