Trailers equipped with Tie Down Engineering actuators are also equipped with Vortex hubs and spindles. The hubs are pre-greased and assembled at the factory. As a result, they should not require any additional adjustments. The Vortex hub uses tapered roller bearings adjusted to a maximum .006 end play. The twelve-sided castle nut easily maintains this maximum .006 end play. The configuration requires a minimal amount of end play that is factored in at the time of assembly. 

The rear seal rides on a stainless steel wear sleeve. This provides longer life for the seal as the surface does not corrode. Corroded or rusted seal surfaces act like sandpaper on the seal, causing premature seal failure. Every reasonable attempt has been made to prevent this. 

Vortex lubrication makes changing or adding grease easy because the hub does not need to be removed. Most axles have a threaded grease cap, and it is easy to remove and replace. Vortex requires Lucas Oil Marine grease, a premium lithium-based complex grease that is fortified with rust and oxidation inhibitors, and high-pressure additives that provide a high degree of moisture resistance and wash-out properties. 

CAUTION: Use only Lucas Oil Marine Grease when adding or replacing grease in the Vortex hub. Using any other grease will void the warranty. 

Adding Grease Or Removing Hubs 

The Vortex hub/spindle is designed to be a no-maintenance hub for six (6) years. Remove the Vortex grease cap, unscrewing threaded caps in a counterclockwise rotation. On the press-in style caps, sim- ply remove the rubber plug in the center to grease the bearings, or knock gently with a hammer, preferably a rubber mallet, if removing the entire hub. Use a standard grease gun loaded with Lucas Oil Marine Grease to pump the grease into the zerk fitting located on the end of the spindle. 

  • Pump the grease into the zerk fitting while slowly rotating the wheel. Grease will flow out of the hub around the front bearing. 

  • When the grease appears to be the new clean grease, remove the grease gun. 

  • Replace the Vortex grease cap. With the threaded cap, turn in a clockwise rotation until the o-ring on the cap is in contact with the hub surface. Turn an additional one-quarter (1/4) turn to seal the Vortex cap to the hub. (Similar to installing an oil filter in an automobile.) On the press-in style cap, tap it on until fully seated. Be careful to avoid damaging the cap while re-installing. 

If the bearings need to be adjusted or replaced, the work should be done only by an authorized MasterCraft Dealer. Failure to contact MasterCraft for pre-approval during the warranty period will void the warranty. 

The wheel bearings have been precisely torque-set at the factory. To assure the bearings are in good working order, check the bearing adjustment at least once a year by following this procedure:

  • Jack up one side of the trailer. (Be certain to use jack stands and use chocks on each of the trailer wheels to keep the trailer from moving during the inspection.) 

  • Grip the edge of the tire and see if it can be rocked or moved. If the outer edge of the tire moves more than a small amount, the bearings may need to be readjusted. 

A slight amount of oil seepage at the rear seal is normal and necessary to lubricate the wiper lip of the seal for long life and sealing contaminants out. If excessive leakage is occurring however, contact an authorized MasterCraft Dealer for assistance. 


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