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Old 03-28-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
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Nev-R-Lube Axle/Centramatics

If you have a newer trailer with the Dexter Nev-R-Lube Axles and you are using Centramatic Balancers - like me - the following info which is from the April Blue Beret should be of interest.

The Use of Centramatic Automatic Wheel Balancers with Nev-R-Lube Bearings
The following topic is from our supplier, Dexter Axle, who was providing customer support at the Florida State
Rally. Andy Jamison, Senior Sales Engineer for Dexter Axle, provided the following comments concerning the
use of the Centramatic wheel balancers in conjunction with the Nev-R-Lube cartridge bearing system currently
used on all 25 ft. and larger Airstream trailers.
Andy’s comments: I was at your owners rally last week in Sarasota, FL along with one of our service
technicians.
A few people mentioned the below wheel balancing product and I also noticed it mentioned several times on
“Air Forums.” What I can gather is that this is a system that goes between the wheel and axle hub.
On Dexter’s Nev-R-Lube bearings, a zero set wheel is required. If you install a zero set wheel at the plant
and then someone installs this Centramatic system, being however thick, it creates a wheel centerline outboard
of the center of the bearing/hub face.
This situation would drastically reduce the life of the Nev-R-Lube bearing and/or result in bearing failure.
I wanted to bring this observation to someone’s attention at Airstream , Centramatic Automatic Wheel
Balancers for RV’s are NOT recommended with Nev-R-Lube bearings.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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So a vibrating out of balance wheel is ok ?? Another thread is active on this same issue. I am so confused.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f40/...ml#post1278994
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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I find it very hard to believe the outboard wheel offset caused by the 1/16" material of the centramatic device could affect the wheel bearings in any way.

Sounds more like a way for the Dexter folks to void a warranty claim.


I will keep mine installed.

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Old 03-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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Since I'm not a engineer I have no idea whether this could potentially cause a serious problem or not. Could be nothing more than a CYA by Dexter just in case. Haven't decided if I'm going to remove mine or not.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
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With all the wheel adapters and wheel spacers in use on cars and trucks you would think the road would be littered with worn out bearings and spinals. How dose Dexter know what wheels are going to be used on the axles they sell. They may know what Airstream uses but I would think that is a small portion of their market share, Sounds like a CYA statement. I to am not an engineer so I will watch and see how the discussion plays out when the real engineers arrive on the scene which should be happening soon.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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I would give more credence to Mr. Jamison's opinion if he had based it on actual first-hand examination of a Centramatic device.

And I would give his opinion considerably more credence if it were based upon things like testing, actual field experience, or warranty claims history.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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I too question how moving the rim 1/16" outward from the hub face would cause damage. If the Centermatic was thicker, I might see it. I think this is as said, an excuse to void warranty responsibility.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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I saw this in my "Blue Beret" yesterday. While I'm not an engineer, my first reaction was like others on here. "Could something that's as thin as my Centramatics possibly damage the bearings?" Has there been some premature failure of NevRLube bearings with the responsibility placed on the Centramatic balancers? While I surely don't want to create an unsafe condition for myself or others, I'd sure like to know if this is fact based or a "projection" .... and WOW! are these bearings THAT underengineered that something this thin would cause them to fail?
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
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All the more reason to abandon Dexter and go with Axis.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:41 PM   #10
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The notice was only for nev-r-lub bearings, not the easy lub or regular bearings. How many have used Nev-R-Lube?
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shacksman View Post
The notice was only for nev-r-lub bearings, not the easy lub or regular bearings. How many have used Nev-R-Lube?


I'd say, new trailers.

I know my Classic has them.

They may be standard on all models now.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:55 PM   #12
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ANY offset, nev-r-lube, easy lube, or the old fashioned wheel bearings in your old truck which move the centerline of the tire footprint away from the middle of the bearing set will cause uneven pressure on the inner and outer bearing edges and can cause premature wear. Dexter is very paranoid about this because of a recall of a particular brand of trailer who installed non-zero offset wheels and had some issues. (Google Nev-r-lube bearing failures).

As I stated in the other thread, I will continue to use my centramatics and check the hubs at each fuel stop....like I do anyway.

I still believe the benefits of an automatically balanced running gear has more value than a potentially shorter bearing life. Awareness and maintenance are still king.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:09 PM   #13
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I have the nev-r-lube bearings, and Centramatics, and have an estimated 8000 miles on them. So far, nothing has come apart and my trailer's hubs don't smoke going down the road.

I don't think the metal thickness in the center of the Centramatics is even 1 mm in thickness. Probably less accuracy than that in the tires.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:50 PM   #14
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As an mechanical engineer, I'll just say this is silly.

If the bearings are 4" apart (estimate from memory), displacing the center of the load by 1/16" of an inch (estimated thickness of Centramatic disk at mounting surface) will produce:

(2.0625/2 - 1) * 100 increase in loadon the outer bearing, or 3%.

This is completely ignorable, as others have suggested already. I'm sure one side of my trailer is 3% heavier than the other, even if I don't know which one .

- Bart
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