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Old 12-02-2015, 01:58 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1969 23' Safari
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 5
Bit of oil showing on the bearing cap

Hello all,

I recently had the bearings repacked on my 69 Safari and then I drove about 2000 miles across the country. I see a small amount of oil residue on the bearing caps on the wheels. Does this mean I should service them immediately or would i normally have a few more hours/miles of driving left. Tough to answer (I know) but just looking for guidance to get a sense of whether this is an emergency situation or not.
Thanks for your input - happy travelling

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Old 12-02-2015, 02:22 PM   #2
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
1964 17' Bambi II
Clear Lake Shores , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 856
Feel the hubs. If they are getting hot you need to service the bearings ASAP. If cool to the touch, you should be OK.

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Old 12-02-2015, 03:52 PM   #3
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
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Dittoes on feel the caps. Hot is bad. Small amounts of oil residue on the outside cap is not unusual. It's not a very tight seal. Not designed to be oil tight just keeps dirt out.

All else fails, pull one off and look at the bearings if you can do it easily. Just be sure oil is not getting into brake internals.

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Old 12-02-2015, 04:17 PM   #4
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
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The bearing cap is just a push in metal to metal fit and may seep a little oil, especially if the thin metal cap is distorted a little - I wouldn't worry about it.

As others have said, more important with bearings is to monitor their temperature on a trip.

I try to do a walkaround of thetruck and trailer every time we stop en route - rest stops, gas stops etc. I do a quick visual check of everything, hitch, awning, bicycles, etc etc and pay special attention to the tires and wheels.

Usually I just feel the wheel hubs unless I feel paricularly geeky and then I use an IR thermometer - which is actually quite handy (and not expensive) and I check for any wheel running much warmer than others and possibly indicating a developing problem whcih could be a bearing in distress or a dragging brake.

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Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:55 AM   #5
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2004 34' Classic S/O
Currently Looking...
Kutztown , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 97
Question, are you seeing this oil film on the chrome wheel cap(s) or did you take the wheel(s) off and see the grease on the bearing cap that is on the brake drum assembly? Were your bearings packed by hand or did someone use a gun to pack the bearings?

Your AS most likely has a Dexter Axle. Dexter recommends replacing the rear grease seal every time the bearings are greased. When your bearings were greased were the rear grease seals replaced?

Now, suppose your bearings were packed the lazy way with a grease packing gun and the wheels were never pulled to replace the grease seal. With this combination you now see grease on your center chrome wheel cover. Aha, nix nix! They could have blown out the rear seal by injecting too much grease and there's now grease spreading all over your brake shoes and magnets. If there's any question, I would pull all the wheels, clean-up everything with "CRC Brake Clean", knock out the rear grease seals, inspect and hand pack the front & rear bearings & install new rear grease seals, put everything back together then adjust the brakes. Using this procedure is the best way to be sure that your AS is totally road worthy. If you don't know exactly how to perform this maintenance then get competent help. It's important to know exactly how to seat the bearings among other things.
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:35 PM   #6
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1969 23' Safari
Calgary , Alberta
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 5
Great information - big thanks to everybody - I am going to check for grease on the brakes and then give it a test drive to check for heat. Probably good idea to do an overhaul when it warms up.
Many thanks
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:11 PM   #7
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1999 34' Excella
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Round Rock , Texas
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If your hub is heating, do not hesitate removing and repacking the bearings...

Peace and Blessings..
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