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Old 10-21-2002, 09:01 PM   #1
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Wheel Bearing?? - - or - - Brakes??

I have been towing travel trailers for more than 20 years, and this is my first experience with the unusual happenings with my '78 Argosy Minuet. A reputable shop (who has performed this service for me many times) repacked its wheel bearings and inspected the brakes in August after which I towed it 560 miles to Ace Fogdall RV for a complete systems checkup and repair. Saturday, I towed the Minuet back to my home near the Quad Cities in Illinois (200 miles) and experienced some strange problems. My first attribution was to brake trouble, but now I am not so sure. I am not mechanically inclined so must trust the professionals.

On the return trip from Cedar Falls, IA, each time the brakes were applied, there was a metalic bang followed by two jerks. I attributed this to three weeks of inactivity and rust in the drums - - my Overlander has been known to do this for as many as the first three stops after it has sat long enough to build up a rust coating on the drum surfaces. This didn't stop however, and was still present on the third and subsequent stops - - but I was to DuBuque, IA by then and closer to my home than Cedar Falls so stopped to check the hubs - - warm to the touch but not hot. Continued on stopping twice more to check hubs but not hot - - just warm to the touch. Was exhausted by the time I got home so didn't look at the trailer until today - - now I notice oil/grease stains on both the Argosy hub caps and on the wheel spider - - it is not oily/greasy to the touch but is a new stain.

Now I am worried as I am supposed to tow the Minuet to Fowler Interiors near Paducah, KY this coming Saturday - - more than 360 miles. I don't know whether to panic and have an unknown RV dealer nearer my home look at the trailer - - or throw caution to the wind and take off as planned on Friday afternoon and stop every 50 to 75 miles to check the hubs.

Any thought on whether I might be over reacting to the situation? Anyone with a recommendation for a good repair shop in the Quad Cities of Illinois or Iowa?

Thanks

Kevin
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Kevin D. Allen
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 10-21-2002, 09:50 PM   #2
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rust?

are those rust stains?

check your lug nuts make sure they are tight!

john
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Old 10-22-2002, 07:41 AM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
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Wheel Bearing?? - - or - - Brakes??

Greetings John!

Yes, the wheel lugs are tight. Those are on my before and after trip check-list.

The stains are new and are not rust. The hub caps or trim units are actually some type of plastic, and the wheels were farily recently repainted in the original Argosy bronze/copper color.

My thinking is leaning toward a problem with the recent bearing repack/brake inspection. The RV-Tech who performed the service was substituting for the regular chasis service tech., and may have overlooked something due to unfamiliarity with the coach's mechanics. I am going to see if I can find a local auto mechanic who might consider inspecting/replacing the bearings as necessary as I am more than 50 miles from the nearest RV service facility.

Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 10-29-2002, 01:07 PM   #4
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Kevin:

Mechanic may have adjusted brake shoes to tight which can cause heating of drum melting grease which could result in bearing failure. Jack the wheel up and see if it spins freely or if the brake draggs. Also pull the cap off the end of the axel and see if the grease ran out of the bearing.

Would recommend that you not take a chance on this as bearing failure will strand you.
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Old 10-29-2002, 01:37 PM   #5
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Wheel Bearing?? - - or - - Brakes??

The potential of a bearing failure on the single axle Minuet disuaded me from trying the trip. Searched around and found an independent mechanic who was willing to make the necessary repairs - - he is accustomed to handling such repairs for many of the untility trailer owners in town so is accustomed to handling electric brake work as well as bearings. I have absolute confidence in him as he has been able to find solutions to a number of elusive problems with my '75 Cadillac tow vehicle. I will find out what the problem was when I check in tomorrow afternoon. He suspected that the return springs may have broken on the brake pads as they don't seem to have ever been replaced based on the trailer history that I have.

Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 11-23-2002, 01:59 AM   #6
 
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Do you need to remove the hubcaps to feel the temperature of the hub or can you feel the hubs from behind the wheel.
I hate to be without those nice hubcaps.

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Old 11-23-2002, 06:06 AM   #7
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It would be necessary to remove the hub cab to feel the tempreture of the hub or reach around behing the back of the wheel and feel the tempreture of the brake backing plate.
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Old 11-23-2002, 11:07 PM   #8
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Checking hub temps

Just reach in through the openings in the wheel with your fingertips and touch the brake drum as close to the hub as possible. That's the same piece of metal as the hub and will pretty much equal the hub temperature. Any drum that is markedly hotter than the rest is suspect. Either a hot hub or a dragging brake.
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Old 11-24-2002, 01:13 AM   #9
 
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Thanks guys

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