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Grease sealed bearings through ABS hole

  • Do it

    Votes: 18 58.1%
  • Don't do it

    Votes: 13 41.9%

  • Total voters
    31
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Discussion Starter #1
Gonna try this out on my sealed unit and see how it goes, seems like it is better than doing nothing given all I've read on the forums/websites/youtube. That said, what type of grease are you guys using to do this? The grease looks green in color from the limited pictures I have seen and that color is consistent with Ram's recommendation to use Mopar's multi-purpose grease PN - 05083150AA. The sticker under the hood suggests that this grease is lithium-based. Are you guys going with the MOPAR grease or other brands/types of grease? Not sure about compatibility when using other types/brands of grease as well and was hoping to get feedback on the above. Any helpful thoughts would be appreciated!!

I may ultimately change things out to a free-spin hub in the future but wanted to do my best to maintain what I have now given the wide range of mileage I've seen on these forums relating to the sealed wheel bearing life/failure.
 

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I'm thinking about doing the same thing after my hubs are a couple of years old. By that time the existing grease will be getting thicker. I always use a good quality brand name NLGI 2 synthetic grease for wheel bearings and everything else and never had any trouble. I will probably use that same general purpose chassis grease and squirt in a little gear lube with it to help thin the mixture. My old Iowa barnyard engineering mind tells me that something would be better than nothing! Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, agree that something is better than nothing. I have a box of LMX "red" grease that I use on my trailer and one tube of MOPAR grease; I think both are lithium based but wasn't sure the two greases were compatible. Hence my initial post.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@URDiesel, I think I understand your point. There has been quite a lot of debate on this issue on this and some pictures and posts have shed light on the actual construction of the sealed unit. It appears the ABS sensor hole is in the center of the two bearings and while sealed on the outside the actual bearing are not sealed on the inside. So while greasing through the ABS hole may not be the same as dismantling, cleaning and repacking the bearings.... getting grease into the chamber is better than nothing as the centrifugal force will likely spread the grease out from the center and towards the bearings on each side of the hub. All of this of course is supposed to increase the wheel bearing life so we can all save some dollars and cents, although I am not sure it will save me any time as the time incurred in greasing this bad boy requires the removal of the tire and possibly the caliper for a bit to get to the sensor hole.
 

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White Lightning
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I recall reading on TDR and here that lots of guys were getting phenomenal mileage on some of the 3rd GEN trucks by doing as you describe, @choied .

When I replaced the unit bearings in my 2014 3500 DRW, the grease in the new unit bearings (SKF) was blue in color, much like what one sees in front CV axle boot kit.

https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/2013-2018-general-discussion/2241249-200k-mile-beyond-repair-history-radio-flyer-2014-ram-3500-tradesman-drw-4x4-3.html#post26758210

Knowing what I know now, I’d have no hesitation periodically greasing the front wheel bearings. I may even look into doing it on my 4500 soon.

Additionally.....the rotors have to come off as the rotors will block the hole.
 

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I recall reading on TDR and here that lots of guys were getting phenomenal mileage on some of the 3rd GEN trucks by doing as you describe, @choied .

When I replaced the unit bearings in my 2014 3500 DRW, the grease in the new unit bearings (SKF) was blue in color, much like what one sees in front CV axle boot kit.

https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/2013-2018-general-discussion/2241249-200k-mile-beyond-repair-history-radio-flyer-2014-ram-3500-tradesman-drw-4x4-3.html#post26758210

Knowing what I know now, I’d have no hesitation periodically greasing the front wheel bearings. I may even look into doing it on my 4500 soon.

Additionally.....the rotors have to come off as the rotors will block the hole.
In your link you mentioned you would not do it under warranty. Has that opinion changed?
 

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White Lightning
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Yes. Since the unit bearings would be under the 3/36, might as well start early, although 75k wouldn’t be too late to start (IMO).
 

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Yes. Since the unit bearings would be under the 3/36, might as well start early, although 75k wouldn’t be too late to start (IMO).
Would you use the CV grease you mentioned or something else?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would be afraid it will cause ABS issues.
@URDiesel, I understand your concern. In response to your ABS concerns, my understanding of the ABS tone ring is that a magnetic field is generated between the tone ring and the sensor; and this is how the sensor determines if there is undesirable wheel spin, i.e., to count the number of teeth passing by the sensor once the brake pedal switch has been activated. As such, I am less worried about grease contacting the ring or interfering with the ABS sensor as the magnetic field generated could not be interrupted by grease per se. Just my simple logic, not sure that makes sense to ya. All this is of course bolstered by not one single mention of an untimely wheel bearing failure by those who have practiced this unorthodoxed greasing method, i.e., greasing a sealed bearing....
 

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I must be missing something. The hub assembly is sealed, along with the actual bearings. Where exactly is the grease going?

Are you saying there is a hollow space in the hub between the inner and outer sealed bearings?



In my experience, excess grease collects dust and sand. Turns into an aggressive sandpaper type stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@HeavyTwo - The unit is sealed and the only opening is a hole on top of the unit (when installed) that is revealed once you remove the ABS sensor. The hole is the opening required to insert the ABS sensor into the unit's housing to get close enough to the tone ring for the sensor to do its job. The tone ring is centered in between the inner and outer bearings. So insertion of grease into that area would/could/should find its way to the bearings to ensure that the unit's do not go dry. So, bottom line... the unit is sealed, but has one opening that could accept grease. Some folks drill in a zerk fitting to make greasing the unit easier and position the zerk in such a manner so they do not have to remove the wheel to grease the unit. Not sure if excess grease would be an issue here like it would be in other applications given that the unit is sealed and the ABS sensor hole is covered by the actual ABS sensor once it is put back in place.
 

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White Lightning
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Would you use the CV grease you mentioned or something else?
My limited knowledge of different types of grease has indicated that there’s different colors for different applications.

With that being said...I cannot say with 100% certainty that cv axle joint grease is the same type as what was in my SKF unit bearings, short of the color. The joint would turn at the same rate as a unit bearing, so I think it should work.

Since rumor has it that SKF supplies AAM the unit bearings, I’d be inclined to shoot an email to someone in the know at SKF and get their opinion on grease type.

In any event......I’d be more concerned about adding almost any type of grease to them in the interest of extending their life. I believe mine went around 268k miles, but lots of mine were interstate miles, but a significant amount of towing, too.

I’m sure the fitting I use to grease the front driveshaft (pictured below) would work out great in the ABS sensor hole.
 

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@HeavyTwo - The unit is sealed and the only opening is a hole on top of the unit (when installed) that is revealed once you remove the ABS sensor. The hole is the opening required to insert the ABS sensor into the unit's housing to get close enough to the tone ring for the sensor to do its job. The tone ring is centered in between the inner and outer bearings. So insertion of grease into that area would/could/should find its way to the bearings to ensure that the unit's do not go dry. So, bottom line... the unit is sealed, but has one opening that could accept grease. Some folks drill in a zerk fitting to make greasing the unit easier and position the zerk in such a manner so they do not have to remove the wheel to grease the unit. Not sure if excess grease would be an issue here like it would be in other applications given that the unit is sealed and the ABS sensor hole is covered by the actual ABS sensor once it is put back in place.
This just sounds like you're filling a void located between 2 sealed bearings - if they are fully sealed bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@Lins , yes. It is very different than removing bearings and repacking them for sure. The idea is simply to decrease the chance of your bearings going dry prematurely by inserting grease into the void in an amount sufficient to make contact with the bearings. This contact should in theory add to the lubrication of the bearings.
 

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Cummins Freak
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I did it on my 2012 a few times!! I don't see where it would hurt anything!! I used this type fitting
 

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I’ve done this to both my hubs and my fathers . Didn’t cause any problems . When I put new hubs in dads truck I popped the abs sensors out and there was very little to no grease. So I filled both until it started to just burp out the seal and stopped . Took about 20 to 25 pumps . And on at lest the 3 gens the bearing is not sealed on the inside . Just has seals to keep the elements out . I used Valvoline syn power grease . Said it was for chassis and wheel bearings .







Not my pictures but it’s gives one a good idea on how the hubs are made. Notice the abs Tone ring. You can see that ring looking down the abs hole . So the grease will get to the bearing .


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