: Bearing buddies and repacking grease


Rapscallion
02-21-2012, 03:01 PM
How often do you tear down and repack your hubs when utilizing a Bearing Buddy system?
I've got three years on mine with no sign of seal leakage.

jokerjim
02-21-2012, 03:55 PM
Be careful when you remove the bearing buddies. You can open up the hub(soft metal)up if you rock the buddies too much when you remove them. Then when you install them, the first time you hit the road they will come flying off. There has been alot of discussion on this site about bearing buddies.

Binks61
02-21-2012, 07:33 PM
I've got an 04 and have pulled and inspected them twice. Due for a third time this year ( soooo every three years)
I have not found any issues to date. Clean, repack and new rear seals. That said, I plan on a long haul this year ( Pittsburgh to Lake Michigan) so I plan on changing the bearing/races & seals this spring.

djcoop52
02-21-2012, 07:35 PM
I repack every year use the buddy bearings just to keep grease level up. No matter how good the seals some water is going to infiltrate would not trust grease not to break down. Repack mine before putting away for the winter.

Hot Runr Guy
02-21-2012, 07:46 PM
x2 Every fall, after the last trip, I pull the hubs and inspect. This way, if there is a problem, water isn't sitting and freezing in the hubs all winter long. One less thing to deal with in the spring.

HRG

Rapscallion
02-22-2012, 04:00 AM
I will repack and install new seals soon. I like the idea of pulling the BB's for an inspection once a year.

jkbrink
02-22-2012, 06:06 AM
Be careful when you remove the bearing buddies. You can open up the hub(soft metal)up if you rock the buddies too much when you remove them. Then when you install them, the first time you hit the road they will come flying off. There has been alot of discussion on this site about bearing buddies.

If the fit gets too sloppy, clean the grease out of them, place them over a (pipe??) rounded surface, the closer to the diameter of the buddy the better but anything rounded will work. Use a hammer and a center punch, tap (not hammer) the center punch around the diameter of the mating surface of the buddy. This will stretch the diameter of the buddy back to a better fit. Worked for me till I went to lubed hubs- - -jerr

Rapscallion
02-22-2012, 08:03 AM
I've been successful in removing them unharmed by tapping with a mallet to loosen them, wrapping in a cloth to prevent gouging, then using a pipe wrench to turn while pulling outward (basicly unscrewing them even though they aren't threaded). They come out relatively easy and aren't beat up or deformed.

ffishman
02-22-2012, 08:39 AM
I now have Liqui-lubes, but when I had Bearing buddies, I broke them down and repacked every year. To me, it was cheap insurance.

hawg
02-22-2012, 08:40 AM
Raps, take a serious look at LiquaLube. About the same amount of work as repacking, which isn't much, and they are great. I still wonder why I waited so long to do it. I repacked my bearing buddies almost every year, I don't think they last any longer than regular hubs. If you grease to often you blow out back seals and thats just as bad as a small leakage on regular hubs. LiquaLube is not an expensive conversion.

AllenW
02-22-2012, 09:31 AM
Usually every two years, between regreasing I'll add a bit of grease if needed, seems as the grease is forced into the brearing and hub you can add to keep the moveable plate about mid ways.

Al

Jimmy Jig
02-22-2012, 09:40 AM
I took mine off and use steel hub caps..Pack the bearings and forget the 2 lbs of grease between the bearings. I do this every year or two with new seals.......Hub caps never come off.........

REW
02-22-2012, 09:44 PM
I have been going on about every 7 years. As long as the seals stay intact and the bearings remain without water and well greased, no reason to take them apart.

Take care
REW

ohiojmj
02-23-2012, 06:41 AM
REW, how do you know there is no water inside if you don't take apart to inspect? How do you confirm an intact rear seal? One obscure chunk missing and your (bearing is) hosed.

goldman
02-24-2012, 06:35 AM
Usually when that rear seal is bad, you'll have grease on the back side of your wheel. At least thats been my experience.

perchjerker
02-24-2012, 06:50 AM
Usually when that rear seal is bad, you'll have grease on the back side of your wheel. At least thats been my experience.

the seal can go bad long before that and allow water in before you see grease coming out, since water is thinner than grease

as far as waiting 7 years before inspecting, I am sorry but thats just plain crazy and inviting trouble

I inspect and repack every fall during the layup process. Its such a simple procedure and can avoid breakdowns on the road, why not do it???

Drummer Boy
02-24-2012, 09:47 AM
I just pop the cap of in the fall and check for water if there isn't any water know need to go farther.Every three years I replace every thing.

perchjerker
02-24-2012, 10:07 AM
I just pop the cap of in the fall and check for water if there isn't any water know need to go farther.Every three years I replace every thing.

How do you check the inner bearing?

If the grease seal is leaking its going to show up there first.

Waxy
02-24-2012, 01:01 PM
How do you check the inner bearing?

If the grease seal is leaking its going to show up there first.

Agreed.

I'm not a fan of bearing buddies. People tend to jam too much grease in them, which causes the rear seal to blow when things heat up. That leads to expensive brake repairs and bearing failures.

IMHO, better to check and repack once a year, it's easy and cheap.

Waxy

TomP.
02-24-2012, 11:39 PM
the seal can go bad long before that and allow water in before you see grease coming out, since water is thinner than grease

as far as waiting 7 years before inspecting, I am sorry but thats just plain crazy and inviting trouble

I inspect and repack every fall during the layup process. Its such a simple procedure and can avoid breakdowns on the road, why not do it???


I am with REW on this one. The only time I pull my Bearing Buddies is when I notice having to grease the hub way to often to keep the plunger half way out. If the plunger dosen`t hold pressure I no there is a leak somewhere.

perchjerker
02-25-2012, 06:10 AM
I am with REW on this one. The only time I pull my Bearing Buddies is when I notice having to grease the hub way to often to keep the plunger half way out. If the plunger dosen`t hold pressure I no there is a leak somewhere.


good luck to you

REW
02-25-2012, 10:15 PM
By the way,
One of the biggest reasons that I am reluctant to remove my bearing buddies for service is the ease with which the tops of the hubs can get bell shaped.

When the hubs get bell shaped, the bearing buddies fall out.

Basically, when servicing the hubs, you need to remove the dust caps or bearing buddies, without "rocking or tilting" the buddies in the ends of the hubs.

If you "rock" the buddies or dust covers, the hubs can easily get bell shaped. But, if you remove the buddies or dust covers without rocking them but - as one of the posts pointed out - by simply twisting them in the hubs, you can get the buddies or dust covers out of the hubs without rocking and potentially belling out the tops of the hubs.

Take care
REW

TomP.
02-26-2012, 01:05 AM
good luck to you



I must live under a Shamrock according to you. I have been dragging boats around for better then 40 years and I have never burned out a bearing.

fisher-1
02-26-2012, 02:53 AM
The first time I took my bearing buddies apart was after 3 years of use, everything inside was like brand new, but since I had bought new bearings and seals just in case, I replaced them.
Now I just make sure that I maintain a positive grease pressure in the hubs and keep an eye on the seals for any grease leakage, but never over grease them like I was told by the dealer at the time of my boat purchase.
I tow my boat almost every weekend during summer, always touch & feel the hubs for heat @ every stop. Never a problem, even on the hottest day.
I plan on re-packing them every 5 to 7 years.

perchjerker
02-26-2012, 06:38 AM
I must live under a Shamrock according to you. I have been dragging boats around for better then 40 years and I have never burned out a bearing.

I am glad for you:cheers:

Hot Runr Guy
02-26-2012, 06:47 AM
I must live under a Shamrock according to you. I have been dragging boats around for better then 40 years and I have never burned out a bearing.

Yeah, it took me 35 years before i finally had a flat tire on a trailer. but, I always carried a spare, nonetheless.

HRG

wiredog
02-28-2012, 10:39 AM
By the way,
One of the biggest reasons that I am reluctant to remove my bearing buddies for service is the ease with which the tops of the hubs can get bell shaped.

When the hubs get bell shaped, the bearing buddies fall out.

Basically, when servicing the hubs, you need to remove the dust caps or bearing buddies, without "rocking or tilting" the buddies in the ends of the hubs.

If you "rock" the buddies or dust covers, the hubs can easily get bell shaped. But, if you remove the buddies or dust covers without rocking them but - as one of the posts pointed out - by simply twisting them in the hubs, you can get the buddies or dust covers out of the hubs without rocking and potentially belling out the tops of the hubs.

Take care
REW
What makes you think that the thick cast iron hub is getting bell shaped and not the thin sheet metal bearing buddy gitting bent??? Wiredog

ohiojmj
02-28-2012, 11:17 AM
REW, gentle whacks to the top bottom left right of the bearing buddy with a rubber mallet shouldn't belmouth a hub. Sheet metal dust covers are not going to deform those stiff thick hubs; you've just distorted your cover. Perhaps you need the help of someone mechanically inclined.

twobearlake
02-28-2012, 10:11 PM
Here's my question. Everyone says to keep the Bearing Buddies well greased, but at the same time do not over grease or you will blow a seal. How does one determine when enough is enough? I still have Bearing Buddies on my tiller canoe trailer, but was tired of worrying about the greasing issue and so now have oil bath hubs for my Nav 165 trailer. I have read the BB docs, but still don't really have a clear idea.:huh:

Just really what to know how to determine the amount of grease to use.

Thanks in advance!

TB

perchjerker
02-29-2012, 04:31 AM
Here's my question. Everyone says to keep the Bearing Buddies well greased, but at the same time do not over grease or you will blow a seal. How does one determine when enough is enough? I still have Bearing Buddies on my tiller canoe trailer, but was tired of worrying about the greasing issue and so now have oil bath hubs for my Nav 165 trailer. I have read the BB docs, but still don't really have a clear idea.:huh:

Just really what to know how to determine the amount of grease to use.

Thanks in advance!

TB

you want just enough to be able to rock the plate the zerk fitting it attached to

the directions are on their website

http://www.bearingbuddy.com/why.html