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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I've got one friend who is anal about the hubs on his trailer not getting wet and greasing them all the time etc etc...
I've got another friend who I doubt has ever done hub maintenance and puts his old flat bed trailer in the water all the time and then does 80 mph down the highway :( I know..not smart.

I've got brand new bearings in my hubs as of last May and never put them in the water on the boat ramp. The other day though, jacked the trailer up, spun them and one had some minor minor noise. So, I hopped on the highway and drove about 20 miles. One hub was cold to touch and the other was a little warm (mild luke warm)

One friend says "all my god you got to replace the bearings" the other says...."dude bearings are pretty bomb proof...you have to try and destroy them"

Who is right? What would you do.

Thanks,
Coon
 

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Discussion Starter #2
CORRECTION: I did accidentally back the hubs into the water on the ramp for about 30 seconds by mistake and there was a little moisture in the cover.
 

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Pull the wheel off and look at them. Easy to grease, easy to replace,(if needed). Only requires dirty hands.
 

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It's a fine line in having the nut tight enough, but not too tight. The way I was taught is it's kind of a "feel" thing. Tighten it up pretty good to make sure everything is seated and then back it off and then retighten until it's just barely snug. That's the way I've always done it with success.
Pull the warm side apart and have a look and a repack.
 

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We've been tightening until we just get resistance, then backing off a smidge. Repacking twice a year now (lots of mileage). Friends say a little play is better than too much friction. It's kind of like flipping, you're always between a repacked/blown bearing. Either you do it, or they'll do it to you.
 

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Think about it, if you have any friction at highway speeds that hub is going to be so freakin hot you can't touch it. if it's mildly warm you are just fine. If you touch it and it's HOT then be worried.

Accidentally backing into the water once in awhile isn't going to create a problem. When I feel the hubs I also feel the tread. If you have too much play you will also get weird tread wear and create heat and friction with the pavement. I agree with the snug it up and back it off a touch approach. If that hub gets unacceptably hot you'll know it right off with a touch.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Soooo............should I run out right now and redo the warm side or can I get a few more trips to the river on it?
Another words: Major priority OR put it on the to do list.

Thanks,
Coon
 

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Look at it this way, if your bearing fails on the road, your trip is shot. Most likely you are in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday night coming back from a long weekend. You might be lucky and the auto parts store is still open and has your bearings and seals, or you are s.o.l. and all your stuff is on a stranded trailer on the side of the road.
Bearing maintenance takes 30 minutes per side and gives you a season's worth of peace of mind.
If you've done a bearing set yourself before, get a spare kit and all the tools you need and run it. If you haven't then nows a good time to learn, in your driveway, with a couple cold beers. Spare kits cost around $20.
 

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Why take the chance?

"If you've done a bearing set yourself before, get a spare kit and all the tools you need and run it. If you haven't then nows a good time to learn, in your driveway, with a couple cold beers. Spare kits cost around $20."


Tallboy, I couldn't agree more, on both the minimal time to do the preventive maintenance and carrying a spare bearing kit just in case a bearing fails on the road. Why take the chance?
 

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what about buddy bearings the grease cerk on the bearing cap I have installed those on my jet ski trailer and it is submerged frequently and no problems just a couple of squrits of grease and good to go
 

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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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Discussion Starter #12
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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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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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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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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