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Dexter Leaf Spring Axle Zerks - Elite I


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How many grease zerks are on the Elite I Dexter leaf spring axle? I found a total of four, consisting of two directly forward of each of the stabilizing jacks (street side pictured here). Did I miss any? Thanks!

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Brian and Maria | and furry, four-legged "kids" Lucas and Joie | Western NC
2020 Elite I | Hull 583 | February 6 Delivery
2018 F150 XLT 4x4 Supercrew | 3.5L V6 EB | Max Trailer Tow | Undercover Elite Tonneau

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There should be another wet bolt at the opposite end of the leaf spring making 3 per side.  The Elite II has 8 per side.

Edited by ScubaRx

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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12 hours ago, ScubaRx said:

There should be another wet bolt at the opposite end of the leaf spring making 3 per side.  The Elite II has 8 per side.

Thanks for your help ScubaRx. I found it  . . . . if it was a snake it would have bit me lol. I greased all six now, good to go. I'll eventually have the zerk fittings switched towards the inside. I found it awkward to get the grease gun on them; with the fittings all facing to the outside the tire gets in the way, especially on the rearmost two.  - Brian

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Brian and Maria | and furbabies Lucas and Joie | Western NC
2020 Elite I | Hull 583 | February 6 Delivery
2018 F150 XLT 4x4 Supercrew | 3.5L V6 EB | Max Trailer Tow | Undercover Elite Tonneau

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I've st

On 8/3/2020 at 9:45 AM, Brian and Maria said:

...I'll eventually have the zerk fittings switched towards the inside...

 

I've struggled with that choice since I first installed the Dexter EZ-Flex system on Hull # 050 back in 2016. First I installed them to the outside, ignoring the advice on YouTube to put them to the inside. I found (as you did) the tires made access to the zerks difficult.

During some axle work at the factory, I had the zerks turned to the inside. Then I found that although the zerks were not blocked, they were still not easily accessible. Scooting around on the ground under the trailer (even on a creeper) is not fun unless you're maybe 25 and weigh 125 pounds.

So at some point, I reversed them again so the zerks are toward the outside, but I replaced all of them with 45º angled ones, pointed in the correct directions for easy access.

That has been my experience with inside/outside. For yourself it would depend on how easily you can scoot around under the trailer.

If you decide to do it yourself, it has been my experience that it is hard to make every thing line up.  Advice: use a couple of hydraulic jacks and do one bolt at a time, things won't shift so much.

Hope this helps...

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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ScubaRx: Thanks for the advice and your points are well taken. I'm rethinking my decision and will likely go with the 45 degree angled zerks. I hadn't given much thought to having to scoot around under the trailer to access inward-aligned zerks . . . . and I'm at least 35 years and 50 pounds past the point of being able to do that with ease lol. I appreciate your tips.  - Brian

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Brian and Maria | and furbabies Lucas and Joie | Western NC
2020 Elite I | Hull 583 | February 6 Delivery
2018 F150 XLT 4x4 Supercrew | 3.5L V6 EB | Max Trailer Tow | Undercover Elite Tonneau

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  • 3 months later...

Not sure if all the Elite I trailers are the same throughout the years, but my 2020 Elite I has a rear leaf spring hanger that does not have a bushing.   As a result, any grease put into the upper rear grease fitting will just exit the bolt mid-air and drop down on the lower shackle point.  Therefore, in my case, any grease used on this zerk fitting is a waste of grease.  I am awaiting a response from Jason E on why a wet bolt is being used in this location and what might be done to ensure lubrication of the bolt to hanger contact as well as the side of the hanger and the shackles.   With less than 2K miles on the trailer, I am already starting to see a gap at the bottom of the bolt indicating either the bolt or the hanger is starting to wear.

 

Ollie1.thumb.jpg.4c9eec7dcdf2c5fe9eb871a660d7a885.jpgOliver5.thumb.jpg.66b3134afcd433e8a7f48e57bb40eb62.jpg

Edited by QuestionMark

2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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Mark,

I recently installed a shackle kit from etrailer for the Dexter suspension on our 2017 Elite. I had sleeves for the upper rears. Those sleeves were original equipment from Oliver. You should have those.

I did put the grease fittings to the inside so I could better torque (50 ft-lbs) the flanged nuts that came with the kit. I found it not difficult at all to grease each of them with a grease gun fitted with a flexible hose.

Edited by skalywag
Legacy Elite I

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Skalywag,

 

Do you happened to have a photo of your initial setup and post install?   Looks like you tried to upload a photo but it is not coming through.   If I am understanding correctly, your upper bolt (goes through the hanger) came with a sleeve (bushing) from the factory, correct?   

2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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Mark,

Yes, it has a sleeve. It is a section of stainless (?) tubing cut to length and fitted between the frame flanges. The bolt with the zerk then runs through it.

BTW, I had no photo to upload, but I could climb under there if you need one. Sorry, I did not take a before photo.  Also, the original equipment bushings were nylon and 2 of them were pretty worn after 20K miles. I prefer the grease type.

Legacy Elite I

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Skalywag,

My trailer has the brass bushings installed in the spring eyes but nothing between the ears of the rear hanger.   Sent my pictures to Jason for comment but, he did not respond with a statement that the installation missed installing the sleeve/bushing.   It would be great if you could provide a photo as I can use it to have a more detailed dialogue with Jason.   

 

Here is a youtube video of what my concerns are without having the bushing on the rear hanger.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y8vyIrodEw&feature=emb_logo

I am new to trailer suspensions so I can't really say it is absolutely installed incorrectly.  It might just be the new way of doing things to save dollars or that dexter has not seen a large number of failures to warrant a more consistent approach.   I only discovered the issue when tracking down an excessive amount of squeak in the suspension and went to grease it.   Upon seeing the grease just come out of the bolt, I realized something might be incorrect and started asking questions.  

 

Here is a photo I found on etrailer of a rear hanger for a single axle trailer that shows a bushing that would be a great improvement to the open bolt install I have.     

 

 

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 Thanks for taking your time to help a fellow Oliver owner out!

 

 

Edited by QuestionMark
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2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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Whenever a GREASEABLE suspension part is bolted between two tabs or “ears” (the fixed mount on the frame or a moving shackle) it MUST have a bushing between the two ears. The bushing is slightly longer than the part it goes through, the spring eye for example. When  you tighten the nut it draws all the parts together until the ears contact the bushing. At that point, further tightening applies the correct torque to the nut and the parts don’t move inwards any more.

With no bushing to stop the movement, the ears bottom out hard against the part, like your sides of your spring eye. It also causes the nut to go further onto the bolt than it should and “may” cause damage to the nut or bolt if it runs out of threads. So not only can you not apply grease, it is binding up that location. So you get noise and lack of motion. One way to “fix” the noise is to loosen the nut half a turn. Now the spring isn’t getting pinched, but you will have no way to lubricate the parts, and it will be noisy eventually, and wear out very fast.

This is basic Auto Mechanics 101. If you are not comfortable taking your suspension apart, then start a service ticket so a RV tech or trailer tech can do it. Do not leave it as is. You need all the parts looked at and corrected to the proper setup. Oliver will pay for it, no worries.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies
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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.

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I heard back from Jason today and he has escalated the case to Oliver QC/Engineering and Dexter for a resolution/recommendation.   Hopefully, I hear back from them with a recommended fix and can move forward.  He also indicated he had the same concern when they first started using the Dexter HD kit on the single axle trailers as Dexter approved but might have expected the OEM to have a bushing on the rear hanger.   I will let you know what I hear back.

 

 

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2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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Mark,

Here are some pics I just took. They do show a sleeve that the bolt goes thru and a bit of grease seeping out at the ends. I included a shot of the instruction sheet that came with the kit from Dexter.

There are some improvements that could be made to this arrangement.  Please let me know how it turns out and if you have any question for me.

 

 

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Legacy Elite I

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Skalywag,

Many thanks for taking the time to go out and get some photos.   This is just another example of why the Oliver community is one of the best.   

 

 

Edited by QuestionMark
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2018 F150 XLT Supercrew 5.0 4x4  

2020 Oliver Legacy Elite I  *  Hull #664

Located SE Texas Region

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