Repacking Trailer Bearings - How Often?

Vollmer

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My boat probably gets dunked in the water about 30-40 times (x2 for in and out) per year so that means I have about 40 trips in in the past two seasons. I have bearing buddies and give them a squirt or two a couple times per year. I look for leaks or anything unusual as well as feel the hubs after traveling for excess heat. Total mileage per year is in the 1000's. How often should I have the bearings repacked on my double axle bunk? Thoughts?
 


Davey Crockett

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If bearings are tight and full of grease you might as well go fishing rather than fix something that aint broken. After a road trip I grab top of tire and push-pull hard to feel for a loose bearing and feel hub to make sure one isn't warmer than the others but that's about it.
 

raider

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If bearings are tight and full of grease you might as well go fishing rather than fix something that aint broken. After a road trip I grab top of tire and push-pull hard to feel for a loose bearing and feel hub to make sure one isn't warmer than the others but that's about it.


truth...

i hate bearing buddies... they give a false sense of security, while building pressure and blowing out seals... like davy said, push/pull on top of tires once in a while to check for tightness... if there is noticeable play, jack up, pull the cap, remove the cotter key or bend down the locking tabs, and tighten the nut while spinning the tire/rim until it slows the spin... if it stops the spin, back it off one notch and re pin...

if the insides of your rims are clean of grease, no need to repack more than every 5 years if you keep them tight...

a hub is a sealed system, much like the motor on your truck... you would never just add a quart of oil every couple months and assume everything will be fine...
 

BP338

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I got a new boat this year(new to me anyway) and I've been changing stuff on it just for the pure reason to know for sure what was done and that it was done right. I already rewired the trailer, changed a few things on the boat itself and my next project is the bearings. I want to pull it out and inspect everything for myself. Sometimes even if it doesn't need to be fixed the costs are cheap for the peace of mind it buys.
 

NDwalleyes

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Use Timken bearings. Keep them greased. Check for heat and looseness. Don't forget to inspect the inside seal from time to time. Repack and inspect mine every other year and never had an issue.
 


guywhofishes

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My boat probably gets dunked in the water about 30-40 times (x2 for in and out) per year so that means I have about 40 trips in in the past two seasons. I have bearing buddies and give them a squirt or two a couple times per year. I look for leaks or anything unusual as well as feel the hubs after traveling for excess heat. Total mileage per year is in the 1000's. How often should I have the bearings repacked on my double axle bunk? Thoughts?

push the outside edge of the bearing buddy zerk/plate and make sure it "wobbles" - tellin you it's holding a light pressure of grease. If when you grease it the plate has worked it's way all the way back and isn't "plump" with grease then that tells you your grease wasn't pushing out - and that allows water to get IN.

Also never put so much in that the plate comes all the way forward and jams into the front - because that allows the grease pressure to blow out the seals.

Bottom line - try to keep the spring functioning as a constant "pressurizer" by keeping the zerk/plate position about half way fore/back by greasing often enough to keep it there - since that is how the bearing buddy was designed to function.

- - - Updated - - -

Also - after a while your plate seals in the buddy will get crappy and the buddy will lose pressure after just a few weeks and your always having to scrape a tablespoon of grease out of the hole... that's when you install a new set of buddies (or at least the zerk/plate portion) so that it keeps pressure longer.

Mine lasted about 10 years - then I had to replace the buddies. When I replaced the buddies I replaced the back bearing seals and re-packed the bearings (that were in great condition).
 

Colonel Angus

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Every 2 years whether it needs it or not. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Every year I do pull out the outer bearing to see if there is any pitting from winter storage, in which case it gets the works.
 

DirtyMike

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I don't know how to do any of this. Off to youtube.

- - - Updated - - -

That looked pretty easy. I have bearing buddies on there now and I typically check for any play in the wheel assembly a couple times a year. Before I trailered it back to ND, there was zero grease in the bearings. Took almost a full tube for both sides.
 

guywhofishes

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If you don't have bras on your buddy put some on. Nobody wants to see your naked grease nipples. :;:smokin
 
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Norske

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Fresh grease before storage every fall. A mid-season service is advisable for those without Bearing Buddies.
Bearing Buddies do present a problem because they stretch the softer cast hub when they are installed, so when they are removed some reshaping of the hub may be needed to get the Bearing Buddies to stay in the hub a second time.
 


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