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Greasing Wheel Bearings


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#1 Rick

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 08:17 PM

For those of you that chose to do your own trailer maintenance now seems like a good time for a reminder to check and grease your trailer bearings. This site shows how easy it is to do your own and save yourself a few dollars from having a shop do the work for you.

http://www.sailingte... ... rings.html
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#2 ravinerat

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 04:35 PM

Bearing buddies. Makes life real easy.


RR
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#3 Yankee

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 04:49 PM

Bearing buddies. Makes life real easy.


RR


Good topic Rick for this time of the year as we begin to get our boats out.

Me too RR. I usually put around 1000 - 1500 miles on any of my little trailer when on a trip up north. It's also pretty loaded. I’ve had as many as 10 trips a year. I use buddy bearings and have never had a bearing issue. Buddy bearing all the way for me. It’s also a good idea to take your grease gun with you for the buddy bearing. I pump them full of grease before my trip and as I leave from up north for the way back.

#4 canuckbass

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 04:55 PM

Good post! I had bearing explode and basically weld itself onto spindle... Was not a fun job in my driveway on a rainy night trying to get fixed.... Had it fixed by 3am, just enough time to jump in truck and drive to Cameron Lake for a bass tournemment.
I tow my landscape trailer everyday in dusty and dirt roads, I check often and just grease'er up and no problems.

#5 ravinerat

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 04:11 AM

Melted the race to my spindle myself. It was in Huntsville and had to go back the next day with another trailer to pick it up. Never had an issue since I started using bearing buddys. I also keep a piece of plywood against the wheel/hub to keep the sun off in the driveway.

RR
Be safe, float!

#6 stinger

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 05:56 AM

Great post Rick !
Bearing buddies do work!! I took my hubs apart after 3 years and the bearings looked brand new.
The trick with bearing buddies is not to over grease them. as long as you can rock the front cup side to side(where the grease nipple is) you have enough grease in the hub, they are designed to keep 2-3 lbs of grease pressure in the hub, that'll keep the water out.
over greasing will blow the back seal, and once that happens it defeats the purpose of having bearing buddies. not to mention the mess you'll have back there specially if the trailer is equipped with brakes.
Its also a good idea to feel the hubs on every stop for any sign of heat while you are on the road, a couple of degrees above ambient is OK but hot to touch hubs are a sure sign of trouble in very near future.
properly inflated tires are also very important. also check for uneven wear.
Inconvenience of a bearing or tire failure on the side of the road is nothing compare to a nasty mishap at highway speed which can turn real ugly in a hurry and might cost some one's life.

Here is another thread I posted a while back on how to repack or replace trailer bearings.
http://www.newageang... ... pic&t=2644
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#7 ravinerat

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 05:37 PM

One thing I learned before bearing buddies is what the sun can do to the grease inside the hub. I had just repacked my bearings and my trailer sat in the drive way for about three mths. Sun shinning on the tire/hub during the summer mths. This was my snowmobile trailer. I left in the fall with the Atv on the trailer and had complete failure of my bearings. The sun had heated up the hub causing the grease in the outside bearing to melt out. So starting a trip there was no grease in the outside bearing and it didn't take long for failure to occur. Actually it was a few hours so I was far enough form home. So now I always keep a plywood stand against my tires while parked in the drive way. This keeps the sun off the tires and hub. We all know sun kills everything eventually. I haven't had any problems with bearings or tires since I started with the plywood cover and bearing buddies. I check regularly to ensure everything is in good shape.

RR
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#8 stinger

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 07:40 PM

The sun also does a lot of damage to tires, covering the wheels is a great idea.
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#9 D-Wayne

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 05:19 AM

The sun also does a lot of damage to tires, covering the wheels is a great idea.

One problem is expained in this video
Tires
I show my students this before I have them check out the tires of the cars in the school parking lot. Tires are only good for so long before they break down. :cry:

One thing with grease to remember is you often get what you pay for.

There is some great products out there that will not break down in the heat or sun.
The synthetic ceramic, or lithium based grease last a long time and some are also made for water and heat. Just what is needed for boat trailers.
We travel long distances get the bearings hot and them dump the whole thing in cold water.
It is a wonder more units don't seize or disintegrate from all the abuse :roll:

What your seeing RR is the oil and "soap" separating from normal grease.

Working in a school shop I have my bearings repacked once a year.
This way I get to see the bearings races and my brakes. Sometimes it gets done twice a year if I have students in the auto-shop who need a lesson in getting dirty :lol:

The big problem with anything these days is that we are too busy to remember the little things. To busy that is until it is too late and we are left to make repairs at 3 am......
Visorboy helped me borrow a tire from a neighbours boat trailer late one night to get my tin can home a few years back. The tire looked fine at the time but ,, :oops: ,, thank goodness it was at a lake just down the road.

If your not sure how to check your trailer, there are plenty of good mechanics who will check your trailer and will often talk you through what they do so you can keep and eye on things through out the rest of the year.
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#10 sinker

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 10:53 PM

I just put a new axle on my boat trailer. I have always had bearing buddies on my trailers, all of them, but this new axle came with a new greasing system called EZ-lube. They look just like bearing buddies, but they put the grease thru the spindle, right to the inside bearing, then there is a relief hole on the outside bearing. This ensures grease is getting to both bearings, instead of just the ouside. I haven't put enough miles on it to know if its as good as they claim, but it sure looks like a great rig. It was a toss up between them, and the oil baths, and I went with the ez lubes. The guy was telling me the oil baths area good, but if you lose the seal, you lo se alll the oil, and your pretty much screwed. At least with grease, and the ez lube, you can go a while before ALL the grease is gone from the bearing set up. So far, so good, and for $225 for a complete axle/hub/bearing assembly, I'm not complaining. The new axle is also much heavier than my last one, and the one before that, so hopefully, I won't have to replace it again!!!! This is the second time around for my boat trailer axle. I've upgraded from a 1500lb square axle, to a 2200lb round axle. At the very least its piece of mind on long road trips.

S.




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