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#11677035 - 06/19/16 08:44 PM Bearing buddies- thoughts
chk Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 147
My trailer came with oil hubs but I was talked into bearing buddies my the mechanic about 5 years ago. Never had any problems with oil hubs but decided to trust him and change to bearing buddies.
Over the weekend, I was dragging the boat and blew a seal and it actually looks like more damage to the spindle etc. actual damage and work needed is still pending.

My question is what is everyone's recommendations ? Go back to oil hubs, stick with bearing buddies or is there another type of bearing etc that is better for boat trailers?
I'm good with spending more now to have less maintenance if that is an option. I mainly want the best option for safety.This scared me a bit this weekend and I'm glad I caught it when I did.
I had a 4 hr ride to the lake, put a couple squirts in before I left and I guess that was too much and blew out the seal.
I try and put a squirt in every couple or few times I drag the boat depending on how far of a ride it is but it might have had enough already.

Thanks for the thoughts and advice.

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#11677066 - 06/19/16 09:03 PM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
the skipper Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 1841
Loc: nederland, TX
The bearing buddies are good. We have run them for years. Sounds like you just put to much grease in there. They will push out when you grease them and we didn't put more until they pushed back in flush with the hub. I only grease mine once a year and I put some miles on it.

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#11677093 - 06/19/16 09:19 PM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
JimmyP Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 802
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
You probably pushed the seal out by putting too much grease in it. i don't care for bearing buddies. Not a good idea in my opinion. Just grease them good when you service them and you will be good to go. You don't service the wheel bearings on your vehicle before every trip so why should you on your boat?

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#11677135 - 06/19/16 09:37 PM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
jbobo Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 1377
Loc: springtown,tx.
I check mine about every 3rd trip or if I am taking a long 3 or 4 hour trip. I wish I had oil bath hubs on my boat trailer. I love them on my semi. But I think they are vented for when everything warms up, so there isn't any internal pressure. I believe the oil lubes more evenly than grease that is slung out to the perimeter of the hub. I guess the ones for boats are sealed well enough to prevent water from intruding?
_________________________


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22 ft. Wellcraft Deep V CC
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#11677143 - 06/19/16 09:42 PM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: JimmyP]
bronco71 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 1049
Loc: Farmers Branch/Sulphur Bluff
Originally Posted By: JimmyP
You probably pushed the seal out by putting too much grease in it. i don't care for bearing buddies. Not a good idea in my opinion. Just grease them good when you service them and you will be good to go. You don't service the wheel bearings on your vehicle before every trip so why should you on your boat?


Because the boat trailer gets submerged......

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#11677164 - 06/19/16 09:49 PM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
machinist Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 1651
Loc: Lake Graham, Lot 30
I can't keep them on my Basscat trailer. I have thrown off half a dozen of the damn things.
I went and bought 4 Ford pickup grease caps and haven't lost one since.

Johnny
_________________________
I fish on the edge and stay out of the middle

99 BassCat Jag w/225 Merc Optimax

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#11677171 - 06/19/16 09:56 PM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
Chuck N. Wind Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 432
Loc: Celina, TX
Now is the time to check out the Bearing Lube system by Unique Functional Products. My Stratos boat trailer by EZ Loader came equipped with them, and so far they're great. It is not possible to add too much grease and blow the seals.

There is no need to repack bearings in the traditional manner because you
achieve the same result by adding grease through the zerc fitting. The new
grease entering the hub will push old grease ,water and contaminants out the
front. Just add grease until all of the old grease is out and you see new grease exiting. If the hubs are in water for extended periods of time, checking the bearings is a good idea.

http://www.ufpnet.com/Portals/0/PDFs/Bearing%20Lube%20Axle%20Maintenance.pdf

http://www.ufpnet.com/Axles/tabid/55/Default.aspx


There's another similar product, but I can't recall the name right now.
_________________________
God does not charge time spent fishing against a man's allotted life span. - Indian Proverb

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#11677302 - 06/20/16 01:36 AM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: bronco71]
JimmyP Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 802
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Originally Posted By: bronco71
Originally Posted By: JimmyP
You probably pushed the seal out by putting too much grease in it. i don't care for bearing buddies. Not a good idea in my opinion. Just grease them good when you service them and you will be good to go. You don't service the wheel bearings on your vehicle before every trip so why should you on your boat?


Because the boat trailer gets submerged......


And you don't think your truck hubs don't get wet in the rain or at the car wash? If you service them on a regular basis you don't need buddy bearings. If a seal will keep grease in doesn't it stand to reason it would keep water out?


Edited by JimmyP (06/20/16 02:09 AM)

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#11677314 - 06/20/16 03:24 AM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
tx2va07 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/24/14
Posts: 243
Loc: Joshua, TX
Buddy bearings are a great concept. The problem is that people use them wrong, as mentioned in your situation. There's no need to give them a shot of grease before a road trip, or once a month, or whatever else anyone does. When your bearings are freshly packed and buddy bearings are installed, the proper amount of grease should be pumped in at this point and they should be left alone.

What they're doing is applying a constant 2 psi of pressure on your hub seals, which keeps water from entering. If your seals are not blown then you will not lose any grease. So when you decide that you're going to "give them a shot of grease", eventually this pressure becomes too much for the rear seal and it blows.

Set them and forget them and you can't go wrong. Repack/replace bearings at some kind of interval that you're comfortable with and this is when you will add new grease.
_________________________
Matt Babbitt


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#11677321 - 06/20/16 04:50 AM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
Canino Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 2179
Loc: Mansfield
I gave up on them. No matter what I tried, one or both would be blown in a short time. I followed directions exactly, never overgreased, would stop pumping as soon as I saw any outward movement at all. Then I would run to the lake and back home and find a blown seal. Or two blown seals. Never had that kind of problem on any other trailer seals before or since.

They're a good concept, but I don't know that seals are engineered to have constant fluid pressure applied from the inside, even if it's only a couple PSI. Maybe it had to do with the trailers I was running also - they were lightweight 2-wheelers with small aluminum boats, and probably there were more vibrations and shock than what you might get with a heavy 21ft fiberglass boat on a 4-wheel trailer.

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#11677326 - 06/20/16 05:23 AM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
kirbydog Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 633
Loc: Colorado/Conroe
I've had bearing buddies on for over 20 yrs-never had a problem. But I rarely add grease and I think that is
the key. Maybe once or twice a year I do a couple of squeezes on the grease gun and thats it. I trailer on average once a week and 100 miles or so.

If your not sure about the condition of your bearings, jack the tire up off the ground and spin it-if you don't hear any
noise your good to go.
_________________________
Triton TR 186
Mercury 150 EFI
MK 101 Fortrex

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#11677358 - 06/20/16 06:31 AM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
jb504079 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Amarillo
I've changed my fair share of bearings and I've learned the hard way. Getting the races in correctly is important. Over greasing is the number one reason bearings go out.

On the older trailer models, the hub and spindle are welded to the axle, so when a spindle is damaged, it's critical to give it attention before replacing bearings.

Grandad showed me years ago how to prep a damaged spindle with a hammer, chisel, and Emory cloth. Gotta make sure that bearing will seat correctly on the spindle.

And I'll agree with the guy who claims basscat trailers are notorious. True....

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#11677371 - 06/20/16 06:50 AM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
george Greider Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/16/07
Posts: 40
Loc: Houston,gladewater,toledo bend
Switch your axles to the Vault hub system and forget about them.

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#11677372 - 06/20/16 06:51 AM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
361V Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 4040
Loc: somervell county
To the guys who "give it a couple pumps of the grease gun every couple trips": where is all that grease going that you keep adding?
_________________________

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#11677382 - 06/20/16 06:57 AM Re: Bearing buddies- thoughts [Re: chk]
Skeeter man ZX225 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/30/03
Posts: 2484
tx2va07 hit it on the head, but there are several options out there to use. You might look into grease from the big rigs, that stuff will outlast anything on the market before damage will set in. But you still need to check your system out and set yourself up with an annual maintenance check. I have with the boat I own now Vault bearing system, which uses a hybrid oil/grease mixture, just dang near can't wash that stuff off of your hands. Vary simple and (almost) maintenance free. You still need some sort of personal maintenance check system. There are no perfect bearing systems available, some people just have better luck with what they have and some have lots of bad luck no matter what they use, just the way of life, just keep and eye on them as much as possible to slow down possible breakdowns. Every time I stop somewhere on a trip longer than 10 miles I will walk around the trailer and feel with the (back) of my had all the bearing hubs, the ones with disc breaks will be hotter but will not burn your hands. good luck

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