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Old 10-27-2019, 09:07 AM   #1
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Wheel bearings

I’ve a Whitehawk 23MRB TT. Time to grease the wheel bearings. Wheels appear to have Drexel bearings that can be greased thru the zerk fitting. Any experience with that? Or must I pull the wheel & grease the old fashioned way.
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:21 AM   #2
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I've never been a fan of the E-Z Lube system though I am likely going to use it as some point with our ORV. When we had our 195RB I pulled the hubs at the beginning of each season and inspected/re-packed bearings plus cleaned and adjusted the brakes since they were not self-adjusting.

At some point you do need to pull everything in order to properly inspect the bearings and the brakes. Make sure you get a double-lipped spring loaded grease seal as that is what Dexter recommends for the E-Z Lub hubs. If you don't know what grease is currently in use I'd recommend pulling them so that you can clean out the old grease before using the E-Z Lube system. You don't want to mix grease types and this way you'll be sure that isn't happening.

Also, if you haven't used the E-Z Lube system before I believe Dexter has some videos on their web site detailing the process. It is relatively simple but you do need to follow the procedure to ensure you don't blow the grease seal and contaminate your brakes with grease.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TommyD View Post
I’ve a Whitehawk 23MRB TT. Time to grease the wheel bearings. Wheels appear to have Drexel bearings that can be greased thru the zerk fitting. Any experience with that? Or must I pull the wheel & grease the old fashioned way.
I thought I had Dexter axles and EZ Lubes, but found out I have Lippert axles and SuperLubes (you can crawl under and look at the axle labels to determine which ones you have, can be a good idea to take a picture of the labels for future reference). Not that it makes much difference, I guess, as the procedure for greasing through the zerc fittings is the same, i.e., jack up the wheel, use a hand pump grease gun, spin the wheel while pumping in the grease slowly, etc.

You'll find the entire range of opinions on here and elsewhere regarding whether to use the zercs or do/pay for regular disassembly and re-pack each time, so, take your pick. The latter is assuredly the safest to go, unless you or the service tech you hire makes mistakes putting things back together. Main risk with the zercs is blowing out a rear seal at the back of the wheel, which can result in grease getting onto brake shoes, etc. In my case, I elected to do Zercs the first year, and plan to pay for disassembly, inspection, and repacking the second year, mainly to check the brakes for wear or other problems that might need attention.

Another thing to be careful of is that you use a grease that's compatible with the grease already in the bearings. There are charts you can google up to figure that part out, but, I would expect a lithium based bearing grease is what you'll end up needing. In my case, I'm using Lucas Red 'n Tacky.

I also stop and check my hub temperatures relatively soon after starting each trip to make sure I don't have a wheel bearing issue developing. I bought an infra-red thermometer for this, but quickly found that I can generally just hand touch the hubs to tell if any are getting suspiciously too hot or not.
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:06 PM   #4
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My TT has Dexter axles with the E-Z Lube bearings. I just re-lubed them yesterday matter of fact. It's a lot easier if you first remove the wheels and not as messy. I have always greased my bearings the old fashioned way but after watching the video and understanding how it works this makes a lot of sense to me.

The owner's manual for my trailer recommends using Lucas Red N Tacky #2 for the bearings, and that is what I use.

https://www.dexteraxle.com/resources...-z-lube-system

https://lucasoil.com/products/grease/red-n-tacky-grease
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:16 PM   #5
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What trailer do you have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Route 66 Traveler View Post
My TT has Dexter axles with the E-Z Lube bearings. I just re-lubed them yesterday matter of fact. It's a lot easier if you first remove the wheels and not as messy. I have always greased my bearings the old fashioned way but after watching the video and understanding how it works this makes a lot of sense to me.

The owner's manual for my trailer recommends using Lucas Red N Tacky #2 for the bearings, and that is what I use.

https://www.dexteraxle.com/resources...-z-lube-system

https://lucasoil.com/products/grease/red-n-tacky-grease
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:25 PM   #6
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What trailer do you have?
It’s a 2017 266RKS......Starcraft Autumn Ridge. But it has Jayco stickers with part numbers all over it.

Using the Red N Tacky makes it easy to see when the new grease has displaced the old because the color changes from a darker red to a bright red.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:47 PM   #7
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I used the zerts and folllowed instructions to the tee. Ended up with greasy brakes. Never again!
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:30 AM   #8
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We also own a 23MRB and have the same set-up. We purchased 3 years ago and I have changed the bearing once and greased them 3 other times. Just hit 14,000 and will change a second time. Though the E-Z Lube might seem easier I pull each bearing to hand pack. When I got the trailer I was curious about about the E-Z Lube, read numerous posts about real seal leaking etc. so I tried it out. You must fill the entire spindle cavity in order for the grease to flow from the back to the front. As I watched this I grew more uncomfortable with not only the amount of grease needed, but the fact that I saw air cavities forming as the grease flowed forward. I stopped when I realized I had used over a 1/2 tube of grease. My vote is for hand packing, you know that the grease is spread throughout the bearings.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:46 AM   #9
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I pull the tire to get it out of the way. Lay down some cardboard, slowly pump the grease (with my cordless grease gun) while spinning the drum, yea the complete tube. This will flush all old grease out. Easy peasy.

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Old 10-30-2019, 08:13 AM   #10
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Both times I have done mine it took just a little over 1/2 tube per wheel before the color changed to bright red. There are no "air pockets" because as soon as the new grease starts going in, the old starts flowing out. The important thing is to slowing rotate the wheel while the grease is pumped in. All of my brakes still work like they did when new so I am not worried about "greasy brakes". My brakes are the Dexter Nev-R-Adjust so there is no manual adjusting. Dexter has a 5 year warranty on both the bearings and brakes.


Dexter Nev-R-Adjust-Brakes-.pdf
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:04 AM   #11
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I went back the "old school way" to grease my bearings and adjust my brakes! Got rid of all the self adjuster that kept locking up on are Hummingbird RB
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:55 AM   #12
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I just changed grease using the zerk fittings before a 4k mile trip. It worked great. I am sure there are people who have problem with blowing out the rear seal and messing up the brakes but I think that's probably pretty rare from what I see on other forums and on YouTube. I think some of the resistance to using the easy lube type systems is just "it's not the way I've always done it" from experienced shade tree mechanics.

One thing that did surprise me however - and it's been mentioned above in this thread - this method takes a LOT of grease. In my case it took a whole LARGE tube for each axel. AND, if you haven't used this method before (for example the bearings were last greased at the factory) then you won't see any grease coming out the front till you have about 1/2 a tube in. At the factory they hand grease the bearings so all the space in the hub is empty. Using the Zerk method you're gonna fill all that space (which is why you may see a few air pockets) AND the bearings. So most of the first grease you pump in is just filling space around the bearings.
Make sure to spin the axel as you insert the grease - 2 people helps. Also make sure the bearings are at least room temperature - I think you have a greater potential for problems with the rear seals if the grease is thick and cold.
Like most people here, I'll probably do the Zerk method myself twice, then I'll pay to have my RV Dealer pull each wheel, inspect brakes and bearings and pack bearings every 3rd year.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:01 PM   #13
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Thanks Buddy. You captured what I’ve gleaned from all the replies. Especially thanks for the temp note. Makes sense. So I’ll wait a couple days
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:09 PM   #14
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Make sure to spin the axle as you insert the grease - 2 people helps
Rotating the wheel is my wife's job ....and good point about the temperature.

You are probably right about the first time taking a lot of grease. The first time I did mine it took 1 tube per wheel. The last time was about 1/2- 3/4 tube per wheel. I think the other trick is to go slow and steady with the grease. I put a cardboard box under mine to catch the old grease...saves a lot of cleanup.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:12 PM   #15
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Done

OK to close this thread. Thanks for all the comments all were quite helpful. More later.
I also talked to a great gal at Jayco Customer Service. First - Jayco TT could have either Drexel or Lippert bearings - essentially the same. She also concurred that using the “quick lube” zerk is good. Jayco did that to make it easier for owners. But she did say that if I was “real old school” I could do the bearings the “old fashioned way” every 3rd or 4th time.
Had a recommendation to do it with warm grease to
Improve flow. So I drove the trailer about 20 mi before starting. Put the new tubes out inside our AZ
Sun for a day to warm it. Worked great.
As a. two person job, my wife spun the wheel while I pumping. Did not pull the wheels but can see that would reduce the mess.
So it took us 90 minutes, 4 tubes of grease and a roll of paper towels to do 4 wheels.
Easy. Recommend it
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:41 PM   #16
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I use the EZ-Lube on our axles, spin the wheel and pump slowly. Works for me. But it’s not the permanent solution. Brakes and associated hardware, bearing and race condition need to be visually inspected and the seals need to be replaced at some point. I use the “zerk” method for a couple of years and my paranoia kicks in and I have to take it apart, clean, inspect and replace as required. A surprise was the last inspection a year ago was my bearings and races (from guess where) looked great. I had US made Timken replacements in hand but elected to leave the originals in service and the replacements went to my “spares” box. We’ll see what the next tear down reveals.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:14 PM   #17
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Red, that agrees with the Jayco Service Techs comment that pulling it all apart to inspect every 3-4 years is pretty common
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:48 AM   #18
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A surprise was the last inspection a year ago was my bearings and races (from guess where) looked great. I had US made Timken replacements in hand but elected to leave the originals in service and the replacements went to my “spares” box. We’ll see what the next tear down reveals.
A friend of mine carries a full set of Timken replacement bearings fully greased and ready to go in his parts bin. He lost a bearing years ago, and does not want that headache of being stuck on the side of the road, out in the middle of absolutely now where.
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