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Author Topic: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?  (Read 920 times)

X-Roughneck

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Bought my tow dolly back in September.  I have about 3000 miles on it.  That I am guessing would be a Jillion revolutions of the bearings spinning around on the axle according to my calculations.

My Stehl Tow (2019 W/Surge Brake is my model) requires "Repacking" the bearings at 2500 miles.  I am a bit "tardy" with the service already.

When I heard the term repacking the bearings I visualized tire removal, bearing removal, old school, detailed PITA, DIY.  Not plugging on a grease gun and giving it a few pumps.

I see the grease Zert (photo attached 1). 

QUESTION:  Greasing this one (1) zert will grease both the inner and outer wheel bearings I assume.  Am I correct?  Seems like there should be 2 grease zerts? (1 for inner and 1 for outer bearings on each side, no?)

Also in photo #3 I am assuming these ports on the caliper are for bleeding brake fluid or something to air out the brake system?

If this is the wheel bearing grease zert in pic 1 then this will become more of a daily thing while traveling for me.  As long as I don't blow a seal out then I am totally happy with slinging a little grease around.   

2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
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Old_Crow

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2020, 05:37:50 AM »
Those are bearing buddies.  You basically fill the entire hub with grease so that when you pump grease in there it fills both bearings.  Don't get carried away, a few pumps now and then will do it.  Any more and you'll blow grease out the seal in the back of the hub and make a mess.  The zerk is mounted in a spring loaded follower.  As you add grease you can see that follower move outward.  Stop pumping when it stops moving.

In the third pic, yes, those are the bleeder ports for the brakes...don't grease them.

More info on the bearing buddies:
https://www.etrailer.com/question-250764.html
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X-Roughneck

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2020, 06:02:29 AM »
I thought greasing the bearings was going to be a huge PITA.  I guess it turns out, not at all. 

I may blow out the grease seal, but I won't seize the bearings for sure. 

I have seen dry bearings cut down 1" into 5" solid steel shaft before, back in the day.

Old_Crow.  Nice video link.  It is all clear to me now.

Thanks.

JD

« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 06:07:26 AM by X-Roughneck »
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
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John From Detroit

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2020, 06:14:37 AM »
Yup Bearing buddies. DO NOT OVER FILL THEM .. THey work very well.

I thnk the instructions say to fill 'em up till the spring wont' compress any more.. I would recommend about 1/2 the spring's range.
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X-Roughneck

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2020, 06:26:28 AM »
Grease Zerks also make for some good home made center tip spray wands for high pressure cleaning with your spray washers.  Hold zerk with vice grips and carefully file the threaded side lightly, not to booger up the starter thread.  Eventually you will rub away enough metal and the spring and ball bearing will pop out of the zerk.  Then get a collar and tubing and you can make a home made 2spray wand.  We have made some washers with a 55 gallon drum, elec motor, pump, hose + for practically nothing.   
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 06:28:54 AM by X-Roughneck »
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
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Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

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Rene T

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2020, 07:15:44 AM »
  Then get a collar and tubing and you can make a home made 2spray wand.  We have made some washers with a 55 gallon drum, elec motor, pump, hose + for practically nothing.

Did you mean a coupling? 
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LarsMac

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2020, 03:04:55 PM »
Those radiating streaks suggest some leakage on the outside seal, or just some "overfill" spinning off.
 
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Domo

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2020, 03:24:47 PM »
Yes, that easy - however,...

Go slow and easy as you pump grease in - you do not want to blow out the inner grease seal or your get grease all over the brakes.

Typically, there is a small hole that allows grease that is pumping down the axle to squeeze to the bearing. The hole is not big and if you apply too much pressure you may exceed the sealing pressure of the seal.

As I said, go slow and easy...

This is the voice of experience -
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X-Roughneck

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2020, 05:20:13 PM »
Those radiating streaks suggest some leakage on the outside seal, or just some "overfill" spinning off.

Lars, just going to keep it greased up, and run it until it craters. Does not look too excessive. The TST has temp monitoring. I have not really been too wrapped around the axle on temp, but I assume if a bearing is running dry friction is going to get that temp way up there in the noticeable category.
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

Gene50

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2020, 07:06:42 PM »
People over think wheel bearings that are not immersed like boat trailer bearings. 

Just think about your old RWD trucks and cars....  how many times did those wheel bearings get packed between brake jobs? 

Boat trailer bearings are a different animal all-to-gether.


The pictures in the opening post ARE NOT showing bearing buddies. 

The system used is called the ‘EZ Lube’ by Dexter axle company. 

The grease is pumped down the center of the spindle and comes out of the spindle between the inner bearing and the seal.  A properly installed seal will never be pushed out when the grease gun is used correctly. 

The grease travels through the bearings and out the outer end of the spindle around where the zerk is located.  Wipe the old grease away with a rag and re-install the rubber plug. 

This EZ-lube system is a way of changing the grease in between hand packing that is done when the brakes are serviced. 

The EZ-lube spindle is shown in the link below. 


Bearing buddies are dangerous - there is no where for the grease to go once the spring in the cap is fully compressed so you wind up pushing the seal out and getting grease on your brake shoes. 

Bearing buddies are INTENDED to use the spring force to maintain a positive presser in the hub cavity while the warm wheel is immersed while launching a boat so the cooled bearing/grease doesn’t form a vacuum and draw in water into the hub. 

The bearing buddy is not a method of applying grease to your lubricate wheel bearings. 


https://www.cerka.ca/ez-lube


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XT0RKDGgDm8
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 07:12:00 PM by Gene50 »
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X-Roughneck

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2020, 05:20:51 AM »
Thanks everybody.  I ordered my grease gun yesterday.  I need to get under the Winnebago and see what I am looking at as far as greasing is concerned on the chassis bumper to bumper on the RV also.  Winnebago is so on point I may just call their customer service.  I love my Winnebago!
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

RoadRat

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2020, 07:17:39 AM »
Those are NOT bearing Buddies! Bearing Buddies are a joke and do not work. They will either simply hold grease against the front bearing or blow out your seals getting into your brakes. Nothing more than a gimmick to get your money.

What you are looking at are grease fittings on a drilled passage way through the axle spindle exiting behind the rear bearing but in front of the seal. They work perfectly! As grease is pumped in, it passes through the axle spindle, exits into the hub behind the rear bearing but in front of the seal, passes through both bearings displacing all grease in the hub, and exiting the hub into your waiting hand. Brilliant system, prevents the removal of the hubs forever unless brake repair is needed! This system is known as "Posi-Lube" or EZ-Lube" and really works. Wish I would have thought of it 50 years ago...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 07:21:20 AM by Road Rats »

X-Roughneck

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2020, 07:29:53 AM »
My Reply from Stehl Tow, Customer Service.  I sent the picture of the Grease Zerk.  They came back and said......Drum Roll Please.......

From Mr. Stehl's lips to my ears...Kind of,

"John, These are EZ Lube hubs so yep all you need is to grease from that zert under the dust cap and rubber fitting. You shouldn't be able to blow out the seal, just pump until you see grease."

I thought about sending him a scathing email how he mis-spelled zerk, but I refrained.

2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

X-Roughneck

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2020, 05:38:28 AM »
Finally got the grease gun and went to service the wheel bearings and the additional 2 Zerks near the ball hitch coupler (what ever it's called) where the Stehl Tow connects to motor home. 

Looks like 4 total but I need to closely examine the swivel plate there may be additional zerks I just have not noticed.  I do have the 2019 Stehl Tow "Surge brake" model. 

Went to grease Zerk 1 and Wrestle Mania ensued to get the hose off the Zerk as show by picture. 

It was actually so bad I had to get a screw driver (not shown) and remove the hose from the zerk on the table.  Supplemented by about 100 cuss words.  I marred the tip so went and bought a American Made tip for the gun.

Going back today for the American Made Zerks and change out all 4 zerks (Maybe More?) on my Stehl Tow. 

Each zerk the (Let me say 3 of the 4) Almost impossible to remove the plug on Hose.  Did not attempt the other wheel because the Lub housing is flimsy alum or something I did not want to chance the gun getting stuck.

I have alot of experience in Grease Gun operations, Wearing Grease as a fashion accessory head to toe also, in my almost 6 years of Oilfield experience so, not I am not needing a class on how to operate the gun. 

I will say.  If you own a Dolly you need to Grease your Wheel Bearings.  Lars made a good point.  Lack of Maintenance and if the bearing Ceases, your car could be Totaled...Think of the possibilities of your bearings failing, possibly locking up and dragging that locked up tire at 60 MPH. 

It is going be be Expensive if it happens, best case scenario.

BTW I even called Stehl (Voice Mailed) and asked What are they using 1/8" Zerks which seems to be standard.  I bet a poor quality supplier from another country.

Has anyone ever experience the Impossible Zerk and Hose Removal problem like this with their Tow? 

I seem to be following Rule #1, which is...  Simple things must be complicated.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 06:21:54 AM by X-Roughneck »
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

lynnmor

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2020, 08:17:24 AM »


Went to grease Zerk 1 and Wrestle Mania ensued to get the hose off the Zerk as show by picture. 

It was actually so bad I had to get a screw driver (not shown) and remove the hose from the zerk on the table.  Supplemented by about 100 cuss words.  I marred the tip so went and bought a American Made tip for the gun.

Going back today for the American Made Zerks and change out all 4 zerks (Maybe More?) on my Stehl Tow. 

Each zerk the (Let me say 3 of the 4) Almost impossible to remove the plug on Hose.  Did not attempt the other wheel because the Lub housing is flimsy alum or something I did not want to chance the gun getting stuck.

I have alot of experience in Grease Gun operations, Wearing Grease as a fashion accessory head to toe also, in my almost 6 years of Oilfield experience so, not I am not needing a class on how to operate the gun. 


Did you adjust the coupler? https://www.orangetractortalks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42825

Rene T

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2020, 08:50:05 AM »
I never knew the tips were adjustable. I'll have to look at mine when I get home in the spring. Do they all adjust?  Mine is probably 30 years old at least.
Thanks.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

X-Roughneck

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2020, 08:53:09 PM »
Did you adjust the coupler? https://www.orangetractortalks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42825

That was the tip I bought yesterday.  I had no problem with it.  There Are 4 zerks on the dolly.  I replaced 3 of the 4 zerks.  I guess the profit margin is thin and the originals did not look quality at all. 

Looked like brass plating at best. 

I will say I was not aware of the tip adjustment on the end of the hose.  I rarely read directions either.   ;D

I just hope the bearings Stehl uses are not from same supplier as the Zerk MFG. 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 08:55:54 PM by X-Roughneck »
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD

lynnmor

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2020, 03:45:37 AM »
I never knew the tips were adjustable. I'll have to look at mine when I get home in the spring. Do they all adjust? 

No, they don't all adjust.

X-Roughneck

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Re: Greasing Tow Dolly Wheel Bearing- Is it really this Easy? Really?
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2020, 04:45:05 AM »
I am going to finish up with a final photo. 

The SAE replacement Zerks I bought look and work a whole lot better that what I replaced off the stehl Tow original Zerks. 

With the 350 kb max photo size not sure if you can zoom in and see the tip on the original. 

Original zerk tips seem shorter that the SAE.  I have never had a experience like that doing a simple greasing. 

I will also say the replacements were very snug and almost felt as if I was tapping threads installing the new.  I used small tools so I would not twist off and create a Dutchman and a all afternoon project.

That rope on the Trailer makes it a breeze to maneuver across uneven ground and saves my old messed up back from bending over.  Allows me to move tow dolly around with good posture, upright.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 04:59:43 AM by X-Roughneck »
2017 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2013 Jeep
M&G Air Over Hydraulic Brake on Jeep
Air Tank Adapter for braking on RV

Certified Oil Field Trash / Roughneck (5 yr)
Retired Army (20 yr)
Retired Army Civilian (10 yr)

Only Lessons I never forgot, Were taught by my parents, or a Dog.

John/JD