Dexter Idler Trailer Axle with Hubs Installation

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How to Install the Dexter Idler Trailer Axle with Hubs

Today we're going to be installing our Dexter idler trailer axle with hubs. These are the EZ Lube version available in many different sizes. This particular part number is 20545I-EZ-60-10. Now before we show you how to install the axle I want to go over a few key features of it just so you know what's going to really set this axle apart from some of the others. The first thing, our axles going to have a slight bend to it. As you can see, out here on the end it's almost two fingers gap between the top of the axle and the bottom of the trailer; whereas when I get in here towards the middle it's only about one finger. It's not a huge bend but there is a slight bend to it.

What this is going to do is provide us with a zero camber where our tires are going to be straight up and down with the ground. That's going to spread our tire wear patch or the tire contact patch that hits the ground to a much wider area all the way across our tires. Here you can see where the spindle makes connection with the axle. It's going to be fully welded all the way around. Just like here on our axle and the spring mount that sit right on top of the spring, fully welded all the way around so it's going to give us really good strength. They also use high strength steel in their construction so you know is going to last you for a long time. Now if you go with the model that does come with the hubs included is going to have everything you need to connect those hubs to your axle.

You'll have your inner seal, your inner bearing, we'll have the outer bearing, the dust cap, and the small cover. It's even going to come with the five lug nuts so we can get our tire connected to the hub. Now that we've gone over the features and we've seen the benefits of the Dexter axle let's see how it installs on our trailer. The first step in our installation is going to be to remove our existing axle from our trailer. They're held in place using four u-bolts, two on each side. We remove the nuts that we've got on the bottom of each of them here.

Now we'll pull the lower plate off. Now we're going to set our lower plate, our two u-bolts, and our four nuts aside. Now our u-bolts, we'll be setting these aside. We're going to be replacing them with the new u-bolt kit, part number APUBR-10. Now let's head over to the other side of the trailer and we can do the exact same thing. Now let's take our axle, we're just going to lift it right up off its purchase there, slide it right out, and we'll just set this aside.

Now in our hub kit the axle is going to come with two of these. We're going to have our hub of course. We're going to have five brand new lug nuts, our inner and outer bearing. We'll have our grease seal for the inside of the hub, and we're also going to have the cap for the end and the insert is going to give us quick access in there to our grease zerk. Now to get these set up we're going to start on the inside here, take one of our bearings. In this instance the bearings are the same size so we don't have to worry about keeping them separate. We'll just take a wad of grease in our hand there and we're just going to pack it. This is called packing a bearing. We're just going to pack it into there. You see how it's starting to come out our rollers. We're going to do this a few times. Just get it packed in there really well. These are the type with EZ Lube so we'll be lubing them up later as well. Just want to get them nice and full of grease there. Then just going to go right into our hub here on the back side. We'll now take our grease seal and we're going to place that right in the back. Now we're using a block of wood to support our hub. I'm going to use another small black of wood here on the backside. We just need to tamp our seal down in there. Most of the time that's just going to run down right flush with the back of our hub as you can see there. Now with our rear bearing installed you can see it in there. We're going to have a small hollow in there. We want to put just a little bit of grease in there. Is going to give us a head start to filling them up later. We've got some there and then we'll just spread that around nice and evenly in there. Now it's time to pack our other bearing. You see it's nice and packed up there. Once you start seeing a lot of it coming out of the top you'll know when you've got it good and packed full. That's going to go right down in our hub just like that. Now I'm going to place the hub up onto our axle. Now typically we'd do this when it's installed on the trailer but with the lift we're using today we just wanted to do it down here to give us some extra room to work. Just slide this right on there. Now our seal here on the backside, as you can see when we put this on, it slides right up this machine surface. When we get it right in here it's actually going to spread out just a little bit wider. This is going to give us a really good seal and hold all of our grease in our hub. Now as we're sliding this on you'll notice there's going to be a hole right here. That's where the grease is going to come out of our insert. As we bring our hub up and on it's going to slide right up past that onto the shaft of the spindle here. Now this has been machined to accept several different hubs types, so it's only going to come to that point. Other hubs types maybe it will go a little bit further. It's now time for the washer to go on the end. There's a flat spot on the spindle that's going to line up with the flat spot that we have here on the washer. It will be the keeper that actually slides over it to keep our nut from backing out. We're just going to leave that open for now and we'll set these aside for use once we have the proper adjustment made when we've got the axle on our trailer. Now we'll just come over here to the other side of the axle and we can repeat this same process. We'll now just pass our axle up through. That will allow us to get our other side passed up through. Then we'll just allow them to seat right down on the bolts it sits through. Now we can bring our new u-bolt kit around, place it up on our plate. As you can see, on the bottom of each of our springs there's going to be a little tab that sticks out to help us align our lower plate. We'll put our four nuts here on the bottom. Now before tightening these down let's go over and get our other side taken care of using the same process we did on this side. Now we're going to tighten down our bolts. Now we can come over here to the other side and repeat the exact same process. As you're doing this, just tighten them down evenly. Now that we've got our axle nice and secure on both sides we're going to lower the trailer down, put the wheels on, and get our hubs adjusted. Let's get the lug nuts out of the way so we can get our tire put back on. Now we'll go ahead and put our tire on and start putting the lug nuts on to hold it in place. Now we'll just tighten our bolts down. Now it's time to tighten down our hubs. To do that we'll check our wheel is spinning nice and freely. Let's just tighten this nut down a little bit. I can feel there a little bit of resistance on our tire so just back that off slightly so we get a nice full rotation. Then we're going to place our keeper cage right over our tab. You'll have the small tab located right there on the inside of our cage. That will be lined up with the flat spot on our axle as we slide this in. With that in place we're ready to put on our cover. We'll just bring this up and over and we'll use a soft mallet or a hammer with a block of wood. Then we'll bring in our grease gun and fill our hub up with some axle grease. Once we start to see it coming around the outside of our cap there, it's starting to fill up that opening, we'll know that we've got the proper amount of grease in there. We'll now take the cover and slide that right into place. This side's sealed up. We're ready to head down the road with this. Let's go over to the other side and we can complete these same processes over there. That will complete today's installation of the Dexter idler trailer axle with hubs. The part number is 20545I-EZ-60-10. .

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Jeff D

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