Newest Member of the Club (Pitted Bearings)
Had a mishap after pulling out of the campsite on our last trip. I noticed one wheel was wobbling as we were leaving the park. A quick stop to check the lug nuts (tight). I then looked behind the wheel and saw brake pads!!! I wiggled the wheel and was shocked to find it was loose enough to pull and push it on the spindle about .5 inch. Upon pulling it apart, I found the outer bearing race had barely existed. There were a few bearings intact but the majority had been ground into dust mixed in with the grease. The outer grease was silver. The inner bearing and grease was is in good condition. The seal was substantially deformed. The spring nut retainer was also substantially deformed.
Fortunately i had extra bearings and seals in the truck (but no grease and no degreaser). As I set out to do a bearing job on the spot (with silver grease...), i recalled that last time i did bearings (2 yrs ago) i noticed some pitting on this particular wheel. I didnt replace the bearing since it could not replace the race as well (could not get it out). At the time i figured i would get to it next time. BIG MISTAKE. Luckily we werent going 65mph at night in the rain or traveling on a road too narrow to have room to do the bearing job.
Since I used contaminated grease i will have to redo and replace the bearings, But I can say I am the newest in the club of “Inspect and Hand pack bearings annually” No skimping on bearings and no squirting grease in the ezlube axles for me.
Other than the obvious advice. I strongly recommend next time you can, get some extra seals and bearings to have onboard. Resources available that can do bearings are abundant compared to the parts. If I had not had the parts on hand my rig would have been stuck at camp or towed for repairs. Neither of which is pretty.
2016 3500 6.7L DRW
2010 Starcraft 329BHU TT