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View Full Version : Dexter help on 5200 lb axle


nwhouston
01-30-2017, 06:33 PM
Before you read this somewhat lengthy post, please note that this is about TM's with the 5200 lb Dexter axle. That means you have ca. 12" hubs. Most TM's have 10" hubs on a 3500 lb axle.

I have attached a pdf file from Denise at Dexter Axle that provides some details on the hub / bearing assembly as well as some brake options for our 2007 3124KS trailer. The quote was a courtesy to me, as Denise quite honestly said that buying the parts is better done elsewhere from a price standpoint. Her email is [email protected]

The key learning for me in this saga is to get to a part on which you can read the number (still), then get with Dexter and be sure you have a complete hub / bearing / brake package (I had to get the hub, both bearings, and the brakes to get the right config). I am the embarrassed owner of three hub / bearing sets, two of which are for the 3500 lb axles, and two Nev-R-Adjust brake sets, one for the 3500 lb axle and one for the 5200 lb axle.

I talked to Jim at TM today as well in my search for parts. While quite pleasant, he said that they buy a complete axle, hub and brake assembly from Dexter, so they don't get into the individual parts. And apparently they don't keep a record of what VIN trailer had what axle.

I can say that as I pulled the hubs off I did find that the inner grease seal had completely popped out of the race on one hub, so there was grease on the brake assembly. That was likely the smoke seen by the nice person that told us at 65 mph that our tire was on fire. The other side was fine. No indication of when or why the seal popped out, but it was truly loose on the axle.

The shoes still had some life, though I am no judge. Definitely cracked and covered in dust.

The magnets were badly worn. On one side the bolt that holds the magnet to its seat had become exposed by rubbing on the inner drum, and was scoring the inner face of the drum. I took the drums to see if they could be turned and ground smooth, but the one shop said that these 12" drums are too small for their lathes. The drums themselves were not badly worn, just the inner faces where the magnet tries to grip.

The bearings look fine as do the races. No pits, dents or dings. I am replacing them since the hubs and races will be new, and all the advice I have seen says "new races need new bearings". All grease appeared to be fine; no grit, no blackening. However, on the side where the grease seal popped out, there were literally small chunks of wood.

Spindles look good, though one side has some mildly chewed threads (first two courses) which slows the castle nut but does not keep it from seating. All of the EZ lube (zerk on one end, the small hole at the inner seal) look clean. For what it is worth, Dexter did reinforce the message that I think someone else recently posted, to the effect that EZ lube was developed for marine application trailers (read boat trailers), and they strongly encourage hand inspection and hand re packing the bearings. Now that I have had the joy of pulling the whole assembly, I can say it is doable.

Happy to provide more forensics on both my parts saga and replacement job if anyone is interested.

Larry

Bill
01-31-2017, 09:42 AM
This is great info. Not many TMs were built with 5200 pound axles. In hindsight, I wish that more of them had been, but hindsight isn't really helpful. When the decision was made, weight and cost undoubtedly entered the equation.

I learned a valuable lesson from Larry's experience. I would have said that 3500-pound axles have 5-lug wheels, and 5200-pound axles have 6-lug wheels. This is not a reliable indicator of which axle you have. Larry has suggested that when you are buying parts, it is the hub size is what matters, not the number of lugs. So if there is any doubt, pull the hub and measure the inside diameter. The measurement will be around 10 inches for 10" hubs, and around 12 inches for 12" hubs, and this is your guide to replacement parts. Who knew?

There isn't much info available to owners with 5200 pound axles, so Larry's experience and writeup are especially valuable. Thanks, Larry.

Bill