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Old 05-17-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
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Pulling the hubs and bearings on a Nev-r-lube axle

Well, following Andy Rogozinski's advice I pulled the hubs and drums today for a brake inspection.

The brakes were fine but I did find a shock absorber that was broken in half.

But the main lesson here is that it takes far more tools to work on these than on the older hubs with tapered bearings. You have to have a set of external snap ring pliers, and a 1 7/16" socket wrench. A great deal of torque was required, on my trailer, to get the spindle nut off, more than the 150 ft-lb torque specification. Whether this is because it was overtorqued at the factory or for some other reason I do not know.

I believe I would have broken a 1/2" breaker bar had I used one. Fortunately, I have a set of 3/4" drive wrenches left over from the days when I worked on agricultural equipment.

Photos so you know what to expect if you try this...
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:02 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting this thread.
This is on my "to do" list.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
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Well, following Andy Rogozinski's advice I pulled the hubs and drums today for a brake inspection.

The brakes were fine but I did find a shock absorber that was broken in half.

But the main lesson here is that it takes far more tools to work on these than on the older hubs with tapered bearings. You have to have a set of external snap ring pliers, and a 1 7/16" socket wrench. A great deal of torque was required, on my trailer, to get the spindle nut off, more than the 150 ft-lb torque specification. Whether this is because it was overtorqued at the factory or for some other reason I do not know.

I believe I would have broken a 1/2" breaker bar had I used one. Fortunately, I have a set of 3/4" drive wrenches left over from the days when I worked on agricultural equipment.

Photos so you know what to expect if you try this...
Excellent reasons as to "WHY" not to use "never lubes".

And by the way, no one stocks parts for those axles.

If you need any parts, they all have to be special ordered.

Plan on several days delay, if you need one of those parts while on a trip.

Never lubes are fine, for farm equipment, so that if you have a break down, your still at home.

Andy
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:37 PM   #4
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Jammer,

How many miles on the rig would you guess?

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Old 05-20-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
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Probably around 5,000, but my travels tend to take me through the Minneapolis metro area, and also on 2-lane roads, so the brakes have a hard life.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:45 PM   #6
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They look pretty good in the pics however 5000 miles seems hardly much of a work out.

I get the reason to inspect them, too bad there isn't some kind of inspection slot(s) in the backing plate for that purpose. This would elinimate tearing down the hubs. Or I suppose these hubs with disc brakes would be an awesome combo.

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Old 05-20-2014, 02:36 PM   #7
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I assume it is a sealed cartridge bearing of some sort? Something like what you would use on the front of a front wheel drive car?

Perry
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:50 PM   #8
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I assume it is a sealed cartridge bearing of some sort? Something like what you would use on the front of a front wheel drive car?

Perry
Yes, they are sealed bearings.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:31 PM   #9
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Just curious, what parts would be needed that would likely be hard to get?
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:48 PM   #10
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There are a couple of problems service-wise. But to keep this in context, from everything I've been able to find, these bearings rarely fail unless they're submerged under water, subjected to overtorquing at the time of installation, or after lengthy extended use (approaching 100,000 miles or more).

The first problem is that because the bearings are expensive, not used on very many trailers, and rarely fail, few places stock them.

The second problem is that installing a bearing in an existing drum requires a hydraulic press. It is possible, though expensive, to purchase drums with the bearings already installed.

Finally, for the reports of failures I have been able to find, there is a high incidence of the spindle being damaged to the point where it must be replaced.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:52 PM   #11
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Roughly how expensive is the drum with bearing? However, I suppose a spare on hand doesn't do much good if the spindle is damaged. What's involved with the replacement of the spindle?
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