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Old 02-01-2008, 01:18 PM   #15
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1993 21' Sovereign
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In answer to an earlier question, Dexter offers sealed bearings that do not need service. The common misunderstanding is that they are good for the life of the trailer, and they are not. Dexter recommends replacing them at 100,000 mile intervals. While most of our trailers will not see that much mileage during their lives, the bearings are not "lifetime".
Also, disc brakes need to be inspected for wear at the same interval as drum brakes, as Andy noted above. When one of our forum members arrived at my shop for a new pair of tires, we discovered the pads were almost completely worn out after about 12,000 miles.
Brake pads and shoes are inexpensive, especially compared to the cost of just one drum or rotor, not to mention downtime, especially during a vacation. Who wants to spend 2 days of their vacation in Grand Geegaw Junction waiting for a drum or rotor because they didn't check their brakes?
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nangoff
Andy, am curious, how much do you charge for servicing a set of wheels? And what do you do for this? In my case 4 wheels on a CCD 28. Thanks, Gerry
We do what is called a "major brake."

We jack up the trailer and remove all 4 tires and wheels.

We inspect the tires for any problems.

We check the tires for proper inflation and correct the pressure if necessary.

We inspect the shocks for leaks and/or old age. (More than 10 years)

We remove the bearings and clean them in a solvent.

We inspect the bearings for any problems.

We pressure pack the bearings.

We degrease the hubs.

At this point we balance the running gear if requested.

We clean all the dust and dirt from the brake system.

We test the breakaway switch and the magnets.

We replace the brake shoes and/or magnets if necessary. (Electric brakes)

We replace the adjuster springs if they are more than 10 years old. (Electric brakes)

We deglaze the brake shoes and magnets. (Electric brakes)

We deglaze the hub and drum. (Electric brakes)

We check the fluid level in the master cylinder. (Disc brakes)

We test the breakaway switch. (Disc brakes)

We replace the rotors and/or pads if necessary. (Disc brakes)

We deglaze the pads. (Disc brakes)

We deglaze the rotors. (Disc brakes)

We add some grease to the hubs or rotors.

We reinstall the bearings.

We replace the grease seals.

We reassemble the running gear.

We adjust the brakes. (Electric brakes)

We remove the trailer from the jack stands.

Labor charge is 2.5 hours for the major brake, for a tandem axle.

Labor charge for the shock replacement is .3 hours each.

Labor charge for the running gear balance depends on the wheels, steel or aluminum.

Andy
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nangoff
Andy, am curious, how much do you charge for servicing a set of wheels? And what do you do for this? In my case 4 wheels on a CCD 28. Thanks, Gerry
Just an FYI, the forums doesn't allow vendors to quote prices, the posts can be read many months or years after the price is quoted, and could result in hard feelings if the dealer can no longer honor the quote. It also keeps "price wars" down to a minimum. We did this proactively, remembering the gas price wars in the 60's...
You can give Andy a call, and he can give you his price based on current rates and prices.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nangoff
...charge for servicing a set of wheels?..In my case 4 wheels on a CCD 28.
the factory service center charges about 300$ to repack a triple axle unit.

so 4 your double i'd estimate 200$ +/-

the dexter bearings will not work on your henschens axles...

dexter warrants the nev-r-lube 'seal bearings' for UP TO 5 years OR 100,000 miles.

but dexter STILL recommends that the hub/sealed bearing pack be inspected yearly or at 12,000 mile intervals...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nangoff
So, if bearings are sealed and disk brakes are being used, what then? Gerry
with the 6 disc brake setup (kodiak) the bearings have been repacked twice in 50,000+ miles of towing.

first time the grease still looked fresh and red (about 20k)

2nd time the grease was dark, but still grease (about 30k)...

so my plan is to repack about every 25,000 miles, that is about a 12-15 month interval...

but with frequent and regular travel and no wheel submersion 40-50K miles might be adequate (every 2 years)...

disc brakes can be inspected WITHOUT opening the hub which is nice.

wheels get balanced when new tires are mounted ONLY or when a flat is repaired...

centramatics 4 balance of any 'running gear' issues...

i also have 50,000+ miles on the oem brake pads, while many report they are only GOOD or 10-15k miles...

so keep in mind some vendor advice is self serving, revenue driven and may be excessive...

and some owners cry when equipment fails, regardless of the abuse or lack of maintenance...

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Just an FYI, the forums doesn't allow vendors to quote prices, the posts can be read many months or years after the price is quoted, and could result in hard feelings if the dealer can no longer honor the quote. It also keeps "price wars" down to a minimum. We did this proactively, remembering the gas price wars in the 60's...
You can give Andy a call, and he can give you his price based on current rates and prices.
I have no idea what a running gear 10,000 mile checkput costs nor what the process entails. I do know that for xxx,xxx trailers on the road with annual checkouts based on 10k or 1 year, servicing is a lot of money for the shops that do this.

Many thanks to all of your inputs.... I have spent 35 years in the business of applying naked, shielded, double shielded, sealed, sleeve, roller, spherical, tapered, etc, and pillow block bearings in the industrial world in every conceiveable atmosphere and application. True bearing health rests solely on how much heat the bearing is generating under load. As I have said earlier I check my wheels / bearings with a Cen-tech, #91778, non-contact laser thermometer. This is an extremely important, inexpensive product that any RVer should have on his person when traveling, regardless of when you had your bearings redone. Bearings do not fail catastrophically, if they do I've never heard of it, at least not on the industrial application world; however they will they let you know they are in trouble, they make a lot of noise and run hot.

Modern lubricants last a long, long time and sometimes the act of servicing the bearings the lubricant is in leads the bearings to a premature failure.

I won't go so far as saying some of the information I have received is self serving, but I do invite Andy to give me a private e-mail of the cost of his services and the nice description he gave of his process. Thanks to all, Gerry
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nangoff
I won't go so far as saying some of the information I have received is self serving, but I do invite Andy to give me a private e-mail of the cost of his services and the nice description he gave of his process. Thanks to all, Gerry
Owners can do as they wish, with their equipment. If they wish to ignore others experiences, so be it.

After almost 42 years with the Airstream products, I still on almost a monthly, if not more often basis say, "I told you so."

My post # 16 spells out exactly what we do, and the times.

To find out the cost, simply multiply any shops labor rate by those hours.

There is nothing more I can contribute to the reasons listed above, than I already have, either publicly or privately.

If anyone wishes to ignore almost lifetime experience with a given situation, then that certainly is their choice.

Repair shops make huge money, not from routine repairs, but from customers mistakes.

Many that post here will gladly confirm that.

Andy
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:10 PM   #21
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Dang,

Did I just read that 2airishuman and Andy agree and are unified on a wheel bearing maintenance issue, kinda, sorta.

I have learned from both and appreciate their views.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:54 PM   #22
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i would concur that regular maintenence of your trailer bearings is crucial to bearing life . Ive myself done hundreds of bearing repacks on cars trucks and trailers . when you pull the front rotors of a car for instance,you will see the bearing rollers have little grease to speak of .Ive rotated many rotor or drums
on vehical only to note the audible sound and fast spinning of the assembly
denoting no grease or very little at best . The greasing process fills the bearing cage with grease (packing) as the bearing heats up in use the grease then flows to the loade surfaces of the race and rollers to provide lubrication.
The weight of a vehical or trailer will immediatly try to expell the grease away from the roller to race contact surfaces ,grease will not stay in the bearing cage indefinately ,so regular packing is needed .grease can get sloppy and
runny ,usually from cross mixing greases ,the (soap) as its called,part of the base stock of grease is not interchangable unless the same type of grease is used ,the soaps cause the grease to become unstable it breaks down becoming runny and not able to provide the protection as needed .you can see this when your wheel hubs have slobbered grease out and around the wheel surfaces .Sealed bearings are great ,packed and sealed for long life
easily over 100 000 miles .as far as industrial bearings are concerned ,sealed
ball bearings as most all are ,do not require greasing do to the side seals that
retain the lubricant ,no surprise there ,yet unsealed will need greasing .These types of bearings are used in automotive and truck applications all the time .
travel trailers of course have limited use and do not need very frequent bearing service .If you perform regular service ,you know what you have .
ive replaced many unserviced trailer bearings ,no grease ,overheated
and pitting of the races ,or flaking on the hard chrome rollers is common as well ,see it in Timkin type roller bearings all the time ,see it with servicable vehical bearings every day ,although with sealed unit bearings ,this is not
as common as it once was . So ,do yourself a favor ,and perform regular maintenence as required and take care of your trailer ,car or truck .

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:18 AM   #23
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This discussion is similar to the old standard: change your engine oil every 3000 miles. Even though modern lubricants allow longer change intervals nowadays, many vendors still advocate the frequent change. You pays your money and takes your choice.
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstreamer67
This discussion is similar to the old standard: change your engine oil every 3000 miles. Even though modern lubricants allow longer change intervals nowadays, many vendors still advocate the frequent change. You pays your money and takes your choice.
The last new car I bought had a recommended oil change interval of 6,000 miles. The oil change stickers on the windshield the dealer put on reflected that, until the day the factory warranty ran out, then the stickers mysteriously started showing 3,000 mile intervals.
But, we digress...
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:40 AM   #25
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Here are some links to websites which cover the topic from the manufacturers of the bearings and club members with experience.

Timken - Products - Bearings - Volume One Issue 5

http://www.timken.com/products/beari...Fs/Vol6No3.pdf

Maintaining your RV- Wheel Bearing Maintenance

http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/1080235/f/...-07_72_res.pdf


Most of the bearing failures I have seen are the result of error by whoever serviced the bearings. Some of the errors include: Wrong, incompatible grease mixed with previous grease, overtightening the bearings, contamenting the grease with hard dirt, damaging the seals (so grease gets out wrecking the brake pads or shoes and dirt gets in)

Most of the RV shops around our area charge about $100 per technician hour but pay their techs about $30/ hour. Car shops charge about the same.
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:51 AM   #26
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To run a shop at a profit, and a profit is needed to stay in biz next month, the tech will get 1/3 of the labor rate. The remaining goes to pay for the building, equipment, special tools, maintenance, advertising, labor to run the shop, and misc. The last thing that shows up is profit.

And it is true, the majority of wheel bearing failures is due to the last service on those bearings. That is another reason the car manufactures went to sealed wheel bearings. And who says they built cars for planned obselence.

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Old 07-17-2008, 09:51 AM   #27
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I just completed servicing the running gear on my triple axle with 28000 miles on it (it has a wheel odometer). This is in anticipation of a 6000 mile trip later this summer.
The PO said it was 'checked' just prior to our purchase at 10K, 2 years ago.
The tires were marked 1401 and showing some wear so I figured it was a good time to replace them, with Maxxis 8008s Load range D
When I pulled the wheels I found lubricant contamination of the brakes and magnets on three wheels (due to wheel seal failure) Cleaned up the brakes, and the magnets, relubed in the right places.
After cleaning the drums and bearings, inspection of the bearings found discoloration of the rollers on 3 of the outer bearings corresponding with the axles with seal failure, several rollers on one of these bearings had evidence of surface failure, pitting and loss of finish in some areas. (the bearings were of Chinese origin, for crying out loud)
Decided to replace all the bearings and races and seals, probably overkill but it made me feel more secure (used all Timkin for replacements).
Put everything back togeather and added a set of Centramatics for good measure.

The seals that leaked looked orignal (there were no markings on them) It looked like the red grease the bearings were packed with, liquified and migrated out, dripping on the magnets and out the small end into the hub covers (all the covers had at least some red oil in them).

What I learned;

IMHO Your money ahead to follow the advice and check the running gear each year or 10k, and even though it cost me a few hundred in parts to replace the bearings, if I hadn't checked, there was very likely an expensive and inconvienent failure looming. Next year it should only cost the price of 6 oil seals a tube of grease and my time.

To qualify this a little I have a automotive maintenance background, and, I also thought 'who checks that stuff at 10k? it ought to be fine for 40k. oops, Glad I followed the advice of those who are willing to share the info and their experience.

Thanks forum folk and fellow 'streamers!
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:07 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nangoff View Post
I have no idea what a running gear 10,000 mile checkput costs nor what the process entails. I do know that for xxx,xxx trailers on the road with annual checkouts based on 10k or 1 year, servicing is a lot of money for the shops that do this.

Many thanks to all of your inputs.... I have spent 35 years in the business of applying naked, shielded, double shielded, sealed, sleeve, roller, spherical, tapered, etc, and pillow block bearings in the industrial world in every conceiveable atmosphere and application. True bearing health rests solely on how much heat the bearing is generating under load. As I have said earlier I check my wheels / bearings with a Cen-tech, #91778, non-contact laser thermometer. This is an extremely important, inexpensive product that any RVer should have on his person when traveling, regardless of when you had your bearings redone. Bearings do not fail catastrophically, if they do I've never heard of it, at least not on the industrial application world; however they will they let you know they are in trouble, they make a lot of noise and run hot.

Modern lubricants last a long, long time and sometimes the act of servicing the bearings the lubricant is in leads the bearings to a premature failure.

I won't go so far as saying some of the information I have received is self serving, but I do invite Andy to give me a private e-mail of the cost of his services and the nice description he gave of his process. Thanks to all, Gerry
Thanks for the Thermo suggestion, I got one at Harbor Freight for $29.00 and used it last week on trip to and from AZ after repacking bearings. Keep track of temps real well and no dirty fingers from touching wheels.
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