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Dexter EZ-Flex zerks not accepting grease


Fargoman
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While greasing the 12 suspension zerk fittings on our LE2 today, two of them would not allow any grease to be pumped in. I've had very limited experience with zerk fittings, and would appreciate any suggestions as to how to fix the issue.

2021 Legacy Elite 2 Twin Bed | Hull Number 894 (9/16/21 delivery) | Ram 1500 Longhorn 4x4 3.0L EcoDiesel 3.92 axleAZARCAIDMTNVNMORTNTXUTWAsm.jpg

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Each bolt has a single hole in it, drilled at 90 degrees to the center hole, to allow the grease to flow outwards. Sometimes the weight of the trailer bearing down blocks one or three…. The first thing to try is to raise the hull to relax the suspension. Often that does the trick, if not, you could have a blocked zerk fitting, which can be replaced, or worst case, Dexter forgot to drill the holes properly. In that case, you need a new bolt and nut. The nuts are in theory one time use and should be changed.

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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11 hours ago, John E Davies said:

you could have a blocked zerk fitting, which can be replaced

If taking the pressure off the suspension does not solve the issue and you decide to replace a zerk it is a fairly simple process.  Take the old zerk out with a wrench, wipe it off, drive down to the local NAPA store (or other auto parts store if you don't have a NAPA, and purchase three or four.  Now would also be a good time to decide if you want to buy "straight" zerks or ones that are at a 45 or 90 degree angle or a combination such that they will be easier to get to the next time you have to add/replace grease.

Also, if you determine that dirt clogged the original zerk you might want to consider getting "caps" like THESE to help protect the zerk.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Thanks to all who responded. I did jack the wheels on the curb side off the ground today to unload the suspension where two zerks weren't accepting grease. One zerk took grease, but one did not, so I will replace it to see if that solves the problem.

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2021 Legacy Elite 2 Twin Bed | Hull Number 894 (9/16/21 delivery) | Ram 1500 Longhorn 4x4 3.0L EcoDiesel 3.92 axleAZARCAIDMTNVNMORTNTXUTWAsm.jpg

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Fargoman - 

Another thing you could try on that "plugged" zerk is to take a small punch or nail set and gently tap on the little ball at the end of the zerk.  Perhaps a little spray WD-40 or Liquid Wrench in that area would also help.

On the other hand - zerks really aren't very expensive and are easy to replace.  Certainly not worth going to too much trouble in trying to repair one.

Good luck!

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Please do take note that the bolt has splines on the head end.  It is not designed to be turned from that end.  If the splines are damaged, the suspension bolt WILL turn, and the nut will fall off.  This is how some of the EZ-Flex center bolts have worked loose. 

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Regarding jacking one set of tires off the ground to relieve pressure on the suspension (using either floor jack or built in leveling jacks), is it OK to leave the front of the trailer supported only by the front leveling jack? There would be some slight angular force on the front jack by doing so. I hitched the trailer to my TV the first time I raised one set of tires off the ground just to be cautious.

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2021 Legacy Elite 2 Twin Bed | Hull Number 894 (9/16/21 delivery) | Ram 1500 Longhorn 4x4 3.0L EcoDiesel 3.92 axleAZARCAIDMTNVNMORTNTXUTWAsm.jpg

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I've almost always had my Ollie attached to my Tow vehicle when using the rear "jacks".

You have identified the thing that worries me - that the Ollie will want to shift/roll forward.  In the one instance that I remember when I didn't use the tow vehicle I was one nervous puppy and triple checked my chocks to include chocking the side I was lifting.  I also used jack stands under BOTH axles while doing this.  I'm guessing that OSHA would not approve.

Be careful!

Bill

NOTE:  It is NOT recommended to support or jack up the Oliver via the axles.  My use of jack stands above is only as a safety measure.  Instead of placing the stands under the axles, they could be placed under appropriate places on the frame.  Thanks to Mossemi for pointing this out!

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I’ve always had my trailer hitched when I did this (a couple of times at Discount Tire and once at a campground when one of my grease caps came off and was rattling around).  I did use the front jack for stability, but did not lift the hitch off the ball.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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I have greased ours quite a few times now and it seems there is always at least one that will not take grease initially. I just use the Oliver jack to take a little pressure off the offending side but never have had to take the wheels off the ground. 

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Scott&Ricki

2017 Legacy Elite II Twin, Hull 225, The Bus 
2007 Tundra 
Prev: 2003 Casita, 2009 Weekend Warrior 

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Mike and Carol said:

once at a campground when one of my grease caps came off and was rattling around).

Yet another good reason to eliminate those silly chrome axle covers. Did it cause much damage?

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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29 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

Yet another good reason to eliminate those silly chrome axle covers. Did it cause much damage?

John Davies

Spokane WA

The grease cap was pretty dented.  It still went back on okay, I replaced it when we got home.  I don’t think it was properly mounted when I had my bearings repacked.  Mike

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30 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

Yet another good reason to eliminate those silly chrome axle covers. Did it cause much damage?

Well - one might not like the look of those covers (actually I do like the look and don't think that they are "silly" at all) - but - I've had the same issue as Mike a couple of times and these covers have saved the spindle cap from flying off into the bushes and have prevented at least a little bit of "stuff" from getting into the grease on the outside of the spindle.  Unfortunately, the little chrome cap in the center of the cover has been lost in each case.  A quick call to Oliver Service corrected that issue.

Again, like Mike, I simply re-applied the spindle cap and continued on my way, replacing the "damaged" cap when I got home.  But, now I always carry a couple of THESE with me - just in case.  I also believe that the reason these caps came off in the first place was due to faulty installation when I had my bearings serviced. 

Bill

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Interestingly enough - since I started carrying the two spare spindle caps I've not needed them!🤪

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I couldn't un-stick the zerk that wasn't accepting grease, and decided to replace it. When I removed the curb-side rear wheel to make it easier to get a ratcheting socket on the zerk, I discovered that there are 14 zerk grease fittings, not 12 as mentioned in my original post. With both wheels on I hadn't noticed the 'hidden' zerk on the bolt that attaches the E-Z Flex system to the subframe. I had assumed that bolt would have had a zerk in the bolt head like the bolts that attach the leaf springs to the E-Z Flex, like in John Davies photo above.

I mention this with the hope that some other new owner realizes that there are two zerks that are not readily visible without removing a rear wheel or crawling under the trailer.

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2021 Legacy Elite 2 Twin Bed | Hull Number 894 (9/16/21 delivery) | Ram 1500 Longhorn 4x4 3.0L EcoDiesel 3.92 axleAZARCAIDMTNVNMORTNTXUTWAsm.jpg

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38 minutes ago, Fargoman said:

I couldn't un-stick the zerk that wasn't accepting grease, and decided to replace it. When I removed the curb-side rear wheel to make it easier to get a ratcheting socket on the zerk, I discovered that there are 14 zerk grease fittings, not 12 as mentioned in my original post. With both wheels on I hadn't noticed the 'hidden' zerk on the bolt that attaches the E-Z Flex system to the subframe. I had assumed that bolt would have had a zerk in the bolt head like the bolts that attach the leaf springs to the E-Z Flex, like in John Davies photo above.

I mention this with the hope that some other new owner realizes that there are two zerks that are not readily visible without removing a rear wheel or crawling under the trailer.

There are actually 16 zerk fittings in total.  There are FOUR hidden ones (2 on each side of the trailer) on the EZ flex links where the links are attached to the subframe bolts, one facing forwards and one facing backwards on each side of the trailer.  You found two of them.   See photo.  I always crawl under the trailer to get to those 4.  Sorry about the bad photo, really hard to get the phone in there for a picture.  The photo shows the forward facing zerk on the link on the right in the photo.  There is rearward facing zerk on the other link on the left in the photo. 

 

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

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Thanks for pointing that out Frank. In retrospect, knowing that there are two E-Z Flex links per side I should have looked further. I had seen an earlier post about zerk fittings that mentioned a total of 14 and figured that "Hey, I found the two hidden ones!"

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2021 Legacy Elite 2 Twin Bed | Hull Number 894 (9/16/21 delivery) | Ram 1500 Longhorn 4x4 3.0L EcoDiesel 3.92 axleAZARCAIDMTNVNMORTNTXUTWAsm.jpg

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The replacement zerk fitting did not solve the problem of the wet bolt accepting grease, so I submitted a ticket to Oliver. Jason responded quickly, saying that they would send a replacement bolt, and that I could replace the bolt myself,  or have a local service facility do the work and submit a reimbursement claim to Dexter. Coincidentaly, two days earlier a friend had highly recommended a local family-owned RV service facility, so I opted to have them perform the work.

When I went there to schedule the repair, they told me to bring the trailer by that afternoon so they could determine if the bolt was truly faulty, or just needed a more powerful grease gun than the mini-grease gun I use. The bolt was indeed faulty, and they had a replacement in stock (the one from Oliver had not yet arrived), so they set about replacing the bolt. It took close to an hour, but they only charged for half an hour of labor (work stopped for a while as everyone in the shop had to come inspect and drool over my exotic fiberglass trailer.

A happy ending to a small, but nagging problem, and I now have a trusted local repair facility to turn to when things get above my pay grade.

Attached is a photo of the offending bolt. I'm not sure if the wear is normal after only 3500 miles or indicative of a lack of sufficient grease.

wet bolt.jpeg

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2021 Legacy Elite 2 Twin Bed | Hull Number 894 (9/16/21 delivery) | Ram 1500 Longhorn 4x4 3.0L EcoDiesel 3.92 axleAZARCAIDMTNVNMORTNTXUTWAsm.jpg

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  • 3 months later...

Getting set to do my first lube of the zerks and found this from Oliver. It does show the placement of the 16 zerk fittings (8 per side).  Pretty helpful for a newbie like myself:  https://support.olivertraveltrailers.com/portal/en/kb/articles/dexter-ez-flex-overview-maintenance   

 

Is there a favorite grease?  From what I've read elsewhere it seems Dexter recommends a lithium complex red grease, but I haven't seen that directly in the Dexter manual.

Patrick and Danielle Wolfe / 2022 LE II Tail #22-1052 / 2016 Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3L Tow pkg w/ 3.42 Rear 

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1 hour ago, Wolfepack said:

Is there a favorite grease?  From what I've read elsewhere it seems Dexter recommends a lithium complex red grease, but I haven't seen that directly in the Dexter manual.

You can use any decent chassis grease, but IMHO the very best is Redline CV-2, for suspension zerks as well as wheel bearings and jack gearboxes.

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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As JD says above - most any decent chassis grease will do the job.  Other than the crawling around the job isn't really very difficult.

However, you might want to consider getting some of zerk grease fitting caps like THESE to help keep those fitting cleaner.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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On 6/4/2022 at 8:28 AM, topgun2 said:

you might want to consider getting some of zerk grease fitting caps like THESE to help keep those fitting cleaner.

Thanks, Bill....on order :) 

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Oliver II #996 "Bessie", 2019 Silverado LTZ 5.3, Veterans

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