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Old 03-12-2019, 04:20 PM   #1
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Packing Dynatrac Hub Bearings

I am looking for some real world experiences with packing the Dynatrac hub bearings. At one time I was told that they need to be packed every 3000 miles. We have been traveling for the past several years and I can put on 3000 miles in less than a month. How many miles do you drive your 4X4 Dynatrac equipped van before you pack the hub bearings? This does not include driving through water or other adverse environments. Just travel on paved and dirt roads.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:32 PM   #2
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Roughly 20,000 miles for me.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:05 PM   #3
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I have almost 300,000mi on my 2004 RB 50 and spent $20,000 on repairing the 4X4 platform and installing a FF rear diff. Two major problems. 1) There are very few mechanics who know anything about differentials and even those that have been in business specializing in differential builds and repair screw up at least 50% of the time. 2) The Dynatrac spindles and bearings are inadequate to handle the weight and travel in remote areas.

I have had the bearings packed at 5000mi, 10,000mi and 20,000mi. If I wait until 10K it is almost certain that something will fail in the near future. I have had serious problems that required a rebuild on the road. The first time the outer bearing disintegrated in Pahrump. It was after about 7,000mi after I packed the bearings. Cost me a week and $1200 to replace the spindle, bearings and hub. The old guy who owned the small garage I had the van towed to actually did a good job getting the parts and rebuilding the spindle/hub assembly.

Called Dynatrac in WA after the third repair. I was hoping that someone could explain why the spindles and bearings were failing and what I could do to prevent it from happening in the future. Whoever answered the phone at Dynatrac said "I don't believe it." and hung up. So much for support.

The time that the outer bearing disintegrated I was driving on the inner bearing alone. It was like driving in a 30mph cross wind and when I pulled over to look, the calipers were the only thing holding the hub/wheel/tire on the spindle. Anyway, just looking for an interval that is reasonable but short enough that to keep the bearings from spinning a groove in the spindle or failing completely.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:24 AM   #4
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Wow! That's some high failure rate! I know the 'brodozer truck' crowd, with the huge offset wheels, chew through the oem Dana non-serviceable unit bearings at an alarming rate. I lost one a few years ago on my van.



My impression has always been that the Dynatrac replacement set up was the cat's meow. I didn't buy them because they are out of my budget.


If you've had multiple failures, is it always the same corner that fails? Have you had issues with the rear wheel bearings failing as well?
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SierraHawk View Post
I 2) The Dynatrac spindles and bearings are inadequate to handle the weight and travel in remote areas.

Not that it matters wrt this thread but the dynatrac ProRock60 was spec'd by Sportsmobile with 30 spline spindles. For most everybody else's application it's 35 spline.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:43 AM   #6
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I grew up in Bishop, CA and as a small kid rode in the back of a WWII jeep with my dad and uncle who prospected on the weekends. They would follow the old tracks of the Model Ts that followed the wagon tracks made by the early prospectors into remote regions of eastern CA and western NV. Their 4X jeeps and Scouts were simple enough that they could be repaired with a few tools and we would be home for dinner. The Ford vans are a great platform to explore with but they are far more complex than the old jeeps and Scouts.

The rear diff had a "click" that no one could figure out so I had a shop in Vegas tear it down. They did not find out what was making the click sound but they did replace the posi unit that was no longer working. When they put it back together the kid installed shims that were 30thousandths over on the pinion than it needed. A year later the teeth on both the pinion and ring disintegrated on a paved surface in Tucson. Went through another rebuild in Tucson but the guy in Vegas denied that there was any problem with their work and would not cover the repairs. Found out that NV does not have any good consumer protection laws and BBB is worthless.

Both L&R sides of the front axles have failed at different times. Just the spindle and hub assemblies, not the axles or gears. The stock Ford posi was failing at about 60K mile intervals. Not wanting to break down 60 miles from pavement (in 2010 the cost for a tow from Death Valley to Pahrump was $1200) and tired of replacing the posi unit, I picked up a FF rear diff and had an Eaton True Track posi installed. Eaton also uses 30 spline axles. The 30 spline rear passenger side axle costs $500.

That axle failed 18 months ago just after I got onto pavement. I had been driving on the Buttermilk loop which is dirt road with a few rocks but not an advanced route. I had to wait for three weeks to get another axle in from Seattle. It cost another $500. When I ordered a replacement axle I was told that that particular series of axles had been failing due to some kind of problem with the alloy materials used in manufacturing. He said that they were not willing to warrantee the axle. WTF? But if the new axle failed he would replace it but would not pay for any towing or repairs. I did not feel reassured but they were the only source for the 30 spline axle.

Last year the van started to go into a death wobble. Not good. Installed the SMB steering stabilizer - problem solved. We are back in Vegas and doing the maint and semi annual repairs. This time in, they found that the mount for the track bar broke. If you take a look, that is a heavy piece of steel. Would never thought it would fail but it was probably caused by the death wobble. How I got to my original post was that I had the front bearings packed six months and 6000 miles ago. I have used Gill's Auto Repair in Henderson for the past 8 years. Probably the best shop I have used over the past 45 years.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:54 AM   #7
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ok then it appears the service interval on the front bearings on one end of the spectrum is every oil change and on the other 20 to 30,000 miles. My driving habits are similar to yours SierraHawk but geez you have had some bad luck.


Maybe others will chime in here but it certainly doesn't seem the norm. The best thing about the SMB is their 4x4 conversion. IMO. The only issue I've had was the lower shock mount u-bolt plate braking which was a known issue until they added an additional gusset. Of course I don't have anywhere near 300k either.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:20 PM   #8
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OK, as new SMB owner, 2013 E-350 Van and 2014 4x4 conversion by SMBW...this has me scared. BTW - quite a few posts on this forum have me scared. I am the 3rd owner and there is 45K miles on it. Saw some posts that stating sealed bearings on later models and other posts that said repacking is needed anyway. Post refrenced is: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ings-4262.html . Also an excellent tutorial on the link above by Badger on how to repack them, but I do not have the tools.

Question: I have no documentation by previous owners for this maintenance. Not sure if I need the maintenance if I have sealed bearings...also I was going to get a Fiamma awning, but want the beast to more mechanically reliable than amenities. Would the Free Spin Hub from Dynatrac solve this issue? https://www.dynatrac.com/blog/dynatr...-fuel-economy/

Grazie community
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:11 PM   #9
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Wheel bearings:
I'm not saying this is true in your case, but when ever I've had issues with front wheel bearings, the root cause has typically been mechanic error.



1) Those bent tab locking plates are supposed to be 'one and done', one time use consumable items. I rarely see them being replaced during service.


these look pretty cool:




2) Mis-adjusted bearing torque. My Samurai's front hubs, my differential carrier bearings, all require a fish scale. You torque the bearing to the pre-load called for in the manual, then measure the resistance with a spring loaded fish scale. Not many do this, either.


3) Once a bearing race spins in the hub, the hub is typivcally junk. I once chased my tail for 8mos with this, on a Toyota Celica I owned, by failing to recognize that the press fit was not tight any longer, and kept throwing good parts after bad, and pulling my hair out trying to fix a recurring problem. Again, not saying this is the case, but it's worth considering.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Ö.Last year the van started to go into a death wobble. Not good. Installed the SMB steering stabilizer - problem solved...
Going a bit off topic, but I've always been a firm believer that steering stabilizers have some value, but steering stabilizers do not fix anything. They do not fix the circumstances that cause death wobble, they only cover up the symptoms, potentially leading to more significant issues down the road. A steering stabilizer's primary purpose is to minimize bump steer when ONE front tire goes over an object (or down in a pothole) and the other front tire doesn't.


Death Wobble is a problem in the front suspension of a vehicle. Broken welds, track bar mounts, tie rod ends, loose bolts, wallowed out mounting holes, worn bushings,... It's generally not an easy problem to diagnose and fix, but a steering stabilizer by itself does not eliminate the root cause.




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