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Dexter EZ Flex on a Legacy Elite II


rideandfly
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David,

 

Helped another forum member install Dexter wet pins and bronze bushings on his single axle Ollie in the following thread. You will see in the thread a grease gun with flexible hose being used. Built a wood stand for the grease gun for the owner's one hand operation . We pointed the 45 degree fittings outward so the owner would not have to crawl under the Ollie to lubricate. Several Ollie owners may have the fittings pointing inward requiring the owner to crawl under the Ollie for lubrication. Tires do not need to be removed during lubrication.

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/dexter-single-axle-suspension-kit-legacy-elite/

 

You may have already seen this about Zerk fittings:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grease_fitting

 

There are 8 grease fittings per side, 16 total, on the Elite II.  Check out this thread 1/2 way down the page,  grease fitting locations are shown. Pointed my fittings outward and yours may be pointed inward.

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/dexter-ez-flex-installation-on-a-legacy-elite-ii/

 

Hope this helps,

Tundra LE2

 

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I brought mine to the factory a couple of weeks ago, and one the the things they did was install the Dexter EZ Flex. Here are a couple of photos that may help with zerk location.(note the zero hidden in the mounting bracket). I noticed that some that have installed themselves have located the zerks differently.

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GrayGhost


2015 Legacy Elite II Hull # 98


2016 Dodge Ram Laramie EcoDiesel


 

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  • 2 years later...

EZ Flex Service Check:

 

This past summer, I had Ollie going up a very steep four mile section of mountain road to a boondocking site.  My tug was in first gear, 4-Low, rear axle locked, center diff locked.  That section of road takes me an hour to transverse.  Any suspension failures on this road would be a serious problem.

 

Upon arrival, I was setting wheel chocks and noticed that the EZ flex heart bolt locking nut was gone, and the bolt itself was 85% out of the fixture.  The only thing holding the EZ Flex in place was the weight of the trailer and a couple of  threads.  See the pictures below.

 

Now as part of my lube process for the EZ Flex, I recommend you look carefully at the nut to ensure that it is in place, and that you have threads extending past the top of the nut.

 

This could have been a nasty failure. These are "shackle bolts", and I have yet to find longer ones that I could double nut for safety and peace of mind.  If you know of a supplier that has some, please let me know.

 

Thanks

 

 

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Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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I found exactly the same situation on our OOII when we got to Winnipeg for the Boler Rally last summer.  A fellow that had been viewing the trailer noticed it and alerted me to it. I don't know which would be worse, 4 mph on a steep mountain road or 65 mph on the interstate.  I'm glad that neither of us had to find out.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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Here's Dexter's EZ Flex installation instructions for EZ Flex assembly installed on my Ollie.

 

Look at page 3 lines 13 & 15 for torque values.

 

https://www.dexteraxle.com/docs/default-source/dexteraxle/product-documentation/installation-instructions/059-867-00_ez_flex_complete.pdf?sfvrsn=16

 

Dexter EZ Flex components can be purchased from E-Trailer, too.

 

 

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Tundra LE2

 

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I check mine for torque every other time I grease the zerks. They don’t normally loosen but it can happen....

 

HOWEVER!

 

Each bolt has a short area of ridges or splines underneath the head, that bite into the steel of the mount holes to prevent it from spinning. At least that is the concept. It is VERY important to hold the head with a big combination wrench when tightening the nut using a socket and torque wrench, to prevent the bolt from rotating and tearing off the steel inside the mount hole. The mount is mild carbon steel, the bolts are hard.

 

I think the system design has proven to be reliable, most of the time, but incorrectly torquing the hardware can cause problems.

 

I guess it would be smart to carry an extra equalizer and hardware, just in case, plus the required tools to change it out. It would not be easy. I have never heard of a properly torqued nut just falling off, there must have been a defect or the wrong kind of nut was installed.

 

Proper lubrication is critical, even the EX Flex system might fail if run dry. How is this for scary?

 

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Geronimo John, we need to know how you got back down that fire road.... with more pictures if you have them. Where you able to fix it yourself or did you call Billy Bob’s Mountain Top AAA? One great thing about an Ollie - it will easily fit on a flat bed wrecker.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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These are “shackle bolts”, and I have yet to find longer ones that I could double nut for safety and peace of mind. If you know of a supplier that has some, please let me know.

I don’t know of longer bolts, but you should probably at at least replace all the nuts with new ones, so you are sure of their self locking ability, and also peen the exposed threads - Use a big center punch to put two or three craters in the threads right next to the nuts. They will act as a secondary “safety” and also as a visual clue if the nut is backing off.

 

If you are truly anal like me, you should remove every single bolt, one at a time, to inspect them, and make sure lube is getting where it is supposed to.... it is a ton of work and it might make sense to just buy and install a brand new bolt kit. Make sure the bushings are OK.

 

John Daveis

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Overland,

 

The bolts on my unit are not quite long enough to drill and safety wire. I imagine I'll  do as JD mentioned - I'll take a punch and put a small "dent" in the thread ends. Won't stop the bolt from loosening, but should prevent the nut from coming completely off the bolt. When I grease the Ollie  I'll also double check each bolt for  secure. Not a bad idea to do visual each fill up. I usually do a walk around anyways, I'll add this to my look see.

 

Thanks folks for this thread.

 

RB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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@ Overland:  No, they are just long enough for the job with almost nothing extra.

 

@ John D:  Roger on the center punch expansion trick.  This would be a good temporary approach.

 

I would MUCH prefer castellated nuts and cotter pins.  The Center Pivot Bolts were identified by a trailer supply house as standard "Shackle Bolts".  I wonder if a grade 9 bolt that was about 3/4" longer manufactured for a cotter pin and a castellated nut is available?

Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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@Scuba RX:  Roger on the over the cliff or Interstate tumbling show.  I towed Ollie 10,000 miles and across several of the plains States was running the posted 80 MPH speed limit or maybe a tad more.  I can't imagine what would  happen IF  I had ran over a tire with the bolt hanging on by a thread.

 

Both Oliver and Dexter Engineering indicated that my experience was unique.  Now that both ScubaRX and I have experienced the same sick feeling I suspect there may have been more.  This raises my level of concern.

 

So, please all Ollie Owners:  If this has also happened to you, please please respond back to this post.

 

Thank you

Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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I am not sure I would trust regular drilled bolts with castle nuts..... The point of the splines near the head is to lock the bolt solidly to the mount so it doesn't turn and subsequently wallow out the shackle support holes. All the motion should be between the moving parts and the bolts, the bolts themselves should remain completely motionless. The rational is probably that it is a lot easier and cheaper to replace worn parts than to weld on new mounts.

 

Before I did this I would DEFINITELY check with Dexter engineering. Speak to an actual real engineer, not some drone far far over the ocean.  If cotter pins and castle nuts were better I think they would already be on a gazillion trailers. If you decide to go this route, have a good shop spot-weld each bolt head in two places so it cannot move.

 

Again, my suspicion is a bad lot of hardware, not bad design. However, leaf springs belong in the 19th Century. Here is the real fix:

 

Independent-Suspension-2.jpg.a6e872ad30fdb592455c64bf9fda9f8a.jpg

 

https://cruisemaster.com.au/cruisemaster-xt/

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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I've wondered about the reliability of those nuts too.  The best solution is to clean the threads thoroughly with Brake-Clean or equivalent spray, and a brush, to get all of the grease off the threads.  Then apply Lock-Tite, screw on the nut, and re-torque to specs.  With that, they will not come off, but at some point, you can still remove them many miles down the road, if needed.

 

I'm just about to grease the bearings and was planning to do this before our trip to the rally.

 

If you happen to break a spring some day and have to get it apart on the road, you can heat the nuts with a propane  torch to soften the Lock-Tite.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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John,

 

 

 

I love that suspension system and so wish we had it on Olivers.

 

Have you seen the Black Series campers?  We'll be stopping in Utah on this next trip to check them out.  Here's a pic:

 

 

 

 

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Geronimo Update: Trailer Super Store has longer bolts and Nylocks. Will see if they have castellated bolts and nuts as well and will post back.

 

 

Geronimo,

 

I'm not convinced a castellated nut is the answer.  And remember, the shackle bolts in the Dexter system are specific to that design.  They are shoulder bolts where the shackle plate is pinched between the shoulder and the nut.  They are also serrated to lock into the other shackle plate next to the bolt head.  If you try to use them with cotter pins, you'll have to cross drill all of the hardened steel bolts.  Those nuts should be torqued properly, not just lined up with holes for cotter pins.   You'll never get the right torque at the same time the holes line up.  Without proper torque you'll get wear on the shackles and bolts.  Axle nuts holding wheel bearings work well with cotter pins because they are not very tight and can be a little off without problems.    Lock-Tite is the answer for the shackle nuts.  Easy to do, and  can be properly torqued.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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John,

 

I love that suspension system and so wish we had it on Olivers.

 

Have you seen the Black Series campers? We’ll be stopping in Utah on this next trip to check them out. Here’s a pic:

 

No, I have not seen them in person, but Overland has and likes them. I have crawled around and under a Moby 1 XTR Offroad Teardrop. They use a homebuilt version of that suspension and it is simply glorious. They use BIG high end automotive spherical ball ends, greasable of course. ....  https://www.moby1trailers.com/moby1-xtr

 

Moby 1 is in SLC so if you are there you could check them out too.

 

People need to keep telling the factory that we want this option. I doubt it will ever happen, but for Oliver Trailers to say it is not a desirable feature seems odd to me. I would have paid an extra $10K for this plus an electric over hydraulic disk brake system. The more units they sell in the West, the more folks there are who will want a rock solid, reliable long travel suspension that doesn't spit out parts.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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John,

 

 

 

Thanks for the link to Moby in SLC.  I'll check them out.  That long travel setup would be perfect for the desert.  Even with the tires aired way down on Ollie the interior still takes a beating on rough roads.  We tooled along on the last trip to Death Valley on a dirt road for over 50 miles and it took hours.  Even then, the microwave tried to escape,  a couple of the window shades checked out, a couple of overhead cabinets would not stay closed and the seat cushions had their own ideas.  We were only going about 10 MPH.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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