View Full Version : Lubing Up the Bearings

Chadd Hamilton
05-31-2002, 10:56 AM
Hello- One of the wheels on my boat trailer is making a noticable, not griding, but grating sound, as if it needs a little lube. I have the lube, but was wondering how I should apply it ;) The wheel hub has a little rubber seal in the center that I am under the assumption provides protection for the bearings? Can someone explain the right way to lubricate this wheel?


Ed Harrow
05-31-2002, 11:18 AM
Well at the risk of being chastised for venturing a bit too far afield...

The normal practice for greasing wheel bearings, assuming such things as Donn mentioned are not in place - remove inner and outer bearings from the wheel. Put a glob of grease on the palm of one hand and kind of scrub the bearing thru it in an axial direction. This forces the grease into the bearing. Use lots. Reassemble and stuff more under the cup.

When you launch/retrieve the boat, try to keep the hubs out of the water. Depending upon the boat and trailer it may not be required to dunk the hubs.

If the hub is making noises, you may also be well served by replacing the bearings. Also check tire pressures, low tire pressures can heat up the bearing and cause the grease to loose its viscosity, and thus its lubricity (ohh how I love that word).

05-31-2002, 12:35 PM
Hi Chad I have alot of experiance with trailer problems. Not mine, just all my buddies. By the sound of you saying THE LITTLE RUBBER PLUG. That's a good thing. Sound's like you have the POSI-LUBE spindles on the trailer. Yes you remove the rubber plug and there is a zerk fitting [greesefitting] on the end of the spindle. The spindle is GUN drilled and Cross drilled. When greesing the bearings. The greese goes down the middle of the spindle and comes out of the cross drill hole between the inner bearing and the seal. It goes thru the inner bearing and fills the whole hub, then tru the outer bearing and comes out the hud cap. That's where the little rubber cap goes. This is the best system, but it isn't perfect. It is important to use some grease. What I mean by that is don't just put grease in until you see it come out a little. Keep pumping it in as if to change the greese in the whole hub and bearings. Sometimes water can get by the seal and sit in the hub[bad thing] By pushing a bunch of greese out you will also push this water out too. The water will not look like water, but will make the greese look murky.Sort of white or a lighter color. By the sound of what you say I'd take the whole thing apart and start over with NEW bearings and DOUBLE lip seals. The double lip seals only cost maybe a dollar more. Well worth it,as they really help keep the greese in and water out. This is cheap insurance of a good day on the water. Nothing will ruin your day like working on a boat trailer on a sunday afternoon on the side of the road. Now as to BUDDY BEARING'S They are a manufactures name. That name is used all the time generically. The real BUDDY BEARINGS are JUNK. Here's why. This system replaces the hub cap. That's the part that your little rubber cap goes in. They have a spring,washer and a zerk fitting and look like they would work great.NOT! They only greese the outter bearing well. As the greese goes into the hub it builds hyd. preasure. No place for the preasure to escape.[or is there?] Yep it escapes thru the inner seal as it blows the seal out at the same time. Seal goes away inner bearing doesn't get lubed enough, water comes in inner bearing is the first to fail. Take it to the bank on this statment. I've seen it too many times. Here's a link with pix's that may help. http://www.championtrailers.com/techsup.html#technical_support

05-31-2002, 12:39 PM
Ed's right. Bearings are cheap but failing at highway speeds may not be :eek:
Replace them (try Bearings Incorporated). Grease them. Add the Bearing Buddies or equivalant.

05-31-2002, 12:48 PM
Hmm,Wart may be right about Bearing Buddies tm. I never had any problem with them.

05-31-2002, 01:53 PM
TomRobb has the right idea - BEARINGS ARE CHEAP. Especially compared to sitting on the side of a deserted road in the middle of the night. :eek:

05-31-2002, 01:57 PM
I've heard the rant on bearing buddies before, so last year I disassembled my bearings for an inspection.... sure enough, the inner bearing was still loaded with old grease. only the outer bearing had the new grease (different color altogether) from being flushed with the bearing buddies. moral of the story: disassemble and repack your bearings the oldschool way every once in a while.

to me the true benefit of the bearing buddies is that when you dunk the trailer with the bearings/grease/hubs still hot (not that you should, but if you do...) the springpressurized grease in the cap prevents the rapid contraction of everything from sucking water through the seals.

Robert Nesbit
06-01-2002, 11:11 PM
Bearing buddies are cheap compared to replacing entire hubs. I have never had a failure either. Putting grease in when things are hot seems to help. I have had grease slung from the inside bearing onto the hull. Annoying.

06-02-2002, 11:22 PM
Robert the slinging of that grease is whay I'm talking about Buddy Bearings building preasure and blowing the seal. Double lip seal will help some.Proof again why I think Buddy Bearings are Junk.