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Old 07-16-2017, 05:38 PM   #1
tld
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Greasing the Wheel Bearings

Just a couple of quick questions about greasing and repacking the wheel bearings on my Eagle 5th wheel. The first question is should I be greasing the bearings ever so often. If I pop off the hubs is there a grease zerk to apply grease? Second question: After how many miles of travel should I have the bearings repacked?
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:57 PM   #2
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Not sure which axle you have but if I remember correctly Dexter Axle recommends 12k miles of once a year. Do the repacking the old fashioned way by hand, don't use the EZ Lube system if it has it. Do a search and you will find many comments on this process.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:19 PM   #3
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I pull all drums every year and inspect / repack bearings the old way. The grease fitting to me is a false sense of security. You don't know what you got until they're pulled.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:50 PM   #4
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Put about 10-12 pumps of grease into the hub if you've got the EZ lube hubs and spindles, every other year is plenty. That's what they are designed for. No need to hand repack every 12 months. Every time an amateur goes into a hub, there opens a door for a bad seal-seating, which will actually do more damage than if you just did the factory recommended maintenance schedule and procedure.

The bottom line: read the manual for your hubs.


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Old 07-17-2017, 06:23 AM   #5
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Here is another that used the EZ Lube, just because that is how they are designed doesn't mean they work.

Yuck. Yes they are easy lube and i've always just hand pumped grease in until it comes out the front, how could it be so easy to blow a seal?

The two keys to NOT blowing seals are
1) hand pumping slowly
and
2) wheel jacked off the ground and constantly being rotated while grease being pumped in.

Not doing both can easily blow seals.


Must be some bad fitting seals cause that is how I did it, slow and easy while the wife turned the wheels. Oh well.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:42 AM   #6
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I am old school and do my bearings / seals by had every year. It not only provides better penetration into the actual bearing but it also gives you a visual of how your brakes are doing, the condition of the axle spindles etc. I look at it as preventive maintenance that will help avoid a roadside breakdown.

There is no doubt that EZ lube is the easier way to go but in my opinion it is a disaster waiting to happen.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:24 AM   #7
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No other way to inspect brakes other than pulling drum as Marc mentioned. Now if you're one to trade campers every 1-2 years, or have a decent service shop you trust to do it, no worries.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundancer330 View Post
Here is another that used the EZ Lube, just because that is how they are designed doesn't mean they work.

Yuck. Yes they are easy lube and i've always just hand pumped grease in until it comes out the front, how could it be so easy to blow a seal?

The two keys to NOT blowing seals are
1) hand pumping slowly
and
2) wheel jacked off the ground and constantly being rotated while grease being pumped in.

Not doing both can easily blow seals.


Must be some bad fitting seals cause that is how I did it, slow and easy while the wife turned the wheels. Oh well.
I was told by a shop a couple things about using the grease fitting vs pulling the bearing apart:

That due to how the grease is routed, first to the back, then pushes old out outside/front, that rotating the wheel backwards helps pull the new grease toward the outside/front. The reason is a bearing is designed when turning forward to "pull" the grease from the cap (outside/front) into the bearing.

Another way to possibly minimize a seal issue is to get the bearings warmed up some by driving a few miles. This should help soften the old grease to make it easier to push out and get the new in.

I usually have a shop do mine due to always concerned of getting the to tight, or not tight enough..... Though I have considered doing the fitting this year.

But as mentioned, who knows how the brakes are if you don't pull the drum.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by need-a-vacation View Post
snip...

Another way to possibly minimize a seal issue is to get the bearings warmed up some by driving a few miles. This should help soften the old grease to make it easier to push out and get the new in.

...snip
That right there is an awesome tip for those in cooler climes!

Here in AZ in the summer, no need to tow it. Heck, that might even tend to cool it down.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:54 PM   #10
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You can pump all the grease you want to your bearings, but if you don't check to make sure they are tightened correctly, you might as well pump the grease onto the ground. A wheel bearing that is loose from normal wear will fail quicker than anything.
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