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Question About Servicing EZ Lube Hubs

Old 11-02-2015, 11:59 PM
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Question Question About Servicing EZ Lube Hubs

I have a travel trailer with the EZ Lube hubs, and like many other people, Iíve had some problems with grease getting past the seal and into the brakes.

My question: do these drums/hubs have to be full of grease? After repacking the bearings and reinstalling the drums can I just treat them like ordinary hubs and leave them alone? Or do I have to pump enough grease into them to fill Ďem up?

Thanks in advance for the help. If this is a dumb question, be honest. I can take it.
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:01 AM
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I've got them on my boat. Not sure if I like them yet as the rubber plugs wern't staying in, exposing the bearings to dirt and grit. So far the replacement plugs are holding. Cross your fingers.

Just like bearing buddies, these things can be easily over greased. My idea of working them the best, will be to take them off, clean them all the way, the repack them like regular bearings. Use the grease fittings last to make sure the hubs are full but not overfilled, and bearings are fully greased from the inside out.

It's kinda like a feel or judgment call on exactly when you need to stop on adding grease. I don't think you need to constantly be pumping grease in them all the time. If your getting grease on the back side, then obviously you have gone too far on the grease. Grease in a hub doesn't really get used up. It usually gets contaminated and that the reason to occasionally repack.

I'm not sure that this invention is the best of ideas. I like how it allows grease to get pumped in from way down in there. I was curious about how it worked so I pumped grease into mine with no hub on and it just let grease come out of a hole somewhere between the bearings. I thought it would actually feed it into the bearings then out into the hub but it doesn't. I almost got rid of the caps and went with bearing buddies instead. I still might next time.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:53 PM
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Bearing buddy has a repair/replacement seal system that is very good. It is a stainless steel seal surface that slips over the old surface, and is sealed at the bearing by an O-ring. A good quality oversized seal completes the package.

They don't cost much more than a plain seal. I use them on bearing buddy hubs and regular hubs.

Bearing buddies function to keep pressure on the seal from the inside to exclude water. It doesn't replace bearing inspection and re-packing. It does make it needed less frequently on boat trailers because you don't have water mixing with the grease like with a regular hub.

The EZ lube system is a joke. Neither bearing has any kind of relief on the back side to allow grease to enter the bearing from the center of the hub. So what's the point?
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:12 PM
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" Neither bearing has any kind of relief on the back side to allow grease to enter the bearing from the center of the hub. So what's the point?'

That is exactly what I was trying to say . Mine, being on my boat, and the outboard side seal really does not seal very well, so it does allow water to get in. So if it's on a boat, you need to repack several times a year. On a camper, you can probably stick to the once a year.

The idea behind the bearing buddies, is the hub is hot from road use, then dunked in cool water so it cools quick. With just a plain cap on the outside, water gets sucked into the hub when this quenching happens. The spring pushes a small cover plate in and maintains the seal when the quick cooling happens.

If I were running the EZ Lube on my camper, I would ditch the EZ Lube caps and install regular bearing caps. I WILL be ditching the EZ Lube caps for bearing buddies on the boat at next service time.

If you have a Tractor Supply near you, they have all of this stuff. You can measure everything, or what I did was take a hub in with me and match everything to it. There was nothing expensive about any it. They were out of the size bearing buddy I needed at my last boat service but that will be fixed. You might alos want to get a good grease. I use the green waterproof grease in all my trailers, Two dollars more for better grease. No brainer there.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:09 AM
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Yep. I use marine grease in everything.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:06 AM
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I guess I see it a little different. Not much but a little.....

The EZ lube axles are a way to shoot a little grease inside the hub every now and again. How much? Well it seems people arent ever happy with just a few pumps so they keep going until they think they either feel resistance or escaping grease is visible. The idea of the EZ lube or Bearing Buddy design isnt to "pack" the bearings as they should have already been properly packet but rather its to add some grease into the hub which will eventually find its way to the bearing surfaces when things warm up. So if someones trying to "pack" their bearings using the EZ system then they're going to not only make a mess but they'll use a ton of grease per hub and they'll force grease out the seal which will contaminate the drum. I know people use the them to "shove out" water and/or contaminates but if you submerse your axles in water or have immensely contaminating environments then do your axle bearings a favor and use the highest quality waterproof grease you can find and open them up often to inspect for rust or pitting. Trying to shove out water using a Bearing Buddy is like trying to shove out the water in your tire by airing it up.

So really the EZ system and Bearing Buddy kits get a bad rap because of lack of understanding what to expect and how to use them.

In reality if the bearings on your everyday RV trailer or utility trailer were properly packed and installed in the first place then the likelihood is you wont have to touch them for a long long time, if ever. Think about it, how many time do you tear apart the "grease-able" bearings on your car?.....and your vehicles have far more miles on them than your trailer does, which probably sees no more than a couple thousand miles a year at best.....if you're lucky.

I just feel the wheel bearing topic is so over analyzed and has people panicked thinking that its some annual requirement to re-grease the axle bearings.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:55 AM
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I have the worthless E-Z Lube deal also. When repacking by HAND, clean all the grease out that Dexter thinks you need. Repack like you did for years, and do not fill hub cavity with a any grease at all. When that grease is squirted or packed into the hub, what happens, there is some oil in the bearing grease that will separate when trailer is parked for periods of time. Then when starting out the oil pushes past your seals due to pressure from the heat. Remember your not backing your TT into the lake. Bearing Buddies are great for what they are made for, but Dexter wanted to push the marketing for sales. IMHO!
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:34 PM
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I would be more impressed with the EZ Lube IF...the holes were drilled in a manner as to push grease directly into the bearing, but they would also have to have a custom bearing built that would allow it. They seem more of a novelty item and are not a good idea on a boat trailer as the water easily can get in past the push in rubber cap
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:15 PM
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The easy lube hubs can be manually cleaned and repacked in the same way as a conventional set up.

This is what I'd recommend. Even if the easy lube works as designed, you just end up with a vein of clean grease through the old grease.

If you use the easy lube feature, if the seal isn't perfect grease ends up on the brakes, you don't remove the potentially contaminated old grease, and if you have a roller that is spalling and about to fail you don't get the chance to see it and replace the bearing before it seizes on the spindle and leaves you stranded somewhere.

To me it is worth it to disassemble, clean, and inspect the bearings and brakes. Peace of mind, and a much easier and cheaper job to do at home than it is on the side of some highway (potentially with a ruined spindle).
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Old 11-07-2015, 11:46 AM
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Not trying to be condescending about anyone's opinions, but just pointing out that a bad seal will allow grease to pass by, no matter if its on an EZ lube axle or not.
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:41 PM
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Yep. Always replace the seal on the back of the hub if you ever get the chance to. They are cheap and easy, but can be difficult to get sometimes. Most auto parts around here can only get you a part based on what vehicle it is, even though they have a pile of seals in stock. I go to a Napa, walk in, hold the seal up and say 4 of them, and the old guy goes and gets them, or I take one to Tractor Supply and compare with what they have on the shelf. All other places will ask what car does it go on.
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:18 PM
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Agreed as well. The exact seal you need can sometimes be difficult to get since there is no direct "application".
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:55 PM
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I'll tripple the recommendation.

There is no way I'd reuse a grease seal.
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:46 PM
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If it's not a boat trailer take the zerk nipples off and install a plug that way you won't be tempted to use them. Boat trailers are a different kettle of fish I mean how often do you submerse a non boat trailer axle in water? With a boat trailer water is going to get in so anything you can do to keep the amount of water in the bearings to a minimum is good, moderation is the key word though, and it goes without saying to only use the best synthetic grease you can get. An infra red temp gun is helpful in spotting a bearing that is starting to overheat, stop for fuel check the tire and hub temps, only takes a minute.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:32 PM
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Thanks for all the information and advice everyone. It's great to know these can just be treated like ordinary (non-water-going) hubs.
I have always been the type to completely disassemble, inspect and repack. It just seemed like with the EZ lube there is a lot more space between the spindle and inside of the hub than on other axle types. This made me worry that they needed more grease in there for the bearings to stay slippery.
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