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Old 06-30-2009, 09:25 PM   #1
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Wheel bearing repacking

OK, I did the 1 year, 12,000 miles wheel bearing repack. Took them out, looked at them and repacked and installed them. A real waist of time.....almost. You have to take the tires off to do this job and one of my tires was shot. I could not believe how bad off the tire was. Total tread failure. This is on my one year old Safari Sport. I bought it used and I'm getting it ready for our first trip out. This has the Goodyear Marathon tires. I was able to find a replacement tire and it was fixed today.
Here's the questions:
How often do you repack the bearings (if ever)?
Have you had trouble with the Goodyear Marathon?
Is there a better tire to use? (215 75 R14)
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:43 PM   #2
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I look at repacking the bearings as a secondary task - the real point is to go through the wheels, tires, hubs, and brakes at least once each year just to make sure everything is in good order - when I did my bearings this year I found one that was discolored from heat for no apparent reason and was able to replace it so I didn't have trouble while on the road. Didn't tow it very many miles this past year either. I had a local shop do the job last time so maybe it was a problem before, and they decided it was ok to use it another year.

I upgraded the wheels and tires on my 16' CCD model from 14" to 15" this year, and went with Maxxis 225/75R15 tires - so I could get from Load Range C to D and have some extra margin. I never had trouble with my Marathons but read so many stories like yours that I decided to make the switch in brands. I do some gravel road towing on most trips to get to National Forest Service campgrounds, so the extra 1" of ground clearance is welcome, too
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
OK, I did the 1 year, 12,000 miles wheel bearing repack. Took them out, looked at them and repacked and installed them. A real waist of time.....almost. You have to take the tires off to do this job and one of my tires was shot. I could not believe how bad off the tire was. Total tread failure. This is on my one year old Safari Sport. I bought it used and I'm getting it ready for our first trip out. This has the Goodyear Marathon tires. I was able to find a replacement tire and it was fixed today.
Here's the questions:
How often do you repack the bearings (if ever)?
Have you had trouble with the Goodyear Marathon?
Is there a better tire to use? (215 75 R14)
Wheel bearings should be removed, cleaned, inspected and repacked every year, or 10,000 miles, which ever is first.

The grease seals should be replaced at the same time, with seals that have a double lip and a spring.

Andy
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:51 AM   #4
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Andy: What about the none lube axles on 30 c 2009.woppa4
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:39 AM   #5
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Andy,
I know what the book says and I do the bearing at the proper interval. What I was looking for was what others are really doing. Pulling the wheels and brake drums off does kind of force you to look at things. That's when when I found the bad tire.
It would be good to hear from some folks who never repack their bearings until something breaks.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:52 AM   #6
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As for me..

I have owned my Safari 30 for three years now almost to the day. I have done two bearing re-packs since new myself and I can attest to the need for this annually. Last year I used the high temp Mobil 1 Bearing grease and this year I just opened them up and it had alot of liquid grease in there, maybe it had gotten hot? The bearings had a slight discoloration but no pitting or galling.

For my trailers weight and use, (I towed 14k last year), I will stay with the recomended intervals.

And yes, the double lip seal will keep your drums clean inside as I have used both!!
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:56 AM   #7
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I have owned my Safari 30 for three years now almost to the day. I have done two bearing re-packs since new myself and I can attest to the need for this annually. Last year I used the high temp Mobil 1 Bearing grease and this year I just opened them up and it had alot of liquid grease in there, maybe it had gotten hot? The bearings had a slight discoloration but no pitting or galling.

For my trailers weight and use, (I towed 14k last year), I will stay with the recomended intervals.

And yes, the double lip seal will keep your drums clean inside as I have used both!!
CAUTION

Any discoloration of a bearing means it was severly over heated.

Discolored bearings should be replaced, always.

Andy
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:38 AM   #8
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Aluminuts

Check those lug nuts!
After you have removed a tire it is even more important.

Don't think they are just OK.
Heres some photos of me and others that lost complete wheels.


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f465...uts-36924.html


I wanted to add...not just once, check a few times into your travels.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:43 AM   #9
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Andy: What about the none lube axles on 30 c 2009.woppa4
Never lube axles, I think, in time, will prove to be a real disadvantage, overall.

I believe that they will lead one very peacefully into a false sense of security regarding the running gear.

Having a bearing setup, that supposedly you can forget about for 100,000 miles would be fantastic, if that could really be relied upon.

However, how will you know if water got into the bearings?
How will you know if a bearing over heated? That's impossible to tell without a bearing inspection.

Secondly, unless the hub and drums are pulled every 10,000 miles, a person will not have a clue about the condition of the brake system and it's various parts.

Electric brakes are not nearly as reliable as hydraulic operated brakes on cars and small trucks, and should be inspected every 10,000 miles. Again, assuming everything in the brakes system is "OK" is another sense of false security.

Electric brakes that are about 20 years old or so, as well as high mileage backing plates, assuming the shoes and magnets have been replaced, are very prone to having the adjuster springs break.

Once the adjuster spring breaks, the very next time you back up, the adjuster will fall out of place. When that happens, the spring and adjuster can severly and quickly cause considerable damage to the brake shoes and the hub and drum, especially to the drum face and the armature plate. When that happens, the spindle of the axle can easily overheat, and the bearings will overheat as well.

That overheating can easily and quickly, cause a bearing to seize, and that will ruin the axle spindle. When the axle spindle is ruined, the axle must be replaced.

Now the real fun starts.

All torsion axles will settle, in time. Therefore if you have a tandem or triaxle Airstream, and one axle is ruined, chances are you must replace them all, because a new axle will have the original starting angle, causing it to carry more weight than it should, which it turn, can cause other problems, such as sway and handling.

Now, with that information, without routine inspection of the brakes, on a trailer equipped with never lube bearings, trouble will be in that trailers running gear future.

So, now, what is the real advantage to never lube bearings ? The hubs still have to pulled every 10,000 miles.

I personally see very little advantage to the never lube setup, and considerable disadvantages.

One of the biggest disadvantages to the never lube axles, is that they are different internally from a regular axle, and no dealer in the country carries parts for them.

Simply stated, if you have a breakdown with the bearing/spindle setup when your axles are never lubes, you most likely will be stranded, until parts can be shipped to you. That information has been provided by the manufacturers of axles, that use never lubes.

Bottom line, I believe a never lube setup creates far more potential for problems, than ordinary torsion axles could ever present.

But as always, the choice remains with the individual.

That individual may wish that they never heard of "never lube axles".

Andy
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:45 AM   #10
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Yes, checking the lug nuts is important, as is applying the proper torque. One person, who shall remain nameless lost a wheel on their trailer on the way to the midwest rally this year. Over torquing is just as bad as under torquing or not checking.

I tow maybe 3000 miles per year. I had the factory recall pack done in 2005 and then I had it done at an Airstream service center last year. I am averaging about every 3rd season. Last repack the dealer said everything looked great, didn't see any issues.

Are the double lip springie seals that are being mentioned the special or deluxe type seals that everyone says are the "Airstream" seals?
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:59 AM   #11
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Andy thanks for the great advice. I repack mine each year with Mobile 1 grease, the Lisle bearing packer, and double lip seals and they look nice and shiney each time.

Could you please give us an idea what to check as far as the magnets and pads are concerened? I've done car pads and shoes for 30 years but am not sure what to do/check on my 2007 Safari's electric brakes.

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:52 AM   #12
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Andy, I understand the importance of checking the brakes from time to time, but I don't understand why autos and trucks do not have to have wheel bearings repacked at all, or at least for well over 100,000 miles. I presume they use permanent seals, so why can't the same type seals be used on trailers?

I realize if permanent seals were used on trailers, many people would never check their brakes, or they would possibly damage the seals removing the drum when checking the brakes. Maybe a 20,000 mile seal could be available—that equals the estimated life of the magnets used in the electric brakes. The best seals you sell look like they would last well over 10,000 miles and are a lot better than the OEM seals my trailer came with.

Gene
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:29 AM   #13
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Andy, I understand the importance of checking the brakes from time to time, but I don't understand why autos and trucks do not have to have wheel bearings repacked at all, or at least for well over 100,000 miles. I presume they use permanent seals, so why can't the same type seals be used on trailers?

I realize if permanent seals were used on trailers, many people would never check their brakes, or they would possibly damage the seals removing the drum when checking the brakes. Maybe a 20,000 mile seal could be available—that equals the estimated life of the magnets used in the electric brakes. The best seals you sell look like they would last well over 10,000 miles and are a lot better than the OEM seals my trailer came with.

Gene
Gene.

Rubber must be exercised as well as neoprene, to stay alive.

I think the difference between the life of grease seals on cars versus Airstreams, depends on the frequency of use.

Using our cars as we do, keeps the seals going.

Using an Airstream typically every few months, I think is what has the negative effect on the seals

Some will probably disagree, but I have not heard of a better answer from anyone yet. If there is, please someone, speak up, with a valid reason.

Andy
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:26 AM   #14
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Andy thanks for the great advice. I repack mine each year with Mobile 1 grease, the Lisle bearing packer, and double lip seals and they look nice and shiney each time.

Could you please give us an idea what to check as far as the magnets and pads are concerened? I've done car pads and shoes for 30 years but am not sure what to do/check on my 2007 Safari's electric brakes.

Thanks!
Each type of magnet, has a wear pattern.

Photo 1. Has small slots in them. That magnet should be replaced when the first riges are gone.

Photo 2. Has small holes in them. That magnet should be replace when the first hole is gone.

Photo 3. Has three screws near the center. That magnet should be replaced when the wear touches the top of the first screw head. Not the bottom of the screw slot, but the top of the screw.

Andy
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