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Old 08-04-2011   #11
Columbus, Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 135
What Ranchman said.

Get a grease zerk fitting on there, and you can just pump some clean grease in there every once in a while with a grease gun.

That's the only thing that's really happening when you submerge your hub.....Grease is getting washed out, and there's not proper lubrication.

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Old 08-04-2011   #12
SummitSurfer's Avatar
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 435
Yeah just put a cirk hub on and pumped it full and going to take your advice, just makes perfect sense!
Have you ever pushed grease out the back seal/blown or is that kinda hard to do? Seems like my hubs took a ton of grease, keeping in mind, I put new bearings/races and grease in May.
I'm learning! Thanks for all the info!

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Old 08-04-2011   #13
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Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 251
You might also consider Moly base greases. They hold up to water washout better.
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Old 08-04-2011   #14
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by SummitSurfer View Post
Yeah just put a cirk hub on and pumped it full and going to take your advice, just makes perfect sense!
Have you ever pushed grease out the back seal/blown or is that kinda hard to do? Seems like my hubs took a ton of grease, keeping in mind, I put new bearings/races and grease in May.
I'm learning! Thanks for all the info!
That's the Achilles heel of bearing buddies. Pumping until grease comes out the front of the hub will cause the inner seals to blow out. If you added that much grease I'd suggest taking a peek at them.
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Old 08-04-2011   #15
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Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 961
I've heard many stories about failure with bearing buddies. It's a faults sense of security as far as I'm concerned. When you put some grease on the outside of the nut, how is it going to get to the inside bearing without a bunch of pressure and then pushing through the seal? If it's not coming out the seal, how do you know the grease made it to the inside bearing?

But each to their own. I use open oar locks.

Looks like I'm a slow typer, Incoop has already addressed some of this.
Karma is like this: If we set causes in motion the effects come back to us.
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Old 08-04-2011   #16
welch, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 207
Buddy bearings have a spring that keeps the pressure on the grease when it warms up it flows to the back bearing . I have used these for several years and if you are pushing grease out the back sealthen you need to replace the seal
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Old 08-04-2011   #17
Meridian, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 113
Bearing Buddies are great if you use them right. 1 or 2 pumps is all that is needed. All You're trying to do is displace the old grease and any dry areas. Don't put 5-10 pumps in it or wait until the back begins to bulge. BB are designed to allow more frequent "re-greasing". People are more apt to add a pump or two every 6 months to a year rather than wait every 3 to get them repacked.

Getting water in your bearings is VERY minor compared to your bearings drying out. The grease helps to keep the water out. Think about those people that live in wetter climates. They don't have to repack the bearings in their car every year because the car is getting driven daily and keeping the grease evenly distributed.

The killer of bearings is letting them sit for any surmountable time. Gravity takes over and the grease runs to the bottom of the bearing and the top gets dried out. Then the grease separates and breaks down.

The more you use your trailer, the better off you are. To a point that is. I wouldn't go more than 5,000 miles or 3 years with any trailer. That and frequency of use, will determine when you need to replace. If your trailer sees a lot of water, then you'll have to be the judge of that. I'm from the camp that feels that water has minimal effect on bearings. One 20 mile trip will evaporate/extrude that water. If you're concerned about the water, get boat trailer bearings, they're sealed.

And those of you that like to carry a spare, good luck. Unless you're willing to pull over every 10 miles and check the heat with your hand, by the time you notice a bearing that has failed, it will have most likely welded itself to the axle. Good luck getting that off and a new one on.

How do I know... I had it happen to me last year on the way to Hells Canyon. I got lazy, it had been more than 3 years since my last re-pack and just as we were coming into Cambridge, I felt a slight bump. 1/2 a mile later we turned the corner by the Stinker and I saw the wheel wobble out my drivers side mirror.

We got luck I suppose in that it happened where it did. I turned around, went to a small shop and they pulled the wheel. Mind you I had only just driven about a mile when I noticed the problem. They had to use 2 cans of WD40 just to get the hub cooled down. The bearing had welded itself to the axle. 2 hours and $100 later we were on the road.
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Old 08-04-2011   #18
niwot, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 96
one way to know bearings are OK

Bad bearings are noisy- but by the time you hear them you are usually in trouble. I 'check' my bearings routinely- without ever pulling them apart. Bad bearings create friction. Friction creates heat. Right after I take a lengthy trip with them, I (carefully touch) check the temp of the hub over the bearing. I've never had them get hot without some sort of issue. By contrast, I've seen bad bearings actually glow.........
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Old 08-04-2011   #19
aka The Curmudgeon
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Hopelessly Stuck in Yesterday, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 322
I swear by Bearing Buddies. I have 7 trailers, use them on each one. Don't put so much in that they blow out the front side, and the back side will be just fine. rwhyman, look how the hub/bearing is constructed and you'll see how the back bearing gets lubricated. Also, when you use Bearing Buddies, you do get some seepage past the grease seal, the wheel gets grease coated, etc. But that's what makes them work. On another note, those little grease fittings are called "zerks".
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Old 08-04-2011   #20
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 342
Yeah, I hope I didn't give the impression I'm anti-bearing buddy. They're fine. One just needs to be careful not to overfill them. I have the posi-lube system on my party barge trailer. The zerk is on the end of the spindle and conducts the grease all the way to the back, but unlike BBs you can keep on a pumpin' til you see it come out the front without worrying about the inner seals. That's especially handy for a boat trailer because it provides an easy way to expel water that has entered the hubs. It's pretty cool to see the old grease and water ooze out. Oooooooozy.

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