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Old 08-01-2011, 09:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by armycopter View Post
I repacked mine this spring after I purchased the used trailer. I have no idea when the bearings were last repacked. When I first pulled the bearings they looked to have plenty of grease, it didn't smel burnt, and it was still an amber color (not black). I thought I was good to go but I decided to re grease anyway.

Well... long story short, after cleaning the old grease off the bearings, I found thousands of tiny metal shards in my bearing cleaning bucket. All the bearings were shot. I ended up replacing all eight bearings, races, and seals.

I think that you should re-grease each season which will also let you inspect your bearings for wear.
Exactly! And it is the reason Dexter and alco axle manufacturers say to remove, clean, repack, wheel bearing at 12,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. Our 5er has the EZ-lube axles and I will probably never use them since the bearing should be removed anyway.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:20 AM   #16
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I have joined the "repack every year" club after stumbling home on three wheels last year when a bearing failed catastrophically on our 25-year old Corsair.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:47 AM   #17
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I agree with all the other posters about bearing failures.

I don't repack my bearings to get new grease on them. I repack them so I can inspect them.

Our three-axle Airstream has needed at least one or two new bearings every time I've repacked them. I finally found a source for Timken bearings and am using them to replace the Chinese bearings supplied by Dexter. I hope to have fewer problems in the future.

-- Loren
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:41 AM   #18
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Here is my take on the bearing clean and repack. If YOU are doing the work not some shop or OEM and your willing to pop the outside caps off once a year you can go more then a year with out cleaning and inspecting them. On 3 differnt brands of trailer my dad has owned I found there wasnt enough grease to lube the bearings and one of the seals had bang when the drum was being put on from the factory. I found that these bearing where burnt brown and needed replaced two days after my Dad took delvery of his new trailer. So dont say its new it ok! I agree with the China bearing comment , they are junk and I will only use them if its all I can find in a emergency. There is many reason why bearing made in Japan or Germany or USA are more money , they last ...... Its worth a look and cleaning bearing at least once as soon as you own it and then again a year after , if you pack them and put extra grease in the cavity and find its clean and the right color the next year I see no reason to pull it apart every year. Dexter EZlube hubs are not a pass for inspecting the bearing but it does give you a piece of mind they have lube. I would caution owner that 2~3 pumps in each drum is enough you dont want to push grease out onto the brake shoes.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:49 PM   #19
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Here is how the EZ-lube axles work.
Dexter says to jack up the wheel, apply 1-2 pumps of wheel bearing grease, rotate the wheel by hand while greasing to reduce the chance of grease pushing past the grease seal.
It seems to be a good design, but does not over-ride the Dexter recommendation to remove the bearing, clean, INSPECT, every 12 months or 12,000 miles.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:03 AM   #20
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When I towed trailers I used Bearing Buddies.. now, I will admit there is a danger in these since they put positive pressure on a reservoir of grease they tend to blow out the rear seals on the hub.. However they have special "Bearing Buddy" rear seals that fix this problem (Designed to work with the bearing buddy "Dust cap".

These are designed for boat trailers where you go from being very hot due to high speed towing with small tires to backed into a cold lake and suddenly cool, the result is water is NOT sucked into the bearings as the spring loaded piston of the bearing buddy keeps the grease inside under pressure.

It also repacks the bearings as you drive.. Just pump it up before you tow and you are good.

Total bearing failures in 30 years of towing trailers with Bearing buddies... ZERO.

Total bearings replaced.. ONE.. Right after I bought the trailer and before I took it out for the first time.. (the prior owner did not use bearing buddies)
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:10 PM   #21
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Bearing Buddy axle caps are NOT designed for an axle with brakes. This is a quote from Champion Trailers:
"-- we recommend that you use plain dust caps and not "bearing protectors" (Bearing protector refers to the spring loaded dust cap device with a grease zerk fitting in the piston.) Bearing protectors add two to four PSI of pressure inside the hub cavity and in many cases, they cause grease to leak past the seal. If sufficient grease leaks past the seal on a brake hub drum, it will centrifuge out with some grease getting on the brake shoes. Grease on your brake shoes will drastically decrease your braking capacity."
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:57 PM   #22
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I repack when new, because I don't know if they were done properly by the fellow on the assembly line. After that, every one to two years depending on how much I towed the trailer. The big thing is to inspect the bearings and brakes. Also, get ride of the Chinese beatings ASAP and get some good bearings.

Kind of makes you wonder about the trailer bearings...I replaced the front brake pads on my F350 at 93,000 miles and repacked the bearings for the first time. Bearings were like new...cleaned, repacked and new grease seals and should be good for another 92,000 miles.

Why can't we run the trailer bearings as long?

Ken
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:00 PM   #23
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"Why can't we run the trailer bearings as long?" One word _ cheap! Virtually everyone shops for the cheapest price, and since no-one can see the running gear, frame, or fails to notice the tires are loaded to their maximum, it is an easy place to reduce manufacturing costs.
When/if consumers educate themselves before making a purchase, they will discover cheap is not the best buy and demand better products.
One example, my DW used to buy muffin pans about every year because they would lose their finish and rust. I went to my local hardware store and bought 4 SST muffin pans, each one cost about 4X as much as the cheapies. Those SST muffin pans (and made in America) are now 10 years old and show no signs of wear.
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