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Scorched Bearings

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HobitPod View Drop Down

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    Posted: 25 Mar 2010 at 11:34am
05 Avalanche: 5.3L: HobitPod-175 Jim & Sue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sandpiper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2010 at 12:07pm

I am always amazed with stories like this.  First, you should be able to go for an entire season without even thinking about repacking your bearing so something was wrong there.  The next huge problem comes, at least for me, is that there is NOTHING in my manual about repacking bearings.  As a matter of fact there is no SECTION 7 to my manual and that according to the index is where the "CARE & MAINTENANCE" information should be.  Holy Moly something is really wrong there.  I'll get back to this subject after I find out why my manual doesn't have a maintenance section.

BUT I will say that $384 IMHO  is absolutely ridiculous for installing new bearings.  You can buy the complete hub assembly with bearings and seals etc. for $77.50 US(each) from easternmarine.com.
2 X $77.50 = $155 and you can install the hubs yourself.  Complete wheel bearing kits vary from $15 to $30 depending on the bearings needed and I don't know what bearings are  needed for the r-pod.   But you get the idea.
Ford 150-[Mini Lite 2104S]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Outbound Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2010 at 3:40pm
Yes, I would expect to be able to run a season on a new trailer without worrying about bearings (assuming that I'm travelling fewer than 20,000 kms).  That said, my experience has been that its the long periods of sitting idle that do in trailer bearings as opposed to distance traveled: I suppose that the grease slowly migrates down with gravity, leaving the top of the bearing dry.

I just repacked the bearings on my r-pod a few weeks ago.  Like yours, mine were fitted in the factory and hadn't been touched.  I found my factory-packed bearings to be well greased and in pristine condition.  All the same, I cleaned them, repacked them and reinstalled them.  Based on my personal experience and observation, the hubs and bearings on my r-pod are of excellent quality and are suitable for the application.

Even in Canadian dollars (and Canadian shop rates), $384 to replace bearings and presumably adjust your brakes is high.  Unless they replaced the races too - thats easily 2-3 hours of shop labour, and with parts... well, your dealer would be in the "pricey" range, but not the "outrageous" range.  Dealers around here in Ontario seem to be charging in the $150-$200 range for "axle maintenance" (repack bearings, adjust brakes).  Did you speak to your dealer about putting the bearing replacement through as a warranty claim to Forest River?  Clearly something was wrong with how the old ones were installed.

Craig :: 2008 Mazda Tribute :: 2009 r-pod 171, The Johnnie Ray
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HuronSailor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2010 at 4:08pm
After recently returning home to MI from a trip to FL, I had the dealer check the bearings while it was there in the shop for a warranty repair. Total mileage on the pod so far since I bought it last May is less than 4K miles.
They told me the bearings needed to be repacked, but apparently weren't scorched. Total cost was around US $80, including seals and labor.
.: Mark & Beth :: Silverado 5.3L :: "arrrr"Pod 172 :: My Albums :: OurPod Blog ::
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tsunami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2010 at 7:13pm
After I received my Pod last fall, (It was transported on its own axles for 900 miles) I wanted to make sure that I understood the maintance of the axle bearings.  I contacted the axle manufacturer and they sent me a cutaway sketch of the bearing assembly and instructions.  They also recommended several brands of 'hi-temp bearing grease '  They told me to jack up the axle until the wheel rotated freely. (the wheel may make a slight noise because of the internal brake shoes). Then remove the rubber end-plug, and slowly inject grease through the end zerk-fitting while also slowly rotating the tire.  When the first indication of grease comes out of the exit-relief holes, stop adding grease and wipe down the interior adjacent to the zerk fitting.  They also suggested I do the same re-greasing after the first 'short' trip. After the first short trip, I repeated the above.
The hi-temp grease I injected had a slightly different grey color than the factory grease.  From the amount I had to add...I suspect that less than half of the full amount in the axle had been added
at the factory.  So if my Pod had the 'average' amount of grease added at the factory, I expect
that some of the Pods axles could be sent out with less than average.

The axle manufacturer stated that the axle was designed to prevent 'over pressurizing' and that any excess grease would be sent back towards the outer end rather than through the inboard o-ring seals.  In addition, I was careful not to try to over-force grease through the zerk-fitting.
The grease seemed to pump easily into the axle and the excess back out of the relief ports.
So I don't think that I forced any grease through the axle seals.  I don't use a pneumatic grease gun, because I think they generate too much pressure on grease fittings

I really recommend that you carefully try to add additional grease after you get delivery...or make sure that your dealer has 'filled' the recommended amount before you accept delivery (especially after a long haul from the factory).

I have stowed away a small cartridge grease gun. After each trip, I take out my hand-grease gun and gently force enough grease so that I see a small amount coming out of the relief valves.

I will give the axles a couple of squirts before I leave each campground.  I don't think that I will than have any problems with the axles...and I will have added a small amount of fresh-clean grease for the next part of the trip.  (Some of my non-stop runs have exceeded 500-1000 miles)

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