Torflex with Nev-R-Lube Bearings? - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-27-2013, 05:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Check out the posts on FiberglassRV about U-Haul trailers and their sealed bearings. Nope, don't want them. I agree with Alf. Annual checkups are a very good thing.
The U-Haul design used integrated hub/bearing/spindle units, which last for many years and are then replaced by just bolting new ones on, which cost about the same as paying someone else to replace conventional bearings. In my opinion, the only problems with the U-Haul are that these are three decade old trailers for which the parts are no longer readily available, and that electric brakes don't fit on them. U-Haul still uses sealed units on rental trailers, based on their decades of experience with heavily-used rental trailers getting minimal maintenance. This is the design of most modern cars, and although I run my cars into the ground (240,000 to 350,000 km, or 150,000 to 220,000 miles) I've never had to replace a bearing... although I did have to replace the trailer-style bearings in the front of our old junk Chev pickup.

Nev-R-Lube bearings are very different. They are replaced when necessary by themselves - not as a unit with the hubs and spindles. Dexter so rarely changes anything that my guess is that they'll sell the bearings for many years.

Although the Nev-R-Lube bearings are large and centred in the hub, so they require a larger bolt circle (the "655" or 6-bolt on 5.5" pattern common on larger trailer axles), I'm sure Escape could order it this way if you're willing to pay for special handling of this part. Corresponding wheels shoud be no problem - this is a common patern for the 15" tires used by Escape.

Although lots of people have problems with traditional trailer bearings, I suspect that is a combination of overloading, cheap components, and incompetent installation, packing, and adjustment (often following incorrect instructions posted online or suggested by friends, instead of the correct procedure clearly documented by the manufacturer). My first Toyota had this design in the rear, and went to the scrapyard after 353,000 km and 17 years with perfectly good original bearings that had been torn apart and repacked all of twice in that time (at each brake shoe replacement). Toyota uses good parts, and I read the manual to repack and adjust them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I thought you still had bearings to pack on non 4 wheel cars, such as the rear of fwd and the front of rwd cars? With 4 wheel the 4 bearings are bathed in axle fluid as is the drive wheels of 2wd vehicles?
Although my front-wheel-drive 1984 Tercel had trailer-style bearings in the rear, normal practice has been sealed hub/bearing/spindle units for many years. All of our Hondas (1984 and newer), my 2004 Focus, and our 2004 Sienna have had sealed units in the rear.
Non-driven front wheels were traditional greased systems needing repacking (like our 1980 Chev truck) but now normally have sealed units, and have commonly (but not universally) had them for decades.

The wheel bearings are only lubricated by the axle lube (for the differential gearing) on beam/live axles. Independent suspensions don't have an axle tube carrying the oil, so they don't lube the bearings this way and usually use sealed units. That applies to steered axles ,too, so even the front of a 4X4 one-ton pickup doesn't use the axle oil, and even usually has sealed units. Front axles in front-drive vehicles have various systems (sealed units, permanently installed, pressed-in) but are normally sealed.

Basically, a modern car or light truck has no chassis parts requiring routine greasing.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:13 AM   #12
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I have a 2006 cargo trailer dual axle with no lube axles. I took them apart this year to check the grease and wear on the bearings. Not much wear on the bearings but the hubs were full of grease. black dirty grease. I would prefer to check the axles and bearings yearly along with the brakes.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:04 AM   #13
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I have a 2006 cargo trailer dual axle with no lube axles. I took them apart this year to check the grease and wear on the bearings. Not much wear on the bearings but the hubs were full of grease. black dirty grease.
Chuck, is this Dexter's Nev-R-Lube, or another "no lube" system?
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:47 PM   #14
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BMW came out with a sealed final drive on their motorcycles. Many failures later they went back to a servicable unit.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:52 PM   #15
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Why were they so much more problem prone than the permanent bearings in a car?
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:52 PM   #16
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It was the final drive on the BMW shaft drive motorcycles, similar to the differential on a car. They decided to seal them and claimed that the oil never needed changing.

This turned out not to be true, and there were numerous breakdowns and failures.

They went back to a serviceable final drive in which the oil could be changed, and there is a recommended service interval.

The EZ Lube axles are nice as you can squirt some grease in preriodically, but it seems like, as Donna Dee said, it is a good idea to do a periodic inspection and lubrication.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:53 PM   #17
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Sealing a final drive gearset is very different from sealing just a bearing. I've never heard of a car with a sealed non-serviced rear differential, but front differentials built with the transmission into transaxles (such as a typical front-wheel-drive car) are now expected to go for years - and in some cases the life of the car - without changing the fluid. This includes the bearings for the shafts.

Why did BMW have problems? BMW cars seem to kill their diffs, too (three friends of mine have had BMWs, all needed diff replacements; I've never had one fail on anything). I think the BMW corporate attitude is that you should expect to pay - lots and often - to keep the car working. More seriously, a rear diff typically has a hypoid gear set, which is inherently a greater lubrication problem (that's why there are specific gear oils for hypoid applications).

In short, I suspect it was the gears, not the bearings, that were the problem in the BMW bikes... but it's only a guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadEyeDan View Post
The EZ Lube axles are nice as you can squirt some grease in preriodically, but it seems like, as Donna Dee said, it is a good idea to do a periodic inspection and lubrication.
I get the idea of periodic inspection and cleaning, but the EZ-Lube does none of that. It adds grease, but grease isn't being used up so there's no point. It flushes grease out to replace it with fresh clean grease... but after 100,000 km of use the grease in a bearing with a proper seal (an not submerged in water such as at a boat launch) is still fine, so why flush it?

The intention of EZ-Lube, as described by Dexter, is certainly not to just squirt some grease in... ever. It is to entirely flush the grease through, after contamination such as by submergence in water. This could be handy if you ford streams while off-roading with your Escape...
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:17 PM   #18
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I intend to squirt one pump a year and wait til my brakes need replacement and then have the bearings repacked.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:48 PM   #19
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I intend to squirt one pump a year and wait til my brakes need replacement and then have the bearings repacked.
Okay... why the squirt? How does this address the inspection requirement?

Just to be clear, I'm not worried about your trailer, Jim. I suspect that since the bearings were properly installed and adjusted to start with this will work fine (as it did on cars with these bearings), but it would work without the squirt (as it did on cars with these bearings) and the squirt won't help if they were not installed and adjusted properly... so what's the point of the EZ-Lube squirt?
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:51 PM   #20
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To justify the $50 option price and use my manual grease gun. I'm going to have to find a reputable rv place somewhere that for a nominal fee inspect the brakes and bearings. Right now there is no such animal so in a pinch I squirt.
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