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Old 09-27-2018, 03:21 PM   #1
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8K Axles

Grease zerks or oil bath bearings?
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:15 PM   #2
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Mine have Zerks
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:42 PM   #3
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I have 7k axles with zerks, but I WILL NOT/WOULD NOT pump grease through those zerks if you have drum brakes, hand pack annually. With the drum brakes there's too great a possibility of contaminating the brakes with grease if the grease seals fail while pumping into those zerks. If you have disc brakes it's less likely to be a problem, but still recommend hand packing annually to inspect all the parts.
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:51 AM   #4
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oil bath are cool!
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:15 AM   #5
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OK, I'm no expert on Oil Bath vs Grease, so while at the Summer Rally I asked Gary Wheeler of MORryde his opinion:
He said for Over the Road Trucks, Oil was great because they're moving all the time, while RV may sit for months at a time without moving and Oil can tend to drain off the upper part of the bearings, so he recommends Grease for RVs.
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Old 09-28-2018, 03:38 PM   #6
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I guess the counter argument to that would be that all Freightliner and Spartan chassis motorhomes have oil bath hubs on the front axles and tag axles and they sit in the same storage lots, garages, and long term RV lots as other RVs, so I'm not sharing Gary Wheelers opinion.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:12 PM   #7
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I like/trust my old Timken grease bearings . . . Was somewhat interested in the oil bath, but they are really not for me...

After years of driving big trucks and having grease on the wheels all the time, NO THANK YOU . .
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:42 PM   #8
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My OEM Redwood disk brakes were Kodiak rotors and came with the clear plastic threaded hub covers and for a moment I was pretty excited to think they were oil filled, but there were just grease.

The advantages to oil filled hubs are no more packing the bearing, no more worries about greasing your brakes. Maintaining the oil is as easy as popping a rubber cap and looking at the oil level.
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Old 09-28-2018, 06:29 PM   #9
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the real issue with oil bath is if the trailer site the seal surface can get rusty and cause it to leak. if you move the trailer all the time I would say it a good idea. As for zerk fitting and grease. 3 pumps a fresh grease once a year or you will be sorry. your springs could use a pump every month if your moveing it all the time
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Old 09-28-2018, 11:04 PM   #10
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the real issue with oil bath is if the trailer site the seal surface can get rusty and cause it to leak. if you move the trailer all the time I would say it a good idea. As for zerk fitting and grease. 3 pumps a fresh grease once a year or you will be sorry. your springs could use a pump every month if your moveing it all the time
I grease all the suspension fittings several times a year & hand pack annually & inspecting the bearings, races, seals & brakes which can't be done by pumping grease into those zerks. From what I saw on mine the 1st 5-6k miles of owning & all 4 drums slap full of grease & I didn't pump any into them, I'd be sorry if I did give it 3 pumps once a year.
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Old 09-29-2018, 01:30 AM   #11
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I never understood why you needed zerks or even bearing buddys on a camper trailer axles vs boat trailer. We didn't have them on our front bearings on our cars and they ran for years without a few "pumps" from a grease gun and they were the identical tapered roller bearings on a spindle.

I never gave mine any pumps on the Redwood. Just cleaned and packed them periodically.
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:24 PM   #12
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Did anyone ever pull the front wheels off their Car and repack the bearing every year?? I know I sure didn't yet they ran for years and thousands of miles so why every year or 12K miles on an RV? Now granted the bearings on a car isn't carrying 3 or 4K per wheel. I think if they could make a rear seal that would hold the pressure, the Grease Zerks could be an easy way to add fresh grease while pushing the old out.
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:19 PM   #13
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The only problem is, the only way out for the old grease is through that seal - and into the break drum (unless you have disk). Either way, its going on your brakes. Plus, unless you completely fill that hub around the spindle when you repack, your squirts in the zerk will never get to the inside bearing, it just fills that cavity until eventually you start to get enough grease in the hub to start to pushing it into the back.

Grease is designed to stay in the bearing, I don't see why anyone would need to use the zerk.

A boat trailer is different, as you are avoiding the introduction of water, but on a boat trailer there is a spring that keeps pressure on the hub to always force grease into the bearing and it is always full of grease clear through the hub and spindle. For my freshwater lakes I don't bother, because you have the same issue - seals fail and brakes full of grease. I just pack the bearings every few years and never touch the zerks. In fact I tossed the bearing buddies and installed bearing caps off on old "car"
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Old 09-30-2018, 02:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs4771 View Post
Did anyone ever pull the front wheels off their Car and repack the bearing every year?? I know I sure didn't yet they ran for years and thousands of miles so why every year or 12K miles on an RV? Now granted the bearings on a car isn't carrying 3 or 4K per wheel. I think if they could make a rear seal that would hold the pressure, the Grease Zerks could be an easy way to add fresh grease while pushing the old out.

I used to repack the front bearings on my older Fords yearly.. BUT that is because I used to have an annual pass to the Off Road Portion of the beaches in MD.for surf fishing. All that sand, bearings and front hubs do not go well together..
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:37 PM   #15
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Bearings and brakes

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Originally Posted by travelin' texans View Post
I grease all the suspension fittings several times a year & hand pack annually & inspecting the bearings, races, seals & brakes which can't be done by pumping grease into those zerks. From what I saw on mine the 1st 5-6k miles of owning & all 4 drums slap full of grease & I didn't pump any into them, I'd be sorry if I did give it 3 pumps once a year.
I just had my RW in for service, including the brakes. The drums and shoes were covered in grease. It felt as if I had no brakes at all. The service tech asked me if I had lubed the zirks, and I said no. Its a 2016. Nobody other than the dealer would have performed this. He cleaned up the mess, repacked the bearings and after a few start and stops, the brakes came back to life.
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:25 AM   #16
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My after market disk brakes came with same clear cover and when I went to check/repack bearings I found that they were oil filled. So put it back and added some oil. All the oils were clear so Iíll check again early next season.
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