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Old 01-16-2023, 07:49 AM   #1
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Oil or grease on wheel

Hi everyone, we bought this bus two years ago, still working on renovating it. I start the engine up every month or two. And about every 2 months I drive it forward and back on my driveway, about 100 feet.

I noticed, pic attached, some grease/oil showing up on the front wheel. Should I be concerned? Did some kind of wheel bearing seal give way? Should I call a professional? Thank you for looking.


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Old 01-16-2023, 08:54 AM   #2
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That's an oil bath hub, and either the cap, seal, or plug is leaking your bearing lube.

Remove the drain, catch the fluid in a half of a gallon jug, clean and degrease it all real good and see if the cap has any cracks. If it doesn't, you might get by with resealing it with new gaskets. You can get gaskets and new caps from any truck parts store. Take your old ones in so you can easily match up to what you need.

Put it all back together, refill with new oil(typically 80w90 synthetic), and then go on with life.

Also. Starting it monthly and driving up and down the lane isn't good for the bus. Your better off leaving it sit, as what your doing is hell on the engine, as it never gets hot enough to burn off the condensation. If the bus isn't going to be driven for an hour or so, don't start it. Put the batteries on a maintainer.
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Old 01-16-2023, 09:28 AM   #3
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Any reason to upgrade to the clear window ones with red plugs? I see BGM puts them on a lot of buses.
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Old 01-16-2023, 09:36 AM   #4
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if it was the seal, oil would be inside the wheel. if it was the hubcap gasket, the plug would be clean. since the rubber plug has a vent hole it must breath. . my thought would be issue with the plug or it was overfilled. plugs get hard over time and do not seal. you will find its hard rubber or overfilled
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Old 01-17-2023, 07:55 AM   #5
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that looks like a Cap issue.. you can see the oil in the center hub area.. looks like the plug...


id replace the whole cap.. i run the clear ones.. in fact I Just replaced my caps as I did brakes and wheel seals on both front wheels.. mine were originally clear but had obviously been painted over several times over the years...



definitely keep the oil level up until you can replace that... the hubs dont hold a lot so even a small amount on the front can mean you are in the possibility of lube-starving that wheel bearing..


like booyah says those are pretty standard caps.. there are 6 bolt and 4 bolt ones.. I got mine from Truckpro, it was a standard item on the shelf and its easy to change..

my hubcaps came with new gasket, center plug, drain / fill cap, and 4 new bolts..


the drain / fill cap is plastic with an o-ring so you dont need to honk it tight or you will crack the whole cap or strip the threads... ive seen more than one where this was the reason for a leak


same with the bolts when putting it on.. the cap is plastic, there are metasl grommets but you dont need it honked tight...
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Old 01-18-2023, 09:01 AM   #6
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these type of hub oilers (caps) are 1 place to never use a pressure washer on. if the oil is milky brown its contaminated with water and must be changed.
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Old 01-18-2023, 03:39 PM   #7
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our first trip my right side hub oiler started leaking from the gasket as the bolts were too loose. i also used rtv silicone on my new gasket as like cady kid said dont overtighten because you will probaly break one of those bolts since they are a soft (grade 2) bolt
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Old 01-19-2023, 08:02 AM   #8
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our first trip my right side hub oiler started leaking from the gasket as the bolts were too loose. i also used rtv silicone on my new gasket as like cady kid said dont overtighten because you will probaly break one of those bolts since they are a soft (grade 2) bolt

the bolts themselves are pretty decent but the plastic cover itself simply has metal grommets molded into the plastic.. over-tighten the bolts and the grommet compresses which spreads and warps the plastic so it doesnt make solid contact and leaks...



I put a tiny dab of blue loctite on the bolts so I can snug them up with naybe 8-10 ft lbs of torque and they wont back out..



I didnt use RTV simply because I want to be able to easily take it apart if needed


I recently used the opportunity of replacing my brake rotors to fully clean and inspect the bearings, and replace the hub seals and put in fresh oil..

I poured some hub oil on the bearings before I put the hub assembly back on



you'll likely need to fill it a couple times if its been emptied as that thick oil esp in cold weather needs to move about.. so I filled it using the drain cap to just above the middle of the window.. drove the bus around my storage unit.. refilled... and after the 3rd time it was just below the middle of the window which is where I run.. technically the full point is at the point it runs out from the center plug.


I use the stemco method for setting the preload on the wheel bearings..that method is written all over the internet and on youtube.. ive not had an issue 1 doing it that way..
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:42 AM   #9
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we always used grade 2 because when they hit something and broke the oiler off (this happens a lot) the soft bolts were easy to drill out. grade 2 is plenty strong to hold it. i use my dads method of setting bearings i learned in the 60s as a kid. it never has failed after hundredes of times i used it.
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Old 01-19-2023, 09:49 PM   #10
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what was dads method?
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Old 01-20-2023, 08:52 AM   #11
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--eight foot pounds of torque while spinning the wheel. cars to trucks it works
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Old 01-20-2023, 08:57 AM   #12
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--eight foot pounds of torque while spinning the wheel. cars to trucks it works

cool stuff.. which in the end you are pretty spot on as the stemco method essentially tightens it hard to make sure the rear bearing seats fully against the stop at the back of the spindle.. and the races are fully in their spots..



but in the end ive measured just about 10 ft lbs preload after you do all the tighten loosen and back-off procedures.. so 8 seems pretty spot on
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Old 01-20-2023, 09:10 AM   #13
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You don't really want pre-load IMO. The chart is much more forgiving on the left side vs the right. I'll shoot for a couple thou endplay over any pre-load. End play is measured with a mag base indicator on the nut. Stemco method is pretty spot on for being right, so long as you can read the chart correctly and perform the steps right. Then, always check your work with an indicator when done, but if you did it right, it should land you where it needs to be.
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Old 01-20-2023, 10:06 AM   #14
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I used the wrong term in using preload. I meant in checking torque on the nut . You are correct in preload being the “tightness” in the bearing.. 10 dt lbs of preload would be a lot!!
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Old 01-20-2023, 10:13 AM   #15
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What’s the most common wheel bearing failure you see in the shop? Incorrect assembly or lack of lube ? (Leaky seals etc)
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Old 01-20-2023, 05:49 PM   #16
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Also. Starting it monthly and driving up and down the lane isn't good for the bus. Your better off leaving it sit, as what your doing is hell on the engine, as it never gets hot enough to burn off the condensation. If the bus isn't going to be driven for an hour or so, don't start it. Put the batteries on a maintainer.

True about starting it monthly and just barely moving around. Have to get up to operating temps to boil off condensation that becomes acidic.


However, not moving it leads to failed seals. The Marines have millions of square feet of vehicles stored at MCLB Barstow. When I was there we learned that they had guys who, on a schedule, took motorized equipment out on a specific course intended to bring them to operating temps for a certain amount of time and to allow all of the seals to get "exercised" and lubed up. Sitting is bad on mechanical equipment and especially on motorized equipment.
When I was in Marine Aviation (majority of my career) we would start and exercise (short flight) every up aircraft when getting the entire squadron ready for a deployment. We found that if we maintained a bird and got it to 100% then parked it for the week while getting the rest of the squadron to 100%, the earlier birds would have all manner of fuel and hydraulic leaks. So every other day the up birds would be flown for an hour and then reparked.
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Old 01-20-2023, 05:52 PM   #17
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What’s the most common wheel bearing failure you see in the shop? Incorrect assembly or lack of lube ? (Leaky seals etc)

Depends on the operating environment.
In Barstow the only bearing failures we ever saw were when the yahoo aimers (you would likely call them "drivers") tore seals and just kept on driving in the sandy environment of the desert. So um..... aimer (operator) error!
In the non military community..... lack or lubrication.... either low or the wrong fluid added by an aimer.
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Old 01-20-2023, 07:43 PM   #18
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Depends on the operating environment.
In Barstow the only bearing failures we ever saw were when the yahoo aimers (you would likely call them "drivers") tore seals and just kept on driving in the sandy environment of the desert. So um..... aimer (operator) error!
In the non military community..... lack or lubrication.... either low or the wrong fluid added by an aimer.

I often wonder how well leaks are caught in pre-trip.. to me its pretty easy to see oil on the inside of a rim and know exactly what it likely is... but I often wonder how many hubs end up in a shop dry or close to it.. ive seen trailers off to the side of the road with a wheel on fire before.. but nbo way to know if a brake can went bad or if it was a bearing...
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Old 01-20-2023, 10:10 PM   #19
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What’s the most common wheel bearing failure you see in the shop? Incorrect assembly or lack of lube ? (Leaky seals etc)
leaky seals running out of oil and a lot of contaminated oil (water and dirt)
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Old 01-21-2023, 07:50 AM   #20
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leaky seals running out of oil and a lot of contaminated oil (water and dirt)

its interesting how dirty that oil can get in what should be a sealed hub.. really the only way to truly change it is to disassmble the hub... my hibs have a little well between the inner and outer bearings that never gets drained...
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