Final thoughts on the job:
I just wrapped it all up this weekend. To summarize, I pulled both hubs, took out the races and replaced the races, bearings & inside seal (castle nut and cotter pin too, but just because it came with the kit). So - notes on the job:
- All bearings and races replaced were USA Temkin - seems like there is a difference between these and some roll-the-dice China made ones
- Cleaned everything with degreaser & brake cleaner
- Spent quality time packing the bearings
- Hub spins freely with tire with no play in it (side to side)
- Cleaned and replaced bearing buddy
- There was substantial grease in the hub (between the bearings) that seemed due for removal - just putting more grease on with the bearing buddy wouldn't have solved this
- Used quality marine grease for everything
If I were to do it again.....
They make new galvanized hubs with quality bearings (you can even get them pre-packed). I'd probably go this route as my wheels do get wet from time to time - but still, probably nothing close to seawater wet.
The whole experience gave me a much better understanding how it all works and I'm glad to have done it. The toughest part was getting the old cotter pin out as it was too big for the spindle and took close to 20 mins to get it pulled.
Takeaway: These parts are the life blood of your trailer. The wheels/bearings/hubs/tires are the most likely failure point so putting time into properly maintaining them is well worth it.