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Old 07-14-2010, 03:30 PM   #1
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Sealed Bearings and Disc Brakes

If a unit is equipped with Dexter axels, with NevRLube sealed bearings and Dexter hydraulic disc brakes, then what will a service technician look for, other than brake pad condition?

The Dexter procedure for checking these sealed bearings does not require a tear down. When a problem is finally detected, I believe that a bearing replacement is the suggested corrective action. Perhaps others with more sealed bearing experience can speak to this.

Why isn't a daily check of the wheel bearing temperature, when using the unit, an adequate check, along with an annual inspection of the brake pad thickness?

Andy - What would your shop tell an owner that brought in such a unit?

F. A. Meloy
3857 Throne Ct
Milton, FL 32583
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:13 PM   #2
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If a unit is equipped with Dexter axels, with NevRLube sealed bearings and Dexter hydraulic disc brakes, then what will a service technician look for, other than brake pad condition?

The Dexter procedure for checking these sealed bearings does not require a tear down. When a problem is finally detected, I believe that a bearing replacement is the suggested corrective action. Perhaps others with more sealed bearing experience can speak to this.

Why isn't a daily check of the wheel bearing temperature, when using the unit, an adequate check, along with an annual inspection of the brake pad thickness?

Andy - What would your shop tell an owner that brought in such a unit?

F. A. Meloy
3857 Throne Ct
Milton, FL 32583
1. Balance the "running gear".

2. Major brake every 10,000 miles or once a year, which ever is first.

3. Hit the highways and enjoy your Airstreaming.

Andy
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:22 PM   #3
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"major brake" every 10k for discs...?

i don't think so.

the oem disc brake pads on my unit were replace at ~55,000 PLUS miles, just because....(plenty of pad left...)

see posts #58-65 here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f439...zed-28585.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmeloy View Post
...Why isn't a daily check of the wheel bearing temperature, when using the unit, an adequate check, along with an annual inspection of the brake pad thickness?...
since the bearing pack is simply REPLACED for time/wear or issues,

on this newer/dexter running gear...

your focus really does become the braking system.

brake CONTROLLER, actuator, reservoir, hydraulic LINES, brake fluid, pad thinkness, rotor wear/deposits and so on...

essentially what's done on MOST automobiles or trucks with disc brakes.

then INCLUDE the brains and bits that are related to activating the disc system.

how often one inspects or checks depends on USAGE...

if parked and rusting, it would seem INSPECTION would be more frequent.

if in use, rolling and so on, wear is more the issue than rust.

or ANY change in normal performance noted while in use.

________

the trailer tires SHOULD be rotated periodically and that is a great time to INSPECT the brake bits.

and quickly check the hubs for issues.

i rotate the trailer tires every 10k which is about every 6-8 months.

and ALL the brake bits get checked at the same time.
________

daily "temp" checks reads like a good thing but how/when/where the temp is checked matters.

since adding a tpms that ALSO reports temps i've been satisfied that this MINUTE BY MINUTE data is more useful...

(( or falsely REassuring and deceiving))

than grabbing the infra thermo gun...

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:30 AM   #4
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I had thought much of the benefit of disc brakes on trailers was the lower ongoing maintenance expense/effort since it is no longer necessary to pull the drums every year.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:09 AM   #5
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I had thought much of the benefit of disc brakes on trailers was the lower ongoing maintenance expense/effort since it is no longer necessary to pull the drums every year.
Inspection, as a minimum, is prudent.

Andy
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmeloy View Post
If a unit is equipped with Dexter axels, with NevRLube sealed bearings and Dexter hydraulic disc brakes, then what will a service technician look for, other than brake pad condition?

The Dexter procedure for checking these sealed bearings does not require a tear down. When a problem is finally detected, I believe that a bearing replacement is the suggested corrective action. Perhaps others with more sealed bearing experience can speak to this.

Why isn't a daily check of the wheel bearing temperature, when using the unit, an adequate check, along with an annual inspection of the brake pad thickness?

Andy - What would your shop tell an owner that brought in such a unit?

F. A. Meloy
3857 Throne Ct
Milton, FL 32583
Hi, sealed bearing don't need and can't be repacked, but they can still go bad. Brake wear can vary by driver's and useage. Do you downshift your tramsmission going down hills? Or do drag your brakes all the way down? Is your brake controller adjusted so the vehicles work together or does the tow vehicle or trailer do more of the stopping? You can't get a temperature reading on your inner wheel bearings unless your set-up doesn't have a dust shield/backing plate. And if your trailer is like mine the outer bearing area is covered by a center cap. So how are you going to check bearing temps?
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:37 AM   #7
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Inspection, as a minimum, is prudent.

Andy
So, is evaluating bearing play and the condition of the pads and rotors sufficient? That can be done without even pulling the wheels.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:43 AM   #8
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So, is evaluating bearing play and the condition of the pads and rotors sufficient? That can be done without even pulling the wheels.
yes, but with centramatics the VIEW is blocked of the pads/rotors...

and because some folks have reported WEAR/rubbing issues on the hydraulic lines, it seems wise to pull the rims to LOOK.

maintenance costs for the 6 discs on my rig have been reasonable and much lower than drums for the distance towed...

i don't consider THAT the primary benefit however.

the primary benefit is the performance ...

cheers
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:12 PM   #9
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At the risk of derailing the thread, I will note that after a thousand miles of towing in a variety of terrain I am happy with the performance of the drum brakes. They brake evenly and quickly with sufficient braking force to reach a skid if asked. Having used a couple of brake controllers - the Maxbrake in my Chevy and a Tekonsha in a borrowed Nissan Titan I would observe that there is an enormous difference in braking performance between the two controllers particularly regarding apply lag, smoothness, and responsiveness during partial brake release.

The drums still do have that characteristic electric-brake behavior of being grabby for the first few stops when the traylah has been sitting in one spot for a few weeks. It's more of a problem with the Tekonsha, which being inertial, tends to amplify the effect.

I don't doubt that the disc brakes perform better in mountainous driving where heat dissipation on long downgrades becomes crucial. In Minnesota, the highest elevation is 2301 feet and the lowest is 602 so not much of a problem unless I decide to return to the 14ers I climbed in my misspent yoof.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:24 PM   #10
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drums perform fine and have a LONG proven record of performance and reliability...

most streamer are happy WITH the drums

and the recently "improved" self adjusting design is a nice thing.

their are happy campers with either/both arrangement.

but there is clearly a performance UPtick with properly installed, sized and actuated discs.

same with the sealed bearing set up...

this IS an improvement at the expense of losing USER servicing.

i like not having to OPEN a drum to deal with most of the bits and would PREFER the sealed bearings too...

but unless/until the current H' axles fail i'm stuck with greez'n occasionally (or paying some1 to greez'm...)

cheers
2air'
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