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I have some new tires coming soon and wonder of i should perform any other care on the hubs while I'm at it.

 

The hubs have bearing buddies.  Should I just pump them full and call it good?

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Take the bearings out and inspect them. Seals are cheap. Loosing a set of bearings may not be if one of your wheels passes you going down the highway and hits something or someone.


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Even with bearing buddies, you should still clean, inspect, and repack wheel bearings with fresh grease.  Seals and bearing kits are cheap.  Bit of a messy job, but necessary as water gets in hubs and breaks down grease over time.  Inner wheel bearings more often is where trouble starts.

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Thought I'd pass this on just for consideration. I have had my single axle trailer since it was new going on 19 years now. I stlll have the same set of bearings in it and only replaced the seals last year despite a lot of trailering on hilly country as well as major roads. I have had bearing buddies since day one as they worked well on my previous boat. What I do differently than many is this: I use triple guard grease (blue/green in color) as it is thicker than the other stuff, I load the bearing buddies up fully so the grease starts coming out around the inner circumference watching the internal ring move outward but stop at that point. You don't want to create too much pressure on the inner seals of the hub. I also fill the existing space inside the bearing buddy with the grease and then put the plastic bra over the bearing buddy. When I trailer and get to the launch I let the wheels cool down a few minutes while getting the boat ready to launch and do not enter the water immediately. Reason: expansion contraction potentially allowing water to seep inside the bearing buddy or inner seal. I ALWAYS refill the bearing buddy after trailering so the bearings are always in grease. Water and lack of lubrication is the greatest enemy of bearings when hot. I believe keeping that total seal is what has allowed the bearings to last this long:smile: Due to my superstitious nature I always continue to do things repeatedly when they work:lol: I guess the best part of this is that it has my top notch auto mechanic fishing partner scratching his head in disbelief :lol:Something to maybe think about....

 

Edited by Sk8man
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On 1/4/2021 at 10:57 AM, Sk8man said:

Thought I'd pass this on just for consideration. I have had my single axle trailer since it was new going on 19 years now. I stlll have the same set of bearings in it and only replaced the seals last year despite a lot of trailering on hilly country as well as major roads. I have had bearing buddies since day one as they worked well on my previous boat. What I do differently than many is this: I use triple guard grease (blue/green in color) as it is thicker than the other stuff, I load the bearing buddies up fully so the grease starts coming out around the inner circumference watching the internal ring move outward but stop at that point. You don't want to create too much pressure on the inner seals of the hub. I also fill the existing space inside the bearing buddy with the grease and then put the plastic bra over the bearing buddy. When I trailer and get to the launch I let the wheels cool down a few minutes while getting the boat ready to launch and do not enter the water immediately. Reason: expansion contraction potentially allowing water to seep inside the bearing buddy or inner seal. I ALWAYS refill the bearing buddy after trailering so the bearings are always in grease. Water and lack of lubrication is the greatest enemy of bearings when hot. I believe keeping that total seal is what has allowed the bearings to last this long:smile: Due to my superstitious nature I always continue to do things repeatedly when they work:lol: I guess the best part of this is that it has my top notch auto mechanic fishing partner scratching his head in disbelief :lol:Something to maybe think about....

 

Agree and disagree!

Waiting for the hubs to cool down before entering the water is an excellent practice for the reasons you mentioned. Not many people know that or they are just in too much of a hurry to care. 

Greasing as often as you do is not the same as a physical inspection every year preferably in the fall. This eliminates any water in the hub from freezing during winter storage. I know you are being careful not to over grease but most are not. You recognize these folks by the amount of grease splattered on the wheel, or worse... underneath the hull from the rear seal leaking...or worse than that...a seized brake hub from grease leaking past the rear seal onto the shoes creating all kinds of fun!

19 years on the same bearings👍  is probably due to the quality of the bearing made 20 years ago vs. those used today.

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Most trailers come with offshore bearings these days. Same with most hubs you buy.
Good bearing shop is like a good tackle shop.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Do a visual check of the inner seal, and inner side of the wheels-if there is no grease splatter that is of course good.  Jack up the trailer and spin the tires.  Quiet is good.  Bad bearings give off a roar, so that is a sign of an issue.  

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Also if the wheel has play that's bad. Most can be tightened up with the hub nut. Just don't over tighten it. Then spin it if it feels smooth freeze it up and tow away. I have put a lot of miles on trailer bearings, and have had to change a few. Another way to know if they are going bad is feel them right after you tow it a ways if they are more than just warm there time is up.

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