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Old 06-17-2019, 07:56 PM   #41
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When I had the axle replaced, the shop put in a Flexi-ride axle rather than a Dexler. I was a little upset about it but quickly change my tune. It has removable spindles that can be replaced and also can change the angle. I was thinking about carrying a spare spindle on longer trip but will see. They are fairly cheap at about $60 locally. BTW going on 4 years on the axle with no problems.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:13 PM   #42
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I'm beginning to like the idea of the oil lubed bearings, as mentioned back in post 25. As long as the rear seal is good, they should work very well. It could be the only maintenance is to change the oil once in a while and adjust the nut. I guess the seal would need to get changed to, once in a while, but the bearings would always be getting oil. No re-packing.

The Dexter manual simply says to check the oil level and ad hypoid oil if needed. If water got in during a river crossing, you could see the contamination through the sight glass.

But checking the brakes might be a problem.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:25 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
...

The hard part is getting the seals out. Dexter glues them in ....
And Lippert says this in the axle manual:

Apply a PERMATEX sealant to the outside of the new seal.
Note: Do not use PERMATEX on rubber encased seals.


So I guess its SOP.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:08 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Of course this instructions say to slowly pump grease into the axle until fresh grease comes out of the hub...
I think that takes care of the inner and outer bearings.
You should add GREASE SLOWLY, while turning the wheel, warm grease helps, too.
Ultimately, you will be pushing contaminated grease from the inner bearings into the outer bearings. And I do not consider grease which has been heated from spinning hubs and oil that may have separated from the carrying medium over time to be “fresh.”

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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
I'm not completely comfortable with the hubs being clear full of grease, with just a small air space behind the cap, when these are running along at high speed and temperature. Nor do I like the idea that the bearings never get inspected, and the seals never get replaced, if someone simply pumps grease in every so often. But Dexter knows a lot more about it than I do.
Precisely my reason!

And Dexter knows how to market products. But if Dexter knows so much, one has to wonder why Dexter has not designed a trailer axle incorporating sealed bearings to truly eliminate frequent bearing maintenance. I don’t like getting my hands greasy and dirty but for the reasons stated above, I will not rely on what I personally consider a “gimmick,” regardless of what Dexter might say. YMMV.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:53 AM   #45
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Hey, three months later the "nay" crowd is finally speaking up!

I think this has been brought up before, too, but it does seem strange that my truck is 21 years old, with 260,000 miles, and has had zero bearing service and zero bearing issues. People have brought up that trailer bearing see more abuse, and that sitting all winter is really rough. I don't know...
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:49 AM   #46
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And Dexter knows how to market products. But if Dexter knows so much, one has to wonder why Dexter has not designed a trailer axle incorporating sealed bearings to truly eliminate frequent bearing maintenance.

Well, they have. Sorta.

Look at the Nev-R-Lube. Two opposed tapered bearings in the same outer race. One double bearing per wheel, with no inner and outer in the traditional sense. A different spindle design too. Problem is, the bearings are under tremendous force because of being right next to each other, and if immersed in water they have to be replaced. So, they are "sealed", but not really. Not OK for boat trailers and not interchangeable with conventional bearings.

https://www.cerka.ca/nev-r-lube
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:54 AM   #47
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Well, they have. Sorta.

Look at the Nev-R-Lube. Two opposed tapered bearings in the same outer race. One double bearing per wheel, with no inner and outer in the traditional sense. A different spindle design too. Problem is, the bearings are under tremendous force because of being right next to each other, and if immersed in water they have to be replaced. So, they are "sealed", but not really. Not OK for boat trailers and not interchangeable with conventional bearings.

https://www.cerka.ca/nev-r-lube
Yes, but it really doesn’t benefit us.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:13 AM   #48
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I think this has been brought up before, too, but it does seem strange that my truck is 21 years old, with 260,000 miles, and has had zero bearing service and zero bearing issues.
Good point.

This is why I keep saying that trailer bearings don't need as much service as is recommended. But I don't want to tell someone else to not do the recommended maintenance. The front end wheel bearings in two wheel drive trucks, and conventional rear drive cars, last a very long time.

What manufacturer is going to recommend less service and then take responsibility for failures, if they happen? I almost never pack the bearings on my utility trailers and have never had a failure.

Seems like a good idea to do an initial bearing inspection and re-pack after a year or so, do a very careful job with quality seals, and then extend the maintenance interval out to two or three times the recommended interval. Watch the hub temps when traveling. And plan on doing it again when inspecting the brakes at around 30,000 miles or so. Any immersion at a river fording should lead to re-packing. And carry a spare set when on long trips.

At some level, bearing maintenance is like buying an anti-sway hitch. Very few people really need one, but buy them for insurance. There is no good way to determine if you need one, except to have a big problem some time. People get fixated on something they think the should worry about. This is where business sees an opportunity and often steps in to sell us something. It's also where business shifts the responsibility by "requiring" too much maintenance, as their own insurance policy.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:27 AM   #49
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Yes, but it really doesn’t benefit us.
Clearly.

The thing that would benefit us would be a maintenance free retro-fit that was extremely reliable. Even good quality sealed bearings that replaced the current open style, and fit the existing hubs, would be nice. No rear seal, no oil on the brake shoes ever, no messy re-packing. Just drop in a new pair when inspecting the brakes every few years, if needed, and you're good to go. Cool.

Re-packing bearings is so 19th century. Look at the carrier bearings in differentials, or some manual transmission bearings. Both tapered and under heavy load. Both last for a very long time with a simple splash lube system. Both run with a lot of ground up hard facing in the oil, from the gear teeth, that circulates through them all the time, with no apparent problem.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:32 AM   #50
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Thanks, I needed that. With only 1300 miles on our trailer I need not fret over not greasing the bearings. We just stop and feel the hubs every 50 - 100 miles.
If cool, or slightly warm, we're good to go.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:51 AM   #51
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Thanks, I needed that. With only 1300 miles on our trailer I need not fret over not greasing the bearings. We just stop and feel the hubs every 50 - 100 miles.
If cool, or slightly warm, we're good to go.
Wayne,

Let me throw another wrench in the works here. It seems Dexter or the manufacturers are not always lubing the bearings adequately at the factory, or when new. I don't think mine were, and others have told me the same.

So, before getting too casual about them, make sure they are done right to begin with. Then be casual and watch the hub temps when traveling. I check mine at each fuel stop, as the tank is filling. I touch each hub and each tire. It's the tires I'm most interested in, but the hubs are right there, so I touch them too.

I've never met anyone who touches the hubs on their tow vehicle at fuel stops. We never worry about auto wheel bearings, even tough, in many cases, they are the same design.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:47 AM   #52
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Perhaps the question should be: should the bearings be packed full of grease, or not? With the hand packed method you just filled the spaces between the balls or tapered rollers. The hub center was left empty to allow for expansion.
A fully packed bearing, it seems to me, would cause hot grease to be forced through the seals. But, I think, the EZ Lubes have the vent hole where the grease can escape into the cap.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:37 PM   #53
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Perhaps the question should be: should the bearings be packed full of grease, or not? With the hand packed method you just filled the spaces between the balls or tapered rollers. The hub center was left empty to allow for expansion.
A fully packed bearing, it seems to me, would cause hot grease to be forced through the seals. But, I think, the EZ Lubes have the vent hole where the grease can escape into the cap.
WELL, I did it! Got myself a tube of grease and a gun. It wasn't too bad.
Just messy wiping up and disposing of the old grease. At least I know the wheels have lubricant in them. Hardest part was crawling under the trailer to jack up the wheels.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:06 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Hey, three months later the "nay" crowd is finally speaking up!

I think this has been brought up before, too, but it does seem strange that my truck is 21 years old, with 260,000 miles, and has had zero bearing service and zero bearing issues. People have brought up that trailer bearing see more abuse, and that sitting all winter is really rough. I don't know...
Great point! Actually I have seen dozens of failed sealed hub bearings for every one bad conventional bearing.
As you say... Almost nobody ever touched wheel bearings except when servicing brakes.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:22 PM   #55
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Ultimately, you will be pushing contaminated grease from the inner bearings into the outer bearings. And I do not consider grease which has been heated from spinning hubs and oil that may have separated from the carrying medium over time to be “fresh.”



Precisely my reason!

And Dexter knows how to market products. But if Dexter knows so much, one has to wonder why Dexter has not designed a trailer axle incorporating sealed bearings to truly eliminate frequent bearing maintenance. I don’t like getting my hands greasy and dirty but for the reasons stated above, I will not rely on what I personally consider a “gimmick,” regardless of what Dexter might say. YMMV.

You are supposed to push fresh grease through until fresh grease emerges into the dust cap, then scoop out the excess.
I have hand repacked mine no more than 3 times in 15 years and 70+thousand miles, using EZ-Lube "now and then" as a supplemental repack.


I will be changing my axle next week and it is in excellent shape.
The change is to get 10" brakes and a Zero axle, not because of wear.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:30 AM   #56
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Well I’ll just keep checking mine for hot temps now and then, and lube every year or two.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:30 AM   #57
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You are supposed to push fresh grease through until fresh grease emerges into the dust cap, then scoop out the excess.
Floyd.....not sure what you mean here (scoop out the excess). If the hub itself isn’t full then with the amount of grease injected by a grease gun, I would be pumping for hours to fill the hub so that grease from the rear would push through the front (outer) bearings. I was taught NOT to fill Wheel hubs, just pack the bearings themselves. And if you mean scoop out the excess from the hub, why would I want to remove the outer bearing to do that. I might just as well remove the wheel and throughly clean and inspect the bearings and races. Furthermore, seeing fresh grease emerge through the outer bearing does not guarantee that fine metal particles, if present, did not remain in either of the bearings. And I would ask for a definition of “fresh” grease. Do you mean grease that has been sitting within the hub for a year or two? Or three? Has the grease “separated” within the hub? And if you mean scoop out the excess from the dust cap, that does not address my concerns or those of many others who have posted here.

I know your background and I respect the majority of your opinions. But there is nothing you can say that will ever convince me that EZ-Lube is a good “innovation.” Maintain your trailer bearings as you see fit, but I personally will never jump on the EZ-Lube wagon.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:36 AM   #58
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Well, I replaced my bearings. I packed them as well as I could by hand (probably just fine), and then I used the EZ-lube fitting to just run grease through to eliminate any air pockets. This results in grease being extruded out the outer bearing toward the operator, into the pocket formed by the sheet metal bearing cover (to which the rubber cap is applied). I simply took a small tongue depressor, and scooped out most of the grease that was extruded. Apparently, if the entire bearing cover area is filled with grease, it will build pressure, probably blowing the rubber cover off, but maybe sneaking out the rear seal.
I found the EZ-lube feature a nice one for just making sure grease got where it needed.
The hubs run perfectly cool.
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