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Old 03-01-2013, 11:29 PM   #1
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Replacing Cat fan hub bearing

My 2004 DP on Freightliner XC chassis and Cat C-7 engine now has approx 59,000 miles on it. As of this date I was wondering how many owners have replaced the fan hub bearing before it went bad causing damage and if so at what approx mileage. And this is the sealed non-greaseable bearing.

Also, how many coaches with more than 60,000 miles have never had the bearing replaced?

I've been considering having mine replaced but the FL shop in Tulsa says they have replaced very few and talking to the Cat Hot Line I was told not to worry if it's not causing trouble and has been inspected. Just how do you inspect a sealed non-greaseable bearing, unless it's already shot.

I'm sure there's no telling how many miles there would be between no problem and completely shot. And at that point you're probably dead in the water and would need a tow to "heaven knows where" out in the boonies.

I've read to remove the serpentine belt and see if there's any wobble in the blades but as anyone with the rear radiators know, removing that belt is no 15 minute job just to wiggle the fan blades. And how often this should be done.

Appreciate any experience, advice, or suggestions concerning this bearing.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:04 AM   #2
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Cat Fan Hub Bearing

Not the answer, but related. My 3126B Cat DOES have a grease fitting. I tried every kind of grease nozell made - angle, slip-on, stubby, flexible, etc.
Nothing would get on that zerk because of the angle. During routine service the Cat mechanic said he could do it. Not sure how, but I have to take his word for the fact that it is lubed.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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Well mine went out about 35000 miles. I was lucky. While unhooking my toad with mh engine running I heard a bearing squeal so I quickly parked and started checking what was squealing. I was able to reach my fan blades though my rear battery compartment and the blades had lots of play in it. So I knew what it was. Was going to attempt to do it myself but being away from home I had it towed to a Cat shop. Well the bearing messed up the bearing housing so that also had to be replaced. If I were you if you don't change it then I would see if you can reach your fan blades and check it periodically so you can catch it before it takes out your radiator.
Good luck
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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I always try to listen carefully anytime I hooking/unhooking the toad but am never sure just what kind of unusual noise I would be hearing. When the idler & tension bearing starting making noise in my Wrangler with 64,000 miles on it the noise was more of a grumble rumble sounding.

I was thinking about having the bearing replaced with the greaseable bearing and having an extension put on the zerk so it could be lubed from down under someplace. The tech at FL in Tulsa said this would require also replacing the complete hub but in talking with the representative at Cat Hot line he said the new bearing comes already mounted in the hub and both are replaced as a unit. At the same time he stated the new bearing would possibly be mounted in a re-manufactured hub and might just go out within the next 10,000 miles. Sounds like he was trying to say the new one might not be any better than the one on the coach.

If the bearing could be replaced by the local diesel shop for $200-$400 instead of a 200 mile round trip, 2-3 days in the shop, and $1,500-$2,000 it would be easy to say "do it". This is probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make during my 25 years of RVing.

I can reach the tips of the fan blades from underneath at the back end of the coach but not sure whether I can put enough pressure on them to tell about the tightness of the bearing. Had read someplace it's better to have the serpentine belt off first but what a pain to do that before every trip.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:15 PM   #5
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wagonmaster2,
Back in 2010 there was a thread posted by 1ciderdog on his replacement of his fan hub bearing. After reading what he went through to get it fixed, I decided to buy all the necessary parts and carry them with me in my Journey with Caterpillar engine so that if I had the same problem, I would at least have the parts to get it fixed. Needless to say I haven't had any problems yet, but I don't have the milage you have. I would say that if it bothers you bad enough that its always in the back of your mind, get it replaced and be done with it. Or at least buy the parts and carry them with you and you will probably never have the problem. Here's 1ciderdog's thread where he lists all the parts needed.

Cat fan bearing

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Old 03-02-2013, 09:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by xsubco View Post
Not the answer, but related. My 3126B Cat DOES have a grease fitting. I tried every kind of grease nozell made - angle, slip-on, stubby, flexible, etc.
Nothing would get on that zerk because of the angle. During routine service the Cat mechanic said he could do it. Not sure how, but I have to take his word for the fact that it is lubed.
A standard grease gun nozzle will fit, if you grind a flat spot on two sides of the nozzle. I may have a better angle for access than you do because I
have almost direct, from on top, access to the fitting. Of course, I've done a belly flop across the entire engine to get to it.

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Old 03-02-2013, 09:45 PM   #7
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A standard grease gun nozzle will fit, if you grind a flat spot on two sides of the nozzle. I may have a better angle for access than you do because I
have almost direct, from on top, access to the fitting. Of course, I've done a belly flop across the entire engine to get to it.

Fred
+1 on the grinding the nozzle...worked for me as well. I have a 3126E, and the fitting is on the top. Luckily, there's an engine access panel in the closet so it's a straight shot from the top for me.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:23 PM   #8
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Greasing the fan hub can be done by using a needle adapter snaped on the grease gun. The adapter can be bought at your local car parts store. Just did mine when I changed my belts.

2001 Journey Cat 3126
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:59 AM   #9
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Grind the nozzle on 2 sides. It will then fit on the zerk fitting. I access my fan bearing grease zerk from the hatch in rear bedroom. I also have to remove the air cleaner that is mounted right over the access to the zerk fitting. Takes about 1 hour to do the job from start to finish. Also look at belts, fittings on turbo to exhaust system while you are in there. I was told 2 solid pumps on grease gun every 6000 miles. Working so far. Good luck. Seeya on the road..
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:23 AM   #10
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Mine ('97 3126) must be turned just right, or maybe I'm just lucky. Standard tip working just fine w/o mods.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:40 PM   #11
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Here's a pic of my 3126E which has the fan bearing ZERK located at the 12 o'clock position. I have a flexible hose extension on my grease gun and the nozzle just fits. As was mentioned in previous posts, you can file a flat on one side of your nozzle and that should give enough room for the nozzle to properly engage the ZERK. Just two pumps is more than enough to lube the bearing

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6201/6...ccaa9a4d_b.jpg
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sammie View Post
wagonmaster2,
Back in 2010 there was a thread posted by 1ciderdog on his replacement of his fan hub bearing. After reading what he went through to get it fixed, I decided to buy all the necessary parts and carry them with me in my Journey with Caterpillar engine so that if I had the same problem, I would at least have the parts to get it fixed. Needless to say I haven't had any problems yet, but I don't have the milage you have. I would say that if it bothers you bad enough that its always in the back of your mind, get it replaced and be done with it. Or at least buy the parts and carry them with you and you will probably never have the problem. Here's 1ciderdog's thread where he lists all the parts needed.

Cat fan bearing

Good Luck
Sammie
Hi Sammie,
I know the thread, I've been keeping a copy of it in my file since I know my time is coming. Did you go ahead and buy the parts to carry with you, and if so did you get them from a Cat or Freightliner dealer? I'm trying awfully hard to convince myself I'll enjoy traveling more if I go ahead and have all the parts on the front of the engine replaced at the same time, belts, idler/tension pulleys, fan bearing, plastic radiator pressurized tank, thermostats, and any hoses that look frail.

Leaving the coach at a shop for 2-3 days, or longer is all needed parts aren't available in the shop, bothers me about as much as the cost of all the work. At $125/hour the labor adds up in a hurry.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:56 AM   #13
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Hi Sammie,
I know the thread, I've been keeping a copy of it in my file since I know my time is coming. Did you go ahead and buy the parts to carry with you, and if so did you get them from a Cat or Freightliner dealer? I'm trying awfully hard to convince myself I'll enjoy traveling more if I go ahead and have all the parts on the front of the engine replaced at the same time, belts, idler/tension pulleys, fan bearing, plastic radiator pressurized tank, thermostats, and any hoses that look frail.

Leaving the coach at a shop for 2-3 days, or longer is all needed parts aren't available in the shop, bothers me about as much as the cost of all the work. At $125/hour the labor adds up in a hurry.
Yep, I bought all the parts just for piece of mind. Now watch, I'll never need them. I'm pretty sure I bought them at my local cat dealer.

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Old 03-05-2013, 05:38 PM   #14
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Sammie, I wonder if that would work for me. Having all the parts on hand would scare off any trouble. Several years ago I bought all the nylon/plastic bushing the slide-out runs on since I could see some cracks in mine and didn't want to have trouble on the road with the room not moving and no parts available. I still have the parts but the old ones are wearing down enough now and breaking more chips off to let the room drag more on the carpet so I'm going to have them all replaced at HWH in April.
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