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Should I Re-Pack the Bearings? or Not?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by eye4neye, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. Hey everyone,

    First off, I would love to say a big "Thank You " to everyone who has given me great advise on various topics that I have raised, and having said that here is another one. :rolleyes:

    I only had about 8 chances to take the boat out last yr, between the house I had to work on and the Start of football season (coaching) in late july, so I was wondering if I should go ahead and repack them after doing it last year or not. I probably only logged about 250 miles on the new packed bearing. What do you all think? This was my first time at doing it, and I do realize that it is not a huge deal, however, with my back health It did turn into more than I wish. Any help or suggestions would be great. Thanks all.

  2. sauguy

    sauguy river & muskie angler, dayhiker

    put bearing buddies on your trailer and you will only have to add grease every now and then. you just pump grease in, you dont have to repack them.

  3. I would say it probably isn't necessary, but you always want to use your head when it comes to bearings. The bearing buddy idea is a sound one. But the bearings will occassionally still need changed. The last thiing you want is to be changing a hub and bearing on the side of the road. Talk about back pain.

    I always take my trailer for a 10 mile run early in spring, pull over and touch the axle where your bearings are. If its too hot to the touch, you need either bearings or grease or both. If you can safely touch it and leave your hand on the area, make sure you have plenty of grease there and forget about it. It's never failed me, knock on wood.

  4. I as a grease monkey, at every service wether it state cert. or not, always
    jack the tires off the ground. You only half to do one at a time. You are going to check for end-play by trying to "wiggle" the tire from top to bottom. This will tell you if your bearings need attention wether it a semi or trailer. ;)
    If slop is noticable you may snug and add buddies but a vissual of the outer bearing might be required! :cool:
  5. What Jig Said is true but the way i have checked mine for more than 25 years is to jack the wheel off the ground,and spin the wheel and listen for any sound you should hear nothing.If you do it is likely there is rough ness on the races that the bearing rides in do to water getting in and causeing the races to rust and pit.If so you had better change them where you are not on the road cause it sure aint fun. Like was posted earlier also stop and check the hubs for coolness once in awhile. Good luck Fishguy :D
  6. I did think about the bearing buddies lastyear, but I have a weird size evidently. I could hardely find any bearing, finally had to order thru a bearing company(motion) here in town. Then I couldnt find the proper seals for them either, and the bearing I ordered didnt have new seals in them. I would love to find some buddies though that would fit. Thanks for the info, I better pull them off and check them out. I really dont want to be caught out on the road with a blown orseized bearing. Thanks agaiin guys.

  7. DaleM

    DaleM Original OGF Staff Member

    Check at NAPA. Measure the opening size where the cap goes or better yet take the cap with you. They carry any and all sizes you'll need.
  8. "DONT FIX WHAT ISNT BROKEN" If the bearings are still tight dont mess with them.Just add buddies. I run 2-3 years no-prob. if the load check is done. ;)
  9. Most people forget that you will get a certain amount of condensation inside the axle/hub/bearing assembly over the winter, which causes corrosion over a period of time.. If the trailer has sat, unmoved , all winter, it would be prudent to repack them. I have the thru-axle bearing lube system on my trailer. This system grease's both the front and rear bearing. I still jack my trailer up over the winter and rotate the wheels several turns at least once each week. I also keep the tires covered to prevent UV rot. On my previous smaller boat trailers, I used to pull the whole wheel/hub assembly, grease the axle real heavy and store the wheel assembly in the basement. Never had a problem with condensation corrosion like many of my friends have.

    There is nothing to compare with the breakdown of a trailer bearing assembly on a busy highway. I carry a complete set of spare bearings and seals which can be replaced on the road if needed.

    Napa is the place for quality help and parts.
  10. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    Been there done that.

    I had a bearing failure two years ago on I-71 late on a Saturday night that lead to the hub cracking, the boat sitting for two days and a lot of expense and trouble.

    I now carry two complete hub assemblies and all of the required tools, grease ,etc. I'm not doing that again.

    I also went to Superlube hubs that allow the exchange of grease without disassembly, so far so good.

    I had bearing buddies for 3 years and really hated all of the grease that they throw on the wheels.
  11. skipjack11

    skipjack11 retread member

    I now have the through the axle type of lube system that Shortdrift mentioned. On trailers I had in the past I installed the Bearing buddy type caps although the ones I liked best were called "Red Eye" and were black anodized with a red O ring that was visible when they were full of grease. The only time I ever pulled a wheel was to check bearings on a used trailer or to replace a leaking grease seal. I keep the bearings lubed with a good marine grease and check the temperature of the hubs when I stop for gas. I had a 700 Lb. rated trailer at one time that was carrying very near it's maximum rating. It's hubs would get a little warm after being driven on the Interstate but they never got hot. My other trailers always stayed cool and I never had a bearing fail. I do feel a spare hub with bearings is a wise thing to have if you intend to put a lot of miles on a trailer.
  12. I will be keeping a closer eye on my bearing situation now. Just pulled em on Sat have to order the seal it wont be in till tuesday and Monday is a day I dont have anything to do till 5:00 could of been fishin. Never considered carrying a spare set of bearings seals and a hub thats at the top of my to do list now.
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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011