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Everything posted by Ghostriderc227

  1. These had 13K miles on them, the bearing cups/races looked fine. RB, Not certain if you replaced the bearings AND the bearing races. I do hope you replaced both the race and bearing. Just replacing the bearing is not a good idea. Steve.
  2. There is much to be desired in the design and operation of those brakes, especially after they get some miles on them. I suspect you have nothing wrong with the brakes since they are still relatively new. The brakes adjust themself by applying short pumps on the brake at lower speeds. I would guess it may take 15 or 20 slow speed brake applies to get the adjusters to set in correctly. You mention that the brakes seem to perform better after you had used it, and that is the self adjusters at work. The entire brake assembly inside the drum will actually try to rotate front to back inside the drum as you apply and release the brakes…….each time that assembly rotates during brake apply, a ratchet adjuster moves to shoes out towards the drum closer. This will happen until the brakes have reached their optimum adjustment and then they no longer “rotate” enough to ratchet any further. As the shoes wear, the adjuster will once again ratchet a click or two in an effort to self adjust the brakes. Under ideal conditions and when the brakes are still relatively clean, rust free, and have enough lube on the small metal pads that hold the shoes out away from the backing plate, then the brakes can work fine. My Ollie has about 25,000 miles on it and is an older model……so when I went to replace all the wheel bearings and races this past winter, I discovered my brakes were doing the same thing (unequal braking on each wheel). I quickly found out how the brakes worked and spent a good bit of time to completely disassemble the shoes, springs, and adjusters to clean and lube the points that needed to move in order to adjust. I used a good high temp silicone based brake grease on all the stamped pads in the backing plates, as well as all the contact points for the adjusters, springs, etc. The brakes are once again working fine, however I suspect that I will need to give those brakes a good inspection each time that I grease the wheel bearings. It was a bit of a puzzle for me to understand exactly how the brakes worked and self adjusted…..but one I did, it was not an extremely difficult effort to clean, lube and adjust the brakes once again. I had very little brake wear on the drums or the shoes…..but I suspect that most of the braking was done by one or two of the wheels. By the way, you can adjust the brakes manually if need be. There are a few posts from the past on how to do that. There is also an electromagnet that must be checked as well (an easy thing to do). That magnet is what actually makes the brake assembly want to rotate when the brakes are applied. I would suggest that you take your Ollie out for a low speed ride and apply the brakes a good number of times, and relatively hard apply at slow speed. This should allow each adjuster to reach its optimum point of adjustment. If i were to order a new Ollie, I would get the standard brakes and just live with adjusting them once or twice a year. That is much less complicated than the Nev R adjust brakes. In my opinion…….a very poor design. It would also be suggested that you order the small rubber dust covers/plugs to protect the back side of the backing plates where the adjusting slots are located. There are two of these slots on each wheel. In Dexters infinite wisdom, they decided not to install the rubber plugs at the adjusting slots any longer. I guess they just assume that dirt, water, etc getting inside the brake assembly is not critical. That or they just want to save about .80 cents per axle. Good luck and I don’t believe you have anything serious to be concerned about. Just do the hard brake applies a good number of times at slow speed and you should be ok. If not, then you will need to remove the brake drum and get inside each assembly to find out what is not working correctly. Steve
  3. Thanks for the information; sounds very helpful. I prefer to use the big rig fuel lanes when filling up with diesel as those pumps are suppose to be more controlled for fuel quality, water, etc. The big truck stop fuel stations must insure and are liable for any damages that may occur as a result of poor fuel. If a truck carrying perishable goods happens to break down, and they lose the goods due to fuel quality, then they are liable for the damages. I have used the big rig lanes in the past for this very reason, however it is sort of hassle having to go in an prepay for your fuel. This ties up the fuel lane a little longer and requires a little leg work. I signed up for the Open Roads card this morning and will give it a try on my next fill up (after the card arrives). I also would be very interested in any comments from anyone who has used this service. Steve
  4. Interesting forecast…….however I’m not certain how accurate that may be. There is a large demand for the diesel truck, not only by RV owners, but mostly construction, agriculture, and general use. The diesel develops much more torque at lower RPM’s than a gas engine and that gives it an advantage over a gas engine. The lower RPM also gives longer life to the engine, just on reduced wear. Auto manufacturers will do almost anything to squeeze more profit from the product, and yes the diesel is more costly to manufacture. I would not be surprised at all if you see the V8 engine (gas or diesel) eventually go away. That will be a sad day for many. I have owned several diesels in the pick-up truck offerings and have been very pleased with them. The current truck is a Ford F-250 with a 6.7 diesel and I have been very pleased and impressed with that truck. Before that I had a 2001 Dodge with a Cummins diesel and a manual 6 speed transmission, possibly the best and most trouble free vehicle I have ever owned. I am 73 and have had many vehicles over my driving history. The Dodge (pre catalytic emissions) was almost bullet proof. In the 15 years I owned it, the only problem was the A/C compressor and a water pump; both around the 150,000 mile mark. I have no doubt that truck will drive on for many more years and miles. If your needs are to only run down to the Home Depot on the weekend to pick up a few gallons of paint, or a sheet of plywood, then the electric truck may work for you. However if you are planning to pull 6,000 pounds or more cross country, and up and down steep inclines, then the electric truck will not do. The auto manufacturers love to push the electric vehicle concept, mostly because there is more profit and less production cost involved. I will never own one, and hope that my latest diesel truck will be my last, as I intend to drive it many, many years (or at least as long as I possibly can). Think about the major differences between electric and diesel powered vehicles and you can quickly see where the production and manufacturing cost advantages are. For an electric vehicle, you eliminate the cost and expense of an internal combustion engine, a complex transmission, as well as the final drive. All profit areas for the auto manufacturer to take advantage of. They are already adding a premium cost of about $10,000 to add the diesel package to a truck, and that is a huge profit margin for them as it is. Just imagine the profit advantages if they can design and manufacture just the battery pack and a couple of electric motors for the drive; and still sell the vehicle for the same, or possibly more, as a standard pick up being offered today. Electric trucks will have no place in the heavy duty truck market, nor in the over the road type of market. The endurance, and pulling limitations just to not work. My personal suggestion would be to find a new 3/4 ton, diesel powered, truck and plan on keeping it as long as you can. Having a good preventive maintenance schedule for it will insure you will drive it for many, many miles. Not all will agree with my perspective, and these are simply my personal feelings. Steve R.
  5. Oh yes……..the original bearings are marked “Made of China”. I was really quite surprised to see Oliver using them……….but then again the axles come from Dexter so that in itself does not surprise me. I am not overly impressed with Dexter quality. I did upgrade my suspension to the Dexter EZ Flex and found the Dexter support not very helpful. The wet bolts that came with the kit had very poorly threaded bolts and two of the wet bolts needed to be replaced. Dexter also clearly stated in in their kit that the grease zerks are all 1/4 x 28 thread for the zerk. NOT TRUE. The large bolt that holds the center hanger in place is 1/4 X 28 thread, but the other wet bolts had a M6 thread. I found it necessary to drill out and re-tap those zerk threads so that all of them are 1/4 x 28. I then installed angled grease zerks on all outboard fittings. Hopefully that will make lubrication of the suspension much easier. Steve r.
  6. FYI, i just completed changing out the bearings and seals on my 2015 Oliver LE2. These are the bearings used. Timken Set 17. L68111 and L68149 for the inner race and bearing Timken Set 4, L44649 and L44610 for the outer race and bearing Timken seal, 473336……or you can use a National seal. They are the same I elected to use the Timken wheel bearing grease. Looks to be great quality and who knows better about the required grease for their bearings than the maker of the bearings. I would strongly suggest you also purchase a bearing arbor/bearing driver. Using a punch to install the race is not a good way to go. The bearing driver kit makes the job so much easier and gives you the assurance the race is completely seated to the drum. These kits are inexpensive…..only $35 to $40 and they will fit a number of different common bearing sizes. Drive the seal to be perfectly flush with the outer diameter of the drum……..do not drive this seal all the way to the bottom of the machined recess in the hub. i use a large flat block of metal to drive on…….a flat piece of wood can also work. Do not hammer directly on the seal itself as you can distort the seal. Since I am not familiar with your comfort level in working on drum brakes it is difficult to suggest doing a little maintenance on your Nev R Adjust brakes. This is not a very robust design or execution of self adjust brake mechanisms, and it is my personal opinion that they do require some maintenance in order to perform as intended. Once you remove the brake drums and attempt to move the brake shoe assembly back and forth to see how free they move/adjust, you may be very surprised to find that they bind and are not free to move. There are points in that brake systems that require some cleaning and lubricating and doing that when you repack the wheel bearings would be a good idea. To get to all the parts for cleaning and lubrication, you almost need to completely disassemble the brakes. But if you feel uncomfortable with that, at the very least apply a good brake grease to the raised pads on the backing plate where the brake shoes ride. There should be six raised areas that should have a small amount of brake grease applied. You can lift away the brake show from the raised pad with a screwdriver, and then apply just a small dab of brake grease. The other areas that need a dab of brake grease will require you to disassemble the brakes. Not an extremely difficult task, but a couple of special tools are suggested to remove and install the springs that hold the shoes together and to the backing plate. I used CRC 05361 Silarmic brake grease and am quite impressed with it. Follow the suggestion listed earlier for torquing down the wheel bearings to “set” them before inserting the cotter pin. Tightening that axle nut good and tight while rotating the hub is important to get the “bearing set” properly. Then back off the nut as described in the earlier post. Very critical to get just the correct amount of play in the new bearing and race. Not certain if “play” is the correct term as you really do not want play in the bearings……but you do not want them set to tight either. The replacement of the wheel bearings, races, and seals is not that complicated of a job…..but it can be time consuming to do it correctly and especially to insure all parts are absolutely clean before applying the grease……you sure do not want any contamination or bits of dirt in your new set of bearings. Good luck on your project. Steve R.
  7. My Ollie got the Dexter EZ Flex suspension installed. While I was doing the install I decided to change out all the wheel bearings and seals to Timken roller bearings. The original bearings had “Made in China” on them and I simply could not rest well knowing that. There is just over 20k miles on the Ollie so it was probably a good time to change them out anyway. While the brake drums were off I did a complete inspection of the Nev R Adjust brakes. I was not pleased at all with what I found and decided to pull the brakes completely apart, clean them thoroughly, re-lube all the contact pads and actuators. The drums looked great and showed very little wear. The brake pads have less than half the pad wear of a new brake shoe……so they went back in. Two of the wheels had a brake drag I was not pleased with and when I inspected the brakes I was very disappointed in the action of the Nev R Adjust system. They all appear to move much better now that the system has been cleaned and lubricated as it should be. I was very surprised that the backing plates had no lube on them at all at the brake shoe contact points. We will see how they now work and adjust; if not working well, I will change out the backing plates to the regular manual adjust system. Not very impressed with the Nev R Adjust system as it just does not appear to be a very robust adjuster/brake system. I did add a new tool to my collection. It is a Milwaukee 2 speed electric grease gun. The battery is the same 18 volt I use on some of my other tools so this was an easy choice to make lube much easier. The EZ Flex has 8 zerks on each side and even with the angled zerks installed it still is somewhat of a pain to lube. I must mention that the electric grease gun will also make it much easier to lube my Kubota tractor and my Kubota zero turn mower as well. Tools Plus had the Milwaukee grease gun on a BlackFriday sale for $139, so that helped in making my decision. Lowest price around before the sale was $199, so this was a great buy. It even includes free shipping. Steve
  8. I do have a back camera, and it is a great assist in connecting to a trailer. However I do own an older truck, along with my Jeep, that do not have camera’s. Connecting to a trailer can take a little practice, but it can be done with one person. For a one person hook up, I would suggest you invest in an innovative product called “Hitching Stick”, found them at an R v center a few years back, and have been very impressed with how they work when no one around to help guide you. These Hitching Sticks are inexpensive and are nothing more than a bright yellow fiberglass pole that looks like about 3 feet of fishing pole (however they are thicker and much more heavy duty). They have a magnet on the bottom of the pole so you can attach it to the top of your hitch ball. The second stick you place on the top of your tongue near the hitch. As you back up and look over your right shoulder, just keep the two sticks in line with each other. As you get close to the trailer, the stick on the hitch ball will fall off/over when the hitch on the tongue is directly on top of the ball. I carry a set of these sticks under the rear seat of my truck all the time….they are a great help when working alone. They do have them on Amazon for $35. Steve
  9. I own several electric polishers, 3 rotary and 1 orbital. The orbital is what I would suggest. The polisher I ordered and use on the Oliver (as well as my newer truck and car) is: Rupes LHR 15ES Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher. It is an excellent product and is very effective. Rupes also makes rhe polishing pads that work extremely well…..I would suggest you get all three grades….ultra fine, fine and coarse. White, yellow and blue. They can be cleaned with soap and water. 3m makes an entire line of Perfect it compounds, polishes and glazes…they are top notch and 3m is all I have used in the past 40 years. The polisher is $299, but in my opinion very well worth it. It should last you for many years. It has a soft start and variable speed which is ideal, especially when getting up into tight or confined areas. I bought my polisher from Amazon about two years ago…no problems at all. It is a very high quality tool. Steve
  10. A wax is just a protective coating, polish has a little more aggressive cleaning action but does not really protect the finish. Most common are a polish wax combination. The polish wax combination does not protect as well as a true wax; a wax will not clean the surface. The combination mixture works fine on a finish that needs just a quick touch up. Best to use a random orbital polisher with a polish or light compound to clean the oxidation and dirt film, then clean the finish to remove the polish or compound…..then apply your wax for protection. I have used both types of machine polishers/ buffers over many years and found the random orbital to be safe and effective. If you use a good quality polisher with variable speed control and good quality pads, you will not harm, or burn the finish. I am in the process of polishing, then waxing my Oliver now. It takes time to do it correctly, but anyone can do it without fear. It does not take long to get the “rhythm “ of the polisher. My Oliver has light marks from the previous owner cleaning the finish with a car wash brush, and that can dull/lightly scratch the gel coat. It is cleaning up great and looks as new again. Once you get it cleaned and conditioned, it will take much less effort to keep it that way. Steve
  11. John, A 3/4 ton truck with a diesel is far from an overkill. In fact you will find it to be the ideal tow vehicle for an LE2. Steve
  12. I purchased a new F250 Super Duty two years ago, the truck is a 2019. It has the 6.7 diesel and the suspension includes the camper package that includes a rear stabilizer bar, the front stabilizer bar is one step stiffer, but less than the snowplow option. There are two bed lengths and mine is the shorter of the two. I did tow my LE 2 on a 1,200 trip recently and it towed great. Smooth and no sway or bounce. My fuel mileage is 19 combined with no trailer or load, with the LE2 I averaged 14.5 and that was through the Smokey mountains. I am very happy with the truck and the Oliver. Recently I added the Undercover Flex Armor bed cover for the 6’ 9” bed and very pleased with that as well. Steve
  13. Sounds like a fun time and a perfect time of year. I am registered. Steve R.
  14. I love living in Texas. However, August in Texas is BRUTAL. That 98f is nothing until you stand in the direct sun…it will bake you. I bought my Oliver to escape Texas in August….I will be heading to NW Montana for the month. We had a great spring, bit the heat is back. Steve R Jefferson, TX.
  15. My LE 2 is hull 106. Still doing great and looks close to new. Just getting ready to add the Dexter EZ Flex kit. I have all the parts, but need to work it into the schedule. Most upgrades have been done by Oliver as far as camera, inverter, battery pack, etc. Steve R. NE Texas
  16. In my limited opinion, that is not near enough engine, transmission, or final drive for pulling an Oliver. There is a huge difference between a Diesel engine built for fuel economy, and one built for heavy towing and rugged use. Buyers many times believe that simply because it is a diesel, that it is capable of heavy loads. There are light duty Diesel engines designed and built for economy....and this is one of them. Also, consider what is between the end of the crankshaft and the tires on the ground. Drivetrain and suspension are just as critical. Steve R.
  17. In addition, you might call Oliver and have them send you a pint of their resin, that way you will start off with a good match. You can use any polyester resin hardener once you get the resin. Steve
  18. Make 100% certain your repair material is a good color match. There are pigment kits for polyester resin, but use care, you can easily end up with a muddy grey. Be certain to check your color match after drying is complete before moving on to the actual repair. In the past I have repaired gel coat to an acceptable level by spreading a small amount of resin directly into the damaged area, then lay a piece of Saran Wrap over the material and carefully spread out to fill the area and blend into the adjacent area. After the material sets up you can peel away the plastic wrap. Your repair will most likely be very shiny and smooth. If you feel you want better leveling and blending, then take some 600 grit wet sandpaper on a block or wrap around a nice flat paint paddle, and wet sand the area smooth and level. The repair does not have to completely harden or cure before you remove the Saran Wrap. In fact it works better is the repair material is at about half cure...the Saran wraps peels away easier. Try it out on a sample part to get the hang of it. From that point you can use rubbing compound to polish out the 600 grit sand scratches. With some experience you can get acceptable results with just the clear Saran Wrap. Try to use the thickest grade of Saran Wrap you can find...it makes the smoothing process go much better. Steve
  19. Might as well add a 1 pound can of Timken wheel bearing grease to that order. Timken GR224TUB.....$6.99 Steve
  20. Great information..... I would like confirmation on if the inner bearing and outer bearing on each hub are the same. My reason for asking is that in the past I have changed out bearings on axles that are a different size between inner/outer. I have not serviced the bearings on my LE 2 yet, but plan on it for this season. Thanks in advance. Steve
  21. I have that carrier option on my Oliver. It is extremely well built and constructed...not an off the shelf item at all. Just looking at the metal thickness, weld quality, and overall construction, one can see it is a quality designed and built item. The big issue with the carrier is the access to the spare, as the tolerance is so tight on the construction that it can (an does) bind when pulling the pins and trying to slide the carrier rearward to gain access to the spare. I found it necessary to remove my carrier and rework it a bit. Unless that carrier is mounted on a perfectly flat surface, you will have binding when attempting to slide rearward for spare tire assess. This can be overcome by reworking slightly the pin holes and rounding the edges of the thick aluminum tubing. This carrier was mounted by Oliver and I don’t believe they could have inspected its function after installation. I now carry a rubber hammer in my tool kit so I can “assist” the carrier rearward to gain access to the spare. There are most likely some very good reasons they install a 1 1/4 hitch size...but I believe the carrier capable of more weight to carry than Oliver suggests. There are many factors to consider other than what the carrier is capable of. Steve R.
  22. I went thorough this when I purchased my f-250 Superduty. Tire size and axle ratios are pretty well narrowed down by the options you select. My suggestion is to go to the Ford site and build your truck online. Start by selecting the option you want and your choices will be narrowed down, if not eliminated. Tire size is mostly determined by suspension, springs, wheel, cab and bed length. There was an option on my truck to select the weight rating as well. Selecting your known or most desired options will narrow down your tire size and axle ratios pretty fast. stev R.
  23. I have never been a supporter or trailer tire rotation, as we usually do on a motor vehicle. Tire balance is necessary I believe for several reasons. The primary reason to rotate is to maintain equal tire wear, so they all wear the same. The big contributors to tire wear are driving force (the power transferred to the wheels to push the vehicle), turning and cornering (front wheels where wear is caused by turning right or left), and tire load (weight distribution). Most tires on a trailer will “age” out of use long before they ever wear out the tire tread. Since a trailer tire see’s little of these main contributors, there is really little need to rotate on a scheduled basis. I do rotate when the wheels are removed for maintenance, but never rotate just for the sake of rotating. Tire pressure and tire balance are most critical for tire longevity. I do believe the correct pressure is most critical as heat is the biggest cause of tire failure. I have also found that tires with higher pressure are more resistant to picking up nails, screws etc. I have owned many motorcycles over the past 55 years, and driven them many thousands of miles. Over all those miles I experienced tire punctures most from tires that were at lower pressures (but still within spec’s). This has been confirmed with fellow riders. Heat is the big problem in tire failure. The greater your load the more heat you generate....tire pressure can compensate for that. I have found that a small handheld infrared heat thermometer to be extremely handy for quick side of the road checks...a big plus being you can quickly and easily check not only the tire, but the wheel bearing. Picking up a higher temp reading on one bearing quickly tells you of a potential problem waiting to occur. Steve R.
  24. Thanks Bill, I applied that body side chrome trim myself, and it is not all that difficult. Just need tape to stretch a straight line, wax cleaner, and a careful eye. I had it on my previous 2001 Dodge Ram diesel and enjoyed the look. Are you implying that the dressing on the running boards will cause your foot to slip? I don’t dress the running boards at all....but never thought of losing traction. Good tip, thanks. Steve R.
  25. For what it is worth, I bought a Ford F-250, XLT 2019 model. In doing my research I found a huge price difference between the XLT and their top of the line model. A few options brings the XLT up to a very well equipped vehicle for a reasonable cost. I found a 6.7 diesel with the suspension upgrades and nice trim options I wanted...and even preferred over the top of the line models. You can add the chrome upgrade option, trailer towing package, 4 door, bucket seats, large nav screen, and a number of other features and still be 20,000 under the top of the line models. one thing to also consider by going to the 3/4 ton, is the heavy brakes, shocks, springs, transmission, axle, etc. that will give you years of added use over a 1/2 ton. I have averaged 19 - 20 mpg without the Oliver and 14 - 15 mpg with the Oliver. Yes routine maintenance is higher for the diesel, but also is the resale. I could not be more pleased with my Ford F 250. Steve R.
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