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Old 04-25-2003, 09:21 AM   #15
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Grease

Any grease not in the bearings and a little wiped on the seals is wasted and will tend to make the assembly run hotter. Grease has a lot more friction than air.

My former trailer had the fancy hubs with a zerk fitting. This was supposed to prevent having to repack bearings. You were supposed to pump new grease in while turning the wheel and wipe off the old grease as it extruded from the hub. Of course, that eventually packed the hub solidly with grease. The hubs initially ran super cool. As the hubs filled with grease, they ran hotter and hotter. When I finally repacked the bearings, they ran cool again. I'm sure that's why the no-repack idea seems to have lost momentum.
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Old 04-25-2003, 09:22 AM   #16
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Les

You don't need grease in the cavity except a thin coating on the spindle and drum/rotor cavity to prevent rust. Too much and it will hold heat. Rotate the drum/rotor as you tighten the nut to seat the bearings.

Niftypkg

You can pull a seal without destroying it. Pull the outer bearing, put the nut (and washer if it will fit through the cavity) back on the spindle. Pull the hub so the inner bearing is tight against the nut and push it back in an inch or so. Jerk it out and the inner bearing, seal and nut will stay on the spindle.

John
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Old 04-25-2003, 09:38 AM   #17
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Spindle lube

This concept is not new. Boat trailers have been using that concept for years. However, on a boat trailer there is another element at hand and that is dunking the trailer in cold water after a pull. The idea is to get the hub full of grease so when the boat is launched and every thing is chilled, water is not sucked into the hubs. Periodic repacking the wheelbearing is still recommended.

In a land only based trailer, filling the entire hub wastes a lot of grease. And could cause the grease to be pushed out of the hubs and cause a mess on the shiny sides. There is also a side benefit to disassembly of the hubs and repacking the wheelbearings. You have the opportunity to look at the brake system, shocks, and undercarrage.

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Old 04-25-2003, 09:52 AM   #18
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Action
Thanks for your comments. I understand the logic behind getting your hands dirty..lol
But, I'm thinking as I get older..My arms just don't seem to wanta turn those darn lug nuts~!~

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You have the opportunity to look at the brake system, shocks, and undercarrage.
In my case, the brakes are brand new, as well as, the shocks.
Naturally, the wheel bearings were repacked when I replaced the entire brake assembly. Just trying to think of ways to make life easier when I get OLDER..Which seems to come faster with each passing day..KWIM?

Thanks again..
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Old 04-25-2003, 11:14 AM   #19
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My thanks to all who responded so quickly. After reading your responses, I am sure I have put too much grease in the cavity between the bearings. Looks like a good day to get greasy.
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Old 04-25-2003, 11:28 AM   #20
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Towner,

As a simplified means to spinning the lug nuts - the zerk in the hub can work. The company that does a lot of those types of hub caps is Unique Functional Products out of Ca. The product is called a bearing buddy. Remove the old dust caps and install the bearing buddy. Pump full of grease and go. By the way get the second generation bearing buddy. The side benefit will be that you can put the axles of your bullet in the water with no fear.

As to a suggestion given your desire to spin lug nuts, I would suggest hire the work out. That can look like a paid professional or could be a person that has a desire to learn with you as an overseer, (given your knowledge) or it could be a family member that wants to use your unit and is willing to show some support. Lots of options.

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Old 04-25-2003, 11:34 AM   #21
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Les

If you would like me to take a look at your hubs before the trip to NM, I would be happy to assist. I live in PHX (near 44th street and Thomas) and work in Tempe. I would be looking to see if the hubs are on too loose based on what you have typed.

BTW too much grease should be OK. The wheels may get messy, may run a little hotter than normal, and it will still go from point "A" to point "B" without a breakdown.

I really dislike breakdowns on vacation.

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Old 04-25-2003, 06:26 PM   #22
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Odds & Ends re: Bearing packing

John do I read you right? The problem with the overheating is what?

Grease heats up and runs out, eventually resulting in lots of heat and possible seizure and spindle ruination?

or higher temperatured spindle and bearing set does what...?

I amassuming the extra grease caused friction does not cause a red-hot situation as long as there is lube on bearings. Right?

What do you guys "wash" the bearings with? I have been told never to do so with gasoline or kerosene but can't remember why?

What soes a set of bearing buddies cost for an Airstream? are they readily available?

Lastly are not seals so inexpensive that re-using them makes no sense?
or are they maybe hard to find?
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Old 04-25-2003, 09:46 PM   #23
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If you use one of these, you don't need to wash the bearings. This reduces the amount of contaminents into the bearing. I am afraid that any residual cleaning agent may start to break down the new grease. I use Amsoil synthetic grease. This bearing packer forces the old grease out, flushing the bearing with new grease. I got it from tooldesk.com, well worth the money.
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Old 04-25-2003, 10:34 PM   #24
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Bearing Buddies

Don't use the Bearing Buddies on a travel trailer. They are unnecessary and probably detrimental.

I put a set on my Scamp many years ago, I drove I-10 through east Texas and Louisiana. When I stopped for gas, I found that both Buddies had shaken out on the rough roads and were long gone. Fortunately, I had kept the original caps.

A solid packed hub will get hotter, but not dangerously so. Modern bearing grease will easily handle the temperature rise.

Heat means drag, however, and you are paying for that extra grease in fuel, however small a percentage.

Probably the worst aspect of the extra heat is that it makes the touch test for a failing bearing less definitive. It is easier to pick out one hot bearing from 3 cool ones than it is when all of them are pretty warm.
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Old 04-26-2003, 07:50 AM   #25
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Action,

I think I am OK on the nut tension. I tightened the nut to set the bearings, then backed off and hand tightened just until there is a slight wiggle on the drum when rocked in and out. I sure appreciate the offer and maybe you can check it at our get together in June. From there, I will be going north through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and points north and west. I would like a second opinion before I leave on that trip!
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Old 04-26-2003, 11:23 AM   #26
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Make your mark

I presume that the axle manufacturers properly set up the hubs during production. On each new trailer, I use a center punch to make a mark on the nut just to the left of the cotter pin before I pull a hub for the first time.

When the hub is reinstalled, the punch mark should be right back where it started. If it is to the right of the cotter pin, I want to know why. If the mark has moved left, something isn't seated properly.

I usually do my hubs myself, but age is catching up and this is a good double check on a commercial repack job as well.

The only bearing I ever had go out was soon after a commercial repack many years ago.
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Old 04-27-2003, 09:59 PM   #27
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odds and ends

Pap,

Do NOT use gasoline or keosene to clean your bearings! Those fluids leave a residue, can cause a fire while using them, and are extremely hard on your hands. A $2.99 can of brake clean will work after you have wiped the bearing with a rag. (Dispose of the rags in a sealed bag) Or use a bearing packer. (more $) Or hire out the job.

The extra heat is being generated from the extra gease filling the entire cavity of the hub. It will do NO damage! It might make a mess of the wheels, and will do no damage. That is how boat trailers always run - with the entire hub cavity filled to the brim via a bearing buddy.

--- Bearing buddies cost about $10 each. They are made by Unique Functional Products. They press fit (when properly matched to the hub) on to the hub and allow your to inject grease into the hub via a zerk fitting. Then they keep the grease in the hub under slight pressure. The second generation bearing buddies are much better than the first generation. ---- And they were designed for boat trailer hubs that get dunked into water after a hot ride on the freeway. I have used them for 17 years with success. However, I still take apart the hubs to look at the bearings and brakes every other year.

Les,

I will be happy to check out your bearings in NM.

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