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Removing Wet Bolt?


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Hey All,

I just got done doing a grease job on my Elite 2.  Hull 701, 2020 model with Dexter components.  Turns out that one of the zerk fittings won't accept grease.  I de-weighted the axels and tested the ball on the zerk, but, even with a heavy duty grease gun, was unable to get any grease in there.  I am just out of warrantee and did a ticket to Oliver.  Oliver suggested I contact Dexter to see if they would cover the cost of replacement and Dexter blamed Oliver for creating a problem when installing.  Sigh!!!

It seems like a simple enough job to replace.  I took some wight off the axles by using the power jack (behind the rear tire)  and a scissor jack to a jack point to take weight some weight off the front tire.  I then removed the inward facing bolt and tried to tap out the bolt with a hammer.  I saw the zerk side of the wet bolt has splines so seemed like the unit is meant to come out with a large punch instead of turning.  It did not budge.

Does anyone have a suggestion for preceding? 

SOLD:  2021 Elite 2, Twin Bed, Lithium & Solar, 3000W Inverter

SOLD:  2022 Ford F150, 3.5L V6 EcoBoost, 4x4 Supercab, Trailer Tow Package

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You need either a bigger hammer and a big fat drift (punch), or else a tool, like this:


You can rent one at many auto parts stores. You are correct, the bolt should slide out, it should not be turned because of those splines. Some heat from a propane torch might help, but that will get messy and stinky in a hurry. Because its has not been taking grease, it may be rusted or frozen in place. If the bushing is rusted solid to the bolt, uh oh, you might have to take it to a pro trailer repair shop.

Sometimes this works: put the press onto the bolt end, really tight (be sure to lubricate the threads with grease). Spray a bunch of penetrating oil (Kroil or PB Blaster) inside, whack the tool end a few times (not the rented one!), leave it there for an hour or three. Go take a long break. If you are really lucky you will hear a "BANG crash" and find the tool lying on the garage floor. If not, let it sit overnight and try tomorrow.

Good luck, take pics.

John Davies

Spokane WA

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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Gap - 

Have you tried a small nail set on that ball at the end of the zerk?  You should not need to hit it hard - but - what have you got to loose?


2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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Before I made further efforts to remove the wet bolt, I would invest in a Grease Buster and give it a try on the bad zerk with some PB Blaster.  It has worked for me on a bad zerk on my tractor.


I am a big Lock-N-Lube fan.  Their Grease Couplers are big time savers when lubing more than 30 zerks on my tractor!

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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package


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If you are willing to invest a week or two in a low-impact fix, try Kroil, repeatedly applied over a couple weeks.  Amazing stuff and worshiped by folks who work in corrosive environments like salt water boat yards. 

Re-install with a quality anti-sieze.

Not as much fun as the "bigger hammer" approach but more likely to leave you with functioning components.  You can always bring out the bigger hammer later.

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Soooo, this was an interesting project.  I had tested the ball on the end of the zerk fitting before seeking input above on how to remove the wet bolt.  pushed it with a small nail punch and it seemed to work well.  I did spray both the inside and outside of the wet nut with a penetrating oil.  It probably helped some but I feel that the load on the shackle was preventing the nut from being hammered loose.  I took most of the weight off the tires on that side and let it sit on a couple of floor jacks, one each on the appropriate jack points in front and behind the tires.  I then used a scissor jack to see-saw the Dexter suspension rocker to minimize the tension on the shackle encasing the wet bolt.  Jason, the Oliver shop manager, wisely suggested backing the nut to the end of the thread of the bolt to give a larger surface to hammer on.  Too bad for me that I got that info after going to town with a hammer.  Oh well.

The nut did break free - finally.  used a float punch (wide head punch) to drive it out of the shackle which turned out to be smart cause the punch itself was what kept the two parts semi aligned when the nut popped free.  I tested the nut and zerk by pumping grease through them and they worked fine.  After talking to Dexter, my conclusion is that the nut had been installed incorrectly.  The little hole that the grease comes out is supposed to be at 3:00 or 9:00 and, turned facing say 6:00 or 12:00, will not dispense grease.  Could not find a replacemt local and did not have the stomach to wait for shipping for the $10 part so used a $4 thread cutter to repair the mushroomed threads (damaged by my misguided removal process) and reinstalled.  Took some tweaking to line up the parts of the shackle but none too ugly.  Guess I did OK as it took grease as it's supposed to.

John was right that allowing the penetrant time to do it's thing seemed to be key.  Wish I had read the Neuman's post before reinstalling  as an application of anti seize would have been prudent but I did grease the nut well so hopefully that grease does not wash out or dry up and works as a lubricant when I replace the nut when it's time to grease the bearings.  Will certainly pick up a can of Kroil too.

Thanks all for thoughtful responses.

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SOLD:  2021 Elite 2, Twin Bed, Lithium & Solar, 3000W Inverter

SOLD:  2022 Ford F150, 3.5L V6 EcoBoost, 4x4 Supercab, Trailer Tow Package

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  • 2 months later...

Just following up here concerning positioning of the little hole in the shaft of the wet bolt.  Dexter confirmed that there can be issues with a plugged bolt (grease not being able to come out of the hole) unless the hole is oriented to 3:00 or 9:00.  I spoke to someone at the Oliver shop, just after removing and re-orientating the problem bolt on my trailer and he stated that he thought the orientation was irrelevant but would contact Dexter to confirm.  A week or so later, he followed up with me to let me know that Dexter had repeated the information given to me.  Word to the wise:  If you are having an issue getting your wet bolts to accept grease, it may have been installed improperly at Oliver.  This was a doable but clumsy job to complete as it was difficult to de-weight the nut to allow it to be removed..  

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SOLD:  2021 Elite 2, Twin Bed, Lithium & Solar, 3000W Inverter

SOLD:  2022 Ford F150, 3.5L V6 EcoBoost, 4x4 Supercab, Trailer Tow Package

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