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Old 02-11-2005, 06:28 AM   #1
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Bearing Buddy

Has any one installed Bearing Buddies? Project for today is to inspect and service the wheel bearings.
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Old 02-11-2005, 06:59 AM   #2
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In a word DON'T. They don't have the nickname "bearing burners" for nothing. Even on boat trailers without brakes, for which they were intended, they make the bearings run HOT because the hub between the bearings is filled with grease. It also leads to grease going past the grease seals and onto the brake linings. Not good.
If you properly pack the bearings, they should be good for 50,000 miles at least. The real reason to remove hubs and brake drums is to check the brakes. While you are there, check the bearings. Every 15,000 miles should be sufficient unless the brakes are giving problems. It is really too bad that the brake drums can't be removed without disturbing the bearings.
Again, Bearing Buddies are not good buddies for travel trailer bearings.
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:08 AM   #3
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Question

Good point, I have not used them before, It was suggested by a friend that tows a boat off and on. Thanks for the info!
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
Has any one installed Bearing Buddies?
Yes, I installed them on my homemade utility trailer. I think they are designed for boat trailers because what they do is keep the grease under pressure between the rear grease seal and the bearing buddy nipple. You are filling the voids in the hub with grease until it begins to compress the buddies' spring at the front letting you know it's full.

I like the concept except they tend to spew grease all over the wheels...I've just gotten used to it. I considered them for the Argosy but simply didn't want the mess. I would rather repack the bearings once in a while.

Steve
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:45 AM   #5
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i have a similar system on my wells cargo car hauler. it has dexter axles, they have a grease zerk in the center of the spindle. there are passage ways that allow the grease to enter between the seal and the rear bearing.

the idea is that the grease works its way out to the cap from the inside out.

i don't like it, all of the voids between the bearings are filled with grease and the hub runs hot. also, i tried greasing it in cold weather and popped the seals off a couple of hubs.

the best way is the old way, take it apart and grease the bearings manually.

it is the only way to do a complete inspection anyway!

john
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:30 AM   #6
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A "major" brake job should be done every 10,000 miles, "OR", once a year.

For those that have the round magnets (old style brakes) the magnets last about 20,000 normal miles. Therefore they can easily be inspected at the 10,000 mile interval.

Oval magnets, on the new style brakes will last 25,000 to 30,000 miles.

While at it, check the shocks for leaks.

If possible, check the running gear balance.

For those that do not use their trailer very often, it is extremely important to do a "major brake" once a year. Moisture collects within the hub. The inspection will reveal if yours did or not. Most always, moisture will collect, therefore possibly causing rust on a bearing. The yearly inspection will catch that.

Always replace the grease seals. Reusing a grease seal is bad news. Once they are removed, however carefully, they are no longer round. That being the case, they will leak grease onto the magnets and brake shoes.

Not good!!!!!

Andy
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:10 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info! PO had the wheels done prior to the sale to me, god bless him! Everything came apart easy. No damage, everything looks as it should. Shocks looked in good shape, no leaks. 2 of the rims look a little rough, I'll need to pick up a couple of new rims soon. I did an inspection of the propane lines, Some of the joints look OK but I think I'll be shopping for new fittings and replace them this summer when the weather is warmer.
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:37 PM   #8
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The way I was taught to use buddy bearings was to lube the trailer just prior to launching your boat. The temperature change of the warm bearings to the cool water would draw the grease to the bearing and help keep sea water out. On the ocean front here it is common occurance to see boat trailers on the side of the highway with axel problems. I would never consider it for a trailer that I didn't intend on submerging the wheels. I don't intend on lauching my unit anytime soon.
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:05 PM   #9
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Properly used bearing buddies (BB) are amazing for boat trailers. And if too much grease is installed, one can get a bras for the BB. Although that is a clue that too much grease is being pushed in, and blowing out the seal is possible under those conditions.

For land based trailers the benefits are not really there. There is no rapid cooling on a hot axle. In fact the bearing buddy may promote lack of maintence, so I would suggest not using them for a travel trailer.

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