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Old 03-21-2009, 06:18 PM   #57
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i was going to keep my mouth shut but why should i start now?

i would not accept the refund and i would pursue a full refund. their work is "tainted" and it requires rechecking so it is useless to you.

i'd get the work redone and hold that check until you see what was done.

it will be real interesting to see what was really done. i wonder if they only repacked the outer bearings? if the work was worse than you expect, submit it to them for a refund of what another shop charges you. if they refuse i'd file a small claims suit. they might just want to avoid making this official. i'd even do it with the risk of losing the $250. dollars.

just my 2 cents........
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:51 AM   #58
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Check the parts list. If you don't see seals listed they NEVER packet the bearings because you can not access the inner bearing without removing the seal and removing it destroys it.

I had originally written a post suggesting you go to court but tamed it down a bit when I saw your were in discussions with them. If you can not stop payment through your credit card I would file a claim and if you lose I will pay the filing fee.
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:36 AM   #59
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Howie, how does removing the seal "destroy" it? I have removed them and they looked fine—the rubber seal is not torn or otherwise compromised, the metal park is not bent or rusted.

Gene
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:16 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Howie, how does removing the seal "destroy" it? I have removed them and they looked fineóthe rubber seal is not torn or otherwise compromised, the metal park is not bent or rusted.
Gene
Gene

I would be very interested in how you can remove a bearing seal with destroying. Generally one takes a tire iron and uses it as a crow bar to lift the seal out. This bends the frame of the seal. If you are repacking the bearings it is safe to assume the seal has served a useful life and warrants replacement.

Those of us that have any mechanical experience recognize Campers World clearly did not do the jobs they were paid for. I am just pointing a way for the customer to prove it.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:23 AM   #61
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Gene

I would be very interested in how you can remove a bearing seal with destroying. Generally one takes a tire iron and uses it as a crow bar to lift the seal out. This bends the frame of the seal. If you are repacking the bearings it is safe to assume the seal has served a useful life and warrants replacement.
When you remove the outer bearing, reinstall the castle nut, and slide the hub off. The inner bearing will stop at the castle nut, and the seal will stop with it. That's how I remove the inner seal, 90% of the time it does not damage the seal, but I replace them anyway, because that is the right thing to do.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:40 AM   #62
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I too would love to know how to get the seals out so they can be reused. I try very hard to get them out to reuse, but they always bend or deform.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:42 AM   #63
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Howie, I drove out the seal and the inner bearing the way it says to do in the Airstream owners' manual: "Lay down hub and rotor [rotor? doesn't matter, same process] with inside grease seal down. Knock out inner bearing using wood or plastic dowel and hammer." The dowel works well because it's round and covers a little more the bearing. As I worked around the bearing, trying to not hit it with too hard and using a light weight hammer, it gradually works it's way out and eventually drops. It was not bent. It's the same process in reverse as used when seating the bearing and seal from the other side, except I used a short piece of quarter round as the dowel was too long to be accurate. Sorry to disagree with you on this one. Your suggestions are almost always useful, but I differ on this.

I am sure if CW replaced the seal, it would be on the bill. I agree CW did a bad job. I think the only way to be sure about whether the bearings were repacked it to take the brake drum off and see if the seal is new (might not be able to tell), bent or whether the inside of the drum is cleaned. If there's a lot of brake dust in the drum, it's unlikely they took it off because the dust would fall out if they did. If someone is really concerned, none of this may prove anything, for ex., if they charged for seals doesn't mean they actually replaced them. When a retailer does a bad job, one can assume the whole thing needs to be done over for peace of mind. I have seen so many bad jobs done in so many areas that I do it myself as much as possible. It's unfortunate so many people have no pride in their work, but I don't want to be a victim of that. I figure I can usually do a better job myself even with little or no experience. I'm unsure if everyone can repack their bearings and adjust their brakes*, so then you have to ask a lot of questions, make some mistakes, and take your chances. When I needed knee surgery, I knew I couldn't do that myself, so I checked out the doctor and asked him a lot of questions and immediately after, I could walk a lot better.

I have not found any defects in the OEM Dexter seals. I do have new seals and they were quite expensive and sold as the best for an Airstream. Next time I will probably use them, but the trailer and seals only have 9,500 miles on them. The rubber seal is far superior to the Dexter one. The frame is much stronger. They look like they would last through many repackings.

When I was looking around the Internet, I see Dexter makes permanent seals. What would happen if we used these on our Airstreams—would we be able to stop repacking the bearings every year?

Gene

*my wife will never repack bearings or adjust brakes, but I'm sure she could, but I know she really, really doesn't want to. I am showing her how it's done so she can have knowledge if she ever has to hire someone to do it because it's been shown women more than men are treated badly and lied to by some mechanics.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:49 AM   #64
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I too would love to know how to get the seals out so they can be reused. I try very hard to get them out to reuse, but they always bend or deform.
Frank,

I use the same method as Gene, and I always replace the seals. Cheep insurance.

Bill
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:48 PM   #65
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Frank,

I use the same method as Gene, and I always replace the seals. Cheep insurance.

Bill
At time of a "bearing repack" grease seals are the cheapest insurance you can find, against potential losses.

But, should the bearings simply be repacked every 10,000 miles or every 6 months as Airstream suggests? Our answer is "HECK NO."

Every 10,000 miles or every 6 months, far more than a simple repack should always be done. Namely, a "MAJOR BRAKE" should be always be done.

Brake components wear, the adjuster springs break far more often than you may think, shoes are good typically for 40,000 miles under normal conditions, brake magnets are good for 18,000 to 20,000 miles typically. Dust and dirt, typically, lots of it.

Packing bearings "SKIPS" those items.

But then there is "cheap" insurance, and then is "more expensive" insurance.

Contrary to some opinions, grease seals "DO WEAR" therefore must be replaced.

Contrary to some other opinions, "WATER" can and does accumulate in the bearings. Therefore having a "forever grease seal" is an insurance policy that will "GUARANTEE" ultimate failure and at probably a huge expense, as well as probably being stranded waiting for a new axles or axles, because a bearing failed and ruined a spindle.

Anytime something is forceably removed, some damage takes place. It may be imperceptable to the naked eye, but it's there, along with wear that may not be easily observed.

Cheap insurance applies to a major brake job, as much as it does to the grease seals.

Do it right, and you will be rewarded with many many miles of trouble free towing, at least from the running gear.

Not doing it, to save a little time or a couple of bucks, is buying nothing but trouble.

Yes, I know some owners love trouble and always skirt the edges.

But most owners, want to use their Airstream to have a great time, enjoying life and new places with their families.

Then the other part of the insurance, is the cost of "safety."

What is the cost of safety?

Easy answer.

Whatever it takes to have reasonable peace of mind!

If I caught anyone, that I paid to properly service the bearings, improperly packing them, or just tossing in more grease, not replacing the grease seals, I think I would do a lot more than just demand a refund. That person or dealer willfully committed fraud and put safety in a fine balance.

On the other hand, if I asked to have the bearings packed, and they did not mention a "major brake" I would get back in my tow vehicle and go to another dealer that "was completely qualifed" to do professional work on the brake/bearing system, as it should be done, instead of on just my pocket book.

It seems, unfortunately, that as our technology improves, the basic care of the customer, has all to many times, faltered.

Today, "buyer beware" applies to "service work" as well.

Sad, but true.

Andy
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:36 PM   #66
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Andy, what about the seals you sell rated as "best" that look far more heavy duty than the Dexter seals that come with the trailer? Will they last longer and/or be reusable? If not, why buy "best"?

Some seals are better than others. I expect all seals are better than the ones sold decades ago. I'm all for safety. It may be true I can't see a bad seal, or a slightly bad seal. I suppose I couldn't tell a slightly bad bearing or spindle or brake shoes, but everyone inspects those by eye too.

I concur about the brakes. I think after a year, they were hardly doing anything at all. After turning the adjuster wheel a lot I finally got them adjusted properly. Checking with my wife stepping on the brake pedal, it seems these electric brakes aren't close to the stopping power of hydraulics.

I keep looking on Inland's website for Centramatics, not there yet.
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:56 PM   #67
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Another 'seal' comment...the heavy coat of 'paint' (red, green, etc) on the outer diameter of most aftermarket oil/grease seals acts as a sealant between the seal body and the bore it presses into.

Removing the seal from the bore compromises the outer coating of the seal. In addition, there is a bit of 'crush' or 'press' when driving a seal into a bore, and reusing the seal MAY result in a somewhat 'looser' fit.

Don't take chances...ALWAYS replace the seals when repacking wheel bearings! One leaking seal on the road will cost you many, many more $'s to repair than the quick, inexpensive replacement during repacking!
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:28 PM   #68
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Andy, what about the seals you sell rated as "best" that look far more heavy duty than the Dexter seals that come with the trailer? Will they last longer and/or be reusable? If not, why buy "best"?

Some seals are better than others. I expect all seals are better than the ones sold decades ago. I'm all for safety. It may be true I can't see a bad seal, or a slightly bad seal. I suppose I couldn't tell a slightly bad bearing or spindle or brake shoes, but everyone inspects those by eye too.

I concur about the brakes. I think after a year, they were hardly doing anything at all. After turning the adjuster wheel a lot I finally got them adjusted properly. Checking with my wife stepping on the brake pedal, it seems these electric brakes aren't close to the stopping power of hydraulics.

I keep looking on Inland's website for Centramatics, not there yet.
Gene.

We never recommend reusing grease seals. Way to much room for error, even in the hands of a pro.

The "best" grease we sell, is rugged duty, as you have seen.

To us, anyting less than that particular seal, becomes a risk.

As time goes on, we as a society, come up with better things as well as sub-standard. A long ago, previous member, promoted a grease seal that sold retail for $1.99.

I cannot believe anyone would skimp that much on a safety item.

Will our best seal last longer. I would feel that it would, which then takes care of the person that does not PM things as they should be.

I would think Dexter would use a top notch grease seal.

Since you report that they don't then maybe many more owners ought to "dig in" and check their bearings, and grease seals too.

Andy
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:48 PM   #69
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I concur about the brakes. I think after a year, they were hardly doing anything at all. After turning the adjuster wheel a lot I finally got them adjusted properly. Checking with my wife stepping on the brake pedal, it seems these electric brakes aren't close to the stopping power of hydraulics.

I keep looking on Inland's website for Centramatics, not there yet.
Gene,

Most owners assume that if the brakes are working at all, that they must be OK. WRONG.

Regarding the Centramatics.

I have been out of the office for almost 2 weeks. I will be back in the office tomorrow.

We ordered some, got the wrong ones in.

I will get involved with the problem tomorrow, as well as getting them on our web site ASAP.

I will work on a plan to make them as reasonable as possible, and freight free, too.

Andy
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:08 PM   #70
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I don't know the Dexter seal is substandard. It may well be one of the best. Certainly all of them looked good to me when I removed it. I do know the seal Andy sells is superior to the Dexter one and costs a lot more than $1.99.

Andy, I read my PM first, this second, so you answered some of my questions.

Gene
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