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Old 06-13-2015, 08:09 PM   #1
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Dexter EZ Lube axles missing part

Just for everyone's information regarding axles. We have a 2015 GoldRush (KZ) 5th Wheel purchased new last July (which by the way we really like).

The instructions for the axles say lube every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Jim planned to lube them today, took off the tire and discovered that the hub was lose. It moved back and forth. He then took off the dust cap and found that the cage retaining clip was missing and the spindle nut was within three turns of falling off. I shudder to think what would have happened to us if that had happened. He looked at the other three and all were in place. The cage clips are bright yellow so you know they are there. The one missing was obviously never there - no yellow at all. We are now concerned that the bearing(s) may have been damaged. On Monday we will be contacting our dealer and also Dexter. I have taken pictures which I will be submitting to both of them. This is a serious safety issue so it may pay to check your own axles.

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Old 06-13-2015, 08:46 PM   #2
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Instructions from Dexter also say to check after the first 50 miles. It is possible that the delivery to the dealer resulted in a report to dealer that there was excessive play in that wheel. Possibly the dealership had their own mechanics adjust the bearing back to specs and left the locking cap nut off. In either case, the first 50 mile check may have discovered the excessive play and maybe not. Obviously someone dropped the ball and you were lucky there was no one injured.

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Old 06-14-2015, 08:23 AM   #3
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Wow, I'm glad you found that before it fell off. One of the dust caps was missing from my axle on my 15 Gateway. How the heck does the factory miss stuff like this?
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:06 AM   #4
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Glad you caught it. I generally check bearings by feel (heat) when traveling and then at least once/year jack the axles up and check them for play.

Some people think that you shouldn't use that "easy lube" stuff as it's easy to over-grease and contaminate the brakes..
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cb1000rider View Post
Glad you caught it. I generally check bearings by feel (heat) when traveling and then at least once/year jack the axles up and check them for play.

Some people think that you shouldn't use that "easy lube" stuff as it's easy to over-grease and contaminate the brakes..
According to Dexter you can NOT contaminate the brakes as the excess comes out towards you so you see it and can quit pumping grease. Then wipe off the excess and put the rubber plug back in place.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:33 PM   #6
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The spindle nut retainer/washer was said to be missing from one axle last month during annual service on my camper by dealer. The dealer has serviced them annually since purchase. The mechanic working on camper said the wheel would have separated in a few miles. I was not that familiar with the E-Z lube axles and really didn't understand exactly what was missing. I am somewhat familiar with cotter pins on the end of the spindle. I don't service/grease the axle bearings on the camper leaving that to the dealer each year. After taking the camper home, researched the E-Z lube axle and bearings and realized exactly what was missing. Then called the service manager and asked how the part could be missing. He stated it couldn't come out on its own and didn't know why the mechanic said that. Came down to who said what and touched it last. They serviced it last and I know that. Now, need to jack each wheel up and see if it is loose before each trip?
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:30 PM   #7
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I had grease inside the 4 drums against my brake magnets on my new unit 5 years ago. All seals had been pushed in and 2 needed replacement. I had to change all 4 seals clean and repack. If the wheel is not rotated the grease takes the path of least resistance. A stationary bearing will cause enough blockage to allow grease to push the seal. A rotating bearing pumps it own grease and lubricates that way.
I found that applying grease with a gun there is much more pressure required when wheel is not turning. And rotating the wheel releases the pressure.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:04 AM   #8
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To the OP,
The missing retaining clip was not installed from the factory, and the dealers rarely check much of anything on their PDI, just a quick visual walk around. Glad that you found it before any major problems occurred. I would recommend taking the bearings out and cleaning them and closely inspecting them and the outer races. Also replace the grease seal, as it might have been damaged. Any competent mechanic can perform this, doesn't have to be an RV tech.
If you read the proper procedure to grease the EZ lube axles from Dexter, it tells you to rotate the tires as you pump grease in, it also tells you not to use a powered gun.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:26 PM   #9
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I had Dexter E-Z lube axles on our last 5er. Dexter says to inspect the ax.e bearings annuall or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. This means every bearing must be removed, cleaned of grease, inspected for wear and corrosion, repacked and re-installed if it passes inspection.
That also means using the E-Z lube zerk fittings is needless. I never did use them because it was a duplication of re-greasing the bearing at inspection time.

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