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Old 04-18-2013, 07:56 AM   #61
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So I just discovered that the wheel bearings on my 2010 27 Flying Cloud are permanently sealed with grease. Not sure this is a good thing. Has anybody had experiences good or bad with this? Thanks
Since I bought our trailer used, of course with no knowledge of how many actual miles it was towed, I really don't know for sure how many miles the Nev-r-lube bearings have on them.

However, I have towed it about 7500 miles, best I can calculate. When I got the trailer it was equipped with Goodyear Marathon tires, which I estimate had a minimum of 15000 miles wear on them (I know, not accurate, but the best I can do), so I'm estimating above 20,000 miles on the bearings. No troubles to date.

Now it would be interesting to hear from ANYONE but the nay-sayers that stand to make money from servicing the older style bearings, who has actually had troubles with these Nev-r-lube bearings.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:01 AM   #62
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How time is spent on any givien job, varies all over the place, depending on "how" the work is done and the shop itself.

When doing a "major brake" how a shop does the job, step by step, makes all the difference.

Basically, using 2 floors jacks, gets the trailer in the air quickly.

Then using air tools certainly speeds the process of removing the wheels.

Bearings can be cleaned by hand, or in far less time with a degreasing tub.

Then the bearings are packed with a pressure packer, and not by hand.

Replacing the grease seals is always a given.

A single axle took 1.5 hours and a tandem 2.5 hours.

Balancing the running gear with the snap-on balancer took .3 hours per hub drum and wheel as an assembly.

When time cards are used on a daily basis for every different job, or task, then it becomes very easy to determine the relative efficiency of the mechanic, and the overall operation.

But, if one choose to start the time when they begin to write the repair order, and end it after the money is collected, for the work done, then that changes the picture.

Treating service customers fair and square, doing top level work, and with a reasonable labor rate, builds a reputation for any shop that will quickly grow.

The horsing around and chit chatting etc., is time a customer should not, in fairness, be asked to pay.

The individuals that work that way, would be very upset paying a bill for work done on their own tow vehicle or RV, by others that had such a work ethic.

Being fair and square, along with honesty, does wonders for any shop that sells parts and labor.

Ask any shop owner who operates that way.

The right tools, the right employees, the right attitude, the right prices for parts and labor, all to many times these days, could stand considerable improvement by all too many shops.

Charging a customer over $ 100.00 per hour for labor and then paying a mechanic $15.00 to $20.00 dollars per hour, usually annouces inefficiency, in the whole operation.

A top charge for labor, should be met with top notch servicing, which includes time, and not any gimmicks.

Operating an RV shop or training people to properly do it, for 47 years, does have it's rewards.

The basic work ethic in the USA today, couldn't compare to 20 to 30 years ago.

"WORK" today, has become another nasty 4 letter word, for all to many.

Andy
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:15 AM   #63
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Since I bought our trailer used, of course with no knowledge of how many actual miles it was towed, I really don't know for sure how many miles the Nev-r-lube bearings have on them.

However, I have towed it about 7500 miles, best I can calculate. When I got the trailer it was equipped with Goodyear Marathon tires, which I estimate had a minimum of 15000 miles wear on them (I know, not accurate, but the best I can do), so I'm estimating above 20,000 miles on the bearings. No troubles to date.

Now it would be interesting to hear from ANYONE but the nay-sayers that stand to make money from servicing the older style bearings, who has actually had troubles with these Nev-r-lube bearings.
Steve, it's not a fact of having trouble with the Nev-r-lubes, but it is a fact that because of them, most owners forget about the brake condition.

That in itself, causes considerable expense when the brakes are totally shot as well as having the drums severely scored necessitating replacement, because they were not serviced as they should have been.

Perhaps some would say that the "positive" on one side causes a "negative" on the other side.

I for one, having a shop, see the positives and negatives including having to special order running gear parts that no one stocks, whenever a Nev-r-lube drum has been ruined because the owners are lured into thinking that the complete running gear lasts 100,000 miles as well as the bearings.

On the other hand, if the brake system gets the proper attention, then that changes the negatives into positives as well. Then, everyone is happy.

Andy
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:27 AM   #64
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I just finished replacing axles w. axis never lube on my 76 31 Sov. axles were about 50% bad, brakes in good shape as were shoes, I do not ride brakes & down shift down hill {auto trans.} lots of miles no prob. of any kind just sens. driving
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:49 AM   #65
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Terry,

My experience on the automotive side is a bit different....I've replaced many "sealed" bearings at less than 50k. And quite a few required a spindle also.

Granted that may or may not apply to our trailer's, but a changeover is not planned for ours.

Bob
Bob, I wonder if that has something to do with environment. Road salt can wreack havoc on a lot of things, especially "underneath" stuff.
I think the last vehicle with sealed wheel bearings I had to replace the bearings on was a late 1990's era 4x4 Chevy pickup that had spent most of its life in Maine.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:29 PM   #66
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Bob, I wonder if that has something to do with environment. Road salt can wreack havoc on a lot of things, especially "underneath" stuff.
I think the last vehicle with sealed wheel bearings I had to replace the bearings on was a late 1990's era 4x4 Chevy pickup that had spent most of its life in Maine.
Terry,

Exactly....I attempted an explanation in a previous post.

As a service advisor at a Chevy Store I can't recall how many "straight time" technician punches I had to authorize on warranty repairs. As soon as a tech ran into a problem not included in the "book time" he would punch out on the flat rate time and punch back in on straight time. After the concern was resolved, he would punch off the ST and punch back in on the book time. ST time would be added to the total for the job with approval from GM before the job was submitted for payment.

The same basic procedure was followed on customer pay. With the exception that the customer would be called as soon as the ST was punched. They would be advised of the specific problem, given an estimate of the added cost and given the new total.
Keeping the customer advised is the most important factor in avoiding unwanted surprises at pick-up.

The way I was taught and the only way to stay sane as a service adviser.

Bob
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:27 PM   #67
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Hi, a "Major Brake Job" on a motor vehicle includes replacing all linings, machining all drums and/or rotors, lubing contact points, Cleaning everything, rebuilding all hydraulics, checking and adjusting all mechanical parts. Certain things don't apply to trailers, but machining drums and rotors does. Shops that don't do it either replace parts that could and should be machined, don't have the knowledge or equiptment to do it, or don't want to spend the time it takes to do it right. My local Airstream Service Center referred me to a machine shop who does machine trailer drums.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:56 PM   #68
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Does anybody know of a video available for changing out the Neverlube bearings?
I'd like to see what all is involved.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:47 PM   #69
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Does anybody know of a video available for changing out the Neverlube bearings?
I'd like to see what all is involved.
They need to be pressed out/in, if you have an arbor press handy.
Some auto parts stores offer that service.

Bob
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:11 AM   #70
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Bob,
I see from what you said that it's not something I'll be able to tackle while on the road.
My plan, in case one went bad while traveling, I could remove that tire and wheel and hop along to the nearest town on 3 wheels.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:25 AM   #71
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Yes, and if I remember, the nut that holds the bearing/hub onto the spindle is 2 5/16", there is an internal "C" clip holding the bearing in the hub, and the nut is torqued to a high number, which escapes me at the moment....something like 250 lb ft.

So at a minimum, you need the 2 5/16" socket (probably 3/4" drive), and a big breaker bar, or an impact wrench, just to take the hub off the spindle.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:20 AM   #72
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I can't find the manual online for the discs, but the drum Nev-R-lubes have a 1 7/16" nut, torqued to 145 - 155lb/ft.

Nev-R-Lube_Bearings_3-13.pdf

As for pressing, I haven't had to replace one, but old fashioned bearing races are recommended to be pressed in as well. Although I have driven ALL of mine over the years, with a drift punch and hammer. I wonder if that can be done with these sets as well.

Why are we discussing this potential issue this much? I understand that there have been some reports on other forums with SOBs, but where are the reported AS failures? Have I missed something?
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:34 AM   #73
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Thanks for that info, Rich. I stand corrected. Do you know if the size of the nut is the same for all sizes of the bearings?

We measured on once in Utah when my friend was having brake problems and we were contemplating taking the hub off to inspect, and it seems that I remember the nut size being the same as the hitch ball size, but of course, I have slept many times since then and my memory could certainly be wrong.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:36 AM   #74
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Wouldn't almost any bearing failure be preceded by some level of abnormal heating of the bearing and surrounding hub, many hundreds of miles before failure?

If so, in most cases we could monitor the heating, say at fuel stops, detect this impending failure before it happens?

I use "touch with an open palm" method on each tire and wheel center now, but I heard of others who use more scientific devices. Are we wasting our time or is this a good practice?

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Old 04-19-2013, 09:41 AM   #75
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Wouldn't almost any bearing failure be preceded by some level of abnormal heating of the bearing and surrounding hub, many hundreds of miles before failure?

If so, in most cases we could monitor the heating, say at fuel stops, detect this impending failure before it happens?

I use "touch with an open palm" method on each tire and wheel center now, but I heard of others who use more scientific devices. Are we wasting our time or is this a good practice?

doug k
Doug,

I think short of jacking the trailer up, and checking for excessive play and noise, checking temps is about all you can do.

There are inexpensive thermometers available that you just point at an object and push a button. I think they use ultraviolet technology. I have one that I use for other purposes, and have used it on trailer tires, and it works good.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:42 AM   #76
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No, Steve, I don't know. Dexter seems to support the larger capacity axles and bits online better than the <8,000lb axles. And I have found nuttin' on the specs for the smaller capacity disc hubs, other than sales info. I've never had my caps off to even look at mine.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:54 AM   #77
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Just found this page. Paper copy and snail mail, but FREE!

Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - Literature Request
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:00 AM   #78
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Doug,

I think short of jacking the trailer up, and checking for excessive play and noise, checking temps is about all you can do.

There are inexpensive thermometers available that you just point at an object and push a button. I think they use ultraviolet technology. I have one that I use for other purposes, and have used it on trailer tires, and it works good.

Funny you mentioned checking the temps with a device. This morning Amazon had one on sale for 50% off but when I went to put it in my cart they were out. I went on a waiting list and was something like #286 in line. A little sign appeared and said "chances of getting this item at the sale price are remote".
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:17 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Wouldn't almost any bearing failure be preceded by some level of abnormal heating of the bearing and surrounding hub, many hundreds of miles before failure?

If so, in most cases we could monitor the heating, say at fuel stops, detect this impending failure before it happens?

I use "touch with an open palm" method on each tire and wheel center now, but I heard of others who use more scientific devices. Are we wasting our time or is this a good practice?

doug k
Quote:
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Doug,

I think short of jacking the trailer up, and checking for excessive play and noise, checking temps is about all you can do.

There are inexpensive thermometers available that you just point at an object and push a button. I think they use ultraviolet technology. I have one that I use for other purposes, and have used it on trailer tires, and it works good.
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Funny you mentioned checking the temps with a device. This morning Amazon had one on sale for 50% off but when I went to put it in my cart they were out. I went on a waiting list and was something like #286 in line. A little sign appeared and said "chances of getting this item at the sale price are remote".
Checking temps with an IR gun while on the road and wheel play when tires off the ground is still the best way to keep track of condition.

As far as replacing...I imagine the much larger surface area of the bearing itself contributes to the difficulty of pressing or "punching" it out/in.

Bob
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #80
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OK, I needed to check my bearings anyway, so I went out and did it. Happy to report all is well. And, the nut size is 1 7/16" just as Rich reported.

For an infrared temperature gauge, this is the one I use, it works OK, is relatively inexpensive, and small enough to carry in your pocket. TowerHobbies.com | Duratrax FlashPoint Infrared Temperature Gauge
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