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Thread: trailer wheel bearings

  1. #1
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    Default trailer wheel bearings

    what does everybody have to say about trailer wheel bearings and the "bearing buddies" fitting that were supposed to eliminate the need for re-packing the bearing grease ?

    someone recently told me that the grease never really reaches the rear bearing

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  3. #2
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    I have a boat and box trailer both have buddies on axles. The grease will reach rear bearing and even come out rear seal if you use grease gun. I just replaced bearings/race on boat trailer and rear seals. The front bearing was where the race was pitted and not the rear race. I find that with buddies you still need bearing/race inspected over time. The china made bearings are the main problem with wheel bearing now.
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    I put them on every trailer I've had, and swear by them. The newer Dexter axles are nice as well.

    I went 10 years on my one trailer before replacing bearings, and that was just because I figured it was time. There was a little pitting on the bearings themselves but considering the mileage they had they would've been worse without bearing buddy's.
    Rick

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    I finally had to replace the bearings on my boat trailer,last year,after 15 years running with bearing buddies. Both the inner and outer races were pitted and worn and one seal was torn. That's unbelievable service from bearing buddies. It think they're worth their weight in gold.

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    There's no doubt they extend bearing life, especially on boat trailers that are submerged in water. But, that doesn't make the bearings maintenance free. I have Dexter EZ Lube hubs on my atv trailer now, and the literature from Dexter states "The convenient lubrication provisions of the E-Z Lube® must not replace periodic inspection of the bearings".
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  7. #6
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    the newer axel shafts have a channel that lets the grease reach the rear bearings, pumping to much grease into the bearing buddies can actually blow out seals, boat trailers that hit the water often should be inspected yearly, road trailers do need as much attention quite as often as a trailer that gets submerged, but should be checked before long hauls...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdog View Post
    the newer axel shafts have a channel that lets the grease reach the rear bearings, pumping to much grease into the bearing buddies can actually blow out seals, boat trailers that hit the water often should be inspected yearly, road trailers do need as much attention quite as often as a trailer that gets submerged, but should be checked before long hauls...
    The idea with the Dexter axles is you're supposed to pump too much grease until it starts oozing out around the nipple where you're pumping it in. You keep pumping in new grease until the grease that's oozing out comes out clean with new fresh grease. I think what you mean is if you use a grease gun with an air compressor then you can blow out the seals. An air gun greaser can pump too much grease too fast causing seal blow outs. I just use a hand grease gun and no issues but it's a work out on the ole wrist.
    Rick

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    Don't use bearing buddies on trailers with brakes, the grease comes out past the seal and your brakes will not work. Learned that by experience! A hand held grease gun will create enough hydraulic pressure to blow the seals out, another lesson learned by experience.

    I find the best way to use them is only put enough grease in to start the spring tension washer on the buddy to move, then JB weld them in the hub to prevent falling out.
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    Thanks guys, sounds like a positive consensus

  11. #10
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    Key to the Bearing Buddies, don't over fill them. Fill till the spring-loaded seat starts to float, but don't pump till it's coming out the overflow hole. Drive. Air pockets will be forced out as you travel and the spring will push more grease in until it seats on the stop. Then you pump a bit more grease in. I repeat this whenever I hook up the trailer. Took half a season to completely fill the rebuilt hubs on my trailer. Pumping too much puts too much pressure on the seals.

    Also doesn't hurt to carry the grease gun with you; grease the bearings before dipping it in the water to be sure the bearings are under pressure.

    Even a bearing that's been checked and greased can fail... Nearly had the wheel fall off my snowmobile trailer this winter. New bearings and races in the Fall and double-checked lots of grease and snug castle nut after the first major tow (500km). Got back from a weekend in the bush in late January and the following morning saw the bearing buddy missing, no bearings left to speak of, and a nasty groove worn in the axle stub. Wheel must have been flopping around for 40+ km's. Couldn't feel it cause I was driving in a snowstorm and the road was slick... the floppy wheel had nothing to grip. Put on a whole new axle and hubs.

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