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Old 09-02-2005, 04:12 PM   #1
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What do you all recommend for the best grease for repacking wheel bearings. This is my first time doing it (I just bought the trailer) and am getting ready to go full time.

Just dive in....the water's fine

Lee Davis
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Old 09-02-2005, 04:29 PM   #2
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You know Lee I think this has been discussed and may generate a lot of new discussion and I am going to tell you what I do.

All of my wheel bearings get the same kind of grease. (Cars, trucks, trailers) They all get water proof grease that I use for my boat trailer. I do this because I do not have to buy different greases and have a seperate grease gun for each type. I have been doing this since 1986 and so far I have had no issues with bearing failures on any vehicles or trailers. I have only had my A/S since 2001 and it has been good too. It may be more expensive in the cost of grease, however I have only one type to keep track of and one grease gun to load. (And in the future one bearing packer to load) It keeps life simple for me. And anything I can do to simplify my life, I usually jump on.

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Old 09-02-2005, 07:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Davis
What do you all recommend for the best grease for repacking wheel bearings. This is my first time doing it (I just bought the trailer) and am getting ready to go full time.

Just dive in....the water's fine

Lee Davis
Lee, Action's advice is great, and I agree with it. The only thing I can add, is if you don't have a boat, or anything that goes in the water that requires greasing, you could use Kendall Super-Blu grease, it is about the best non-marine organic grease available. It is good for just about any vehicle out there, be it auto, truck, or Airstream.
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:42 PM   #4
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Lee,

Glad to hear folks are starting to get some experience using marine or grease gun grease (different viscosity than axle bearing grease) but, this guy is still chicken to change.

There are some trailer manuf. starting to do the same.

I still use the old axle bearing grease, castrol, valvoline, etc. from the parts houses on my airstream. I have "bearing buddies" on my boat trailer and they have worked for 20 years. makes good sense on a boat, no place for water to run in while submerged but, on an airstream trailer, you don't need it.

They do put a lot of pressure on your inside seal and some leakage of grease that gets on the fender well and on the wheel at times.

Each to his own
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Old 09-02-2005, 09:02 PM   #5
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They do put a lot of pressure on your inside seal and some leakage of grease that gets on the fender well and on the wheel at times.
And the brake drums and shoes.
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Old 09-03-2005, 09:07 PM   #6
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And the brake drums and shoes.
A little off the beaten path .........

Actually there is a art to using bearing buddies. I have had those too since 1986 and there is too much and there is too little grease. Kinda like oxygen. Too much and you get silly. Too little and you expire. Error of the side of too much. Take from a guy that is sometimes silly.

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Old 11-03-2005, 07:55 PM   #7
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So, are we pro or anti bearing buddy? I too have experience with them on boat trailers in my teenage years, but if they are not right for my '70 Safari, I am more than familiar with the process as the owner of an '84 Toyota Land Cruiser. thanks
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:05 PM   #8
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So, are we pro or anti bearing buddy? I too have experience with them on boat trailers in my teenage years, but if they are not right for my '70 Safari, I am more than familiar with the process as the owner of an '84 Toyota Land Cruiser. thanks
Bearing buddies on travel trailers is a big no-no. The reasoning behind bearing buddies, is the pressure the grease is under will force the water out of a boat trailer bearing assembly, and keep it out.
With a boat trailer, it is more important to keep the water out, than it is to keep the brake linings clean, and the bearings cool. Most boat trailers only travel a few miles between home and the boat ramp, unlike travel trailers which can go hundreds, or thousands of miles before stopping for the night.
If you use a bearing buddy on a travel trailer, especially one with brakes, the grease will eventually, and probably sooner than later, is the pressure of the bearing buddy will force the grease beyond the inner grease seal, where it can get onto the brake linings. This of course renders them ineffective (at best).
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:55 PM   #9
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I'm with you guys. I use marine grease and bearing buddies on the boat trailer, and the recommended EP grease on the Airstream.

I see no reason to use the same grease for both. That's like serving white wine with beef, or red wine with fish.
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:33 PM   #10
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I see no reason to use the same grease for both. That's like serving white wine with beef, or red wine with fish.
The reason is to only have one wine bottle, errrrr grease gun.

I have no problem drinking chablis with my fish sticks.

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Old 11-04-2005, 07:37 AM   #11
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I repacked my Airstream with Amsoil grease. My 10,000 lb flatbed equipment trailer is still on factory fill from 1998, despite several back and forth trips to Ohio and Michigan. I think I am going to pull the hubs, inspect the brakes and repack bearings this winter.
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:17 AM   #12
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Grease Type

I feel a little more fortunate that most. I have seen and learned a lot about a lot of things along the way.
One thing that I did learn while in the aviation world was that petroleum products(gasoline, kerosene,JP-3,4,5, etc, motor oil, gearlube, you get the idea) absorb moisture. JP-5 absorbs so much moisture that it promotes the growth of algae on the teflon standoffs between the inner and outer tubes of the capacitive fuel quantity measurement probes in airplane fuel tanks. The fuel in the tanks does not get hot enough(it is hoped) to boil off this moisture.
Vehicles that are used on a daily basis, your daily driver, semi tractors, their trailers are run often enough to keep the moisture burnt off due to their temperature rise.
Ever pull your hub only to find the amber or grey grease has an red tint to it? That tint is rust. I has been caused by the moisture absorbed by the grease you have used. On a boat trailer, this is not uncommon, however on a travel trailer that never launches a boat you should never find this red tint. But you will. As the hub heats when we take the trailer out, the air gets hot and is forced out through the bearing seal. As the hub cools, outside air is sucked back in. This outside air contains moisture. If it sits there too many days it will cause rust.
This is why the bearings should be repacked on a regular basis. I have never tried waterprooff grease but I think I will. Hopefully the moisture sucked in when the hub cools off will sit on top of the grease, not the bearing cone.

There fore Inland Andy is exactly right in preaching the yearly/10,000 mile repacking.

The more you use your trailer, (once a week) the longer you can put off repacking your bearings, but not longer that 10,000 miles or two years, you are asking for trouble. Machines are funny, if you don't pick the time to perform maintenance, they will pick the time, and you probally will not like the time or the place machine picks(side of the road 40 miles from nowhere on a saturday or sunday evening).
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Most boat trailers only travel a few miles between home and the boat ramp, unlike travel trailers which can go hundreds, or thousands of miles before stopping for the night.
Thousands ? and I thought I was a driving fool ! Terry, you're an animal, lol.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:01 AM   #14
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There are lots of boat trailers that make long trips. The marine grease is built for that event too. My typical trip is an hour each way to the lake. And I do go to Roosevelt or Powell which is 4 hours one way. And in '97 I went to Catalina Island. the tow to the CA coast was close to 7 hours.

I know others that go to Mexico a lot. And all up and down the Ca coast.

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