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Front Wheel Bearings

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I took the front wheels off the "B" This weekend. The bearings are oil filled with Stemco seal. The other B model I owned had greased bearings in the front hubs. All of my mechanical experience is with cars, which front wheel bearings also greased. The service manual I have for the other truck, states greased bearings in the front. What are your thoughts, any one better than the other? Was the Stemco seal, and oil, a factory or add on item? Should I stick with the oil, or go with grease?

Thanks,

Dave

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Most B's had greased bearings, but a lot of people changed them over to oil filled just for convenience...I'm not sure what set up is better though.

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Most B's had greased bearings, but a lot of people changed them over to oil filled just for convenience...I'm not sure what set up is better though.

Stay with ythe oil which nis realy 85/90 grease but do keep a close watch on the oil level like every trip check the level before the flight. glenn

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Stay with ythe oil which nis realy 85/90 grease but do keep a close watch on the oil level like every trip check the level before the flight. glenn

I assume the benefit to the gear oil is that it is easier to service, (pull the plug, drain and refill) Versus taking the assembly apart, and repacking the bearings with grease?

Dave

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I assume the benefit to the gear oil is that it is easier to service, (pull the plug, drain and refill) Versus taking the assembly apart, and repacking the bearings with grease?

Dave

Your right. glenn

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i switched mine over to oil, but after awhile it started to leak around the seals, yes they were new, i got treid of messing with them and went back to grease, it will work for all i am going to do with it :mack1:

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If it has the oil seals on now I would stick with them.At East Manufacturing every trailer that goes out the door has oil in the hubs.I asked a parts man at a really good bearing warehouse why oil and he told me that a wheel bearing will last MUCH longer in oil than grease.He asked me how many times that I have replaced,not repacked,front bearings on a car or truck versus the rears.Most OTR trucks have oil in the fronts right from the factory.There are a few aftermarket places that are offering upgrade kits for travel and boat trailers.

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For limited use a long fiber wheel bearing grease will work just fine, as a matter of fact it's worked fine for a long time. There are several factors that need to be considered if you are thinking about converting, in either direction. Number one is the seals themselves. An old style Chicago Rawhide type seal will not hold oil very well. They do a good job with grease, and they can be reused. On the other hand. a later National two piece type seal will hold either oil or grease. But, I have never been comfortable with reusing one of these seals in an oil bath configuration. Number two, is brake service. In a hobby truck situation, brakes should last for ever, so should bearings and seals for that matter, but they do need to be looked at, at some point. Grease is nasty for a few minutes, but you don't have to buy two forty dollar seals every time you pull the hubs. Gear oil is a much better lubricant for wheel bearings, maintenance wise bearings will last longer. the seals however require more attention. By that I mean you have to look at them. Just sitting seems to do something to seals. In the past I have seen trucks and trailers that have set for awhile without leaks, start leaking after use. On a personal note, I would rather have an oil bath set up, if parts are available.

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The old trucks used grease. Some were converted to oil which often performed better than the grease that was availible in that time period. Now many new trucks have returned to grease and even beyond that to non-sevicable front wheel bearings. I prefer to use grease on my older trucks. Less chance of leaks and the modern grease is many times better than what these trucks were designed to use.

Chuck

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Questions answered!. Thanks for replies. Will probably stick with the lube. Have been able to find all of the seals and gaskets for the stemco oil bath, so it will be easy to keep it that way. This is why this site is so cool, can gather so many opinions and info! Thanks again!

Dave

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The old trucks used grease. Some were converted to oil which often performed better than the grease that was availible in that time period. Now many new trucks have returned to grease and even beyond that to non-sevicable front wheel bearings. I prefer to use grease on my older trucks. Less chance of leaks and the modern grease is many times better than what these trucks were designed to use.

Chuck

Most new trailers have gone to grease packed brgs. because they dont loose as many axles due to leaks and drivers not finding them in time. If you think about it there is not much more than maybe 2 pints of oil in a wheel so it cant leak too long or you may need a axle. The snythectic grease is so much better than the old grease but i can tell you that i was working on trucks when the oiler seals just started and it was noting to repack the front wheels on seem like ever truck that came in the shop and they tryed to do that ever 50000 miles and you would find many bad brgs if not all because that is something that is esay to overlook on mileage. I also remember when the drive axle had two wheel seal in each wheel and that was in the mid 60s.There was a grease packed inter seal which the brg was packed in grease and the outer brg run in oil from the rear end and there was a grease seal on the end of the axle shaft and sealing to the axle housing so the outer brg ran in oil.

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One other consideration on a restoration----

If you stay with the original grease setup, you can use the original "Mack" hub covers.

A FA 522 or FA 600 series front axle looks much more appealing with the original hub covers vs the "oil type".

That said, gear oil is a better lube for wheel bearings.

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One other consideration on a restoration----

If you stay with the original grease setup, you can use the original "Mack" hub covers.

A FA 522 or FA 600 series front axle looks much more appealing with the original hub covers vs the "oil type".

That said, gear oil is a better lube for wheel bearings.

Actually, the set up I have with gear oils, allows for the use of the Mack hubs caps. I have a brand new set to replace the nasty ones that I took off during disassembly. I am up for changes, but could never have the "B" with out those cool hubcaps!

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Actually, the set up I have with gear oils, allows for the use of the Mack hubs caps. I have a brand new set to replace the nasty ones that I took off during disassembly. I am up for changes, but could never have the "B" with out those cool hubcaps!

If you have the "B" style hubcaps, and have oil hubs, you probably have a FA505 steer axle. This is a light duty tractor axle. An FA522 uses a flat stamped cap with "Mack" script in the center. It is heavier and has larger bearings. The FA505 has a small center cap that looks like an oil filter from a small car that unscrews from the hub when used with wheel bearing grease. I don't know about a FA600 series front axle.

Rob

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If you have the "B" style hubcaps, and have oil hubs, you probably have a FA505 steer axle. This is a light duty tractor axle. An FA522 uses a flat stamped cap with "Mack" script in the center. It is heavier and has larger bearings. The FA505 has a small center cap that looks like an oil filter from a small car that unscrews from the hub when used with wheel bearing grease. I don't know about a FA600 series front axle.

Rob

That sounds exactly what I have. Thanks!

Dave

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That sounds exactly what I have. Thanks!

Dave

I have the same setup on one of my B-61's as you, "Stemco" seals, oil, and chrome hubcaps. This tractor has spokes that I plan to keep. The other B-61 is on Budd wheels, is also a FA505 steer axle, but has the stamped steel "Mack" script center cap. These I had chromed and will paint the "Mack" script black, or red, (If I EVER make up my mind).

I'm down around Peoria and get up your way quite often. We'll have to get together sometime to swap lies if nothing else!

Rob

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I have the same setup on one of my B-61's as you, "Stemco" seals, oil, and chrome hubcaps. This tractor has spokes that I plan to keep. The other B-61 is on Budd wheels, is also a FA505 steer axle, but has the stamped steel "Mack" script center cap. These I had chromed and will paint the "Mack" script black, or red, (If I EVER make up my mind).

I'm down around Peoria and get up your way quite often. We'll have to get together sometime to swap lies if nothing else!

Rob

Sounds real good, look me up if you are up this way or I will do the same if I make down there. Would love to share the progress and stories!

Dave

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If you have the "B" style hubcaps, and have oil hubs, you probably have a FA505 steer axle. This is a light duty tractor axle. An FA522 uses a flat stamped cap with "Mack" script in the center. It is heavier and has larger bearings. The FA505 has a small center cap that looks like an oil filter from a small car that unscrews from the hub when used with wheel bearing grease. I don't know about a FA600 series front axle.

Rob

Hi Rob.

The FA 600 series front axle is the heavy duty one that was used on the B80 series, and some heavy duty B61SX's

Here are a couple examples:

1201869278037660218S600x600Q85.jpg

post-503-1164587334_thumb.jpg

Picture097.jpg

And for those who aren't familiar with the FA 522, here is an example:

1274019151065739904S600x600Q85.jpg

IMHO, these front axles don't look right unless the stock "Mack" stamped hub covers are used.

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Hi Rob.

The FA 600 series front axle is the heavy duty one that was used on the B80 series, and some heavy duty B61SX's

IMHO, these front axles don't look right unless the stock "Mack" stamped hub covers are used.

Hi Herb, great to hear from you.

My 64 B61 has an FA522 under the front with the flat hub covers. It is on spokes. My B62, (parts only) is on Budd style hubs and has the convex type hub covers like your examples of the B80's. I've never looked under the truck for the axle type but I assume it is heavy. The rears are at least 44's.

I destroyed my second digital camera so no pictures yet.

Rob

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