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Old 07-08-2013, 07:49 AM   #1
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How warm should hubs feel? When to worry

I have a 2005 Jayco 1206 with Hydraulic surge brakes. I got the trailer last summer and previous to that it sat unused for 3 years. I have a trip coming up next week and have gone through the entire trailer with the exception of the bearings (I know, I should have started there). I bled the brakes yesterday and I popped the cap off the EZ lube hubs and they appeared full of grease but the grease looked dark gray and somewhat watery on one side. I used a grease gun and injected new grease and took it for a 20 min ride. When I got back the hubs were very warm. The air temp outside was in the 90's and the hubs could be touched with your hand but you wouldn't want to hold it for a long time.

My trip next week is a 2 hour drive and I am just a little nervouse about the hubs. I read that trailers with brakes have a warmer hub since the brakes heat when applied. I dont think I am going to have the time to replace the bearings before my trip. How hot is too hot?
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:07 PM   #2
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when you burn your hand. Take 10 min side you said you saw grease and make sure you don't hear grinding, also not to much side-to-side play. I wouldn't worry to much with the easy lube. they grease both the inner and outer
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:40 PM   #3
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They need to be manually checked and re-packed every couple of years. If you can't do it before you go, check them after a hour to see if you can touch them. EZ lubes are very easy to over grease which can contaminate the brake shoes.

I used to use a laser temperature gun, not expensive, to check mine and they would never be over 115 deg.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:46 PM   #4
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IMO, if it sat for 3 years, the hubs should be pulled, old grease cleaned, and bearings (both the roller bearing and the race) inspected for corrosion due to possible condensation from the prolonged lack of use. Any brown spots on the roller bearings or race that will not come off with a scotch-brite pad is rust/corrosion.

If the hub can be wiggled on the spindle, then the bearings are likely loose and are not using 100% of the bearing surface area. What I do after seating the bearings is to back off the spindle nut and re-tighten it just to zero play or wobble. Then I tighten it further just enough to get to the next possible hole or slot for the cotter pin.

In the past 40 years I've been packing and torquing my own trailer wheel bearings in this manner, I've never had one fail.

FWIW: While I like the 'Spindle lube' style of hubs, I've heard some schools of thought that packing the entire hub with grease helps the hub to retain heat and get hotter than just packing the bearings themselves.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tail_gunner View Post
IMO, if it sat for 3 years, the hubs should be pulled, old grease cleaned, and bearings (both the roller bearing and the race) inspected for corrosion due to possible condensation from the prolonged lack of use. Any brown spots on the roller bearings or race that will not come off with a scotch-brite pad is rust/corrosion.

If the hub can be wiggled on the spindle, then the bearings are likely loose and are not using 100% of the bearing surface area. What I do after seating the bearings is to back off the spindle nut and re-tighten it just to zero play or wobble. Then I tighten it further just enough to get to the next possible hole or slot for the cotter pin.


In the past 40 years I've been packing and torquing my own trailer wheel bearings in this manner, I've never had one fail.

FWIW: While I like the 'Spindle lube' style of hubs, I've heard some schools of thought that packing the entire hub with grease helps the hub to retain heat and get hotter than just packing the bearings themselves.
I agree. I am not going to have the time to do the bearings for this trip but I will before my big trip up to Arcadia later this summer. Infact I am going to buy new brakes (complete with backing plates) hubs and bearings and replace everything. this way I know what I have and it should be good for a while.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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If bearings are packed with high quality synthetic lube these bearings would not require any maintenance for years. Right now your problem is most likely related to bearings being not adjusted properly, gray grease is molybden fortified grease selected by jayco to service these axels. You should find a non expandable synthetic grease, which will not "run" when slightly overheated. For a normal person and moderate climat conditions these bearing literally maintenance free. Just talk to any dexter dealers, millions of these axels are sold across the continent and most of those are never maintained.
So here what is possibly the problem with your axle: bearings are too tight, grease heated up and may have pushed its way through hub seal and into the break drum, possibly contaminating brake shoes, which will cause severe brake binding. Remedy: take the drums off, inspect for possible grease on brake shoes, check seal outer edge (the one looking toward brake plate) for integrity ( should be nice and geometrically coherent). I bet there are no rust on bearings but quite possible that rollers being scuffed due to being overtightened. Regardless, if bake shoes are contaminated throw them away, no recovery possible, new brake shoes must be installed in pairs and on both sides regardless the condition of the brakes on the other side of your trailer. When you assemble your hub back watch out and carefully guide hub on the spindle because it is the moment when damage to seal is most likely to occur if you are not careful. Tight the hub nut by hand (gloved), then loosen up the nut just a little bit, to match a retainer ring notches ( loosen up the nut instead of tighten it to install the retainer), if you are on the notch when you tighten then loosen up for exactly one notch, check for play on your hub, make sure it has a little play (feel and hear a slight play in the spindle assy) and that bearings being are seated properly. There is a dexter hub assemly manual, I can google and post a link tomorrow, you can google for Dexter ez lube trailer axle catalog/ maintenance manual, it is widely available. Some people trash these axles but there are no reasons, do the things right the first time, keep your hands off, monitor hub temperature, resist temptation to grease the hub if you have stuffed it with high quality synthetic grease, it will not require any of your future attention, other than removing rubber plug to satisfy your curiosity and itch for action. Think of bearings on your car, have you ever lubricated any of those? And you must have driven your car more and in worst conditions than your trailer.
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