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Old 10-24-2006, 04:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
Axle bearings and the seals can be had at many Rv stores and other outlets.
Dexter does not make their own bearings or the seals ,additionally Ive just
serviced 6 cargo trailers with dexter axles and all had been over greased
and had the grease completely all over the shoes ,magnets,drums etc .
These trailers are all tandems ,with the 10 and 12 " brakes ,never been
serviced since new ,so watch out for that as the greasing thru the spindle
forces grease out of the seal into the drum ,the seals were double lip as well
what a mess ,don't rely on the grease thru the spindle ,and you don't know
how much grease is being forced in anyway ,lastly it enters in the inner bearing surface part of the spindle only ,not the outer.the trailers are all
2005 and newer.Dexter may have been trying to ensure no under greasing
but they got too much for sure .

Scott of scottanlily
I believe my 2004 has Henschen axles, and it came straight from the factory with UNDER LUBED bearings. Fortunately, I caught it and had them properly greased before I had much bigger problems, unlike several other new Airsteam owners who incurred big time problems.

Here's my question (and I hope I'm not getting too far off course from the original thread):

Dexter now has what they call Neverlube sealed cartridge bearings, that have a 100,000 mile warranty, eliminating the need for annual maintenance. These bearings are being used now by some other travel trailer manufacturers, perhaps with Dexter axles.

Does anyone know whether these bearings are compatible with my Henschen axles? I'm thinking it would be nice to have bearings that didn't need to be repacked every year or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first.

John
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:22 AM   #16
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How about those sealed bearings?

I was wondering to myself as I read this thread "Why don't they use sealed bearings like the automakers do?" Who needs the grief of ripping them apart every year and regreasing. We haven't had to do that with cars since,what, the early 70's?

Sealed bearings seem like a good idea to me. The loads an Airstream axle sees are no higher than those on a 3/4 ton pickup, so if you can get a one ton truck that you don't have to grease the hubs every year, you should be able to get a trailer axle that's the same way. At least in my humble opinion
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:41 AM   #17
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Sealed!

These Dexter sealed bearings are a good idea, in concept at least. However they are not a replacement for current bearings. Dexter spent a lot of time in development of a product line that would support the use of them. Dozens of RV manufacturers are using them locally, as supplied by Dexter. My guess is they will NOT fit a Henschen without a spindle change minimum. These new bearings are large to say the least.

Additionally, there is a cost increase to get this new technology. Most manufacturers of RV's purchase axles heavily based on price - thus - several will only go to them if the competition forces it.

Just two cents from a retired axleman,
Henry
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
Most manufacturers of RV's purchase axles heavily based on price - thus - several will only go to them if the competition forces it.

Just two cents from a retired axleman,
Henry
Considering that there are so many RV manufactures using axles with those sealed bearings - I visited 2 very respected ones in your area just 3 weeks ago - I can't believe that they're paying so much more for them, as you say, without having pretty good reasons to do so.
The companies I visited even included this prominently in their sales literature, so they must feel this is a major selling point.

I wonder why Airstream isn't on board with the program?

John
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:41 AM   #19
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More thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisher
I wonder why Airstream isn't on board with the program?

John
John,

You're correct - many RV manufacturers are switching to them. More every week it seems.

As for Airstream not being on board, I can't say. I do not know if Henschen rejected them for some reason or not. Perhaps Henschens small size and capacity with limited R&D/Engineering budgets play into this. The change to using this bearing would be costly for an axle manufacturer - especially a small one.

Regards,
Henry
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:48 AM   #20
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Bearings

Repacking bearings once a year or every 10,000 miles is a routinr PM.

In my 40 plus years specifically with the Airstream products, seldom will you find a bearing problem or a leaky grease seal. But it should be done to maximize safety.

However, all to many times, when repacking bearings, we find a problem of one sort or another with the braking system.

Things such as excessively worn magnets and/or brake shoes, broken springs, drums that need turning, a magnet that has an open circuit therefore is inoperative, ANDall to many times grease on the shoes.

It is our thought that having sealed bearings will only add to those problems, since most owners would neglet to ever check the condition of their brakes.

Brake components do have a limited mileage life.

Andy
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:06 AM   #21
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Dexter has the Nev-R-Lube bearings for all their leaf and Torflex axles. They don't have them for the 5 bolt x 4.5" wheels. I think the only other limitations are you can't use positive offset wheels, and only straight axles on the leaf springs. They come in three different sizes for axles from 3500# to 8000#.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:07 AM   #22
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Hi--The Nev-R-Lube bearings are a double row cartridge bearing made by Timken with a common bore and outside diameter for both roller assemblies, so they are not interchangeable on standard axles which have a large bore bearing inboard, and a smaller bore bearing outboard. IMO they really don't function any differently than the standard bearing set up we are familiar with, which has two bearing assemblies, and two seals. IMO the current two bearing set up would also be good for 100K miles if we didn't disassemble, and regrease it. IMO most all bearing problems are created after bearings are disassembled for regreasing: too much or too little grease, damaged seals, brake dust and contamination in lub, incorrect bearing adjustment. The last one is the big bearing killer. Wheel bearings MUST BE ADJUSTED LOOSE. Tighten nut until all play is removed. Rotate wheel to spread grease. Back off nut until loose (usually one cotter pin position), insert cotter pin, grab wheel top and bottom and shake. Should be looseness you can feel (1/8" to 3/16" of play). Take for a test drive. Feel hubs. Should not be hot on the back of your hand.--Frank S
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:05 PM   #23
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Do you know how to tell if a Nev-r-lube bearing is bad? They can and do go bad, it just takes (usually) a long time before they do. Most people that DIY their wheel bearing repacks know what to look for in a non-sealed bearing.A bad sealed bearing may or may not have any play in it, and may or may not have a telltale leak of grease.
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:39 PM   #24
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Hi--What I see happening with Nev-R-Lube bearings is that A/S owners will take them apart, to see if they are OK, damaging the seals in the process. When they try to purchase new seals they will find they are a size not commercially available, and will have to purchase new bearings. I did not get Nev-R-Lube bearings on the new Dexter Torflex axles I had mounted on my A/S earlier this month.--Frank S
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:48 PM   #25
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. . . most owners would neglet to ever check the condition of their brakes.
Andy
Dexter recommends that the Nev-R-Lube bearings be inspected once a year, DURING routine brake inspection.

Yeah, like thats ever gonna happen.

I agree, more likely the whole process will get put off, then forgotten.

I do think that Henschen might take a fly at cartridge bearings, now that they are part of GKN. They build 200 million CVJ units each year.
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:58 PM   #26
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Quote:
...In my 40 plus years specifically with the Airstream products, seldom will you find a ... leaky grease seal. ...However, all too many times ... we find a problem ... such as all too many times grease on the shoes....


If you seldom find a leaky grease seal but all too many times find grease on the shoes, where does the grease on the shoes come from?

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Old 10-24-2006, 05:40 PM   #27
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If you seldom find a leaky grease seal but all too many times find grease on the shoes, where does the grease on the shoes come from?

Tom
Packing the bearings, with an excessive amount of grease, that all to many shops as well as owners do, will cause the grease to be forced out through the grease seal.



Grease seals also wear in time, allowing grease to seep through.

Grease seals should always be replaced when packing the bearings. However, some owners do reuse them, again and again, which promotes the problem.

Grease seals are very cheap when compared to the resulting costs when they fail.

Andy
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Old 10-24-2006, 06:24 PM   #28
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You can prevent leakage past the grease seals with a very simple 'blow-out' fitting on your hubs.

Next time you order grease seals from Redneck Trailer Supply, also get a set of E-Z Lube hub caps, with rubber plugs. Don't get the hubs, just the press in caps to replace the solid steel caps.

If you accidently overfill the hub, it will first bulge out the rubber cap, then start to leak out the front so grease doesn't get on the brake linings.

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