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Old 05-21-2019, 11:17 AM   #1
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Unexpected Incident with Tag Axle Oil Cap

Got to the campground after 8 hours or so on the road and saw that the curbside tag axle was leaking oil. Took off the chrome cover to discover that the center plastic center of the oil hub was completely gone and the red plug was lying in the well. Not sure where any of the broken plastic went as I only found a few small bits.This is the same hub that I replaced about a year ago.
Ordered a new one and is an easy fix. I just can't think of what would have caused the entire center to catastrophically implode.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:29 AM   #2
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Maybe it's time to pull it apart and check the bearings?
Where did the plastic pieces go?

I had a rear drive axle seal go and leak oil last year, but so far I haven't had an issue with the tag.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:51 PM   #3
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Need to check the bearings and brakes could have gotten hot and melted.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:10 AM   #4
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With the plastic cap gone you should have oil everywhere????
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Old 05-22-2019, 03:13 AM   #5
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I’ve had one “disappear” and has a lot of oil on the wheel ( didn’t go completely dry). Had one leak.

I’ve been told that when they get old, they will leak. Pay attention to the color. New ones are red, as they get old and subject to leak they wii become pink.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:41 AM   #6
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when they get old the plastic will craze or look cracked and need to be replaced. Been there and done that
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:06 AM   #7
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Is there any oil in there now (on the bearings)?

At least with a Tag axle you can lift it and then spin the wheel and check for bearing noise/play.

If the bearing stayed wet and there is no noise or bearing end-play, then I would put on a new hub and fill with oil and drive it home. Then schedule to have a shop look it at your convenience.

If there is noise or you can rock the wheel, then your going need to drive with the Tag up (so the wheel doesn't rotate) to get it to a shop. If your setup is like mine you can chain the Tag up. (Adjust tag air pressure regulator to zero, and wrap a chain around the Tag to hold it up).
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:24 AM   #8
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One wheel has a Stemco cap and the other is a no-name brand. I don't know which one is/was the newer but someone has done work on that tag before. Internal pressure is created with friction/heat and if it can't be vented properly through the pinhole in the center of the red cap then pop! Either the center cap blows out or the entire plastic window pops. A common problem is water in the oil which creates steam when hot. Just hot oil doesn't do this, as it just expands, but there's plenty room for expansion when the hub is properly filled.


Looking at picture 1 I can see bright metal inside the hub cap as it should be, however, picture 2 shows brown metal. That suggests water intrusion to me and that would be the culprit in the explosion.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:32 AM   #9
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Here's a bit of advice from Rayco Granning concerning hub cap care and maintenance. Many folks think the red cap is also a fill port. This is true if your hub cap doesn't have a fill port on its side. If it does, then don't remove the center cap to add oil.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:38 AM   #10
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I have been adding oil to hubs for 30 years and have never done it any other way than to remove the red cap. Only maybe twice was the plastic broken out and that was because of an impact. If it doesn't pull out by hand though its time for a new one they do get hard over time.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
I have been adding oil to hubs for 30 years and have never done it any other way than to remove the red cap. Only maybe twice was the plastic broken out and that was because of an impact. If it doesn't pull out by hand though its time for a new one they do get hard over time.
Same here - but never too old to learn something new.
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Old 05-23-2019, 02:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryB View Post
Is there any oil in there now (on the bearings)?

At least with a Tag axle you can lift it and then spin the wheel and check for bearing noise/play.

If the bearing stayed wet and there is no noise or bearing end-play, then I would put on a new hub and fill with oil and drive it home. Then schedule to have a shop look it at your convenience.

If there is noise or you can rock the wheel, then your going need to drive with the Tag up (so the wheel doesn't rotate) to get it to a shop. If your setup is like mine you can chain the Tag up. (Adjust tag air pressure regulator to zero, and wrap a chain around the Tag to hold it up).
CountryB, Got the new hub and checked the end play and any grinding noise when I spun the tire around. All felt and looked good. Will see how it goes on the way home next week.
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Old 05-24-2019, 02:06 PM   #13
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Word of advice from old truck driver. Leave the chrome cover off so you can feel the hub after driving a ways. Hub should be slightly warm never hot. If hot bearings are too tight or worn out. Never drove with chrome covers on either steering or drive axles when driving so could feel the hubs every couple hours when checking tires. Still check tires every 2 to 3 hrs and shoot wheel with infrared thermometer for bearing and brake heat. Yes I have TPMS system but old habits die hard. Good luck, Don
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:58 AM   #14
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Like Don, I still IR temp tires, brakes, and bearings. I’m looking for a temp that is higher than normal on the same spot...side of the tire 1” from the tread and the base of the chrome cover on the tag. Excessive heat there could be brakes or bearings although I try and use the Jake when I’m going to stop and temp everything.
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