Trailer wheel bearings
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Trailer wheel bearings

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    Some guys never learn. bocco's Avatar
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    Default Trailer wheel bearings

    Last weekend I replaced all of the wheel bearings on my trailer. It's new boat to me and they made just a little bit of noise when I jacked up the trailer and spun the wheels.

    I got wondering why the sealed front wheel bearings on my Expedition have 164,000 no maintenance miles on them and how come that style of bearing has never been adapted to a trailer? Probably more expensive up front but less headaches in the long run.

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    "Try it Now!" Tahiti Boss21's Avatar
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    did you do the bearings inner outer and seals? bearing buddy style, or how do they grease? I usually do mine once and don't have to mess wit them again other than regressing for years.
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    Some guys never learn. bocco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahiti Boss21 View Post
    did you do the bearings inner outer and seals? bearing buddy style, or how do they grease? I usually do mine once and don't have to mess wit them again other than regressing for years.
    Yes, I've did new seals and have bearing buddies. I have also had bearings last a long time. I've also had a brake shoe stick and get the hub so hot the bearing buddy popped off and all of the grease cooked out. It just seems like we should have better options for bearings besides stuff that's been around since the fifties.

    Oil bath sounds like an interesting idea but I'm reading different opinions on them.

    BTW my project for tomorrow is a disc brake conversion.

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    Senior Member phughes SS-13's Avatar
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    The sealed bearing "unit" for trailers is available but not as a retro-fit, at least I haven't seen one. I believe the entire axel would need to be replaced. Probably not a bad idea when you order a new trailer, but the bottom line will still be the same. The moment you dunk that trailer in the water, all bets are off. I've got a car trailer that has at least 50K miles on it and I've never even looked at the bearings, but it's never been in the pond. Just my thoughts.

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    Member 67CarlsonChryslerVdrive's Avatar
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    The biggest challenge with boat trailer bearings is driving them so they get nice and hot then dunking them in a cold lake or river which immediately cools them. Expansion rates of different materials can cause slight leaks so water can get in or hot grease which is more like oil can leak out. Now if you wait a while after a long trip before launching the boat this will be less likely to happen.

    We all know oil and water don't mix. Also bearings and water don't mix either. Sealed bearings may present a whole other problem in that you can't regrease them.

    Now if we could design magnetic free floating frictionless hubs then all the world would be happy and champagne would flow down the rivers.
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    Some guys never learn. bocco's Avatar
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    So I upgraded my trailer to disc brakes and a new coupler with a lock out solenoid. Headed to the Sac delta last Saturday. Checked the hubs several times and they were comfortable to keep my hand on them. Even after a section of road that required a lot of breaking. UFP seems to make nice stuff and it was a pretty easy deal.

    My original point was just that with the newer bearing technology on the new cars there should be a better trailer bearing option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bocco View Post
    Last weekend I replaced all of the wheel bearings on my trailer. It's new boat to me and they made just a little bit of noise when I jacked up the trailer and spun the wheels.

    I got wondering why the sealed front wheel bearings on my Expedition have 164,000 no maintenance miles on them and how come that style of bearing has never been adapted to a trailer? Probably more expensive up front but less headaches in the long run.
    At 164000 miles you should be replacing those bearings very soon as a PM maintenance .

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    Senior Member Mr. Travels's Avatar
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    Ask the Bass boat guys. They travel more than you and I. Good USA bearings and seals always best choice.

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    Super Moderator HammerDown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Travels View Post
    Ask the Bass boat guys. They travel more than you and I. Good USA bearings and seals always best choice.
    Good luck finding bearing that are actually made with US materials and manufactured in USA.
    Even the once great name Timken wheel bearings I replaced on my F250 were I believe manufactured in Mexico.
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    Had my 5th wheel in for some warrenty work, the service writer told me the wheel bearings on it should be greased every 3500 miles. I thought really. Seems excessive to me. As said above. l have had 100,000+ miles on my truck bearings and never thought about them at all. Im not quite sure how the weight will affect them thoughtat 9K lbs? If l ever put 25000 miles on the trailer it would be a strech.
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    I just had my bearings, races, and seals replaced on my trailer today. The trailer shop, which has been in business for about 30 years, said they don't like bearing buddies and that I didn't need them. They said people over pack them with grease. They just put regular dust covers on them and said they will be fine because the bearings are properly packed with grease.

    What are your thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerThat99 View Post
    I just had my bearings, races, and seals replaced on my trailer today. The trailer shop, which has been in business for about 30 years, said they don't like bearing buddies and that I didn't need them. They said people over pack them with grease. They just put regular dust covers on them and said they will be fine because the bearings are properly packed with grease.

    What are your thoughts?
    When l overhauled my boat trailer, l put bearing buddys on it. But l have not uesed them to grease. With the same thought as your shop recommeded....over grease. An over greased bearing will hold heat and excelerate wear. Thats my thought.
    Be safe, schick
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerThat99 View Post
    I just had my bearings, races, and seals replaced on my trailer today. The trailer shop, which has been in business for about 30 years, said they don't like bearing buddies and that I didn't need them. They said people over pack them with grease. They just put regular dust covers on them and said they will be fine because the bearings are properly packed with grease.

    What are your thoughts?
    The mistake people make is they pack it until they see grease come OUT!... thats not right with the 'buddies'.



    If you look at this pic and see the "grease fitting face plate". If that face plate is all the way back then it needs grease. Just put in enough so that face plate moves outward about half way. If it stays there then it is full enough. The spring pressurizes the face plate to push grease into the bearing hub. If you pump it so full that grease is coming around that face plate, then its TOO MUCH.

    If you get an old trailer its best to pull the hubs, repack with new grease and start from scratch so you know at what level your bearing buddy is really holding the grease. If an air pocket gets in there, thats when trouble starts....
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    Senior Member RogerThat99's Avatar
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    Thanks Paul and Schick. I understand the bearing buddy should only be filled halfway.

    What are you thoughts on just running dust caps with properly packed bearings? Should I run it the way it is (with dust caps) or get bearing buddies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
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