But I Get Sick Of Rebuilding & Repacking My Front Hubs Every Time I Splash Though A Water Puddle!
I Did Something About It!
In the case of the average CJ hub, Air in the Hub is the Enemy!
When the air in the hub gets warm, and you splash off in cold water,
The housings contract first, making sure there is no seal!
Then the warm air inside starts to contract, making a low pressure cell inside the hub, actually SUCKING water in!
I got sick and tired of using expensive, water resistant synthetic grease and having to repack/replace bearings/seals/grease after every outting!
I did something about it! (nothing is more dangerous than a 'Jeeper' on a mission!)
Take everything apart and clean it throughly!
If you live in 'Mud Country', you have this down to a science by now!
Once the Hub is clean and dry, locate the slots in the interior that were intended to make driving the seals out easier.
Look at the top of the race, then look directly behind the top of the race and you will see the slots that I'm talking about.
Now, you want to find the slot that comes out between lug studs, and between the lugs on the hub for the lockout or drive flange.
In this next picture you will see the grease hole needs to clear not only the lug studs, but it has to be centered in the gap between the hub ribs...
This is what it should look like from the Inside,
Now, Normally I start with about an 1/8" drill to do the grease/pilot hole, then I use a larger drill on the outside to open the hole up for the grease Zerk.
For a standard sized grease 'Zerk', you will need a #5 drill, and you need to drill about 1/4" or 3/8" deep and thread with a 1/4" X 28 TPI NF Tap to accept the grease Zerk.
Some people use the 'Push In' type Zerks so they don't have to thread the hole or screw in a Zerk, which can be a pain sometimes,
If you break off a push-in type Zerk, or the Zerk freezes up and doesn't want to accept grease, they are a PAIN to get out!
This is my opinion, but everyone needs one of these...
This is a grease fitting 'Zerk' wrench, and it has a tap for making threads, cleaning/straightening threads, it has an Extractor for removing broken off Zerks from the threads, Ect.
Now some caution should be taken here, since this WILL blow the inner hub seal out of the hub if you just jump on the grease gun!
A hand held grease gun can easily develop more than 300 PSI, so you MUST remove the outer lock-out or drive flange and pump grease into the hub SLOWLY!...
Allowing time for the grease to migrate through the outer bearings to the outside of the hub where it meets the drive flange or lock-out!
A little patients here goes a LONG WAY, since filling the hub completely with grease will remove any air spaces and keep the hub from 'Sucking' water in past the seals/lockout/drive flange.
Taking the air out of the spindle will help keep your spindle bearing alive.
The spindle bearing is on the inside of the spindle, out next to the Universal Joint in the axle shafts.
This is a spindle bearing in it's bore in the spindle tube,
The set you are seeing is the Bearing already installed in the spindle,
The grease seal for the bearing, The spacer to keep the outer or 'Stub' axle properly spaced,
And the 'K' seal that actually mounts on the outer axle 'Slinger' or 'Grit Guard'.
By filling the spindle with grease, you are avoiding the air gap that is normally right on the other side of the spindle bearing.
That air gap will cool down and contract, 'Sucking' water, dirt and everything else right into the spindle bearing.
That's one reason there are so many totaled spindle bearings when we do rebuilds!
This is how we keep that moisture and contamination out!
Start with drilling about an 1/8" hole right behind the inner bearing pad.
By not drilling through the pad, we aren't weakening the bearing support area.
Then you can use this gadget, called a 'Grease Needle' and sold to grease the bars on chain saws, to fill the void between the spindle walls and the outer or 'Stub' axle.
WHERE GREASE IS, MOISTURE AND DIRT CAN NOT BE!
This is a picture of the entire project, top to bottom.
In my case, I used new Bearings & Seals for this particular article, but if your seals and bearings are still good, by all means reuse them!
Now for me, as long as the 'Yellow Stripe' on the hub is facing "Down", I don't have any problems with my wheels clearing the grease Zerk.
Some people have reported having to 'Notch' the wheel to clear the grease Zerk, and others report they have beat up or broken off Zerks changing wheels.
I use steel wheels that are pretty well stock, and as long as my Zerk is facing down when I install the tire/wheel, I haven't even 'Dinged' my Grease Zerk yet.
The top of my hub is actually marked 'UP' and has a Yellow stripe through the grease Zerk on the bottom so I remember to turn the grease Zerk down when I install wheels.
The common small grease Zerks are 1/4"x 26 TPI NF,
(TPI: Threads Per Inch, NF: National Fine)
And that is NOT your average fine thread...
2 small Zerk fittings.
1/4" X 26 NF tap.
Fitting wrench for small fittings.