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Old 06-26-2010, 01:36 PM   #1
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wheelbearings

Just had my T-2499 inspected and was told the wheel bearings needed repacked. My sales slip calls them Easy Lube Axles. Do they really need repacked or just lubed? If they need repacked, how do I find out the part number for the grease seal?

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Old 06-26-2010, 04:28 PM   #2
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Hi Rob;
A lot depends on mileage, but if you've never repacked them, I'd say it's time. Others have reported that the axle manufacturer did not use a whole lot of grease in the first place. Repacking also allows an inspection of the bearings and races and the satisfaction of knowing that all is well.

The grease seal is a standard item either off the shelf or over the counter--just ask for the 3500 lb. ones--and don't forget to get 4; I just picked up two and didn't realize it until I started this post! Make sure they are a "double lip with coil spring".

I have used the easy lube on a long trip when it's not convenient to repack. It is no substitute. All you do is mix fresh grease with old and it squeezes out a whole mess of somewhat runny grease out the hub. If you do need to do this sometime rotate the wheel while giving one pump at a time. This reduces the risk of pushing grease passed the seal and into the drum and brake linings. Catch the old grease in waste container.

Here are a couple of links I found in a quick search:
zerk-fittings

questions-about-brake-maintenance

Henry
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:01 PM   #3
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Hi Rob

Im with Henry, even if you have EZ lube hubs, since you may have not been on a routine greasing/inspection program, the brake drums should be pulled and the brake inspected/adjusted.

And do a clean and fresh bearing repack. If this is the 1st since original, Dexter or Alko do not put a lot if much grease in the bearings when new. Why, do not know. Must be a cost saying deal.

The 2 links Henry sent you too are good and should help. If you need more let us know.

AND make sure you get what they call a double seal and it has a garter spring on the inside. This is a must on the EZ lube hubs and should be on all brakes regardless of EZ lube or not. They actually sell a single lip seal and is on most non EZ lube axles. I always upgrade to the double regardless and cannot imagine why the axle makers would be so cheap to save a few pennies. OK Ill get off my soap box now

If you need help looking up the seals/bearings, tell us the axle number out of the yellow sheet in the manual and what brand it is. Odds are you have the standard 3500# axle setup but just checking.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:21 AM   #4
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If you want a good replacement seal for the 3500lb axles Timken makes it and the number is 413470 I installed these when I repacked my bearings
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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Rob & Kath...

I have those EZ Lube axles on my 2499 and my utility trailer.
While I have used my grease gun to "top off" the axles occasionally, I am one of those that services my axle bearing yearly (even though that may be overkill... I don't put THAT many miles on them).

I never knew about the double lip with spring deal, though.
Now I'm wondering what's on my axles now... I did not do the last service myself. Didn't have the time.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:46 AM   #6
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Hi Rob

..Dexter or Alko do not put a lot if much grease in the bearings when new. Why, do not know. Must be a cost saying deal.

John
Depends on what you mean. There should be NO grease inside the hub between the inner and outer bearings.
All grease should be up against the bearing itself. Do not fill the entire hub with grease. The air space is needed for expansion and cooling. Grease isn't like oil; it will not "circulate" so the only grease to contact the bearings' moving parts is the grease in the bearing itself (between the cage and rollers) and the little bit you place against the bearing rollers' sides. Too much and the grease is forced out onto the backing plate and, eventually, onto the brakes.

Trust me - more is not gooder

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Old 06-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awellis3 View Post
Depends on what you mean. There should be NO grease inside the hub between the inner and outer bearings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by awellis3 View Post
All grease should be up against the bearing itself. Do not fill the entire hub with grease. The air space is needed for expansion and cooling. Grease isn't like oil; it will not "circulate" so the only grease to contact the bearings' moving parts is the grease in the bearing itself (between the cage and rollers) and the little bit you place against the bearing rollers' sides. Too much and the grease is forced out onto the backing plate and, eventually, onto the brakes.

Trust me - more is not gooder

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(ASA Certified Master Mechanic in a former life)
Hi Wright

What I have seen on both a brand new Expressline Cargo trailer and my T2499 Sunline brand new was what I called very little grease. I’ll describe.

The cavity between the bearing was 100% dry. No problem yet.

The bearing cones where packed with grease but it was marginal at best from my point of view. There was not even enough to flow outside the outer bearing race by ~ 1/32” to 1/16”. The OD of the bearing rollers where very exposed. It looked like they used a bearing packer (which is OK by me) and only put 2 pumps of a hand grease gun in it and left it. Did not even smear over the rollers.

In the condition they left it (new) it will work however I myself would not take it the 12,000 miles in a year that they declare can be run before a repack. They recommend 12,000 miles or 1 year as a general recommendation.

The Dexter and Alko EZ lube was designed for boats to on purpose fill the cavity between the bearings. Once filled it helps keep the water out when the trailer is submerged. They have now taken this to other trailers, cargo trailers, TT’s etc.

From Alko site

http://www.al-kousa.com/images/anihub.gif

From Dexters site
http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/1080235/f/product_flyers/E-Z_Lube_3-09.pdf

When the system works it is chucked full of grease. The “only” thing protecting the brakes is the seal, period. I know not great and I have my own reservations about this but it is out there being marketed on TT’s as a feature. And I for one do not submerge the TT…..

The biggest issue I have seen is folks using them is not jacking up the camper and spinning the wheel to help spread the grease. They get localized pressure and can stress the seal. And if anyone using an air greaser, that high volume can overpower the seal. For sure only use a hand gun and pump slow while spinning the wheel.

I myself added the EZ lube feature to my new axles when I installed them in case I go out west on long extended trips in the future, but I still do the hand repack here at home. Since I do my own repacks I’m more worried about the electric brakes inside then the grease. I know when I repack, the grease will go the time period I have as I track all towing mileage and do not have to worry about over doing or under doing on the grease or bearing running clearance.

The topic of EZ lube on TT’s is greatly debated in the mechanics circle. Many can’t stand it but I have not seen them actually show me where when done correctly and done repacks when needed they blew out a seal inbetween repacks. I suspect those that have had issues went to long between repacks and greased it the improper way.

I myself am open to it, but do not use it unless I have to. And I try and caution anyone using it to make sure they jack up the TT, spin and pump slow or else. And EZ lube or not, leaving grease in for years on end, it get’s hard, contaminated, seals get brittle and issues come, not to mention the brakes inside.

OK what are your thoughts? Being a man who knows wheel bearings I would like to hear your view point as well.

Thanks

John
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:06 AM   #8
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Hi Wright

OK what are your thoughts? Being a man who knows wheel bearings I would like to hear your view point as well.

Thanks

John
The system was designed originally for submersable applications, as you already know. Dexter and others decided to put them on TT's as well because of demand. So much easier to squirt grease in a fitting as opposed to disassembly, don't ya know?

Since the spindle and hub are designed as a unit to facilitate the grease flow and a method for egress of old grease has been likewise designed in, I see no reason to say this application is not desireable.

Here come the BUTs ... 1) It is encumbent on the owner/mechanic to apply the grease at low pressure and be patient.
2) And since the grease enters the inner bearing through a hole in the spindle, rotating the wheel (as you mentioned) becomes most important for the grease to be distributed evenly and have all the old grease forced out.
3) Also, since the system works from inside to outside, you are forcing old, tired grease out of the inner bearing into the outer bearing. Unless you put it to 'er until fresh grease runs out the outer cap, old grease lurks. On four hubs, that's a lot of grease.
4) You will be tempted to do this every time thus missing the opportunity to pull the hubs, inspect the bearings for pitting and galling and inspect the brakes.

IMHO,
Wright
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