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Old 11-14-2015, 01:01 PM   #1
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ACME Tow Dolly - Wheel Bearing Lubricant Check-Up

At the end of our season, I noticed that the Vault black piston was getting somewhat recessed within the stainless steel body after about 5,000 miles of towing. Since the warranty is by years and not miles, I was concerned that when I reached my five years of not having to do any maintenance I might have bigger issues with the bearings. I am familiar with this since I have Bearing Buddies on my boat trailer which work in a similar manner. I also noted that the inner seal was weeping more lubricant that what I felt would be necessary to keep the seal lubricated and was concerned that my bearing oil/grease would run low and I would have a bearing failure on the road.

I contacted the manufacturer through their web site and was quickly replied to about the the bearings and the lubricant. I sent them the below two photos and they confirmed my suspicion that my bearing lubricant needed service. The sent me a form to fill out, which I did with some input from ACME, and they are going to send me the parts required to service the axle under warranty. Note that the Vault system uses a special grease that changes to liquid when it heats up.

My only reason for posting this is so that if others are not aware of the need to keep an eye on the black Vault piston you should check it prior to using the dolly. The folks at both Vault and ACME were very helpful with this and I am now just waiting for the parts to arrive.

Note also that the documentation and special notes for service are available on the ACME web site.

Passenger Side Wheel



Driver's Side Wheel

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Old 11-16-2015, 02:31 PM   #2
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I have not noticed any grease like you show in the picture yet however, I will keep an eye out for sure. Thanks for posting this info.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:31 AM   #3
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Make sure you check the back of the wheel as well. The critical thing is the depth of the black plunger, that is the indicator that the grease needs some attention.

I got the parts yesterday and began disassembly. The bearings have grease and should be fine, just a matter of taking it apart, cleaning and then re-assembly with new seals, etc.

Support from Vault has been stellar and they have answered any technical questions I have had via e-mail very quickly.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:25 AM   #4
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Checked mine and they looked good. I am approaching about 5k miles so your original post and pics got me curious. I wanted to see how my dolly looked in comparison. I think I am okay, for now.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:00 AM   #5
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That's great. I started taking apart one side. Getting the caliper off is a real chore because you can't get a wrench in there. Done a lot of bearings over the years so this will be a nice little winter project. I am thinking of bleeding out the brake fluid with a high dry/wet boiling point DOT 4 fluid because they get so hot.
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:11 AM   #6
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Ordered new brake pads as I had one pad that was worn more than 50%, might be due to a sticking caliper since it was only one side and the piston side pad. Also finished one side bearings with a new seal and new Vault hub provided by UFB (manufacturer). Working the other side of the bearings now while waiting on the brake parts to arrive. Piston is now out where it should be. Bearings themselves were in great shape, so there was no lack of lubricant even though the leakage was higher than normal.

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Old 11-28-2015, 06:10 PM   #7
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Good to know and thanks for the update
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:59 AM   #8
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Me too!

found oil streaks on my driver's side wheel after reading your post. My pistons still protrude about 1/4" though, so I don't know if it is the same cause. I contacted UFP, but haven't heard back yet. Hope they will honor the 5 year warranty since I am the second owner of the dolly
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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good info vettenuts, will keep this post in my RV folder for future reference. My dolly is new but will take pic and note plunger location.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:58 AM   #10
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I plan on checking mine soon

We plan on a few long trips this summer. I will for sure check mine. Ours is almost 4 yrs old. My tires are wearing on the inside so I plan on turning them around on the rims and rotating them as well. Not sure why they are wearing
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimtherep11 View Post
We plan on a few long trips this summer. I will for sure check mine. Ours is almost 4 yrs old. My tires are wearing on the inside so I plan on turning them around on the rims and rotating them as well. Not sure why they are wearing

You may want to check for cracks. There is another thread here on that topic.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:08 PM   #12
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Wheel bearing and lub check

We ave an Acme Tow Dolly also. Appreciate the heads up on the Vault lube, but I think it am due for a Brake pad change.
I think I am correct in thinking there are two bolts holding the caliper on and are on the inside of the axle mount. Am I correct,and did you need to use penetrating fluid to loosen them, then how much torque for retightening?
Any thoughts on this? Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HGC View Post
We ave an Acme Tow Dolly also. Appreciate the heads up on the Vault lube, but I think it am due for a Brake pad change.
I think I am correct in thinking there are two bolts holding the caliper on and are on the inside of the axle mount. Am I correct,and did you need to use penetrating fluid to loosen them, then how much torque for retightening?
Any thoughts on this? Thanks for any help!
Yes, you are correct. I would recommend downloading all the service documentation available from the UFP website or I believe ACME also has some of the documentation on their site as well. You are not supposed to re-use the bearing cover with the black piston sticking out. There is also a procedure for lubing and there is an o-ring inside the outer hub. The seal is a real bugger to get out as it is set in with RTV on the outer side, there is a procedure for installation in the documentation. I followed the documentation to a "T" and also was corresponding with UFP as some of the torque values weren't in the documentation and some of the assembly procedures weren't clear. For example, red loctite is used on the outer hub cover to aid in sealing, which wasn't in the documents but the loctite was in the rebuild kit they sent me.

I also completely disassembled the calipers, cleaned them and they rebuilt with a new seal and boot. Not sure if you plan to go that far or not as it requires bleeding the brakes, which is easy but requires two people. Get the UPF brake pads even though the documents say you can use some car pads (can't remember make and model). The UPF pads fit correctly and are not expensive.

If you have any questions let me know
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:00 PM   #14
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Here is the rebuild kit for the bearings/seals I got from UFP. Note there is a warranty on the hub assembly for not needing grease so if you within the warranty contact them.



Here is my brake caliper rebuild:

New & old Piston. Note, I bought these from Eastern Marine and they didn't pack them well so first set arrived dented. Make sure you check them when they arrive if you buy a new set.



Cleaned up bare caliper.



New brake pads slides installed



New rubber slider pin boots and brake pads installed into final assembly awaiting installation on the dolly.

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