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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks. Yet another opportunity to add a skill to the tool box... who has greased trailer hubs? I took the dust cap off my axle and the pic below shows what my inner workings look like. Can I just attach a grease gun to the fitting? I’m having trouble finding additional info online.

Just trying to avoid being that guy on the side of the highway.
67774
 

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Upon further investigation. These seem to be ez lube hubs? Just pump in new grease to push the old grease out?
That's exactly what you have, inspect for play, the wheel shouldln't have any side to side movement when up on the jack, then connect your grease gun to the zerk fitting and pump until the old grease comes out, and you see new grease. Personally I like Lucas red and tacky grease for wheel bearings, you can get it in the auto section at Wal Mart as well as your local auto parts store. Never had a failure since I started using that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's exactly what you have, inspect for play, the wheel shouldln't have any side to side movement when up on the jack, then connect your grease gun to the zerk fitting and pump until the old grease comes out, and you see new grease. Personally I like Lucas red and tacky grease for wheel bearings, you can get it in the auto section at Wal Mart as well as your local auto parts store. Never had a failure since I started using that.
Siiiick. Seems like the EZ hubs are far easier to service (lol imagine that). I noticed a hub that was slightly hot after last weekend so I think it’s time haha
 

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Yeah, the EZ Lube hubs are slick. You still may want to do a full inspection/repack every couple of years.

Also, consider a waterproof lithium grease fabricated for boat trailers - it'll give you some more margin if you occasionally submerge your hubs. Bearing buddies can also help prevent hubs from sucking in river water.
 

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The easy lube system he has is superior to bearing buddies in every way! Bearing buddies just squirt grease at the outer bearing, whereas the easy lube system has a journal down the middle of the spindle that injects grease into the rear bearing and forces it out through the front. This effectively fills the entire hub assembly with grease and eliminates any chance of water getting in there in the first place. Agreed you should pull them apart and check every couple of years anyway, and if you're one hub did truly get hot I'd pull it apart and inspect the bearings for any sign of temperature discoloration, if so replace them. It's a cheap easy fix
 
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A true ez lube axel does not have a snap ring or coil spring as shown in the first post. An ez lube has the grease zert in the axle spindle. To know for sure use a dead blow hammer to remove the silver piece.

stay safe and don’t let the wheel pass you on the highway.
 

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Bearing buddies are nice and all but ya still need to remove, clean, and repack the bearing's every so often. The tire center in my neck of the woods does it for $135 an axil. Marine grease is about $10. There are tons of youtube vids on cleaning and repacking bearing. I do mine every winter.
 

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You know Jake, you're right! Those are bearing buddies... Bummer
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm learning a lot about trailer wheels/hubs so this is good. I've got bearing buddies. Upon removing them and the hub, I found that I fully shredded the interior bearing. So it looks like it's time to hound down the parts and replace. Probably will just fully replace the bearings, races, seals on the other wheel too. I think I was one trip away from a roadside blow up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The saga continues. Sounds like Napa has the bearings I need. Looks like my outer is a 1-1/16” and my inner is a 1-3/8”. Could anyone let me know if this cup/race on the spindle is permanent or just fused on there? Haven’t seen anything like this on the inter webs but wanted to be sure before I really put my back into busting it off. Thanks
67812
 

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Holy schist! No, what's left of the bearing carrier needs to come off the spindle, and you'll need to drive the races out of the hub with a drift and hammer
 
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This is why I recommend repacking bearings every year. Glad you found it before your flaming hub started a wildfire!!!

you may want to consider a new axle as the spindle is beat to shit and may never seal water out.

stay safe
 

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Bearing buddies are nice and all but ya still need to remove, clean, and repack the bearing's every so often. The tire center in my neck of the woods does it for $135 an axil. Marine grease is about $10. There are tons of youtube vids on cleaning and repacking bearing. I do mine every winter.
Agreed. There's nothing wrong with Bearing Buddies as long as they are kept full of grease. And a good cleaning of everything every so often to remove inevitable dirt which causes wear, albeit not catastropic melt down of components, but rather more general wear that will leak more and more grease out and need filling more often. You should know your bearings need cleaning and repacking when you see streaks of grease/dirt from the center outwards on the wheels on the inside or outside, or in the case of Mag wheels, them getting generally very dirty with harder to remove grease/dirt.

When a race is melted down like in the later post, and all the radial wear lines in the spindles are apparent, it means the bearing buddy wasn't filled with grease and the bearing went dry and spun, or it wasn't installed right and the spring failed to push the grease into the bearing. On a low use raft trailer I wouldn'tnecessarily replace the spindles. Just put in new bearings, and likely be able to reuse the bearing buddies and keep an eye on them always being filled. And find a good cleaner for the grease thrown out.

If you would have had the newer EZ hubs, they would have done the same thing with neglect. No difference whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Agreed. There's nothing wrong with Bearing Buddies as long as they are kept full of grease. And a good cleaning of everything every so often to remove inevitable dirt which causes wear, albeit not catastropic melt down of components, but rather more general wear that will leak more and more grease out and need filling more often. You should know your bearings need cleaning and repacking when you see streaks of grease/dirt from the center outwards on the wheels on the inside or outside, or in the case of Mag wheels, them getting generally very dirty with harder to remove grease/dirt.

When a race is melted down like in the later post, and all the radial wear lines in the spindles are apparent, it means the bearing buddy wasn't filled with grease and the bearing went dry and spun, or it wasn't installed right and the spring failed to push the grease into the bearing. On a low use raft trailer I wouldn'tnecessarily replace the spindles. Just put in new bearings, and likely be able to reuse the bearing buddies and keep an eye on them always being filled. And find a good cleaner for the grease thrown out.

If you would have had the newer EZ hubs, they would have done the same thing with neglect. No difference whatsoever.
Good looks! Appreciate the info. My first rodeo on this topic. But really not a technical task. Biggest issue was figuring out inner bearing size cuz mine got toasted and I bought the trailer off an old farmer. I guess if I ever buy a used trailer it’d be worth the 50$, 2 hrs, and a 6 pack to just immediately replace.

I’m putting the fresh ones in tomorrow and seems Like it should go smoothly.
 

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Agreed. There's nothing wrong with Bearing Buddies as long as they are kept full of grease.
Ummm, there are a couple drawbacks to these. First and foremost, you'll never get grease to the rear bearing without blowing out the seal, and if memory serves, they want you to use "special bearing buddy seals" with the BB dust caps, not sure what makes these different than other seals, but a buddy blew out his standard seal trying to get the hub full of grease a few years back, he just changed out his spindles last year to the EZ lube style.. Was kinda a pain to get them true when welding them back on, but it was 400 bucks cheaper than a whole new axle.

I wouldn't count on them as a first line of defense, but it's not hurting having them on there, and they likely help more than hinder. Nothing, as many have said, replaces pulling the hub yearly and hand packing the bearings if you don't have an EZ lube axle, and then still every couple years depending on use, doing the same with the EZ lube.

As for the seal surface on the spindle, you could clean this up some with a scotch brite wheel in a hand grinder, polish it out some and it'll go a long way toward making the most of what you have last as long as it could.
 

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How are the spindles removed / held in place on a trailer axle like that? My trailer has spindles like that (though not as worn) and to me they seem like they are one with the axle itself and to replace one or both spindles is a matter of replacing the axle as a whole?
 

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You have to cut the spindle off of the axle tube and true and weld the new one on. Isn't as bad as it seems, and given the costs these days of replacement of the entire axle, a economically viable job. Pretty much and welder that does trailers can do this for ya, or I'd you have a friend that can do it that works too.
 
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