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Old 02-22-2014, 05:32 PM   #15
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If it's a fairly new seal, and you don't remove it, then I would and have left them in there and not replaced them.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:48 PM   #16
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I am going to make some calls on Monday to AL-KO and Outdoorrv to see what they say about greezing them.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:01 PM   #17
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Just removing the drum to inspect the grease coverage and bearings will not harm the inner seal. Actually when you remove the outer bearing it would be a good idea to wipe the grease off and inspect the grease. If you see any sparkles in the grease then that bearing is bad. You could also wipe some of the inner bearing grease away and inspect for sparkles. If any is found on either bearing then you need new bearings, seals and hand pack the bearings.

Where did the sparkle stuff come from??? That's metal flake from the roller in the bearing. The rollers have lost their hardness and are failing.

Those seals are usually harmed when the inner bearing is pounded out, which takes the seal with it. I have re-used those as well if they pass a good inspection.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:26 AM   #18
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Called the factory and they are packed from there so no need to re-check. I think it would be best to install new grease when the hub is warm so the grease flows easier to the front and out. I think I might pick up a spare set of bearings, races, and seals and have the tools needed for a field change.
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:59 PM   #19
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Highway,
Viscosity does not change with temp changes. It usually gets thicker if it gets hotter. That's what variable viscosity grease and oils do. F5-W30 oil gets thicker as it gets hotter. The factory told you that because they have to make some excuse for employing a failed system to grease their bearings. These are your choices to make but take my and others word for it, the grease gun method for getting grease into those inner bearings for the most part does not work. When done absolutely correct you might get away with it but the average guy does not know exactly how to do it.

My question is why take a chance???? Hand pack the bearing with synthetic grease, correctly adjust the bearings and be done with it for at least TWO years.
I wouldn't screw with the grease gun except for the steering and suspension.
TeJay
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:45 PM   #20
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That's good advice TeJay and I plan on doing it your way. The factory lube should be good for the first few trips then do the bearings and some wet shackles. Are wet shackles the way to go or are those super bushings better?
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:06 PM   #21
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To all of you have contributed to this thread: THANKS!

It is interesting to me that most folks refer to annual/bi-annual wheel bearing inspections/repackings, and not miles down the road. Our typical travel scenario is a winter/spring trip of from 7000-9000 miles, then followed by a fall trip of from 4000-6000 miles.

My past repacking scenario was to repack after the longer spring trip, and cross my fingers until the same time the following year. In other words, from 11,000 to 15, 000 miles between inspection and repacking.

With our new Wind River, I will be repacking before each of our winter and fall trips. I will never use the zerk fittings again. Color me cautious....

Again, I appreciate everybody's comments on this issue.

Bob
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:10 PM   #22
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I called ALKO today and spoke with the tech. Asked a few questions and gort some answers. Asked if they fill the voids between the bearings at the factory? No, they hand pack the bearings only so the first time you lube it using the zert it will take more grease. Do not use anything but a hand type grease gun, no air operated type. the new grease enters the hub between the bearings. Fill only till you see the grease move in the front bearing. He said that if you get grease on the brakes only replace the brake shoes. Perhaps run the drum through the dish washer a few times. These are ALKO's words, not mine. If you want to take the wheels off and had pack perhaps fill the hub, that might be the way to go. Also, my idea, you could remove the bearing nut and the outer bearing then use the zerk and watch the grease enter then hand pack the outer bearing and re-assemble. Might be a little quicker and would not disturb the inner seal. Just ideas.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:38 PM   #23
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Keep in mind that the inner bearing, being the larger will bear the greatest amount of the load. It really makes no sense to only service one of the bearings. If bearing lube is good for 2-4 years then when doing it do both inside and outside bearings. Don't try to save some time or $$$. It may come back to haunt you.

I seldom see this discussed if I've mentioned it and I really don't understand why. It is a fool proof method of determining the state of your bearings. It won't fail you. If when wiping the grease from inner our outer bearings you see sparkles in the grease then you know your bearings are BAD, BAD, BAD. If you see NO sparkles then re-pack, adjust and go on. Well adjusted and maintained bearing will last for a long time. Determining their current condition is the only way of determining if they can be re-used. Sparkles (metal flake) in the grease is the FIRST EASILY visible sign that the metal has deteriorated. There are other ways but this is the easiest.

Just trying to inform and help.
TeJay
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:02 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Keep in mind that the inner bearing, being the larger will bear the greatest amount of the load. It really makes no sense to only service one of the bearings. If bearing lube is good for 2-4 years then when doing it do both inside and outside bearings. Don't try to save some time or $$$. It may come back to haunt you.

I seldom see this discussed if I've mentioned it and I really don't understand why. It is a fool proof method of determining the state of your bearings. It won't fail you. If when wiping the grease from inner our outer bearings you see sparkles in the grease then you know your bearings are BAD, BAD, BAD. If you see NO sparkles then re-pack, adjust and go on. Well adjusted and maintained bearing will last for a long time. Determining their current condition is the only way of determining if they can be re-used. Sparkles (metal flake) in the grease is the FIRST EASILY visible sign that the metal has deteriorated. There are other ways but this is the easiest.

Just trying to inform and help.
TeJay
After my recent zerk greasing experience, I am in TeJay's camp. If one goes to the trouble to remove the outer bearing you might just as well proceed and do both bearings.

In addition to "sparkles" one should also look for blue tinted discoloration on the rollers. This indicates overheating and the potential for future bearing failures.

I am not a proponent of repacking on a "2-4 year" basis. I think mileage on the bearings is an important factor. Some manufacturers recommend "one year or 10,000 miles, which ever occurs first". That is my mantra.

Bob
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:50 PM   #25
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I was just offering an easier way, not better. BEST would be to remove rims and tires, inspect. Remove hubs, inspect. Remove and clean bearings, inspect. Inspect brakes. Repack bearings and install with a new seal.
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:59 PM   #26
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After over 30 years in the maintenance industry and observing thousands of bearings failure has always been blamed on the environment and not the bearing itself.
Less exposure and good observation always pays off.
I stay away from handling the bearings and applying unnecessary grease that can introduce dirt.
My method of checking my bearings is by touching the wheel center and when on the jacks I rotate the wheel and feel any vibration.
Just redone one wheel that did not feel right with the brakes loosen. Cleaned the bearings and repacked and everything is good. Kept spare bearing in storage.
Also the handling of spare units is very important. Do not drop them.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #27
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caissiel,
That's a good approach. Most can't feel those little changes as you rotate the wheel. If you can great. That means you've done it for some time and you'll be able to keep your unit in good working order.

Travel well!!!

TeJay
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:53 AM   #28
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After my recent zerk greasing experience, I am in TeJay's camp. If one goes to the trouble to remove the outer bearing you might just as well proceed and do both bearings.

In addition to "sparkles" one should also look for blue tinted discoloration on the rollers. This indicates overheating and the potential for future bearing failures.

I am not a proponent of repacking on a "2-4 year" basis. I think mileage on the bearings is an important factor. Some manufacturers recommend "one year or 10,000 miles, which ever occurs first". That is my mantra.

Bob
Also check the bearing races in the drum and on the hub. If they are discolored, they need to be replaced.
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