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Old 03-03-2014, 12:18 PM   #29
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Good thread for us RV trailer users. On my old tt (05') I had the local construction trailer place repack them every two years. Never had a problem. The 05' had the "Ultra-Lub hubs.

My newer tt (13') has what they call "Easy-Lub hubs". I noticed a grease fitting under a small rubber cap in the middle. If I pull off the wheels, should the brake drums pull off easily? I have two seasons of use (about 5-6k miles). I was going to just squirt one pump of grease into each fitting this spring. From following this thread it looks like maybe I should get further into this. Any pointers...?
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:48 PM   #30
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Pull wheel, pull spindle nut, and hub/drum comes off.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:27 PM   #31
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I just did mine (Lippert) for the first time.
Very easy, but I think it's critical to jack them up and spin the wheel wile pumping the new stuff in. One tube of grease was more than enough for all four. Purging lots of old grease out the front.
Took maybe 10 minutes per side.

I will say that I believe the bearings were packed, but the grease channels were not because it did take some time before it started to come out at first.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:42 AM   #32
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MOST CRITICAL.... if you're pumping it in and nothing's coming out... STOP and pull the wheel before you contaminate your brake shoes. These spindle/bearing combinations are a nice maintenance tool. If used properly, they will allow you to replace most of the old grease and see the condition of your bearings without looking at them. If the grease comes out really dirty or worse yet, sparkly... pull the wheel and inspect/replace the bearings and seal. If it doesn't come out at all after 10 pumps or so, you've breached the seal... pull the wheel.

My TT is just about 2 years old, and has probably been towed 10K miles. THIS YEAR I will be tearing the bearings/seals out and replacing the Chinese bearings with new... hopefully American made bearings and seals, and hand packing. After that I will jack it up and pump in new grease before each trip... following the procedures and warnings listed above. Chances are very good... probably better than most... that I will not be beside the road with a bad bearing. I still think these hubs are a great maintenance tool. They do NOT take the place of bearing maintenance. They merely augment it.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:04 PM   #33
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Not sure why anyone would risk blowing the seal to save some time. Either spend less time pumping grease, or spend more time and lots of money blowing seals and replaced brake components.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:52 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
Not sure why anyone would risk blowing the seal to save some time. Either spend less time pumping grease, or spend more time and lots of money blowing seals and replaced brake components.
For me, it's nothing to do with saving time. It's about knowing my bearings are not shelled before I tow to my favorite spot to fish or fly. I do this a week or two before my trip so I have time to replace things before that last minute.

I am aware that many don't like these things, but the ones I have had worked well, as I use them. Again, if you pump a few times and nothing comes out, you should suspect that the seal is breached. There's not enough grease there, yet, to contaminate the brakes.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:02 AM   #35
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I was going to just squirt one pump of grease into each fitting this spring. From following this thread it looks like maybe I should get further into this. Any pointers...?
The key is understanding how these grease things work. The zerk in the middle of the hub has a channel behind it that sends grease all the way to the back of the hub where it makes a 180* turn and pushes the gease from the back of the inner bearing through to the outter bearing and then back out the front from where you are pumping. The idea is to spin the wheel while pumping to ensure there are no clogs and everything has a path to push through. You want to put a good amount of grerase in because it purges the old stuff. Be prepared to clean off the old grease as it comes out. I just use a flathead and a lot of paper towel. You want to keep pumping until you see the fresh stuff, otherwise you've not done much.
I think there is some value to towing around a bit to get some heat in the bearings first. This is a winter project for most people and pumping cold, hard grease is much more risky for the seal.

I'm a little confused by all the negative input on this thread. This is a system designed to encourage maintenance by makeing a dealer project (for most people) into a DIY project. The vast majority of these systems work fine if done right.
If you bring your rig to the dealer for a bearing service, they aren't going to do anything different. In fact, they may not even jack it up. So unless you pull the hub apart and re-pack the bearings by hand, there's no reason not to use this process.
Yes, the risk of brake contamination always exists, but a set of brake shoes and a can of brake cleaner ought not break the bank if the seal blows out.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:37 AM   #36
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TDI,
Your information is well intended but there are some issues with it. Yes the system does encourage the DIY'er to do some of his own service. Here's the problem with that. Bearings used in a drum/disc situation do not require service every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Why do I say that when the entire TT industry says to do it every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Standard front drums or discs that have the same style of bearing system only require service every 30,000-40,000 miles. Why perform a service more than is needed taking the chance that you might do something incorrectly???? That makes no sense to me. If I change oil every 2,000 miles instead of say every 6,000 miles I just might not tighten down the oil drain plug or the filter correctly.

The grease hole in the system which carries the grease to the inner seal/bearing is small. Something in the range of 1/8" or less. Standard bearing grease is to thick so they made the grease thinner so it can get through that small hole. That thinner grease also makes it easier to blow out the rear seal.
If a drum or shoe is contaminated with grease you can not clean the grease using anything. It must be replaced. WHY??? The grease penetrates the shoes and the drum. It is absorbed into the cast iron drum and you can not get it out. If you use the contaminated drum it will effect the coefficient of friction and therefore effect the stopping ability of the brakes. You may not want to believe me but do a little research and you will find it to be true.

What can you do??? Remove the grease that is in the system now. Use a good synthetic lube Mobil1, Amsoil and their are others, hand pack the bearings and place just a thin layer of grease in the hub for moisture protection. Correctly adjust the bearings and leave it alone for at least 2-3 years.

I enjoy sharing what I have learned, taught and performed for 40 years. If what I share helps others to save $$$$ and travel long and safely with few troubles then I'm happy and maybe others will be also. That is my only goal.

TaJay
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:18 AM   #37
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TDI,
Your information is well intended but there are some issues with it. Yes the system does encourage the DIY'er to do some of his own service. Here's the problem with that. Bearings used in a drum/disc situation do not require service every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Why do I say that when the entire TT industry says to do it every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Standard front drums or discs that have the same style of bearing system only require service every 30,000-40,000 miles. Why perform a service more than is needed taking the chance that you might do something incorrectly???? That makes no sense to me. If I change oil every 2,000 miles instead of say every 6,000 miles I just might not tighten down the oil drain plug or the filter correctly.

TaJay
It should be one of the first things you do on any trailer (new and used). The factory fill on bearings is incnsistent and there are premature bearing failures on newer rigs that are 1-2 years old with maybe 2000 miles on them. But as I said, I think there is value in doing this when everything is warm as the grease flows much better.

To me, this is just like driveway camping before heading out for the first time in a new RV, except you won't find a bearing issue until it's too late. Why burn up a brand new bearing when you can spend 20 minutes and $5 to grease them??
And yes, I still change the oil at 5k instead of the 7.5k in the manual. And I only use synthetic... even in my lawnmower.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:50 PM   #38
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TDI,
Yes, I agree 100%. The first thing I always did was pack the wheel bearings, on any new or used TT. My point was I would not use the zerk grease pump method. It is a failed system that is fraught with issues and potential problems that could and would cause serious breaking issues, especially if one was not very schooled in this type of service. That was my only point. Yes grease the wheel bearings with good synthetic grease and correctly adjust the bearings then leave it alone for 2 to3 years because it will be just fine.

TeJay
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:25 PM   #39
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...especially if one was not very schooled in this type of service.
10-4
Safety is #1 and sometimes I forget that not everyone is as much of a gearhead as me.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:39 PM   #40
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Our Lacrosse is 2 years old, I greased the bearing using the zerk, I jacked the wheels up, rotated the tires, pumped grease slowly, I did this at the start of the last two seasons. I took it into a trailer service center to have the wheels pulled and have the bearing and brakes checked out, I have done this in the past myself, but due to a medical problem I took the trailer into a shop. They pulled the wheels, the rear seals had blown, brake shoes, drums, side of hubs, magnets all soaked with grease, The hubs showed signs of being hot from magnets due to grease effecting braking.

I followed all of the instructions on greasing wheels with a grease gun, I have used this method on other trailers and I have also pulled wheels and hand packed bearings. Tho the grease gun method is faster and easier as a DIY method, I will not do again or recommend to anyone else.

I can take it to the service center and have it done for about $160 including seals, that is a lot cheaper than the $1100 I just spent to get it fixed, could of paid someone to do for several years.

It may sound better than sliced bread, but I can't trust it anymore.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:45 PM   #41
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wildwood dan,
Your post is exactly why I posted what I did regarding the grease gun and zerk method of servicing wheel bearings. Sometimes it works and sometimes it just does not. When is doesn't work the problems can be costly and when it doesn't work you may not know it. Most importantly since it will ruin the brakes your ability to stop is severely compromised which puts you and your family at risk. Why take the chance????

I have even read many posts on this and other forums of a guy servicing the bearings on his brand new TT which only had delivery miles on it and found the hubs with either very little or no grease with ruined bearings or seals already blown from over greasing from the factory or the dealer.

TeJay
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