So I have had some brake problems with my trailer ever since it was new. The brakes on the right side didn’t seem to work as well as the ones on the left side. Temperature checks proved this as the left ones were creating more heat than the right. I have Lippert forward self-adjusting brakes. If I manually adjusted the right side tighter the problem would be reduced for a time and all brake temperatures would be more similar. After a couple hundred miles of towing, the problem would re-surface, and I would have to adjust the right side brakes again. I checked the electrical side of the brakes, and all is ok.
I finally got around to pulling the wheels and drums to check things out. Wouldn’t you know there was grease leaking past the seals and getting on the brakes and drums of the right side wheels (haven’t checked the left yet). I cleaned everything up and replaced the brake shoes. Installed new seals and put it back together. So that lead me to wonder why this is such a common problem with both the Dexter and Lippert axles and their seals. A typical seal should hold about 15 psi of pressure, pretty hard to exceed that while pumping grease in through the EZ lube system unless using an air powered grease gun. I have pumped a few pumps of grease into the EZ lube system, but this problem has existed since new. I have heard of seals being pushed out by the grease pressure, but the seal would have to be loose in the drum bore, but that was not my case. Grease was leaking past the seal and axle shaft. Why?
Here is the answer: The factory seals do not have enough of a “point” where they contact the axle shaft to hold the grease in, certainly not enough to meet the 15 psi standard specification. Could it be that the rubber in the seal is so cheap that the “point” wore off when the trailer made the 1000 mi trip from the factory to the dealer? I think both companies need to rethink the quality of the seals they use in there axle systems. The cure for the problem is just to replace the seals, the seals I purchased at the auto parts store have a significant “point” and will contact the axle shaft properly. The following pictures show my original seal. I painted the rubber part white, you can see how flat the part is where it contacts the axle. The next picture is one I found that represents what the new seal looks like, and how a proper seal should look.
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