Greasy brakes & why not to use the zerk fitting - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 09-14-2018, 01:25 PM   #1
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Greasy brakes & why not to use the zerk fitting

Ordered my new Sailuns and decided to double down as I haven't moved in more than 18 months and have never towed this rig yet, so time to check bearings and seals. First glance grease on back of wheels did not look good.

Removed first wheel and to my surprise I see nothing but grease everywhere. Really not surprised. Bought this coach and had it delivered here getting it ready for travel full time.

Guess now just need to get this all cleaned up and checked out to see if they still work. Going to try a good parts clean, repacking bearings and all new seals X 6 first. Wish me luck.Click image for larger version

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Old 09-14-2018, 09:13 PM   #2
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Using the zerk fitting to force grease into the spindle is a bad idea. It's too easy for the grease to be forced past the inner seal and onto the brake pads. This method also fills up the interior of the spindle as grease is forced to the outer bearing.

My recommendation is to NEVER use the zerk. Just repack the bearings every few years should be plenty and the risk of grease on the brakes goes away.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:06 PM   #3
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I had a similar issue. I had my new Triton 3351 out for a couple of trips, maybe 1000 miles in total and noticed worse braking every trip. I adjusted them up several clicks and it was no better. After pulling them I found three out of four had grease all over the shoes. Not just a little, it was all over the place. The forth showed signs of grease leaking but not sufficient to wet the shoes yet.

I never added grease using the zerk. I'm assuming it was the factory grease job since I didn't see any evidence of additional/different grease through the zerk. The grease was so thin it's not surprising that it was leaking.

I considered requesting replacements through warranty, but decided to just fix it myself the right way. So I upgraded to Kodiak discs, Timken bearings, National seals, and a quality synthetic grease. 6000 miles later no sign of grease leakage and fantastic braking (much better than the factory electric drums).

My understanding is that it isn't possible to completely clean the contaminated shoes since the grease gets into the pores, so you might want to purchase replacements so you don't end up doing the work a second time. The parts are cheap so you might want to consider ordering new complete backing plates from the 'net. And upgrade to ones with self adjusters for a couple bucks extra.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiresLV View Post
I had a similar issue. I had my new Triton 3351 out for a couple of trips, maybe 1000 miles in total and noticed worse braking every trip. I adjusted them up several clicks and it was no better. After pulling them I found three out of four had grease all over the shoes. Not just a little, it was all over the place. The forth showed signs of grease leaking but not sufficient to wet the shoes yet.

I never added grease using the zerk. I'm assuming it was the factory grease job since I didn't see any evidence of additional/different grease through the zerk. The grease was so thin it's not surprising that it was leaking.

I considered requesting replacements through warranty, but decided to just fix it myself the right way. So I upgraded to Kodiak discs, Timken bearings, National seals, and a quality synthetic grease. 6000 miles later no sign of grease leakage and fantastic braking (much better than the factory electric drums).

My understanding is that it isn't possible to completely clean the contaminated shoes since the grease gets into the pores, so you might want to purchase replacements so you don't end up doing the work a second time. The parts are cheap so you might want to consider ordering new complete backing plates from the 'net. And upgrade to ones with self adjusters for a couple bucks extra.

Agree 100% John. Upon further inspection and cleaning attempt I ordered 6 new auto brake kits with all new backing plates, shoes, hardware and seals. They should be here Tuesday and new tires come in on Friday so I should be ready to roll in style next weekend. Just need to finish up drivers side removal, tear down and repack tomorrow as the sky just fell out here so done for the day.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:28 PM   #5
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Just for what its worth....
Last year I adjusted my brakes to the point where I could just barely hear the shoes contacting the drums when spinning the wheel. And I mean no drag that I could feel and barely any contact noise.
After some trips I manually felt the drums and they were warm to the touch. At the start of this season I pulled the drums to find a little bit of grease seepage around the seals. Replaced seals and repacked bearings. I now adjust my brakes up to the point where I can hear contact, then back of the adjusters a click or two. Brake drums seem to run cooler now which in my mind will help with keeping the wheel bearing grease a little cooler. And trailer brakes are still doing there job
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:13 AM   #6
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When I think about it, it really galls me that we spend big bucks on our trailers only to get brakes that are manually adjusted. I did some checking and it would have cost, at most, an extra $3 per wheel (retail) to install self-adjusting brakes. How cheap can the manufacturers be? Well, this says it all.
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
When I think about it, it really galls me that we spend big bucks on our trailers only to get brakes that are manually adjusted. I did some checking and it would have cost, at most, an extra $3 per wheel (retail) to install self-adjusting brakes. How cheap can the manufacturers be? Well, this says it all.
It's NOT about how cheap they are, it's about how much profit they make!
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:48 PM   #8
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After reading my post again I will add this..I know brakes get warm and can get excessively hot. ....lol
My point was to say that I believe a slight change in brake adjustment can create or alleviate excess heat that can affect the grease. I believe a slight brake contact noise is actually to tight..
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:54 PM   #9
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I know your pain here, I have had mine done each year, but this last December they actually inspected the bearings and the drums were filled with grease, $2K for new brakes and cleanup. When you go in for warranty, you need to tell them to inspect the brakes, not use the zerk fitting to pump grease in without looking.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:46 PM   #10
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Wouldn't it be nice if there was an association to take care of RV owners like what the RV Industry Association does for the manufactures and the RV Dealers Association does for the dealers? RV makers and dealers have us by the family jewels and they know it. If we want a RV, we have to buy it. They don't worry about quality control or anything.
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