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Old 11-17-2003, 08:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by john hd


i also have a car hauler that has dexter axles, with the grease zerk in the middle of the hub. nice feature, makes repacking easy. however, pumping the hub full of grease makes them run quite warm! almost hot to the touch! unlike my airstream.


john
I put a zerk in the front hubs of my tow vehicle. Dont know how much it helps, but it makes me feel better.
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Old 11-17-2003, 09:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by john hd [i also have a car hauler that has dexter axles, with the grease zerk in the middle of the hub. nice feature, makes repacking easy. however, pumping the hub full of grease makes them run quite warm! almost hot to the touch! unlike my airstream.
john [/B]
My TrailManor had Dexter axles with the hubs that had zerks. It initially seemed like a real good idea, but I gradually changed my mind.

On my first trip the bearings ran completely cool to the touch. Before each trip, I would give each hub a few pumps of grease. By the time the hubs were full, I could barely lay my hand on them.

Gas mileage seemed to go down a bit as well due to all the friction of the grease packed hubs.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:02 AM   #17
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Speaking of all things bearings, I got to try out one of those laser thermometer guns this weekend when I towed my 34' up to the hunting camp about 100 miles away.

An airconditioner repairman left it at my church by accident. I "borrowed" it and checked the temperature of my hubs on the way up. It is a really neat thing. You can accurately take the temps of 6 wheel in a matter of minutes.

I have not repacked my bearings since I bought the 34' a year and a half ago, so it did ease my mind knowing there was no trouble. It was about 75 degreese outside and the hups were only 3 to 4 degreese above that.

On this same trip exactly 1 year ago, I blew out a rear tire and it took out my grey water valve handle plus a lot of other damage. I now have 6 new tires.
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:25 AM   #18
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temp

What us the acceptable temperature range for bearings? I might pick up one of those temp gauges but I wouldn't know what's good or not so good.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:04 AM   #19
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Re: temp

Quote:
Originally posted by Tin Hut
What us the acceptable temperature range for bearings? I might pick up one of those temp gauges but I wouldn't know what's good or not so good.
Good question. I really don't know. If it is really hot to the touch, it is probably hot enough to melt the grease.

I didn't have any idea what the temps would be, but as long as all wheels were close to each other in temp., and not "hot to the touch", I assumed everything was OK.

Also, 4 or 5 degrees above ambiant temp seems "cool" to me.


Can anyone on the forum answer this question?
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Old 11-17-2003, 07:20 PM   #20
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i was told by an old railroader that knows alot more about machinery than me, was this:

"if you can keep your hand on it without discomfort it is not to hot!"

all depends on your pain threshold!

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Old 11-17-2003, 07:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by john hd
i was told by an old railroader that knows alot more about machinery than me, was this:

"if you can keep your hand on it without discomfort it is not to hot!"

all depends on your pain threshold!

john

Spit on it, if it spits back, you are in trouble!
The disc brakes on the larger trailers tend to run with higher temps than the drum brake equipped units, but the "spit test" would still hold.
"normal" temp would be 150 degrees or less, the less, the better, of course. Anything over boiling temp of water is deep in the danger zone.
Just a little "old school" rule of thumb with wheel bearings.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:01 PM   #22
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142 degrees - you can count five seconds and really prefer to remove your fingers but wouldn't absolutely have to (taking into full account that fingers are less sensitive).

150-160 degrees - you don't last five seconds and you couldn't leave 'em on there if you wanted to.

This does not work with less tough areas of the body, back of the hand, etc. So touch it quickly with your fingers; if you think it's cool enough try the five second test.
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Old 11-18-2003, 08:03 AM   #23
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I have one of those infrared thermometers too. I have seen a low of 105, to a high of 140. The higher temp hubs are the front ones with the new brake plates. I think the higher hub temps are due to the larger magnets and newer brake shoes.
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:22 AM   #24
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I would sugest that the load of an RV (Boat trailer, travel trailer) trailer does not fluctuate as much as a car or truck. So the running gear can be designed to be at near max limit. So the stresses (based on design) are greater. -- Compare that to your daily driver that you drive to work. It's only you and the vehicle. Then on the weekend or ocassionally you would max out the load with passengers or luggage or a big load. An automobile engine rarely operates at max load.

Different uses, command different maintence.

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Old 12-25-2003, 10:15 PM   #25
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Repack wheel bearings

I repack front wheel bearings of my vehicles each time there is a need to turn rotors or replace them. It is so simple on my wife's Astrovan that I do it anytime I replace brake pads. While I can't see repacking bearing on my Airstream each year unless I was putting 10,000 miles on them, I did replace bearings after towing the trailer 4,500 miles over several years when there was indication they needed to be changed (slight change in the color across the race). I would think that every several years would be sufficient if you were not traveling that much and did not enter high standing water. On the other hand, the more you grease them it means that you have inspected them properly and that is good preventive maintenance.
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Old 12-25-2003, 10:25 PM   #26
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John Irwin

I read somewhere, maybe it was in the service manual of my Airstream or one of my vehicles, that you should be careful about filling the entire cavity with grease. There was something about needing an airspace so that heat was not transmitted through the grease which would expand and push the rear seal out. I use to think that the more the better but I understand in this case it is not. A number of posts seem to indicate higher temperatures when "packing her full".
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Old 12-25-2003, 10:54 PM   #27
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Re: John Irwin

Quote:
Originally posted by davidz71
I read somewhere, maybe it was in the service manual of my Airstream or one of my vehicles, that you should be careful about filling the entire cavity with grease. There was something about needing an airspace so that heat was not transmitted through the grease which would expand and push the rear seal out. I use to think that the more the better but I understand in this case it is not. A number of posts seem to indicate higher temperatures when "packing her full".
I was referring to my former TrailManor which had the grease fittings in the axle end and was intended to be greased by pumping new grease in until the old grease ran out around the zerk fitting. In that sort of axle, the cavity is intended to totally fill with grease. The rear seal would never fail because the end of the axle was sealed only by a very thin rubber plug that could easily be plucked out with my fingers; no pressure could be developed in the cavity becasue the plug would simply bulge out and ultimately pop out.

I was only commenting that as the cavity filled, the axle ran progressively hotter. never the kind of heat that accompanies a failing bearing, but more heat than I liked to feel. It would make detecting a failing bearing y feel a lot more difficult.

I also know that heat equals friction and I was paying for the privelege of not repacking in the usuual way by paying for more gasoline.
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Old 12-25-2003, 11:15 PM   #28
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I guess this is why I see the "Bearing Buddy" advertised for boat trailers. The zerk is sticking out of the relacement hub and you grease the heck out of it to make sure no water is trapped inside the hub. I understood about your post on the Trail Manor and its zerk fitting but was curious where the fitting was located.
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