Courtsara: maintenance-reducing spindle modifications
If you have a large truck with a Meritor 4WD system, you have probably experienced problems with lubrication in the spindle bushing/axle and hub area of the 120, 140, and 160 models. The 120 has no way to grease it other than to take it apart and manually grease the bushing/axle area. The 140 has a fitting on the end of the hub, but you have to slip a screwdriver (or something like it) through the seal and pump grease until it purges out past the seal in order to grease it. You will use over a tube of grease lubricating one little section this way and risk cutting the seal. The 160 has a grease fitting, but it is in the brake area and involves the removal of the tire and brake drum. The 160 is the most convenient of the three to grease, but it still involves approximately 2 hours of labor. The 120 is the hardest and involves 16 hours of labor to remove the tire, brake drum, brake assembly, and spindle to grease. Removal of the spindles also involves replacement of a $40 seal per side and the hub seal which you will have to replace every 30000 miles when you repack the hub bearings according to the service interval from Meritor. Meritor's recommended service interval on the axle bushing is every 30000 miles for highway use and every 15000 miles for on/off road use. We have personally seen failures with units with lots of off-road use after 3000 to 12000 miles. These failures can be costly, generally in the 3500 to 7200 dollar range for parts alone, not to mention labor and downtime.
We at Courtsara have devised a modification (patent pending in the US and Canada) that reduces maintenance time for these axle bushings and packing of the hub bearings to a matter of seconds. This modification voids Meritor's warranty but, if you are like most companies, you care more for service of a unit than the warranty. Installation takes as long as packing the bushing once, but only a matter of seconds to maintain afterward. We located the grease fitting in a mechanic-friendly area. The entire spindle assembly can be greased from one location. When the grease comes out of the pressure relief fitting, you will be done greasing. You will have also packed the bearings as well as the axle bushing. Meritor has a great design with mass weight in the wheel area being reduced to give you better fuel mileage and good service. With our modification, a good product becomes even better. Although we mention only specific models, we welcome inquiries about the prospect of modifying others. This modification will work on Fabco 1200, 1400, and 1600 axles and on the Marmon-Herrington CT8, MT8,MT10,MT11, and CT12 models. We will also be modifying the standard non-driven, axles.
You will be able to pack your bearings in seconds with a grease gun. Imagine the amount of time spent cleaning parts. That's time with a mechanic dealing with toxic solutions to clean them. How about having to remove the 20 to 24 inch tires and the 100lb brake drums to do this job? As a business, it might be a consideration of liability issues. A business might even be able to get a reduction in workman's compensation insurance with the installation of these systems. This will save any truck driver downtime and labor costs. If you want these modified spindles on your truck through a dealership, please direct them to this website. We feel that all dealerships owe it to their customers to show them an alternative to the high repair costs if these units fail. Thank you and be sure and check us out in Fleet Maintenance Magazines September issue. We are in the New Products and Services section. We look forward to doing business with you.
Coming in the future: Kits for all you 4WD buffs with the straight axle front differential with the locking hubs and tapered bearings.
Fabco is a trademark name of Fabco Automotive. Meritor is a trademark name of Arvin Meritor Inc. Marmon-Herrington is a trademark of Marmon-Herrington Company, an MHT company, a Berkshire Hathaway company. Courtsara has no affiliation, implied or otherwise with Fabco, Meritor, or Marmon Herrington.