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Old 08-20-2016, 03:02 PM   #1
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Using a zert fitting to grease bearings

The wife and I took a tour of a 19' this noon. While there, the owner and I got in a discussion about bearings and he mentioned that the place where he went to get his safety inspection done, rejected his trailer because there was grease on the brakes from when he injected grease into the bearings.

The facility charged him to 1.) clean the brakes and 2.) repack the bearings before issuing his safety inspection sticker.

Has anyone ever heard of such before?
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:18 PM   #2
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Yes, it's a maintenance issue. EZ-Lube axles work, but don't preclude a visual inspection. Seals need to be replaced (properly) just like all axles on trailers. Where the problem happens is when the (typical) owner gets over zealous with the grease gun. There's good YouTube videos on how to grease the axle with EZ-Lubes and Dexter has good info too.

IF you're a traveler, like months out at a time, EZ-Lube work well by greasing the axle occasionally before doing it's scheduled maintenance.

There's EZ-Lubes on Ten Forward, I'm glad. But I also know how they need to be maintained, since I purposely put an EZ-Lube on my Scamp years ago. There will always be opinions about the EZ-Lube. Oftentimes the opinion is subjective. Do your due diligence and you'll be fine.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:36 PM   #3
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I've stated my opinion on this in the past. I'm of the belief that E-Z Lube is a disaster waiting to happen. Therefore, I would say due dilligence is to forget that the E-Z lube is there, and maintain the bearings the true and tried way. Inspect and hand pack them or if you do not have the ability or the confidence to do so, pay someone to do it. Again that's my opinion; others may think differently. And that's OK, as long as they stay away from my trailer with their grease guns.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:43 PM   #4
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See there you go. Another opinion. The biggest one is "just because you have it, doesn't mean you have to use it." Your choice. Choices are always good
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:45 PM   #5
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Just for clarity, it's a "Zerk" fitting... or rather, it's probably not actually a Zerk brand item, but a grease fitting of that style. It is a feature of the E-Z Lube system from Dexter Axle (like similar systems from other manufacturers) which is now standard on Escapes. E-Z Lube is for flushing out old contaminated grease with new grease after backing your boat trailer into water. I agree that Dexter is the authority on how to use this, and yes - brake contamination certainly happens when the system is used improperly.

My solution would be to do the cleanup, then never inject grease into the fitting again. That's not the only valid approach.

A search of Escapeforum.org for "E-Z Lube" yields a substantial amount of previous discussion.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:48 PM   #6
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I think if I had a boat trailer that spent a lot of time getting its wheels in the water, that I would probably want to use E_Z Lube to replace contaminated grease. But on an RV trailer I think I'll stick with the old disassemble, inspect and repack method. Now if I could only talk Reace into the sealed bearing Nev-R-Lube model.... but no luck with that.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:59 PM   #7
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I believe one of the biggest misconceptions is that one can add grease to a stationary wheel. I have found this in forum discussions and on line. The wheel must be turned while grease is being injected or it will, indeed, build up pressure as it is not being distributed. There is only one machined hole in the back and without turning the wheel unequal pressure would be formed. If you only hand pack EZ Lube spindles you must be certain that you do have enough grease in them. They are machined with additional space to allow the flow of grease back to the front. If you don't have enough, the bearing may lose their grease to this additional space. I recently had mine done by a shop and discovered my bearing temps over 200 degrees. When I took them apart, I found little grease in the rear bearings. Although I don't like doing the bearings, I will go back to only doing my own.
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Where the problem happens is when the (typical) owner gets over zealous with the grease gun.
Donna, what did you mean by "over zealous"? I'm thinking the main problem people are having with the E-Z Lube, is not putting in enough grease....although there could be other issues such as the wrong type of grease or not rotating while filling.
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by davescape View Post
Donna, what did you mean by "over zealous"? I'm thinking the main problem people are having with the E-Z Lube, is not putting in enough grease....although there could be other issues such as the wrong type of grease or not rotating while filling.
To me overzealous is putting more grease into the zerks than is needed. On Dexter there's a mention that says something like... as soon as you see the grease changing color... stop. For me that's about five pumps. I've read where people go through an entire canister PLUS. AND jack up the trailer and spin the wheel, you can pump at the same time the wheel is turning, honest. I use Lucas Red and Tacky. YMMV.
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:31 PM   #10
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...I'll add my two cents in here...I have used E-Z lubes for the last 12 yrs on 3 different axles and have had no problems with blowing grease out the back seal...the secret is an easy hand on the grease gun and continuous rotation of the wheel...I jack the wheel off the ground and give it a healthy spin...then SLOWLY work the handle of the grease gun while alternately spinning the wheel...I will repeat...a spinning wheel and an E-Z hand on the grease gun...good luck and as always YMMV.......
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:39 PM   #11
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On my last trailer, the first time and only time I checked the bearings I cleaned out all the old grease, hand packed and reassembled. I used the Zerk to FILL the cavity till the grease came out like it's supposed to. Took almost a whole tube, in just one! The wheels and tires looked like spin art for the next year, no matter how often I cleaned them, it came back. I had my car mechanic straighten it out.

I let him do the job now. I tried, I failed.
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by madjack View Post
...I'll add my two cents in here...I have used E-Z lubes for the last 12 yrs on 3 different axles and have had no problems with blowing grease out the back seal...the secret is an easy hand on the grease gun and continuous rotation of the wheel...I jack the wheel off the ground and give it a healthy spin...then SLOWLY work the handle of the grease gun while alternately spinning the wheel...I will repeat...a spinning wheel and an E-Z hand on the grease gun...good luck and as always YMMV.......
madjack
Good to hear Jack. I think a lot of the concern is a lack of knowledge. I truly don't care if folks want to hand pack the bearings on their trailer or pay someone to do it. But EZ Lubes aren't some new scary technology. In fact these axles are put on trailers and motorhomes that make any ETI build look like a cheapo. A company like Dexter wouldn't be offering the EZ lube if they constantly failed. Isn't choice a wonderful thing!

BUT, I can point you to several threads on the all-molded-towable forms where someone paid good money to have bearings repacked and the castle nut was cinched down so tight, the axle was almost TOAST. One of them was posted by a fella that though EZ-Lubes were terrible.
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Good to hear Jack. I think a lot of the concern is a lack of knowledge. I truly don't care if folks want to hand pack the bearings on their trailer or pay someone to do it. But EZ Lubes aren't some new scary technology. In fact these axles are put on trailers and motorhomes that make any ETI build look like a cheapo. A company like Dexter wouldn't be offering the EZ lube if they constantly failed. Isn't choice a wonderful thing!

BUT, I can point you to several threads on the all-molded-towable forms where someone paid good money to have bearings repacked and the castle nut was cinched down so tight, the axle was almost TOAST. One of them was posted by a fella that though EZ-Lubes were terrible.
Donna, I firmly believe an easy hand on the grease gun(and a spinning wheel) is the ticket...I have a good friend who kept blowing seals and cursed EZ lubes roundly...when I queried him, I found out he was using an air powered grease gun...when he did as I suggested, his problems went away...go figure...

I would also like to STRONGLY suggest that whenever you remove a hub...for any reason...to replace the seal with the proper replacement seal and be very careful when reinstalling the hub to avoid damaging said seal.......
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:38 PM   #14
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If one goes to the Dexter website and look at the E-Z Lube diagram, it is evident that E-Z Lube delivers grease through the spindle to the backside of the inner bearing. Yes, spinning the wheel while pumping in grease will more easily allow grease to flow through the bearing to the void in the hub toward the outer bearing. However, the void in the hub must be fully packed with grease in order to be able to displace the grease in the outer bearing. The fallacy of the system is that when turning, hubs heat up and grease, like most every compound will expand when it heats up. This alone could result in grease leaking out of the rear seal and contaminating the brake shoes/drums. I was always taught never to pack the hub full of grease for that very reason, and because a full hub will run at higher temperatures. While this condition may be acceptable in a boat trailer (which incidentally E-Z Lube was designed for) which typically goes a few miles and is immersed in water which cools it down, I am not convinced it is not detrimental in a travel trailer hub which will likely be towed much greater distances and for longer periods than a boat trailer. While I fully understand it is so much easier to jack up the trailer, spin the wheel and pump in a little grease, I maintain that it is a shortcut with potential for loss of braking power and a whole lot of work to correct the resulting condition. Yes, it is more work to remove, clean, inspect, and pack the bearings but it is the safest way to maintain bearings. I have a friend who works at a local RV parts department. He tells me whenever someone mentions E-Z lube, he always says "you mean Lay-Z Lube."
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:57 PM   #15
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I gotta find the original EZ lube literature (probably on one of my old computers) that never spoke about the Dexter EZ-Lube (original brochure) and boat trailers. Isn't it interesting when someone has a dollar dedicated reason for their opinion? You'll probably never find an RV person that likes the EZ-Lube, because it means less $$ in their pockets. I can PROMISE you, that I can convince YOU of anything if it means more bucks in my pocket. (in today's world, that's called "politics.")


Carl, as I mentioned before... just because it's available doesn't mean you need to use it. Do you know how many posts from the other all-molded-towable forums (AND Facebook) where I've read where folks are SCARED to turn on the furnaces or stove... because they're read "horror stories" about propane.


Be well, be safe.
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:21 PM   #16
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Which gives me the opportunity to bring up a podcast I heard this afternoon. They were talking statistics and studies. There was a study on the hazards of living under power lines. The study group selected 800 diseases and polled people living under power lines. They found that the most common disease was leukemia and drew the conclusion that living under power lines caused leukemia. In fact, if you cross out leukemia, another disease was the most common. They had only proved that of the diseases people were likely to get, leukemia was first in a list.
Web anecdotes are even worse. "I knew a guy"...
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:32 PM   #17
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Truth Glenn! I would much rather read real world experiences where someone did EXACTLY what they should and had a failure (one out of millions?) than just an opinion.


Be well, be safe and make a TON of memories!
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:34 PM   #18
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... "I knew a guy"...
I think that I know that same guy!
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:43 PM   #19
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In fact these axles are put on trailers and motorhomes that make any ETI build look like a cheapo.
That's interesting... what motorhome has a trailer axle under it?

Driven axles are a completely different design, and while the non-driven axles (including front steer axles on rear-drive chassis, idler rear axles on front-drive chassis, and tag axles on big rear-drive chassis with a single drive axle) typically have greased bearings generally similar to a trailer, Dexter Axle doesn't make them and I've never seen one (including on my motorhome) which has something like E-Z Lube.

If there is one, I am genuinely interested in seeing it and checking out the design.

Quote:
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BUT, I can point you to several threads on the all-molded-towable forms where someone paid good money to have bearings repacked and the castle nut was cinched down so tight, the axle was almost TOAST.
That is the result of incompetent re-assembly, which can happen just as frequently with an E-Z Lube axle, because the hub and bearings are supposed to be (according to Dexter Axle) torn down for inspection at the same interval regardless of grease-flushing with the E-Z Lube or not. Of course, if you disregard Dexter's directions for inspection, but flush grease with E-Z Lube yourself according to their directions, you can avoid the risk of damage by an incompetent mechanic.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:00 PM   #20
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Time for me to go over to Facebook AGAIN. For all the rest of you, there's THREE big all-molded-towable forums, two HUGE RV groups and about 9 Facebook groups that discuss these issues.

I read far more than I respond to when it comes to "issues." And I'm not lonely....
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