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Old April 9th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Phoenix (Deer Valley)
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trailer bearing thoughts/opinions?

Hey Gang,

So, my tinny is on a trailer, w/bearing buddies....and I am taking it down to the valley when I move back down there in a couple months....and not sure if I should mess w/the bearings.....

The wheels spin freely, no noise, no freeplay/slop when jacked....

I have no idea the condition or when last disassembled....

I have thoughts on this, and would like other opinions:

1) Most wheel bearing failures are from mis-assembly, not lack of grease.
If this is false, then those who repack regularly would NEVER have a

2) Most never repack the bearings in their cars/trucks (2wd), yet they run in deep puddles, rain, etc...I know the bearings on my camry and 2wd truck I had were submerged screwing around at the lake, etc, as much or more than most boat trailers

So.....why do most folks repack their bearings so often. When you do, how often are they dry or damaged? I know folks who tell me they been doing it every season for 20+yrs, but have never found the dry or damaged.

So why do it?
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Old April 9th, 2012, 05:47 PM   #2
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That's right, "If it aint broke don't fix it".
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Old April 9th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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most folk pack there bearings to Check for wear and because tahst the ways its been for a long time. preventive maintence so to speak. there dads did it and there doing it..

the one problem with trailers is they don't have the suspension like cars and or trucks so things get loose from time to time,
i knwo guys with buddy bears that only greese them never take them apart and have tons of years on them. then there are guys who constantly have problems.(just like vehicles)
most of the time the problem with bearings is when someone puts it together the races dont get seated properly due to a burr on one of the mating faces, over time this wears the burr off and the bearings are now to loose.. and most of the burrs come from wacking the bearing race off with a hammer and punch.

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Old April 9th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #4
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The down side to just waiting is the risk of finding yourself stranded. Annually, I take each wheel off and pop the grease cover. If it looks ordinary and the hub turns smoothly, back on for another year.

Couple of indicators to watch for.

After a run to the lake before you drop the trailer in, feel the hubs. It's ok if they somewhat hot. If one is hotter than the other, check it out.

Thoroughly clean all the grease off the seals and axle hubs behind the wheels. After that, now and again check back there to see if any grease has come out of the hubs.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 06:42 PM   #5
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as del said, its good for checking for wear. i use a disk brake rated grease for all my bearings. i kept bearing buddies on all my trailers, as soon as i load the boat on the trailer i give the bearing buddy a little shot of grease. pushes any water that got in out. more often than not, even with new seals id see a little water come out. so, repacking every so often was a good way to remove the excess grease.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 06:49 PM   #6
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Old April 9th, 2012, 07:04 PM   #7
why f around
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get a spare set of trailer bearings, pack them with grease, put them in a plastic container in your tow vehicle and you will never need them. lol
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Old April 9th, 2012, 07:25 PM   #8
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Bearings wear/fail from contamination, lubrication failure, and/or physical damage. Water and/or dirt getting in the bearing will eventually cause the bearing to fail and are probably the most common reasons for wheel bearings failing. That is probably why some people choose to remove, inspect, and repack bearings. But by doing so you risk contaminating the bearing and/or physically damaging the bearing. Anytime a press fit bearing is assembled or taken apart you risk scratching the bearing running surfaces. So it depends on the skills of the person working on the bearing as to how beneficial taking the bearing apart and greasing them will be. By the way bearings will fail quickly once the running surfaces are compromised and they will last a long time if the surfaces are kept clean and lubricated. Hope this helps.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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If your bearings fail, take duct tape, and cut a 12oz pop can in half. Fill the pop can FULL of grease. Happened to a friend of mine on the way to Canada and that's how we fixed it. His trailer stayed like that for 2.5 years and thousands of miles.

I check my bearings every trip. Make sure they are greased properly every month. I've had my boart/trailer for 2 years and haven't repacked the bearings. I drove from Nebraska to Phoenix 6 months ago and have put thousand of miles on my trailer.

If it aint broke, dont fix it.
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