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Old 04-06-2009, 06:11 PM   #1
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Bearing temp

Greetings any bearing experts out there:

In light of the economy (my 401k is now a 201k), I decided to pack my own damn bearings this year. Using my trusty Airstream maintenance manual, I got the mission accomplished successfully (but did end up with grease all over me) and today did a test run down to Everglades National Park and back.

Stopped twice and checked torque on lug nuts and using my uncalibrated right hand measured the temperature on all four hubs as "warm" not "hot" (I could comfortably keep my hand in place on the hub).

So, is "warm" okey doke?

mike
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:18 PM   #2
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YEP~!
Don't forget to check those lug nuts at least 3 to 4 times..
Congrats~
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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Unless you stopped by not using your brakes, like coasting into an uphill rest area, you are most likely feeling the brake drum temperature that is transferred to the hub.

Drive about 25 or 30 miles and then try to stop without the brakes, final stop by the emergency brake if necessary, and then check the hubs.

Bearing heat can be produced if the castle nut on the spindle is too tight.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:42 PM   #4
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Mike,

You can buy (help the economy) an item that you can point at the hubs, or lug nuts (whatever is hotter) and read the temp. It has a laser pointer so you just aim it with that. I can't remember what they're called, but I got one on Amazon for about $45 or $50. You can also check the temp of your tires with it as well as your knees, the dog, each thumb, the refrigerator or find leaks around your house from windows, door, etc. It's a great party item as well.

I repacked mine for the first time recently and if you don't get yourself well greased, you aren't doing it right. The temp when the sun is on one side, the temp can be 20-25˚ more than the other side. I found the temp at the lug nuts was about 10-15˚ more than the air temp. so perhaps "warm" is just right in the Everglades.

There are some threads with more info about repacking bearings than the manual has. The nearest dealer wants $160/axle to repack the bearings and check the brakes. I charge a lot less, but I'm probably more careful.

Did you adjust the brakes? Andy of Inland RV says the magnets last only about 20,000 miles. I wasn't glad to read that.

Gene
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
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Gene,

Actually I did all the brakes at the same time -- bought the whole assemblies from Inland Rv. Bolted up painlessly (actually, getting the old bolts off was no fun), a bunch of heat shrinkable wire splices, adjustamundo and voila, Deluxe braking du jour!
-------
HowieE,

Thanks for the "coast to a stop" tip before testing -- I'll try it the next time I'm underway.
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53flyingcloud,

Roger on the lug nut recheck! Thanks for the heads up.


mike
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:48 PM   #6
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For all you gadget fans........................

These little gadgets works pretty well:

Wheel Bearing Packer Tool

Next, for a few bucks more: YA470B, Bearing Packer, Manual

I use the second one and it works great. I've found that if you do it this way, a tub of grease lasts about 10 times longer. Why? Way less ends up on your shirt, hands, Levi's, and the floor.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:43 PM   #7
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This works for us.
It's handy for tires too....



Infrared Laser Thermometer - Specialty Tools - Tools - Griot's Garage
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:02 PM   #8
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You are unlikely to get a hot bearing if it has any lubrication. Too loose or too tight would cause the bearing to fail. Ball and roller bearings are "anti-friction" bearings and don't heat up appreciably during normal operation. Heat will come from the brakes. Dry bearings can melt due to friction, but it is unusual and results from long neglect. Bearings mostly fail by damage to the polished precision surfaces of the races and rollers or balls caused by metal fatigue due to long use or incorrect tightening and which is indicated by noisy operation (you can hear a noisy bearing if you jack th wheel up and spin it). While wheel bearings have specific recommended torques, a little one way or the other is not generally critical. If you can wobble the wheel they're too loose, if you snug them up enough to cause perceptible drag, they're too tight.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:32 AM   #9
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Yep~

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry in MO View Post
These little gadgets works pretty well:

Wheel Bearing Packer Tool

Next, for a few bucks more: YA470B, Bearing Packer, Manual

I use the second one and it works great. I've found that if you do it this way, a tub of grease lasts about 10 times longer. Why? Way less ends up on your shirt, hands, Levi's, and the floor.
Larry,
Thanks for this link...
I saw this method used during the last lube job and, I was quite impressed~!
As you stated, it works great~! does the complete job in the best manner possible.
ciao
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:12 AM   #10
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mike
Being from the old school of DIY ,I get the feeling ya did er right.If ya got as much grease on U as in the bearings U got it. The Castle nut is the critical part of the operation. NOT to tight or to loose, its kinda a matter of knowin.
I have a Lincoln Bearing packer,which I was fortunate enough to pick up at a service station sale.Lincoln made most of the service station air operated Oil and Grease dispensers. I have an air operated grease gun(Harbor Freight) that takes most of the mess out of the job.
Welcome to the world of DYI and Savin money. AIN'T that hard is it?
Roger
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:13 AM   #11
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From what I understand, the castle nut is better a little loose than a little tight. My interpretation of that is the drum can move every so slightly.

And, yes, that thing I couldn't remember the name of is an infrared laser thermometer (thanks Bob for being my memory). The older I get, the more nouns go missing.

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Old 04-07-2009, 09:20 AM   #12
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When tightening a bearing nut I run them in by hand and then with a pair of channel locks just tighten the nut while spinning the brake drum just till the pliers stop, no real pressure. Now back the nut off to the next position that will allow you to insert the cotter pin through the nut. This should give you clearance.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:28 AM   #13
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YUP What HOWIEe said.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:15 AM   #14
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Thanks all.

It was nice to save some $$$! Although I will definitely use some of the savings to buy a bearing packer for next year.

Today is Walbernize day. No technical advice required but I think I'll ice up some carbonated malt beverages for later...

Good day for it, had a cold front and the temperature plunged to 72.

Thanks again,

mike
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