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Old 02-21-2024, 12:18 PM   #1
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
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Dexter easy-lube axles leaking after 1 year

Hi,
We had both axles replaced on our 2016 Flying cloud after a catastrophic failure of one wheel bearing. We had the shop install two new Dexter axles with easy-lube bearings, along with new brakes etc. Everything was new. We drove 8,000 miles last year, and parked the trailer in the middle of November. Now when we take it in for inspection ths shop says the seals on the bearings are leaking and it's going to be another $600 to clean the brakes and reseal the bearings. This sounds suspicious to me. How do new bearings seals leak after just over a year? Has anyone else had any issues like this? Should I contact Dexter? The whole point of getting new axles was to avoid these kinds of problems, but I don't know whether to question the shop or try contacting Dexter. Thought?
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Old 02-21-2024, 12:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jendon View Post
Hi,
We had both axles replaced on our 2016 Flying cloud after a catastrophic failure of one wheel bearing. We had the shop install two new Dexter axles with easy-lube bearings, along with new brakes etc. Everything was new. We drove 8,000 miles last year, and parked the trailer in the middle of November. Now when we take it in for inspection ths shop says the seals on the bearings are leaking and it's going to be another $600 to clean the brakes and reseal the bearings. This sounds suspicious to me. How do new bearings leak after just over a year? Has anyone else had any issues like this? Should I contact Dexter? The whole point of getting new axles was to avoid these kinds of problems, but I don't know whether to question the shop or try contacting Dexter. Thought?

Bearings don't leak, seals do.

Honestly, with all the problems with the nev-r-lube and easy lube, I sort of want to go back to the old bearings if I every have to swap axles. Yea it's a PITA to pack 4 bearings, but I never had a problem with those for tens of thousands of miles.
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Old 02-21-2024, 01:02 PM   #3
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I think you're being taken for a ride. There isn't enough grease in nev-r-lube bearings to leak and be a problem.

As far as problems go, I don't see that there are many with nev-r-lube. When there is a problem, users post about it but there haven't been hundreds posted. Failures of conventional bearings go mostly unreported.

Conventional bearing failures on passenger cars were very common before sealed bearings became standard and there are still many on trailers that never get regular maintenance. Faulty service of bearings by professional shops can also sometimes fail.

It's doubtful that Airstream would continue to use nev-r-lube bearings if they were failure prone and unreliable. NHTSA would also be involved by now if that were the case.
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Old 02-21-2024, 02:49 PM   #4
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These are E-Z Lub hubs, not Nev-R-Lube.

E-Z Lube hubs have a hollow spindle with a grease fitting on the end. You pump grease into the fitting, and it comes out ahead of the seal, but behind the inner bearing. You're supposed to spin the wheel as you pump, and stop when you see the grease oozing through the outer bearing. This fills the entire hub cavity with grease.

The risk - you can push grease past the seal, especially if you don't keep turning the wheel as you pump. At this point, it's impossible to know if the OP's problem is the result of an inexperienced technician, but I'd suspect that.

I agree; regular hubs are better for a travel trailer. You need to remove the drums to check the brakes anyway . . .

When I had E-Z Lubes, I treated them like regular hubs and and just packed the bearings before re-installing them. If someone else was doing the work, I'd ask for the bearings to be hand-packed, and not use the grease fittings at all.
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Old 02-21-2024, 02:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfranklin View Post
Bearings don't leak, seals do.

Honestly, with all the problems with the nev-r-lube and easy lube, I sort of want to go back to the old bearings if I ever have to swap axles. Yeah it's a PITA to pack 4 bearings, but I never had a problem with those for tens of thousands of miles.
YES, that's exactly what we did. Nothing is for never.

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Old 02-21-2024, 09:21 PM   #6
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Ask the shop that did the install if they used a power grease gun to service the bearings or if they did it by hand. My guess is someone used a power grease gun and pumped with too much pressure and/or without spinning the wheels, causing the pressure to push the grease past the seals. If it's only one wheel then it might be a faulty seal or seal install at the factory, but if it's all four then my hunch is that someone messed up pumping grease into them.

The seals themselves are relatively cheap. Brake cleaner is cheap. That $600 likely is almost all labor cost.
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Old 02-22-2024, 09:37 AM   #7
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Maybe someone over greased the bearings .,,.
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Old 02-22-2024, 09:41 AM   #8
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Absolutely contact Dexter before you do anything else. You have a five-year warranty on your axles and Dexter bends over backwards (in my direct experience with them last year) to make you whole i.e. ships replacement axles to the shop of your choice.
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Old 02-24-2024, 09:59 AM   #9
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New EZ lube axles come from the factory ready to install. If they have not been greased by anyone since the installation it means this is a Dexter issue. By all means notify them and pursue a warranty claim . Dexter seems to be very accommodating in backing up warranty issues . I had an issue where a dust cap would not stay on and they ended up replacing the axle (free freight) and reimbursing part of the labor. I requested that the new axle be standard grease and they were okay with that.
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:38 AM   #10
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jendon,


I agree with the others in regards to contacting Dexter to have your issues resolved via their warranty.


Our '19 27FB International Signature is currently at our local AS dealer getting hail damage repaired, and since it is already there, I asked them to take a look at the rear curbside axle/bearing assembly as I saw a little oil/grease seepage past the center cap of that wheel. The next thing I know the dealer submitted a warranty claim with Dexter and we're getting the axle/bearing/brake units replaced on all four wheels.


I agree with PatLee that Dexter seems to be very quick to rectify issues with their products.



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