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Old 08-27-2014, 08:01 PM   #1
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Lippert axle with EZ-lube wheel bearings?

I have a 2011 Palomino Puma 253-FBS. Their brochure specifies EZ-Lube wheel bearings. This surprised me because they use so many Lippert parts. I am getting ready to lube the bearings, and am getting very confused.

The Puma manual is useless. It doesn't even mention wheel bearings or axles. It has a Lippert manual with several pages on axles, but no mention of EZ-lube. I was not aware that an EZ-lube wheel bearing was possible on a Lippert axle

I climbed underneath, and verified that it is indeed a Lippert axle. Next, i checked that there is indeed a grease zerk behind the rubber plug in the center of the hub.

Can anybody relieve my confusion?

Joel
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:31 PM   #2
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If I recall correctly, Dexter is a division of Lippert now. I think it has been for a couple of years now.. somebody else will chime in and verify I believe. I hope I didn't dream that...
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:45 PM   #3
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Here's MHO. I wouldn't give you 2 cents for any type of EZ-Lube set up. When most vehicles had front wheel bearings we serviced them every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. WHY,WHY,WHY does the TT industry think it is necessary to service their bearings every 12 months or 12,000 miles???? There is really no good reason. Unless you want to check the electric brakes. Are their bearings that lousy that they need inspected that often???? When you service or pay to have service work done long before it is necessary you are spending $$$$$ that you don't have to and more importantly you are opening yourself up to making an error which could cost you more than you bargained for. What can go wrong??? Forget to put the cotter pin back in. Incorrect bearing adjustment, Pack a bearing that is already bad because somebody does not know what to look for when inspecting bearings. Ruin an inner seal during the install. Replace a bearing race and not seat it correctly.

Now on the the EZ-Lube system. First of all they want you to raise the wheel and squirt some grease into the hub. That forces grease into the outer bearing through a very small hole in the axle and into the inner bearing. You pump more grease in and it forces the grease through the inner bearing and back out. Sometimes it won't work that way and the grease gun blows the inner seal out and you grease the brake shoes and drums. Now you have a more serious problem.

Service the bearings by hand packing with a good synthetic lube. Correctly set the bearing clearance and leave it alone for at least 2 years.

TeJay
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:41 AM   #4
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"Now on the the EZ-Lube system. First of all they want you to raise the wheel and squirt some grease into the hub. That forces grease into the outer bearing through a very small hole in the axle and into the inner bearing. You pump more grease in and it forces the grease through the inner bearing and back out. Sometimes it won't work that way and the grease gun blows the inner seal out and you grease the brake shoes and drums. Now you have a more serious problem."

And that's exactly why people have problems with them. There's videos and explanations on the Dexter website. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS and you won't have any problems like those that don't do.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:37 AM   #5
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Best advice is to not use the EZ-Lube. Pull the wheels , clean, inspect, and hand pack instead. Put them back together with new greese seals. The process will allow you to inspect your brakes as well.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosticks View Post
Best advice is to not use the EZ-Lube. Pull the wheels , clean, inspect, and hand pack instead. Put them back together with new greese seals. The process will allow you to inspect your brakes as well.
EZ-Lube hubs work quite well as long as you follow the directions & don't get impatient. Since I've got to jack the axle up anyway, pulling the drum to check the brakes is easy. Put it back on & lube, then done. The way they work, the bearings get all new grease every time.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Here's MHO. I wouldn't give you 2 cents for any type of EZ-Lube set up. When most vehicles had front wheel bearings we serviced them every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. WHY,WHY,WHY does the TT industry think it is necessary to service their bearings every 12 months or 12,000 miles???? There is really no good reason. Unless you want to check the electric brakes. Are their bearings that lousy that they need inspected that often???? When you service or pay to have service work done long before it is necessary you are spending $$$$$ that you don't have to and more importantly you are opening yourself up to making an error which could cost you more than you bargained for. What can go wrong??? Forget to put the cotter pin back in. Incorrect bearing adjustment, Pack a bearing that is already bad because somebody does not know what to look for when inspecting bearings. Ruin an inner seal during the install. Replace a bearing race and not seat it correctly.

Now on the the EZ-Lube system. First of all they want you to raise the wheel and squirt some grease into the hub. That forces grease into the outer bearing through a very small hole in the axle and into the inner bearing. You pump more grease in and it forces the grease through the inner bearing and back out. Sometimes it won't work that way and the grease gun blows the inner seal out and you grease the brake shoes and drums. Now you have a more serious problem.

Service the bearings by hand packing with a good synthetic lube. Correctly set the bearing clearance and leave it alone for at least 2 years.

TeJay
From the zerk fitting, the grease is forced through the axle, to the area between the seal and inner bearing. It's forced from there through the inner bearing, then fills the space between the inner and outer bearing, and finally is forced through the outer bearing. It takes 30 seconds! What is not to love?

If you pay somebody that doesn't understand the system, that's when you can expect the trouble! They're the ones that are going to blow that rear seal out using powerful pneumatic grease guns....

All that said, I'm good with the idea of washing, inspecting, and hand packing every couple of years - as long as we're talking about a TT with 14" plus rims.

Smaller rims, or those used on other types of trailers, especially ones used in salty conditions or backed into water? Those need to be done more often, for obvious reasons, and I think this bearing system is a god send for those guys - if they have a clue regarding how they work and how they're designed to be used....

I love the system!
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
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EZ actually came from boat trailers. Before you launched the boat you put grease thru the nipple until it came out the inner seal - slowly. With the entire inner area full,of grease it kept out the water. Have had many boat trailers that had this,problem is it over time ruins the inner seal by not being patience. We always put the new grease in before launching mainly because the grease is warm and flows easier.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:43 AM   #9
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Oh Hell! Running a little slow this morning. Just dawned on me we're talking about 2 different systems here! I agree that the chrome spring loaded type are easy to blow out the rear seals with - and I wouldn't use one on a TT.

The system that uses the rubber cap in the dust cover, and the zerk fitting installed in the end of the axle, that's a good one I'd use on anything!
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:50 AM   #10
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Few things:

You'll pay a whole lot more than a couple of cents to convert to 19th century hand pack hubs as the whole assembly will have to be replaced.

The ONLY way a seal will get messed up is by pumping too hard (especially with an air powered gun) or not slowly rotating the wheel while SLOWLY hand pumping grease in.

Finally, if you do it completely, you'll finally see fresh grease coming out and then you'll know you've completely replaced all of it. This does take about a half tube of the stuff, and you'll go through some paper towels wiping off the old stuff, but it works. If you only want to be certain there's plenty in there, just pump until it begins to come out and you're done - that's the less than 30 second way.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:36 PM   #11
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Check out this link:


Dexter E-Z LubeŽ System - YouTube

Lippert (LCI) bought part of Dexter, whether or not it included the NevRLube and E-Z Lube axle/bearings, I don't know.

Joe
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:00 AM   #12
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When you buy a brand new trailer make them pull the hubs while you watch. Many greased from the factory have grease on the brake shoes and hubs. My vote is hand pack. I have never had grease on my shoes or hubs. Good luck if you use the ez lube system.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:39 AM   #13
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This is what an E-Z Lube spindle looks like:



The seal rides on that larger machined surface just beyond that little cutout where the lube hole resides. When you pump (hand gun only according to Dexter) you will force grease though the back bearing an into the hub cavity which is absolutely full from the factory. This in turn forces the old grease out of the bearing - or at least that's the theory. If you read the supplied Dexter axle book or their on-line version, they do cover their bottoms by telling you to disassemble, inspect then relube 12mos/12,000miles which is ludicrous.

Now, as far as 'blowing' that seal - you sure can as found out by several folks that owned the same 5er as I did. My fix - replace the hub cap with a solid version so I wouldn't be tempted. What I found when I disassembled the above axle and the second one as well (replacements for failing Nevr-Lube axles) were a Dexter mechanics greasy fingerprints on the brand new brake shoes and some really rough Chinese outer bearings along with one bad inner which were a bigger concern. Dexter replaced the shoes and I bought US made Timken bearings.

Our new 2014 Montana - E-Z Lubes

Oh and before you ask, that rough spot is a minor forging flaw - not pretty but serviceable
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:41 AM   #14
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Interesting discussion. A couple of points. For every guy who knows how to use the system there's a bunch who don't and it's because of this mindset. If you see a faucet that is dripping most will tighten it. If oil is dripping out you tighten something. That does not always work. If the manufacturer says raise the wheel and turn as you slowly inject a few squirts of grease good. Then there's the guy who says if 2 squirts is good then 4,6,8, or 10 is better. When putting freon in an AC if 3 lbs is good then 4 lbs is better!!! Wrong!!!.

Something not mentioned. The grease used for these systems is very thin when compared to standard good quality grease. Why??? So it can pass through the tiny hole in the axle, the bearings then back up and out the front. Thin grease makes for ease of leaking.

Lastly since synthetic greases are about 10 times better that's what I want and will always use. Get the best lube you can to protect your investment.

TeJay
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