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Preferred Hub Seal Type?

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by Metalman 55, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. Metalman 55

    Metalman 55 Senior Member

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    We are new to the flat bed trailer world & are getting this trailer ready for the road that we recently purchased at the Ritchie Auction & are replacing some brakes & the hub seals as part of the safety. We are learning a bit more about this process & have been made aware of different types of hub seals, Stemco Voyageur & a 2 part metal Stemco seal assembly, (perhaps there are more too?) of which the metal style is the one shown in the picture that we are using this time around. We were wondering which type is the preferred one, or is it a matter if choice only? In Ont the hubs have to come off every 2nd year & someone told me that the Voyageur is more forgivable as far as offering a good seal, but does not last as long as the one with the metal sleeve. Just wanted to ask what everyone thinks about this? Hope to have this trailer on the road in a few days.
     

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  2. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    The first one pictured is the Stemco Grit Guard the second pictured is a #343-0143 Stemco Voyageur. The Voyageur is the only seal we use in our shop but you need
    the seal installer to go with the 343-0143 seal. Normally we average 4 to five year life on those seals sometimes more.


    Truck Shop
     
  3. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    X2 on the Voyageur. If you have a spindle thats a little fubar'd the old grit guard style can save you. That's all we used for years until the Stemco guy started us on the newer style. Installation tools help a bunch. If you weren't so far away I have a spare set.... they would give them to us anytime we asked.

    Junkyard
     
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  4. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    If you can cross it to National, I would suggest using a 37 or 38 series, YMMV. It's a Ford/Chevy choice and I drive Dodges.
     
  5. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    I've never seen a Voyageur, but if that pic is accurate it looks like a copy of a National, and I do not like Nationals. I prefer Grit-guards, but then I have all the tools, and they are all I've ever used. I smear some Permatex #2 around the inside of the sleeve, and around the outside of the seal before install. If I was truly OCD, I'd probably check endplay with a dial indicator, but I've never had one leak in less than 5 years, and the ones that eventually did were on wheels that had to be pulled to re-bush the s-cams anyway. Call me lucky I guess.
     
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  6. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    On three axle trailers you can't set the bearings with end play like Stemco says. We set bearing preload at Zero. The front and rear axles sweep in a turn and it
    doesn't take long before the seals start to leak. On drive, tag and steer we throw the center bearing collar away and go back to the two spindle nut and two
    locking washer set up. Set bearing preload the old school way. Don't have any problems doing it that way.

    Truck Shop
     
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  7. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    I knew I wasn't the only one that hates the new system for holding bearings tight. If it worked for 30 years, it couldn't be that bad, could it? I don't check for play, don't even use a torque wrench like some guys do. My old man taught me to set them by feel.
     
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  8. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    That Stemco bearing preload setup is worthless in my book. After the bearings have seated and X amount of miles the preset preload they were trying to achieve becomes pointless.
    When the bearings and races are still fine shape the only way the set the proper preload is leave the bearing spacer/collar out. Throw that single locking nut away also those have
    been known to fail when reused. Go back to old school and use the two nut and locking washer set-up.

    They want you to buy the whole kit, bearings, races, spacer and new single self retaining nut plus wheel seal. We have had a few that ran allot of miles but just as many the seal
    started to leak because of excessive bearing end play. We have over 850 wheel ends to deal with.

    The other POS is the Crossfire tire inflation system. How federal DOT put the OK stamp on that I will never know. It basically allows a truck to operate with defective equipment.
    If a tire has a leak it's defective. That thing allows a driver to bypass the tire shop and keep on trucking. On a level two inspection if the inspector hears a leak in a tire it's fix it
    there and now. Every time a tractor or trailer is in for service in our shop we stick the tires with a gauge even if it isn't due for service we check them. If a tire is below 80 lbs
    we call that a flat and 99% of the time it is. But one thing else when new tires are mounted up the valve stem is removed and a new seal installed using brake parts lube on the
    O-ring. Those stems will corrode {steel to aluminum} and start leaking over time.

    Truck Shop
     
  9. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    I always figured part of the nice thing about duals, is if one goes flat, the other one gets you off the road. With those, you just have 2 flats, and no idea which tire is leaking.

    I've used both styles of seals, and really don't have a preference, I'll usually take whatever is available. I've never had a set of large seal installers, just use a large pipe or socket, or the end of the wood handle on my 3lb hammer (you can tell I don't do it every day- just a couple times a year).

    I've heard of guys with newer axles that can't keep seals in them, going old school and just greasing the bearings. It wouldn't work for everyday high milage use, but for me, if a trailer only has occasional use, I'd rather have grease, than no oil.
     
  10. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    We don't run super singles just duals- you should see what happens when a drag chain breaks on a trailer and tears the hoses off the crossfire inflation system.

    Truck Shop
     
  11. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    I do the same Crane Op on my trailers & steering axils .
    My old Lacrosse lowboy ( 1951 vintage) does not even use wheel seals ! Just a grease fitting on the axil cap to give it a few shots now and then .
    We were hashing this out on another thread . https://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/threads/how-to-oil-bath-axles.39376/#post-451788
     
  12. Ruger_556

    Ruger_556 Well-Known Member

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    It works fine if people actually do it, reason they have gone to preset is people doing what you said at the end there... That can get people killed if you do it wrong, just take the extra 2 minutes and measure the end play.

    To the OP's question I like CR Scotseal PlusXL, hand install and is pretty forgiving of damaged spindles.
     
  13. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    Shimmy knows what he's doing.

    Truck Shop
     
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  14. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    My Wife gave me the same speech . Next thing I know she's pregnant again . :eek:
     
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  15. Ruger_556

    Ruger_556 Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean to offend anyone but just because you've been doing something for 30 years doesn't make it the right way to do it. Setting bearings by feel isn't safe regardless of who does it. Sure, you might do it that way for decades and never have a problem, might have a wheel end that you put together come off tomorrow and kill someone's wife too. Don't roll the dice on my families life because you don't want to do the extra work.

    I know people don't like being told they're wrong but that's the great thing about the internet isn't it? No one knows who you are so it's okay to admit when you're wrong. End of thread hijack, have a great weekend ya'll!

    Lol
     
  16. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Not trying to be a smarty pants but I didn't really know there was another way, or if I did I have forgotten it. I have passed all truck ASE tests 2 or 3 times, not that that makes me great because there are lots on here that know a lot more and have more experience with me but if I had to guess I would have said tighten until zero play and then back of x number of flats was the approved procedure. Although like probably most here I use feel to final set and/or verify that something hasn't gone wrong.

    Any link to an end play measuring procedure?
     
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  17. Ruger_556

    Ruger_556 Well-Known Member

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    Here you go, pro-torq and other single piece nuts have their own adjustment procedure but .001-.005 endplay is the same across the board. Best bearing and seal life at .001", as mentioned above set to the upper end of the spec in the certain applications and you will loose wheel seals.
    http://autoam.timken.com/techseries/trb_pages/TRB Adjustment RP-618.pdf
    http://www.conmet.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Standard-Blue-ForWeb.pdf
     
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  18. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    I realize your trying to add good info on this thread. When I find new trailers set a .010 to .015 on axle ends {yes .010 to .015 on new} then the concern should be directed in that area.
    We check the hubs on all new trailers we buy, and it's obvious that two different people are assembling the axles. One side will be at .004 the other side will run .010 plus and it will be
    the same on a series of 10 new trailers. And the hubs are not even full of oil we have to top those off, even on new tractor delivery there low. But what cooks bearings is no lube, not
    enough oil, no oil or a leaking seal. Even if the bearing are set up slightly to loose or slightly on tight what kills them over anything else is lack of lube. And truly what is dangerous is no
    lube.

    Truck Shop