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Old 09-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #1
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Grease caps (aka axle hub dust cap covers)

Earlier this week I was changing my 6-year old tires that had never been taken off since the build of the trailer and was surprised that, as I was removing the curbside tires, the grease caps were not attached to the hub and were loose inside the exterior hub cap (the streetside grease caps were in place).

It seemed suspicious that both caps were off on the same side and the inside lining of the exterior hub cap had the same small amount of a thin gray film of grease... as if they both came off at the same time... or were never put on in the first place!

Has anyone else experience this, especially when removing the tires for the first time since the build of the trailer?

Has anyone heard of the factory not installing grease caps properly?
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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You haven't check or greased your bearings in 6 years?????
Bad Dog! Bad Dog! (whacking nose with newspaper)
Seriously, make this a yearly habit and avoid a lot of possible problems later. Check your brakes at the same time.
As for the grease caps the guy who did the streetside bearings borrowed the mallet from the guy who did the curbside bearings and forgot to return it.
tim
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
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I have never found the interior grease cap loose on any of my trailers. The guy that last did a grease job must have just pushed them on. Caps rolling around inside of the outer caps should have made a noise.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunner View Post
You haven't check or greased your bearings in 6 years?????
Bad Dog! Bad Dog! (whacking nose with newspaper)
Seriously, make this a yearly habit and avoid a lot of possible problems later. Check your brakes at the same time.
As for the grease caps the guy who did the streetside bearings borrowed the mallet from the guy who did the curbside bearings and forgot to return it.
tim
Thanks Tim... Good advice and points!

My only defense is that I only make short 200-mile roundtrips here in SoCal once a month from October to April and have only put on 10,000 miles in 5.5 years... I wasn't expecting to re-grease the bearings until I reached at least 15,000 miles.

Perhaps I should send the factory an extra mallet!
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi View Post
I have never found the interior grease cap loose on any of my trailers. The guy that last did a grease job must have just pushed them on. Caps rolling around inside of the outer caps should have made a noise.
No noise was heard... and it wasn't easy putting those caps back on... tapping it with a rubber mallet didn't work... finally used a 2x4 to hold it in place while hitting the block of wood with a small sledge hammer!

I found this "How to Install a Dust Cap" article helpful, especially step #4.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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And you'll have a great time getting them off. I can assume, since the dust caps were off for a long time, there is dust in the grease for, at least, the outer bearing. Time for a bearing inspection, especially on that side, and repacking all of them. The dust cap shouldn't be hard to install unless it is bent or the hub has built up grime inside the place where the cap goes.

Airstream recommends, I think, every 10,000 miles or 6 months, whichever is first. I do them somewhere after 15,000 miles (18,000 was the longest) and don't worry about the time factor since we travel a lot. If the dust cap fell off, I'd do them right away.

And, thanks for all the info about San Diego. I haven't opened the message (read it in the e-mail) because I don't want all those links to get filed somewhere, so I haven't replied. If we ever get to San Diego, that will be very helpful.

Gene
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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And you'll have a great time getting them off. I can assume, since the dust caps were off for a long time, there is dust in the grease for, at least, the outer bearing. Time for a bearing inspection, especially on that side, and repacking all of them. The dust cap shouldn't be hard to install unless it is bent or the hub has built up grime inside the place where the cap goes.

Airstream recommends, I think, every 10,000 miles or 6 months, whichever is first. I do them somewhere after 15,000 miles (18,000 was the longest) and don't worry about the time factor since we travel a lot. If the dust cap fell off, I'd do them right away.

And, thanks for all the info about San Diego. I haven't opened the message (read it in the e-mail) because I don't want all those links to get filed somewhere, so I haven't replied. If we ever get to San Diego, that will be very helpful.

Gene
Thanks Gene for your note... and you're welcome re: the San Diego info!

Bill
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