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Old 09-15-2014, 11:20 PM   #1
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Axle lube recommendation

We are on a 7,000 mile trip and would appreciate some input on axle lube frequency. I lubed before we left on our trip.

I have the Dexter E-Z Lube feature, and I pumped grease into each wheel bearing until the old grease was completely flushed out. Took about 1/2 tube for each wheel.

Dexter indicates performing this procedure every 2,000 miles or once a year, which ever comes first.

So if I lube every 2,000 miles = 3 times = 6 tubes of grease.

I wonder if a few pumps each 2,000 miles is adequate, or do the full procedure.

How do you lube on a long trip ??
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:39 PM   #2
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There are some here that think the E-Z lube system will cause grease to get on the brakes by getting past the inner seal. Glad to hear someone was successful in a repack with the zerk fitting. Did you spin the wheel while pumping in the new grease? How do you know grease didn't get past the inner seal? Did you use the same kind of grease and the same color? 1/2 tube is a lot of grease for each wheel.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:47 PM   #3
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Don't bother with how many miles you go? Just do the wheels at night at your layover and you can clean up, and next morning you won't need to get dirty or grease on hands and then grab the steering wheel.

I don't believe a full grease procedure every 2,000 miles would be necessary as you'll be giving the bearings some fresh grease along the way lots more often than you normally would.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:48 AM   #4
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I lube annually, but not on long trips. The bearings turning is better than just sitting for months.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:26 PM   #5
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henboy,
I believe that the recommendation is 12,000 miles or every year, whichever comes first. You should jack the wheels off the ground and turn by hand as you are pumping in the grease. I wouldn't worry about adding any more grease until after you return home.
Frank
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Highway 4x4 View Post
There are some here that think the E-Z lube system will cause grease to get on the brakes by getting past the inner seal. Glad to hear someone was successful in a repack with the zerk fitting. Did you spin the wheel while pumping in the new grease? How do you know grease didn't get past the inner seal? Did you use the same kind of grease and the same color? 1/2 tube is a lot of grease for each wheel.
Yes I spun the wheels at home...hard to do away from home on layovers. The 1/2 tube/axle what the first lube on the trailer so they might not have been full of grease. I will know when I do Lube #2..I'll report back.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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Don't bother with how many miles you go? Just do the wheels at night at your layover and you can clean up, and next morning you won't need to get dirty or grease on hands and then grab the steering wheel.

I don't believe a full grease procedure every 2,000 miles would be necessary as you'll be giving the bearings some fresh grease along the way lots more often than you normally would.
How many pumps do you do at layovers?
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:06 PM   #8
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henboy,
I believe that the recommendation is 12,000 miles or every year, whichever comes first. You should jack the wheels off the ground and turn by hand as you are pumping in the grease. I wouldn't worry about adding any more grease until after you return home.
Frank
Frank:
I just re-checked the Dexter instructions and it states once a year or 2,000 miles, which ever comes first.
I am with you, that frequency seems excessive when doing a lot of miles each year.

I may just put in a few pumps every 500 miles +/-
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:24 AM   #9
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Frank:
I just re-checked the Dexter instructions and it states once a year or 2,000 miles, which ever comes first.
I am with you, that frequency seems excessive when doing a lot of miles each year.

I may just put in a few pumps every 500 miles +/-
My Dexter manual said once a year or 12,000miles. I am one of the naysayers regarding adding wheel bearing grease via zerks. There is another thread that discusses this issue (and it IS an issue) at length. There is lots of excellent information in that thread. If interested search for a thread called "Ultra Lube Alko Axles".

My bet is that if you put a 1/2 tube into one axle end you have grease on your brake linings. Good luck!

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Old 09-17-2014, 05:57 PM   #10
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I just knew that Bob would find this thread. I say he sends the bill to Dexter if there is grease on the brakes.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:45 AM   #11
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I just knew that Bob would find this thread. I say he sends the bill to Dexter if there is grease on the brakes.
Yep, I am very predictable. My mission is to get the axle manufacturers to produce a quality wheel bearing assembly. The idea that we trailer owners have to repack bearings "every year or 10,000" miles it ridiculous. We don't have to do that with our trucks and automobiles.

But if the axle (and trailer manufacturers) insist on obsolete designs for their wheel bearings, the "E-Z"/"Ultra" lube concepts are an improvement, but the engineering is lousy. Concept wise, sealed, cartridge bearings are much better.

Cartridge bearings are available from Dexter, not Alko. They should be available on new rigs, at least as an extra cost option.

I just fell off my soapbox, but it felt good while I was there...

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Old 09-18-2014, 04:52 PM   #12
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How many pumps do you do at layovers?
I don't.

I use synthetic wheel bearing grease on ALL my vehicles/trailers. I use it on tie rod ends, mower deck mandrels, U-joints, everything. It's lasts longer, has 3X higher temp capabilities, handles sheer pressures better and doesn't break down like regular wheel bearing/packing greases do.
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:36 PM   #13
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And it stay viscous in cold weather.
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:45 PM   #14
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I think the best method is to copy what big trucks do which is an hub oil bath. The bearings are constantly in a wet sump of hub oil. Big trucks can go a million miles with no problems. To change it just pull the plug and drain it off and replace with synthetic hub lube (75w-90). To check the bearings all you have to do is pop off the rubber plug at the end of the hub and look at it. Add hub oil to the fill line. I know, I have driven over 2 million miles in a big truck over the past 20 years and have never had a bearing failure. No accidents either!
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