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Old 10-19-2009, 07:00 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1984 31' Excella
Bel Air , Maryland
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 13
Question Brake, bearing maintenance

I am planning on inspecting and packing my bearings and working on my brakes this spring. Does any one have good instructions on how to? I did this sort of thing 30 years ago on cars and need a reminder. Any idea what parts and tools I would need?


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Old 10-19-2009, 07:30 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,318
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You will want to buy new seals and cotter keys. If the brakes are old it is cheaper to buy complete backer plate assemblies rather than buy the magnets and shoes. One source is Trailer hitch, hitches and bike rack (800)298-8924

As for packing the bearings. Have a good means of cleaning them first, parts cleaner if you can get to one or gas and a paint brush. Just make sure you get all the old grease out. Put a small egg size glob of grease in your left hand and with a folding into the grease motion force grease into the larger end of the bearing until it shows out the top. Rotate the bearing and repeat this action till grease has worked its way out the top all the way around the bearing.

Put the large bearing in the hub. I like to lay a little extra grease on the top of the bearing before setting the seal, don't fill it up. Place the seal in position and with a block of wood on the seal tap the seal in until the wood bottoms on the hub.

Put a light coating of grease on the spindle. This is more a water proofing on the areas of the spindle that is not in contact with the bearing.

Place the hub on the spindle, place the outer bearing trust washer and nut on the spindle. Tighten the nut with a pair of channel lock pliers while spinning the hub till the nut is tight. Back the nut off a half turn and tighten it again with your hand. The hub should have slight in and out movement when you have tightened it by hand. Over tightening is the wrong way to go. The nut should end up one or two notches back from the pliers tightened position, depending on if you have 6 or 12 notches in the nut. Once the nut is set slip in the cotter key and fold it back over the spindle and set the cap on by tapping it into place with a cold chisel working your way around the flange. You will feel the change when it bottoms on the hub.

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:30 PM   #3
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,925
Here is a link for you :

The Dexters are very similar to the Henchel and are maintained the same.

Here is another source of Brake backing plate assemblies at reasonable prices :Trailer Parts Superstore - Recreational & Commercial Trailer Parts Dealer Since 1981

Here is the link to a practical guide to the procedure from a club unit : Maintaining your RV- Wheel Bearing Maintenance

I hope this gives you enough data to do the job.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:37 PM   #4
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2005 31' Classic
Sunrise Beach , Missouri
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 251
We just finished replacing our electric drum brakes with Dexter NEV-
R-ADJUST complete brake assemblies (2 right and 2 left) from Trailer Parts Superstore. Price was $230 including shipping which is far less than other sources and is cheaper than just replacing parts. The other plus is that these are self adjusting so that is one maintenance item that is eliminated with this product. This is the first time we have worked with brakes and it was a very simple replacement.
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