Greasable spindles - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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  #1  
Old 03-30-2012, 07:08 PM
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Greasable spindles

The forums are kinda slow, and I'm at home.
Soooo anything I notice at work, I tend to post up here. If it's common knowledge, it'll die. If it's good, it'll probably die anyway cause I started it
Anyway, had TWO people traveling through today with brake issues. One ~38' Grand Junction fifth wheel, and one ~16' Wells Fargo cargo trailer.
I did the cargo trailer. Redid his wiring because grounds were rusting off and wire connections were bad. He kinda had better brakes, but not great. We didn't pull the hubs because he decided he could keep going with them a little better, but on the wheels, there was grease that had been slung out of the dust caps. There was that much in there. So probably, grease was inside his drums on friction surfaces, killing his stopping power. The spindles had grease fittings on them.
The Grand Junction actually had to have all four magnets replaced because so much grease had gotten in there and into the little holes in the magnets. He said his brakes weren't working. Yea, grease makes it slick. That one had grease fittings on the spindles.
And even one trailer I did a bearing job on today had two magnets with grease intrusion. I was able to clean them up. The spindles had grease fittings.
Moral of the story is, just cause it has a grease fitting, don't pump it full
If anything, don't even use it. I'd rather you didn't and just had a bearing job every couple years or so.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:23 PM
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Well, you get at least one response because I agree. I pull 'em to have a look at the brakes annually. I can inspect the bearings that way as well.

Most people who grease them with the nipple don't do it properly anyway. According to mfg's guide you are supposed to jack it up and rotate the wheel while slowly pumping in grease. This helps it move between the bearing components instead of pushing out past the seal.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:01 PM
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It is great if done properly
I never do it often but I feel every camper and some service centers are telling everyone to pump a few shoots to keep the hubs greased, and never say to rotate the wheels.
I to had 4 hubs greased improperly on my new trailer witth grease on the magnets only.
When I worked in maintenance we always greased while rotating the shaft to protect the seal and allow grease to be pumped through the bearing naturaly. If not rotating the grease will be blocked by the stationary rollers and take the easy route through the seal. Anyway I can feel it with the gun if for some reason there is blockage. Therefore never use an automatic greaser to pump the hubs.
PS. I have been a member on a site for my new RV and in 3 years its the first I hear from someone other then me to rotate the wheels. Most instructions I read just say to grease the hubs occasionaly.
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Last edited by caissiel; 04-01-2012 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:42 AM
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Good info, I usually pump it and go, I'll start lifting the wheel in the future.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:35 PM
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I've never heard to spin the tires either. Good idea.
Now, with good grease seals, it shouldn't push out the seal until you overfill it. I just don't understand why there's a grease fitting anyway. The hub doesn't need grease, just the bearings. The grease ports, AFAIK, only come out by the inner bearing.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:44 PM
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You are correct on where the grease comes out. The theory is the grease is pumped in fitting in the hub and comes out between the inner bearing and the seal. It fills that area and moves between the rollers, fills the cavity between bearings and moves between the rollers on the outer bearing. If everything works properly when its full you should be able to see the grease coming out of the outer bearing, around the axle nut.

Not rotating the wheel makes it more difficult for the grease to move through the bearings, especially if the existing grease is old and a little hard. In that case it can force its way past the seal and lube your brakes. Check out the pressure your grease gun is rated for some time. Getting past the seal in case of blockage would be pretty easy. As caissiel mentioned, with a hand grease gun you should be able to feel this resistance where with an auto gun you cannot.

I still like to pull them annually to check the brakes. Drum brakes are horrible at the best of times. Ones that sit idle for long periods are worse. I clean and check the bearings since they are out anyways. Seals are fairly cheap and can be purchased separately from the bearings as well as in kits.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:28 PM
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hah, just finished doing the dirty job, still grease rings on the drive, yeah shes happy, not, do not go far with her so been couple years since pulled the wheels n packed the bearings with the grease gun n bearing packer, of course add quite a bit inbetween the bearings and slick down the spindle w fresh. just did fresh dana on the truck too, so we are good for a while.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:54 PM
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I was always of the understanding the greasable hubs were meant for boat trailers due to them being constantly submerged in water. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think they were ever supposed to be installed on RV's or even box trailers. Proper yearly bearing maintenance is the only way to go.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:57 PM
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Bearing Buddies are popular for boat trailers because there is a piston and a spring so there is a constant pressure on the grease, helping to keep water out. The spring is visible so if the grease leaks out, it can be topped up.
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