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Old 09-14-2010, 06:40 PM   #1
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Packing and Greasing Bearing

How often should you pack your bearings if trailer is sitting? How often should you pack the bearings when driving alot? About how many miles can you drive before you need to grease ez lube bearings? This is new to me and dont want to have problems. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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Almost every book I have read - including the manual with our AS I believe - says to do a repack every 6 months. Not sure what a mileage limit would be as I don't put many miles on our trailers.

I have always felt that 6 month was overkill, and normally do it once a year. At that frequency, I've never found bearings looking to be short of grease or in distress.

I don't know much about EZ lube bearings other than I have heard that you still should dismantle them regularly to check for any problems - and also have the chance to check your brakes.

Brian
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:24 PM   #3
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Never lubes are not serviceable. Never need repacking....can't do it. just like modern auto bearings (except trucks). They typically last 100,000 miles. Sometimes less, sometimes more. Serviceable, traditional wheel bearings in cars are typically repacked every 15,000 miles per the maintenance schedule. Trailer manufacturers vary on mileage but almost always recommend every 12 months or 10,000 miles. That being said, I have made a study of it over the years on my driveway and I have experienced that that is excessive for my usage. I probably average less than 5,000 miles a year on my trailer and have gone 2 years without any bearing failure or odd looking grease/bearings. I really think the yearly recommendation is to provide for the inspection of brakes, which is necessary to get to the bearings. I guess it depends on how well the bearings are packed and your particular usage. I would at least inspect all brake components (whether the be electric/drum or electrohydraulic discs EVERY YEAR/10,000 miles and decide to repack based on mileage and terrain you cover. I would repack, at a minimum every 2 years.

That is based on my old SOB...I now have nevr-lubes on my A/S. EZ lubes i'll defer to those who have experience with them. I would THINK they are more like convention bearings....tear them down every 2 years???
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:27 PM   #4
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Let me ask this question. How often do you repack the beating on the front axle of your car? If the answer is never please explain the difference since the bearings and spindles are the same as trailer. The only difference is the front axle of your car has much higher loads inflicted on the bearing during turning.

As for the never lubes I have a friend that just spent $1,900.00 and lost 3 days while on the road because one ceased.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:38 PM   #5
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Define car. All front drive cars that I know of have sealed bearings in the front axle and most modern front drive cars since...oh...early nineties have sealed rear bearings. No service required. The few rear drive cars left have traditional bearings and most mfrs. require repack at 15,000 miles.

4WD trucks typically have sealed bearings up front...no repack required.
Most 2 wd trucks have traditional bearings on front axle and typically require 15,000 mile repacks.
Rear bearings on all rear drive vehicles are bathed in rear end lube and are "refreshed" according to rear differential lube change schedules.

This is all approximate. Different mfrs. may differ slightly.
To answer your question, My TV is a 2 WD van with traditional wheel bearings and I repack at 15,000 mile intervals.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:40 PM   #6
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Let me ask this question. How often do you repack the beating on the front axle of your car? If the answer is never please explain the difference since the bearings and spindles are the same as trailer. The only difference is the front axle of your car has much higher loads inflicted on the bearing during turning.

As for the never lubes I have a friend that just spent $1,900.00 and lost 3 days while on the road because one ceased.
That sucks, but it doesn't change the fact that they are sealed and can't be serviced. Bearings do fail. I have one of my four that feels a little "sloppy". Probably should change it out before it ruins a hub and costs more$$$$.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:44 PM   #7
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Define car. All front drive cars that I know of have sealed bearings in the front axle and most modern front drive cars since...oh...early nineties have sealed rear bearings. No service required. The few rear drive cars left have traditional bearings and most mfrs. require repack at 15,000 miles.

4WD trucks typically have sealed bearings up front...no repack required.
Most 2 wd trucks have traditional bearings on front axle and typically require 15,000 mile repacks.
Rear bearings on all rear drive vehicles are bathed in rear end lube and are "refreshed" according to rear differential lube change schedules.

This is all approximate. Different mfrs. may differ slightly.
To answer your question, My TV is a 2 WD van with traditional wheel bearings and I repack at 15,000 mile intervals.
I should clarify. 4 WD trucks with independant front suspension are sealed. The few "straight axle" front axle 4WD trucks are as stated above for rear axle...bathed in axle fluid.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:44 PM   #8
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Oh Oh Howie I guess Im in trouble. My F150 has 142k miles,I have owned it since it had 28 k.
The front wheel bearings have NEVER BEEN PACKED!
I am about to do that project.It needs rotors and pads and I have 4 new races and bearings to install also. I will report back when the job is finish,provided of course this thread is still active. I'll let ya know what 142 k mile bearing are like.
I think alot depends on the miles drivin and conditions those seals were put thru and the quality of the grease used to pack those bearings.
I changed axles 2 yrs ago and have as of yet to pack the bearings. I will check em in da spring.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:54 PM   #9
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Oh Oh Howie I guess Im in trouble. My F150 has 142k miles,I have owned it since it had 28 k.
The front wheel bearings have NEVER BEEN PACKED!
I am about to do that project.It needs rotors and pads and I have 4 new races and bearings to install also. I will report back when the job is finish,provided of course this thread is still active. I'll let ya know what 142 k mile bearing are like.
I think alot depends on the miles drivin and conditions those seals were put thru and the quality of the grease used to pack those bearings.
I changed axles 2 yrs ago and have as of yet to pack the bearings. I will check em in da spring.
You're a very, very bad man!!!
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:31 AM   #10
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Greases are not the same, use an ultra premium grease, not $3 a tube grease.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Define car. All front drive cars that I know of have sealed bearings in the front axle and most modern front drive cars since...oh...early nineties have sealed rear bearings. No service required. The few rear drive cars left have traditional bearings and most mfrs. require repack at 15,000 miles.
You mean that the rear axle is no longer the drive axle in a car. I guess if I ever by a newer car I will have to look into that. Did they just turn things around thinking they had worn out that end and give the other end a chance.

But for those who are not old enough to remember when the front spindles on a car or truck were the same as those used on a trailer my comment still remains the same. As for the type of grease used to pack bearings I don't know of any changes in wheel bearing grease in the last 60 years of driving other than the temperature ratings have been raised to support the heat generated by disc brakes.

I will say one of my trucks has 197,000 miles on it and the front bearings have never been repacked.

Now all that said I do repack my trailer bearing about every 3 years when I remove the drums to inspect the brakes. The trailer has over 150,000 miles on it with a second set of axles. The axles were replaced because of suspension failure not bearings.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:27 AM   #12
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I should clarify. 4 WD trucks with independant front suspension are sealed. The few "straight axle" front axle 4WD trucks are as stated above for rear axle...bathed in axle fluid.
Nearly every 3/4T and up TV I can think of uses a full-floating rear axle meaning the axle shaft inside only transmits torque to the wheel/hub. The wheel/hub is supported by both an inner and outer wheel bearing versus a semi-floating (1/2T,etc. where there is only one bearing and the axle shaft bears the weight AND transmits torque). Both of these do get lubed by the axle gear lube.
For those few "straight axle" front driven TV's, the wheel bearing ARE NOT lubed by axle gear lube. The stub axle on each side leaves the differential housing (and its gear lube) to a universal joint/knuckle (so you can steer), then through the wheel bearing/hub. The 4WD wheel bearing are largely the same as any 2WD and also now mostly sealed (planned obsolescence??).
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:45 AM   #13
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My 1/2 ton Ford has all the bearings sealed. The reason I asked is when I brought the Tradewind to the factory in Ohio before I left I wanted to get a picture next to the building. I snapped my pictures, got her turned around. I was heading out of the lot. Immediately she started crying like she didn't want to leave lol. Anyhow it was my roadside bearing. I got freaked out and drove to that gas station right next to Airstream. I greased the ez lube on both, and the noise stopped. I was on my way to Nashville stopped in Kentucky her grease was not looking good. I called a couple buddys who said just keep checking it and greasing it at every fill up. Got to Nashville and had some trailer place repack as I have to much into her to risk it. Bearings were fine along with shaft, but the grease looked like slime. They told me every 800-1000 miles. I thought every 3000 as this is when I pack my ball joints after oil change. Thanks for clarifying everyone.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:34 PM   #14
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Nearly every 3/4T and up TV I can think of uses a full-floating rear axle meaning the axle shaft inside only transmits torque to the wheel/hub. The wheel/hub is supported by both an inner and outer wheel bearing versus a semi-floating (1/2T,etc. where there is only one bearing and the axle shaft bears the weight AND transmits torque). Both of these do get lubed by the axle gear lube.
For those few "straight axle" front driven TV's, the wheel bearing ARE NOT lubed by axle gear lube. The stub axle on each side leaves the differential housing (and its gear lube) to a universal joint/knuckle (so you can steer), then through the wheel bearing/hub. The 4WD wheel bearing are largely the same as any 2WD and also now mostly sealed (planned obsolescence??).
Marc
That's right, thanks. The last straight axle I had was a 1972 FJ40. Amazing how quickly you forget. I've had all independents since then.
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