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Old 11-12-2015, 02:17 PM   #41
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Thanks for the response, Mike.

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Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
While the wheel was off the ground, did you wiggle it to make sure the spindle nut was tightened properly?
No. Is this a common problem or just something one should do "while I'm in there"? I can check it in the spring.

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Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
At some point in the life of the trailer, you will have to do a proper wheel bearing service. In the meantime, keep on carefully pumping fresh grease through the bearings and making sure all is OK.
Makes sense. How do I know when it's time for a proper service?
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:40 PM   #42
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Is this a common problem or just something one should do "while I'm in there"? I can check it in the spring.

As the bearings wear, a certain amount of runout (slop; backlash) develops. The spindle nut has to be tightened so that the bearings are running just on the film of grease.

While jacked, if you firmly grasp the upper and lower edges of the tire, you should not be able to discern any movement in the hub. Do it again left-to right. If everything is solid, you are OK.

You'll have to read the Dexter manual and other publications on how to set the torque on a spindle nut. It takes getting a feel for what is right and a bit of practice.

-

Makes sense. How do I know when it's time for a proper service?

Worst case is when you tighten the spindle nut and the bearings are still loose. Or grease has seeped past the inner seal and ruined the brakes.

If you keep things lubricated, you could probably get away with every 2 years/5,000 miles between disassemble, clean, check/replace worn bearings, renew the seals and re-assemble. Replace the rubber caps at that time too.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:59 PM   #43
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It's more important to make sure your bearings are properly adjusted for tightness than it is to over grease them. A loose wheel bearing will fail quicker and overheat more than one adjusted correctly. Over greasing just wastes grease, it doesn't necessarily add to the life of the bearing.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:08 PM   #44
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I think there is supposed to be some play in the bearing adjustment on Dexter tapered bearing axles; the play results when Dexter's instructions are followed (tighten nut to remove all play, loosen nut without moving drum so that the nut is loose; tighten nut finger tight; loosen nut enough to get the cotter pin in or the new retainer spring on. That causes some looseness; Dexter bearings should not be adjusted without play. I can usually detect play when shaking the wheel up and down or side to side.

Bearing Adjustment is on page 56 of the Dekter manual. Here is a link to the Dexter manual: Dexter Manual (clicky)
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:38 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVhiker View Post
I think there is supposed to be some play in the bearing adjustment on Dexter tapered bearing axles; the play results when Dexter's instructions are followed (tighten nut to remove all play, loosen nut without moving drum so that the nut is loose; tighten nut finger tight; loosen nut enough to get the cotter pin in or the new retainer spring on. That causes some looseness; Dexter bearings should not be adjusted without play. I can usually detect play when shaking the wheel up and down or side to side.

Bearing Adjustment is on page 56 of the Dekter manual. Here is a link to the Dexter manual: Dexter Manual (clicky)
+1. And as the bearings heat up during use, the metal expands slightly, tightening up some of the looseness. A bit loose with bearing adjustment is better that too tight. And that's my informed opinion.

And yes, overgreasing an EZ-Lube axle (pumping a crapload of grease into the fitting so it runs out the outer bearing) is foolish. EZ-Lubes are designed for boat trailers that are submerged in water. I don't know why they are installed on TT axles, other than being a selling point for uninformed consumers.

12,000 miles or yearly is the Dexter recommended interval for axle service, which entails disassembling the hub, cleaning and inspecting the bearings and races (and replacing if imperfect), repacking the bearings, and replacing the seals. Just pumping grease into the EZ-Lube isn't a replacement for true maintenance. It's just a shortcut. You don't know the true condition of the bearings if you're just cramming more grease into the hubs.
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Old 11-24-2015, 03:28 PM   #46
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Just did my bearings on the weekend. On the 3rd axle I figured maybe they were taking a lot of grease so after 30 pumps I pulled the drum off to check the rear seal. Nothing had come out the back, the bearings were fully greased and all was fine. Put it back together and it took about 10 more pumps to get the grease to start coming out the front. If they've never been greased through the zerk it'll take a lot of grease before you see any. If the zerk has never been used and you follow the Internet "experts" that say to use 2 pumps and you're good til next year, they owe you a set of bearings.
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