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Old 08-05-2006, 11:38 AM   #1
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lubricate the bearings

hi all
after how many miles i must lubricate the bearings of wheels ?
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:50 AM   #2
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Every Year My Friend...

Yep, according to the Service Manual, you should clean and repack the bearings each year.
It really isn't a milage issue in the case of a trailer that isn't used consistently. Sitting for prolonged periods (months at a time) can be worse than daily useage.
At one time in the Marine Corps, in hot climates, we kept all our trailer mounted equipment up on jackstands and would spin the wheels once a month just to keep the bearings lubricated. We still cleaned and repacked the wheel bearings each year, more often if we dragged it through the surf on an amphibious landing.
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:53 AM   #3
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the book says once a year or every 10K miles.

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Old 08-05-2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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If they are properly lubricated in the first place, 15,000 is soon enough. Really, the only reason to do it that soon is to check the brakes. If it weren't for the needing to check the brakes, bearings should be good for at least 50,000 miles.

The key thing is to pressure pack the bearings, so they are really packed, and proper adjustment with some end play. They should NOT be tight. .003-.005 end play is about right.

Be sure to properly torque the wheels in star patern. Typically, 90-100 lb ft. If you are using an air wrench, get a "torque stick" for your air wrench at a good auto parts store. It a one piece socket with a built-in extension. The length and diameter of the extension part controls the flex that controls the torque. They work great.
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
the book says once a year or every 10K miles.

john
John,
It is my interpretation of the manual that you must lubricate once a year if you don't pull it 10K miles. Do you concur?
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:01 PM   #6
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I do not dismount the bearings, just the hat and I grease inside.thank you for your information.I live in France not in the country of the airstream, I must arrange myself all alone.
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:05 PM   #7
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klevan, yes i do for the exact reasons you stated.

also it is not a bad idea to do it for no other reason to take a look at the brakes for missing and broken parts.

i have been able to save hundreds of dollars in repairs to the drums on my wells cargo 20 footer by catching broken brake springs rolling around inside the drums.

oddly enough i had three brake springs fail in less than 2 years of the trailer being new. i have never had a failure on the airstream, but that does not prevent me from looking every year!

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Old 08-05-2006, 08:30 PM   #8
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Answer: Never

Reason ? I just installed a set of new dexter axles equipped with NEV-R-Lube bearings, run 100k miles and replace them
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:33 PM   #9
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tom what makes them maintenence free?

synthetic grease?

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Old 08-05-2006, 08:54 PM   #10
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Hello john hd,
Probably a unit bearing assembly I am thinking .All front wheel drive cars
have them and many rear wheel bearings are a unit bearing assy now.
They are just a permanently sealed bearing setup in the hub ,and you can't grease them .they last for very long periods of time easily 100 000 miles.
Interestingly ,they are a ball bearing cage design ,not a timkin tapered roller
bearing like regular trailer and auto/truck bearings are.I myself don't know the grease type either .I haven't researched the neverlube ,but they look like
the type I described.The unit bearing design solves so many bearing problems
and are very reliable.

Scott

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Old 08-05-2006, 09:12 PM   #11
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Scott, Couldn't have said it better myself

The shop that installed my axles told me Dexter landed the contract with A/S to manufacture axles for new A/S trailers, the installers recommended the nev-r-lube bearings, they cater to livestock haulers and rodeo people that put lots of miles on stock trailers, the bearings have been well tested and they're completely sold on theses sealed bearings, Looks like Dexter has beat henshen axle out of the A/S business, Any comments ?
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:02 PM   #12
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Hi TOM CRUMP--Do you know if A/S uses the nev-r-lube bearings on Dexter axles for new trailers?--Frank S
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:24 PM   #13
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Dont know about the bearings, only Dexter took the axle business at a/s away from henshen, this was told to me when we ordered my new axles
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Old 08-06-2006, 06:52 AM   #14
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Hello Tom -- I could be wrong (and am frequently!) but seem to recall that Airstream dropped Henschen in early- to mid-2005 after quality control issues -- dry bearings & resultant hub failures! My Safari was built a year ago this week and has the Dexters. That didn't last long and they started using Henschens again some time in the middle of the 2006 models IIRC.
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