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Old 09-14-2023, 09:02 AM   #1
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Fleming Island , Florida
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Grease Leak?

While inspecting my trailer today in preparation for a trip I found one hub on an axle with what I would consider excessive grease seepage. The axle in question is equipped with EasyLube spindles. I greased the bearings in August of 2021 and traveled over 3700 miles with no indication of a problem before putting the trailer in storage in November 2022. We have been unable to travel for various reasons since then.

The curious thing is that, rather than radial markings of dirt stuck to grease on the wheel from leaking while driving, the dirt stains are in one area of the wheel only, indicative of a leak while sitting still. When I pulled the rubber plug at the end of the spindle, there was about 1/2 teaspoon of liquefied grease in the dust cover but no solid grease. The only thing I can come up with is that the grease liquefied, came out the relief ports at the end of the axle, slowly seeped out and was washed down by rain. An alternate thought is that I didn't adequately clean the old grease out of the end of the axle when lubing, it got heated slightly by brake and tire heating, and it just took this long to seep out enough to notice.

I should note that, whenever we stop, whether at the end of a trip or for rest stops en route, I always feel the hubs and have never found a hot one.

I'll pull the wheel today and check for bearing play and spin friction, but I'd be interested if anyone has ever had a similar problem.

Thanks,

Al
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Old 09-16-2023, 08:18 PM   #2
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Update - Probably just seepage

I raised the trailer today and inspected the axle end and wheel. There was no grease evident on the rear, so the seal is good. The wheel rotated smoothly and the only noise was brake pad drag. There was no end play or wobble. I believe the bearing is fine - probably the excessive seepage was due to my not adequately cleaning out the old grease pushed out when I lubed the bearings. There is no seal on the outer end of the spindle, similar to the design of the old style cone bearing hubs.

I'm cleaning all the wheels and will lube them before our next trip since it has been two years (but only 3700 miles) since I lubed them last. When traveling I will keep a close watch both visibly and with my IR thermometer when we stop.

Al
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Old 09-17-2023, 06:10 AM   #3
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had a couple of boat trailers that had easy lube spindles, and both exhibited the same visible signs you are seeing, and like you tore it down and could find no evidence of any issue. I never had to replace any bearings on the easy lube spindles, just the rear seals when there was evidence of seepage on the inside of the wheel. Easy lube spindles were the greatest thing to ever be introduced to boat trailers.
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Old 09-17-2023, 10:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for the encouragement.

I have disc brakes, so there was no need to pull a drum to see inside it. I could see the front side of the rotor through the spokes of the wheel and the rear of the rotor by sliding under the trailer. If the seal were bad there would be grease on the disc. It was clean. There was no evidence of any leak at the rear. The grease appeared to be seeping around the hub cap that covers the retaining nut, washer and outer bearing.

I'll still follow Dexter's recommendation to lube the bearings at 12 month or 12,000 mile intervals.


Al
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