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Help... a bearing buddy keeps falling off


Todd in NY

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I have a tandem axle trailer and 3 of the 4 bearing buddies never come loose. But the bearing buddy on the front right hub keeps falling off when I tow the boat. I put all of them on the exact same way, didn't over fill it with grease, but I'm stumped on this one. I've been using bearing buddies for over 25 years and I've never had this problem before. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks!

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Yep, I was thinking the hub might be worn out too. The bearing buddies are new, just 2 weeks old. The old bearing buddies looked almost as old as the trailer (1987), so having a worn out hub doesn't make sense either. I'll clean it up real good again, and maybe just use a regular cap on it instead. Thanks!

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try squeezing a little in a pair of channel lock pliers to make it just a little out of round. Don't over do it just a little.

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Is it possible someoine replaced that hub at one time ? If you look at bearing buddy website ,you will find that there are different diameters for different brands of hubs . They list 1.781 " , 1.810 " and 1.980 "  . You may need the 1.810 instead of the 1.781' . That's not a big difference in size ,but could account for your lost caps . If you have an inside micrometer you could measure the hub .

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Todd;

You can also use a caliper to measure the BB OD & the ID of the hub to sort out size issue. I am wondering if the BB made contact with anything, & stretched the hub ID larger causing the BB to be loose. You can measure the Hub ID in several places to determine if this has occurred. Slight resizing as mentioned above may work.

Good Luck!

John

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If it goes into the bore easily, not like the others. Like you can tap it in with just a few easy raps, then it is too loose to have a good friction grip. You can rough the inside diameter of the hub bore with a prick punch and hammer. Go around the hub about 90 degrees and punch a divit in the metal. It will raise the metal around the small crater created by the punch. Then you can tap the buddy in and it should have a better grip. If it still falls out then try again with 6 or 8 evenly spaced punch divits. Install again. It should stay then.

Sent from my SM-N900P using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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It not only has to fit tight. It must be a good seal as well. The grease is pressurized by the spring after it is pumped with grease. If it is not well sealed, it will leak and get all over your wheel. So if you do something like skipper19 mentioned above, you may need to also use a sealant that is resistant to heat and grease.

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  • 2 weeks later...

chinook 35 has nailed your problem, you will find someone has probley changed a hub. a hood fit for bearing buddies are very tight. the caps are marked, you may have to measure the ID of the hub. good luck

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The bearing buddies that I am currently using are the 1.98" size. I tried using my dial calipers that I use for reloading but they are too long to fit with the wheel on the hub. I was going to measure for an out-of-round surface somewhere inside the hub, but I didn't want to have to remove the wheel. The bearing buddy has to be seated with a dead blow hammer, and doesn't seem to seat any easier than the other 3 bearing buddies, so it has to be off by thousandths of an inch. I might end up replacing all 4 hubs this year just to be on the safe side, and all new brake shoes too. The trailer sat for the last 2 years because the PO kept it in a boat slip.

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If it goes into the bore easily, not like the others. Like you can tap it in with just a few easy raps, then it is too loose to have a good friction grip. You can rough the inside diameter of the hub bore with a prick punch and hammer. Go around the hub about 90 degrees and punch a divit in the metal. It will raise the metal around the small crater created by the punch. Then you can tap the buddy in and it should have a better grip. If it still falls out then try again with 6 or 8 evenly spaced punch divits. Install again. It should stay then.

Sent from my SM-N900P using Lake Ontario United mobile app

Do as mentioned above, and get yourself some of that green stuff called "sleeve locker" it will take up to ten thousands of room out when it hardens, we used this in aluminum housing that were out of round and accepted bearings. You have to heat up the metal for the locker to let loose, they sell this sleeve locker where they sell the red and blue lock tite. This shyt really works!!!

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Do as mentioned above, and get yourself some of that green stuff called "sleeve locker" it will take up to ten thousands of room out when it hardens, we used this in aluminum housing that were out of round and accepted bearings. You have to heat up the metal for the locker to let loose, they sell this sleeve locker where they sell the red and blue lock tite. This shyt really works!!!

 

Thanks Pap, never heard of it, but sounds like some good stuff.

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Thanks Pap, never heard of it, but sounds like some good stuff.

Your welcome, make sure both parts are clean of oils & grease. Carb cleaner or brake clean, this evaporates instantly, put the green sleeve locker on, don't be afraid to put some on. It's called a anabolic sleeve locker, I guarantee this shyt will work!! Good luck.

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Tire may be out of balance where it is shaking the P out of that wheel.  bearing buddies are alot heaver than tin covers the hubs come with .

 

Another possibility... If I lose another bearing buddy I might go back to those tin caps, they're a lot cheaper :lol:

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Another possibility... If I lose another bearing buddy I might go back to those tin caps, they're a lot cheaper :lol:

Dave is right!...in fact I don't like bearing buddies. Many reasons for that on my particular trailer and axles, and have done exactly as you are thinking. Any axle spindle you have that has a zerk in the end will be a much better way of purging old grease and water if any, out. Too many times bearing buddies are over pressure and pop the hub seal. I've had piss poor drivers at the ramp parking on the east side of the oak, back out, crank their wheel right into it....cause it sticks out...and bust the expensive bearing buddy right off into useless pieces of junk!...so if you have zerk fitted spindle ends, grease them, wipe out the old purged grease, put a inexpensive cap on it.

Sent from my SM-N900P using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Dave is right!...in fact I don't like bearing buddies. Many reasons for that on my particular trailer and axles, and have done exactly as you are thinking. Any axle spindle you have that has a zerk in the end will be a much better way of purging old grease and water if any, out. Too many times bearing buddies are over pressure and pop the hub seal. I've had piss poor drivers at the ramp parking on the east side of the oak, back out, crank their wheel right into it....cause it sticks out...and bust the expensive bearing buddy right off into useless pieces of junk!...so if you have zerk fitted spindle ends, grease them, wipe out the old purged grease, put a inexpensive cap on it.

Sent from my SM-N900P using Lake Ontario United mobile app

 

I wish mine had zerks on them, it would be an easy decision.

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I've never had a bearing buddy give me grief, the spring tells you how much grease "pressure" you are putting on the seal. You don't need to crush the spring, 3/4 pushed together is plenty, they have a weep hole and as soon as that used grease and water start to come out, STOP pumping in grease, the spring pressure will do its job, and all is fine. If you pop the back seal you put way the hell to much grease in, as a zerk fitting will do the same if to much grease is used, although a zerk puts the grease more/less right where it's needed, as the buddy fills the whole hub with grease, also on the newer trailer with thr Zerk fitting you need to take out the grease fitting as they keep the buddy from seating all the way in. The bearing buddy will not go in all the way to seat against the ridge on the buddy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Take a ball peen hammer and lightly try to flare out inside edge of bearing buddy so it fits tighter.

This is what I did with mine that wad giving me problems.

Sent from my thinking chair...

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whether you use the Beating Buddies or not use the Triple Guard (blue color and very thick) or comparable grease for marine use not the cheapo grease as it handles keeping water out of the bearings and doesn't  thin out with use and heat up as much as the junk grease. It  may also extend the life of your bearings if you let them cool down a few minutes when you arrive at the launch before launching.

Edited by Sk8man
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