z-man

Trailer bearing and hub life

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How many miles are you guys getting out of your trailer bearings and hubs? How long do you go before replacing them? Changing one on the side of the highway is not fun. 

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Preventive maintenance and grease them mothly otherwise you will replace them frequently.    Once you get an void in the hub then water will set in. As long as you grease them frequently  it's displaces  that void and water can't get in.   People make this harder then what it needs to be.  Get some buddy bearings and make life simple. 

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3 hours ago, 757saltwater said:

Preventive maintenance and grease them mothly otherwise you will replace them frequently.    Once you get an void in the hub then water will set in. As long as you grease them frequently  it's displaces  that void and water can't get in.   People make this harder then what it needs to be.  Get some buddy bearings and make life simple. 

I have mine on the trailer since it was purchased early 1980s

 

Grease often.  Long trips I bring the Grease gun.  Takes maybe 2 minutes to Grease both hubs and never had any issues

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It all depends on how of and how far you travel. I barely  use my trailer so once a year works for me . If I were trailering  every week at good distances probably once a month.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I feel an infrared  gun is worth having. 10 bucks. For the long trips I take 4 hours round trip.  Most of the times its 90-140. Above 140 is said to be too hot.  I grease often and change hubs every 2 -3 years no matter what. 

Edited by The Riddler

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When me and my son bought a boat with a trailer first thing l did was new bearings seals and a pair of grease buddies, a spare set of bearings inner seal, and grease kept in water proof container. 

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My whaler trailer came with Dexter EZ lube hubs.  These have a zerk fitting and don't seal out water.  But the axle is drilled to the back bearing and when you pump grease in, it goes to back bearing first and then old grease is pushed out the front.  I trailer a lot from Hingham to Falmouth and it rolls super smooth. I used Mobil Ronex grease I get from McMaster and probably shoot them every month.

 

My other trailers have had bearing buddies and I like those too.

 

I only use Timken USA bearing sets and National Oil Seal.  It's about $80 for a single 5 bolt axle.  I'll swap bearings about every 3 years.

 

Agree on monitoring temps, I usually check when I get to the ramp and when I get home.  Mine never get more than lukewarm but I also have oversized axle, wheel, tires etc.  I swapped springs to lighter weight so I could get it to match the boat weight.  I'm running 205R14 radial Kendas and it tows so smooth compared to smaller tires.  I've hit 80 by mistake a few times.  I think the larger tires help with bearing life since it's not spinning as fast.

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4 hours ago, The Riddler said:

I feel an infrared  gun is worth having. 10 bucks. For the long trips I take 4 hours round trip.  Most of the times its 90-140. Above 140 is said to be too hot.  I grease often and change hubs every 2 -3 years no matter what. 

As said above, grease often

 

Hands work as well if no temp gun.  I ALWAYS feel the wheels after a couple miles at speed.  If they're hot, you're not going far.

 

And ditto on the timkins...worth the extra $.  With maintenance they'lle go a very long time.

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20 mins ago, Sailah said:

My whaler trailer came with Dexter EZ lube hubs.  These have a zerk fitting and don't seal out water.  But the axle is drilled to the back bearing and when you pump grease in, it goes to back bearing first and then old grease is pushed out the front.  I trailer a lot from Hingham to Falmouth and it rolls super smooth. I used Mobil Ronex grease I get from McMaster and probably shoot them every month.

 

My other trailers have had bearing buddies and I like those too.

 

I only use Timken USA bearing sets and National Oil Seal.  It's about $80 for a single 5 bolt axle.  I'll swap bearings about every 3 years.

 

Agree on monitoring temps, I usually check when I get to the ramp and when I get home.  Mine never get more than lukewarm but I also have oversized axle, wheel, tires etc.  I swapped springs to lighter weight so I could get it to match the boat weight.  I'm running 205R14 radial Kendas and it tows so smooth compared to smaller tires.  I've hit 80 by mistake a few times.  I think the larger tires help with bearing life since it's not spinning as fast.

This IMO is one of the keys to longer bearing life, that and very frequent use of a grease gun.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Water intrusion is the enemy. When hubs are warm they will suck in water like a vacuum. When you get to the place you are going to launch, give the hubs 15 minutes to cool down before dunking the trailer……

 

I pump new grease in every month or so. Completely displace all of the old grease. 
Don’t use the thin stuff West Marine sells…or the China crap…..I use Paragon 3000 lithium based grease. (USA) It’s thick…….doesn’t get thin and leak out…….Your grease should never be in the hubs long enough to turn some color other than what it went in as. 

Theoretically, the bearings/hubs can last indefinitely with proper care.

Edited by aae0130

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Posted (edited) · Report post

9 mins ago, FizzyFish said:

This IMO is one of the keys to longer bearing life, that and very frequent use of a grease gun.

also with larger wheels and smaller boats, particularly tin boats, you don't always have to submerge your wheels above the hubs. Specially if you have a tilt type trailer.

Edited by FizzyFish

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13 mins ago, FizzyFish said:

also with larger wheels and smaller boats, particularly tin boats, you don't always have to submerge your wheels above the hubs. Specially if you have a tilt type trailer.

…..or bunk slicks…….

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1 hour ago, aae0130 said:

Water intrusion is the enemy. When hubs are warm they will suck in water like a vacuum. When you get to the place you are going to launch, give the hubs 15 minutes to cool down before dunking the trailer……

 

I pump new grease in every month or so. Completely displace all of the old grease. 
Don’t use the thin stuff West Marine sells…or the China crap…..I use Paragon 3000 lithium based grease. (USA) It’s thick…….doesn’t get thin and leak out…….Your grease should never be in the hubs long enough to turn some color other than what it went in as. 

Theoretically, the bearings/hubs can last indefinitely with proper care.

That’s BS. All bearings wear out eventually. The one I just saw completely exploded and there was plenty of grease in there.

The question I was asking is how long until replacing so you don’t have a catastrophic failure. It’s a boat trailer so water is getting in there no matter what. Every few years sounds like a good idea but how many miles? A lot of my trips are only ten miles while others may do 100 per trip. 

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2 hours ago, Sailah said:

My whaler trailer came with Dexter EZ lube hubs.  These have a zerk fitting and don't seal out water.  But the axle is drilled to the back bearing and when you pump grease in, it goes to back bearing first and then old grease is pushed out the front.  I trailer a lot from Hingham to Falmouth and it rolls super smooth. I used Mobil Ronex grease I get from McMaster and probably shoot them every month.

 

My other trailers have had bearing buddies and I like those too.

 

I only use Timken USA bearing sets and National Oil Seal.  It's about $80 for a single 5 bolt axle.  I'll swap bearings about every 3 years.

 

Agree on monitoring temps, I usually check when I get to the ramp and when I get home.  Mine never get more than lukewarm but I also have oversized axle, wheel, tires etc.  I swapped springs to lighter weight so I could get it to match the boat weight.  I'm running 205R14 radial Kendas and it tows so smooth compared to smaller tires.  I've hit 80 by mistake a few times.  I think the larger tires help with bearing life since it's not spinning as fast.

How many miles do you think you trailer per year?

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47 mins ago, z-man said:

How many miles do you think you trailer per year?

A lot.  It's 120 miles round trip to Falmouth.  During albie season I probably fish 30+ times?  Plus lots of Cape family trips, Duxbury, Maine.

 

Maybe 5000 miles a year?  I built my trailer up from the frame to handle it.  It's oversized aluminum and I replaced almost everything.  Anything that moved was swapped.  Stainless steel everywhere but with plastic washers so it minimizes galvanic corrosion.  New rims, tires.  Ultra heavy duty wiring and lights.  I've had crappy trailers my whole life and it's one area I just don't want to compromise on anymore.  This was the rebuild, everything other than the frame, fenders and axle was new.  Extended the tongue.

 

20210927_163718.jpg.44d1185a0ddacd8285ca4a08371176bf.jpg

 

Forgive the zipties but testing out wiring length and where I was running cables.  I switched from those junky 4 wires to a 7 wire junction box.  I run 14g cable down each leg of the trailer to the lights.  All connections are done with Molex heat shrink butts so no chance of water intrusion from splicing.  I run a dedicated ground to all the lights vs using the frame ground.  All wire terminations happen at junction box and all connectors are waterproof terminations.  Use a 7 pin connector to truck.  Before going this crazy, I used to buy trailer lights 6 at a time knowing they were going to get ruined.

 

20211004_151748.jpg.ed07e5e63154404b40c64a146d070279.jpg

 

Sorry for geeking out about trailers but I've learned what I like and don't.

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