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Old 11-07-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
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Dexter Axle Bearing Doesn't Seem to Fit

Hello, I've searched for an answer to this for a couple hours but haven't found a clear answer; I apologize if its been talked about before.

I purchased two Dexter #11 axles rated at 3800 lbs each (12" drums). I have one of them mounted and I am assembling the brake assembly and hubs now. I packed the inner bearing (25580) in the hub and went to mount the hub on the spindle but I cannot get the outer bearing (15123) on the spindle more than a 1/16th. It acts as if its literally a hair to small for the spindle. I've tried 3 bearings on two spindles with the same result. The 15123 outer bearing fits in the cup on the drum just fine though.

Are the outer bearings usually difficult to put on the spindle? It feels like if its going to go on I will have to use a hammer. I'm wondering if I was sent the wrong size outer bearing, even though the Dexter diagram for #11 axles show 15123 for the outer. Has anyone come across this? Is this normal for Dexters?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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To answer one question -
The outer bearing should slide on the spindle. The fit should be slide on with little to zero free play. Installing the outer bearing in a cocked manner will prevent full installation. If you have to use a hammer or any other impact means to install the bearing there is an issue!!!!! Either the spindle has a burr or is out of round or has some other damage. And/or the inside of that outer bearing is damaged in some way or is the incorrect size.

Installation with a hammer or other impact means will damage the needle bearings or race. Do not do this!!!!

Question, Do the old outer bearings slide on the spindle? (Install with the drum/hub removed)

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Old 11-07-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

These are brand new so there are no old bearings to remove (just dropped the old axles/hubs as one unit).

I was able to get the first one on with some very light tapping on the inside part of the bearing... with a small hammer. The further it went in the easier and lighter i had to tap. I just was not able to push on the outer bearing by hand. I have not tried taking off the bearing now that its seated in the race. Everything seems OK, no play in the hub and it freely spins a revolution and a half.
So... I hope I'm not the first one ever to tap in a bearing instead of pushing it.

Oh, the spindle was clean and free of defects (according to my eyes), same with the bearings... and it was 2 different spindles and 3 different bearings I tried before tapping one in.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:00 PM   #4
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Good luck. It seems there may be some manufacturing issues.

You stated it installed easier the further the bearing went on, I would say either the bearing or the spindle does not have a machined surface that is consistant.

The next issue will be removing that bearing upon servicing the brakes.

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Old 11-07-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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I just had mine off the other day to re-pack. Your inner bearing # matches what I have but the outer is a different #. Mine was LM67048. Not sure if that accounts for anything in your issue or not. It slides on / off easily. If you need to coax it on I'd be concerned.
Good luck with this.

PS: I was a little disturbed to see Dexter used an imported bearing. I am thinking about getting a new set of bearings but from a US manuf. I had a slight bit of water intrusion and one set was discolored. All cleaned up OK and looked good but I may change them soon.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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I had this several years ago. I purchased new bearings to install with new drums.
The part #s were correct but would not slide onto spindle. One was made in China the other in Russia. I can only surmise that they converted imperial size to metric but not quite right. I did not use them.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:27 PM   #7
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Try polishing the spindles and bearing center with medium emery cloth, it won't take much to keep them from sliding on, (warm with hair dryer.)



If I was doing the install I would cross-reference to Timken bearings. Theres a chance they may be imported also, but I have had better luck using them.

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Old 11-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #8
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Did you buy a bare axle? Complete is just a few dollars more and saves a couple hours to change over old hubs.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
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I bought a complete axle, including the hubs, the brake assembly, the bearings, etc. I just had to put them all together. The bearings are Gemini's from China.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:40 PM   #10
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It should all mate them with ease. Contact who you bought it from. My axles always come fully assembled.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:49 PM   #11
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I've run into a few instances where the outer bearings were different on 12" drums. It seems there are two size bearings, most Airstreams use the smaller outer bearing.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:31 PM   #12
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I wanted to post my own experience recently with this same issue. We just installed a new dexter and the inner bearing went right on but the larger outer bearings did not. We tried a number of things including getting new bearings made by a different company (did not solve issue).

Here's what fixed the problem: Close inspection of the spindle revealed that the spindle had a slight lip that was probably created with the ends were milled/cut. Possibly the tools that did this had too much pressure applied and basically deformed the little right angle flat lip adjacent to the threads.

Some careful work with an emery cloth solved the problem in fairly short order.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:03 PM   #13
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Axles & bearings...

I am new to airstream. I have a 1993 25/twin bed. I have just determined that I need 2 axels. My intent was to buy bare axles and re-install old brakes & drums, due to high cost of complete units. Now I am afraid that things (bearings) might not match. Also, what is the difference between Henschen & Dexter axels. Which would be the recommended replacement axle ?
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:16 PM   #14
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Run Timken bearings!
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