fagnaml

Change Oil -- Freightliner Oil Bath Front Wheel Bearings

15 posts in this topic

After 20 months of motorhome ownership I'm still on the learning curve in some areas.   When I purchased the motorhome 20 months ago one routine maintenance item I didn't think about the front wheel bearings as my simple mind presumed they were grease packed (like all of my Silverado, Jeep, etc.) and were good to go.  At that time, I didn't know I had "oil bath" front wheel bearings thus the front wheels didn't get onto my mental list of "all fluids" that needed to be changed.   I didn't learn that I had oil bath front wheel bearings until this past weekend when I removed the front tire covers to install a tire pressure valve extension.

What is the recommended oil change frequency for oil bath front wheel bearings?   Is changing the oil a do-it-yourself job?

The oil level in both front wheel hubs is ever so slightly below the max fill mark.  The oil looks "OK" as it still has the dark green tinge of new oil.  There are no oil leaks from the hub.  My motorhome now has a total of 14,000 miles of use.

I searched the Chassis forum for info on changing oil in the front hubs and didn't find an answer for my situation.  Hence why I'm posting these questions to the forum.  Thanks for any guidance you can provide!

 

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Give your local Freighliner service center a call. They can give recommend miles and what lube to use. 

Herman 

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Most wet hubs use gear lube.  Some spec 85/90, some straight 90, some 90/140.  Best info is to check with your axle manufacturer (should be a little plate on the front of the axle.

Probably a good idea to change it based on time not miles in your case.  At least after 10 years, it would be on my list.

And a pretty easy job if you have a small hand suction pump.  Don't even need to remove the drain which can get messy.

And, checking the fluid level is something everyone should do-- they do not have much oil, and if it runs out, THE WHEEL STOPS TURNING. Had a coach on one of the RV forums where that happened, it crystallized the spindle and broke it.  Whole side of the coach on the ground. 

Check it with the coach parked on flat ground.  There is a ring with arrow on most of the clear window hubs and the words "full".  So, not rocket science.

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13 hours ago, fagnaml said:

After 20 months of motorhome ownership I'm still on the learning curve in some areas.   When I purchased the motorhome 20 months ago one routine maintenance item I didn't think about the front wheel bearings as my simple mind presumed they were grease packed (like all of my Silverado, Jeep, etc.) and were good to go.  At that time, I didn't know I had "oil bath" front wheel bearings thus the front wheels didn't get onto my mental list of "all fluids" that needed to be changed.   I didn't learn that I had oil bath front wheel bearings until this past weekend when I removed the front tire covers to install a tire pressure valve extension.

What is the recommended oil change frequency for oil bath front wheel bearings?   Is changing the oil a do-it-yourself job?

The oil level in both front wheel hubs is ever so slightly below the max fill mark.  The oil looks "OK" as it still has the dark green tinge of new oil.  There are no oil leaks from the hub.  My motorhome now has a total of 14,000 miles of use.

I searched the Chassis forum for info on changing oil in the front hubs and didn't find an answer for my situation.  Hence why I'm posting these questions to the forum.  Thanks for any guidance you can provide!

 

I was in the same boat as you. I didn't realize I had oil bath front hubs. I changed mine just because I didn't have a record of the last time it was done. Brett has some good info but I did it a little differently.  After you take the wheel simulators off. I used the jacks to lift the tires off the ground (install jack stands for safety and be on a flat surface) Now you can rotate the tire till the drain is down. I had a small funnel that fit under the drain and into an old gallon oil jug. Be prepared to wait as the oil will take a long time to drain out 90+ weight oil is slow^_^. on the other hand it takes some time to be sure you have the hubs full when adding oil. Fill it to the line,put the plug back in, rotate the tire a few times. now wait 30 min and re check the oil. I will bet it is low. It  took several times before the level was right. I was going to run Mobil1 full synthetic but couldn't find it and went with Royal Purple

 http://www.royalpurpleconsumer.com/products/max-gear/

I changed it 2 years in a row during annual maintenance to make sure any old oil/residue was removed but will skip next time as I haven't put that many miles on it. The RP I drained out looked as good as what I was putting in. 

I can't see what year your coach is or if that is 14000 total miles. 

If you have any questions just ask.

Bill

 

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Bill's method is fine-- actually more complete than mine.

With mine, because you do not get all the oil out with the pump, I do the process a couple of times.  BUT, each time only takes 2-3 minutes.  Since oil volume is so small, one quart will change it a couple of times.

So, either way is fine.

But EVERYONE needs to keep an occasional eye on fluid level.  It is a sealed system, so if the level goes down, FIND THE LEAK.  If the inner seal leaks, it will contaminate the brakes.  If outer, it will show radial streaks from hub out onto the wheel and tire.

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My last maintenance checkup at Freightliner revealed a right front seal leak. As Brett stated it contaminated the brakes. You don't just replace one side brake pads.  Expensive process.  TG I have ESP with seals endorsement.  Doesn't cover the pads though.

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Yes, as Wayne said, you NEVER replace only one side of an axle's brakes-- unless visiting a ditch is a goal!

 

Said another way, both side's brakes on an axle MUST be the same.

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48 minutes ago, wolfe10 said:

unless visiting a ditch is a goal!

:lol: I have got to remember that statement! 

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My mechanic (FMCA member) told me to remove my chrome covers that hid the hub-caps, because when hidden you seldom check the oil level, with the covers removed you see them every time you enter/exit the MH.

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I like the idea of checking the level in the oil bath, but leaving the cover off will expose the plastic hub to UV light unless you keep the tires covered.

Just something to consider.

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Interesting thoughts. I just replaced my lug and hub covers. I went with a design that can be removed easier to peek at the oil level, they are also vented to allow heat to escape...and the big bonus, they are shiny, factory lug covers were a dull finish. 

The factory center caps on ours required a knife blade to remove them, not a single spot for a flat screwdriver for assistance. 

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On 8/12/2017 at 9:24 AM, wolfe10 said:

I like the idea of checking the level in the oil bath, but leaving the cover off will expose the plastic hub to UV light unless you keep the tires covered.

Just something to consider.

Could be, I replaced mine in 2015, they were 15 years old when one cracked because I dusted off a floor mat by swinging it against the front tire.

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23 hours ago, RAYIN said:

Could be, I replaced mine in 2015, they were 15 years old when one cracked because I dusted off a floor mat by swinging it against the front tire.

They just don't last like they use to.:o

Bill

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2 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

They just don't last like they use to.:o

Bill

My first reaction was, OK Ray that was really brilliant_. :(  I do think UV rays had an effect, they were yellowed.

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