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Coming over a summit in the Serria on East 299, I was fighting heavy snow. The road was very slick, and I dreaded every upcoming hill. I did not know if we were going to make it through the snow. Before the long uphill pulls, I would hit hard with everything I had; hitting speeds of 65 to 75 mph. Constantly breathing: "keep the speed up, keep the speed up!" And with the tires barely holding traction, this speed would steadily bleed down to a meer 10 or 20 mph at the top of each hill.

But it was on the down hills that something strange began to happen...
I adjusted the trailer brakes more than the pulling van, so as to keep the trailer from getting squirely or trying to pass me around. Also, when the trailer brakes would "bite", the trailer would help to keep the van straight too. For years at work, I have pulled snow cats on trailer beds, and this is the thing to do. I do not regret making the decession to apply more brakes back "there".

The strange part was when my wife and I started smelling a smell that I knew but could not place it. It was not a "brake" smell at all. For sure I knew the strange smell; I just could not identify it from memory. It was not plastic. It was not brake fluid. It was not wiring...

Finally, when our elevation was lower than a thousand feet, and the snow had turned to rain, just outside Redding, we pulled off the road to celebrate, catch my breath, and let the dog pee. We had made it!

Upon opening the door of the van, that smell hit me with full force. Now I knew! Instantly, I knew that strange smell to be burning greese. As I looked back at the trailer, I could see a thin black trail of stuff streaming over the tires, only to solidify before flowing unto the ground. All four trailer wheels had black greese running out. I touched the rims; very hot! I ran forward to the van and touched those rims; not so hot. The two rear van wheels were ok and were the same temperature. The two front van wheels were the same temperature. The four wheels of the trailer where all the same; and very hot. Had I done something wrong? Or had the Keystone factory used cheap-ass low temp greese? The vans temperature was about 120F. The trailer's temperature was about 160F.

BANASTAR.gif, 1.5kB Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
Ephesians 6:11
Cheap-Ass black molly...
This stuff will literally run out on you when you need it the most.

LB-Axil.jpg, 45 kB
Left Back
Mixture of a runny black greese and a factory green greese.
LB-BackPres.jpg, 20 kB
If you are out in the field, there is a way to repack your bearings with a greese gun. By applying pressure to the greese, the greese will squeeze through the bearing, and you can see the color change on the other side as the new greese makes its way through.
It takes about a half tube of greese, or 1.5 oz on the small tubes.
The idea is to displace the old greese with the new.
I would leave the old greese in the center of the hub. There is a danger of contamination of dirt otherwise. At least, untill we can get home.
LF-Axil.jpg, 29 kB
Left Front
The factory green has turned to a runny black.
LF-RearSeal.jpg, 28 kB
Left Front
Here you can see direct leakage of greese out of the rear seal. Sense the greese is not spit out equally radially around, the leakage was while the wheel was not turning. Therefor the leakage was only while the greese was hot.
RB-Axil.jpg, 28 kB
Rear Back

RF-Axil.jpg, 25 kB
Right Front

LB-Aux.jpg, 23 kB
Electric Magnet actuator:
About half inch of travel in the center.
Yes, I am afraid that that is grease on the left side. That is a big no-no. Just three turns on the drum brake adjuster (located below the magnet). There remains plenty of adjustment left.
I assumed from the color of the greese that ran out, that the factory had used black molly. A greese notorious for being runny with heat. If it was black molly then the greese is lithium based. Here are some greeses. All are compatable.

Blk-Molly.jpg, 23 kB
Low Temperature
High Pressure
Personally, I don't like this stuff. Over 150 degrees it runs like water and stinks to high heaven.

Disk-HT.jpg, 16 kB Disk-HT-Lith.jpg, 8 kB
DiskWheelBearing Greese
Lithium Complex
High Temperature
High Pressure
This is my favorite. Just keep repacking empty tubes from the can, and put in the grease gun.

RedTac.jpg, 7 kB RedT-LithiumC.jpg, 6 kB
RedNTacky Greese
Lithium Complex

WheelBearingSpald.jpg, 29kB

Here is the Right-Back wheel bearing (large inside bearing) which shows spalding. I think whoever put that black molly did not count on it getting warm, or running out, or loosing its integrity. What is left of the grease is wore out! I replaced the grease in all four wheels. I replaced all the seals, and this one bearing (without its race). I adjusted the nuts for NO preload. I tightened each nut for about 20 ft pounds. Backed off the nut to finger tight. And continued loosening untill the first available cotterpin hole.

BANASTAR.gif, 1.5kB The Lord answered him, You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?
Luke 13:15
I feel that if you apply a preload you will wear out the grease, especially high temp and viscous lithium. I feel that this grease deserves more clearance to run cool. I feel the preload a burden on the bearings that your life rides upon.