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Old 12-10-2017, 07:20 PM   #1
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Excessive Bearing Temp Resolved

2017 Jay Flight SLX 265RLSW

Thought I would share a problem I had and what I did to resolve it in case others might experience the same. Summary of the problem, after an hour or more on the highway traveling at 60 to 65 mph, three wheel bearings right around 105 to 110 degrees with the right rear reading 180 degrees. Measurements taken with an infrared thermometer. The right rear obviously needed to be investigated.

First attempt to resolve the problem was to lift the right side of the trailer and reset the spindle nut per the Lippert Axle Owners Manual. I also slowly pumped in bearing grease per the ez-lube system while spinning the wheel until grease was coming out around the spindle nut, again closely following the Lippert Axle procedure. Slight brake drag but not much different than the other three. Another trip out and the problem was not resolved, right rear temperature still around 180 degrees with the other three around 105 degrees.

Second attempt was going to be major surgery; I wanted this fixed. I ordered Tinken bearings and cups along with a new grease seal. The Chinese bearings showed no sign of wear so no smoking gun but I changed them out for the Timkens anyway. Tapping out the bearing cups with a brass drift was slow but steady and even tapping around the edge and they came out. New ones went in the same, slow steady tapping around the edge and they seated flush. Packed the new bearings with grease, installed the new grease seal and the hub was ready to install.

Then I inspected the brakes and discover the smoking gun. When I manually swung the magnet to the side simulating electric brake activation, the brake shoes expanded as they should, but when I allowed the magnet to return to the neutral position the brake shoes did not return to the disengaged position. Seems my problem was dragging brake shoes causing constant friction and heat. I followed the manual and lubricated the pivot points for the brake shoes and now they return to the disengaged position after manual activation. After installing the hub I adjusted the brakes for a very slight drag.

Another trip out and all bearings are right around 110 degrees. Iím not positive it was the brakes and not the bearings since I changed both before retesting but I feel it was more likely the sticking brakes. Iím just relieved my problem is resolved.

I hope this helps someone else that might be battling excessive hub temperatures by sharing my experience. Lippert Axles has a very informative website with manuals and many detailed procedures.

Lippert Axle Website:

https://www.lci1.com/support-spring-axles
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:40 PM   #2
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Then I inspected the brakes and discover the smoking gun. When I manually swung the magnet to the side simulating electric brake activation, the brake shoes expanded as they should, but when I allowed the magnet to return to the neutral position the brake shoes did not return to the disengaged position. Seems my problem was dragging brake shoes causing constant friction and heat. I followed the manual and lubricated the pivot points for the brake shoes and now they return to the disengaged position after manual activation. After installing the hub I adjusted the brakes for a very slight drag.

Another trip out and all bearings are right around 110 degrees. Iím not positive it was the brakes and not the bearings since I changed both before retesting but I feel it was more likely the sticking brakes. Iím just relieved my problem is resolved.
I had a similar experience on my 195RB and I would concur that it was the sticking brakes. In my case not only were the shoes sticking similar to what you describe but the magnet itself was also a bit sticky and not releasing like it should. I now carry a small bottle of brake component grease along with my bearing replacement supplies as a result. Glad to hear that you've got it fixed
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:27 PM   #3
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This is another reason why I like to pull the hubs, check, clean, and grease bearings and replace seals along with lubing the shoe contact points and adjusting brakes. If you just pump in grease you don't know what is going on inside until something like this happens, takes me just over an hour at the end of the season and one less thing to worry about in the spring.
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:54 AM   #4
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This is another reason why I like to pull the hubs, check, clean, and grease bearings and replace seals along with lubing the shoe contact points and adjusting brakes. If you just pump in grease you don't know what is going on inside until something like this happens, takes me just over an hour at the end of the season and one less thing to worry about in the spring.
I agree with your comments. My TT is practically new so perhaps sitting on the lot for a year to be sold and maybe a set of brakes that didnít get a fair share of brake grease during assembly allowed for some rust and my sticky brake operation.

Although I like the design and function of the ez-lube grease system and if the procedure is closely followed the likelihood of the rear grease seal failing is minimal, Itís my opinion nothing can replace the old open and inspect process. Pulling the hub is the only way to properly inspect the brakes and also allows for lubrication of the brake shoe pivot points.

The Lippert manual describes both, open and inspect and the ez-lube system. Even if you use the ez-lube system, letís say half way through the season to check wheel play and top off the grease, pulling the hub is still recommended once a year by the manual. The procedure clearly states slowly pumping in the grease while spinning the wheel. Pumping in grease while the trailer is on the ground could cause seal failure.

Additionally, if you use brake parts cleaner on the brakes as the manual states and then fail to apply the correct grease to the brake shoe pivot/contact points you may be causing more harm than good because the brake parts cleaner will remove any pivot point grease from the original assembly process. Brake shoe pivot/contact points with no grease will accumulate rust causing these points to suffer increased friction and prevent smooth brake operation and could possibly lead to the problem I had with excessive hub temperatures. So if you pull your hub and clean the brakes, donít forget to lub the pivot points.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:04 AM   #5
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This document would be a great candidate for the Manuals section as a quick reference.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:23 AM   #6
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:31 AM   #7
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I pull my wheels off every other fall for inspection assuming I had no odd temps during travel. When they are off I clean and hand pack the bearings and replace the seals, lubricate the brakes and then check each wheel to make sure the brakes engage and release (hooked to truck and pushing brake pedal). I check that each wheel engages at the same point. The non-removal year I grease the bearings thru the nipple while rotating the wheel. When empty they take a lot of grease.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:36 AM   #8
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Nice piece of detective work RiceMan! How many trips to the dealer would that have taken to get properly sorted out?
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:27 AM   #9
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Reminds me of one of my infamous repair schemes.... I had to replace my Jeep manual transmission flywheel and all went well but it ended up not being a easy transfer of power and my poor jeep would literally jump up and down when first engaged...

I nosed it up to a tree and slowly engaged the transmission with high RPMS and smoked the heck out of it slipping my clutch. That would of made a great video haha... Local folks saw alot of smoke coming out from under my trusty ole 99 TJ Jeep haha... Did this for a few minutes and when done it was the smoothest transfer of power you ever had...

True story...



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Old 12-11-2017, 10:39 AM   #10
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Thanks for the great information ricemanwm. I have a similar situation on one wheel of my trailer. I figured it was a bearing and this spring I was going to fix it. Now I know to pay close attention to the brake shoe pivot point and make sure it is properly working and lubricated.
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