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Grease into your bearing buddies? And how often do you pack your bearings? And do you do it yourself? It seems when I pay to have my serviced I have problems. Like the bearing cage explodes and welds itself to the spindle. Interested in frequency and results
 

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I'll give mine a couple pumps ever couple of times I pull it. It's a lot less aggravating to add grease in the yard vs. changing an axle on the side of the rd.
As far as packing the bearings just get a hand full of axle grease and pack as much as you can into the bearing before installing then keep them greased with the pump as often as possible, but be careful not to over do it b/c you can blow the seals out. It's not that hard, just remember no one else is going to take as good of care your stuff as you will, especially a shop. That's what they call repeat customers.
 

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Buddy bearing are a good idea but cause more issues in the end. Always ends up in a blown out back seal without you knowing. I recommend repacking yourself once a year if you use it just for duck season and then only sparingly during fishing season. If a lot during both seasons, then repack in March and October every year.
 

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Buddy bearing are a good idea but cause more issues in the end. Always ends up in a blown out back seal without you knowing. I recommend repacking yourself once a year if you use it just for duck season and then only sparingly during fishing season. If a lot during both seasons, then repack in March and October every year.

Agreed 100%.

I don't usually recommend bearing buddy's for that reason. 99% of the time they get over greased. Some of the Dexter axles have a fitting right in the end of the spindle. On those, there is a passage drilled into the end of the spindle, then another hole cross drilled so that grease gets to both bearings. Diamond City uses this setup, as do some of the other major brands. Still entirely possible to overgrease them and knock the seal out of the rear. It ideal setup would be oil bath hubs; but they are a little more money, and trailers already cost too much. Add another $150 or whatever they cost and it helps put the cost of the trailer up over a competitive price point.

For the record, I've got the standard Diamond City Dexter axle under my war eagle. No more than I use my boat, I hit both fittings once a year. Jack the trailer up early in the spring and check for any play in the bearings. Had to adjust them after pulling the first 1000 miles, but since then, I've not had to adjust them. They shouldn't have any play. They are tapered roller bearings, which means they need just a little bit of preload. That was one complaint I had with my DC trailer when I first bought it. After the first few trips, it rode rough. Jacked it up and found the wheel bearings had taken a set and became a little loose. Tightened them up and all has been good so far. I'd recommend the same treatment for every new trailer. Pull it for a few hundred miles, and then check each and every fastener and the wheel bearings. Found my bunk lag bolts were loose too...one bolt missing (was in when I bought it for sure).
 

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IMO where buddy bearing shine is if you're pulling in a lot of deep water everyday getting to a launch area. I've seen times when I was driving in two miles of deep water one way to get where I was going.
 

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Agreed 100%.

I don't usually recommend bearing buddy's for that reason. 99% of the time they get over greased. Some of the Dexter axles have a fitting right in the end of the spindle. On those, there is a passage drilled into the end of the spindle, then another hole cross drilled so that grease gets to both bearings. Diamond City uses this setup, as do some of the other major brands. Still entirely possible to overgrease them and knock the seal out of the rear. It ideal setup would be oil bath hubs; but they are a little more money, and trailers already cost too much. Add another $150 or whatever they cost and it helps put the cost of the trailer up over a competitive price point.

For the record, I've got the standard Diamond City Dexter axle under my war eagle. No more than I use my boat, I hit both fittings once a year. Jack the trailer up early in the spring and check for any play in the bearings. Had to adjust them after pulling the first 1000 miles, but since then, I've not had to adjust them. They shouldn't have any play. They are tapered roller bearings, which means they need just a little bit of preload. That was one complaint I had with my DC trailer when I first bought it. After the first few trips, it rode rough. Jacked it up and found the wheel bearings had taken a set and became a little loose. Tightened them up and all has been good so far. I'd recommend the same treatment for every new trailer. Pull it for a few hundred miles, and then check each and every fastener and the wheel bearings. Found my bunk lag bolts were loose too...one bolt missing (was in when I bought it for sure).
Between the twin axle camper & 20' trailers, and the single axle boat & ATV trailers, I have a lot of bearings to keep greased.

Those bearing grease packing tools look pretty slick.

(Straight face)

Are they worth the money versus the traditional grease-in-palm hand job method?

Thanks.
 

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I've got this packer. If packing new bearings, I use the hand method. If repacking, you can't beat this thing. Pushes all the old grease out evenly. Hard as heck to push that good Lucas waterproof grease through!

http://www.searsoutlet.com/Handy-Pa...t_details.jsp?md=ct_md&pid=100242&mode=seeAll
I do just the opposite, I use mine on new bearings. Even tho the claims, I'm not so sure any grease is exactly waterproof, however I believe that new/fresh grease is the best choice when dealing with water. Service service service will save you.
 

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Just pull and pack once a year with a quality grease. I prefer the old red grease but any standard grease or marine grease should work fine. Clean the bearings and old grease. Dont remove the race!!! Keep the bearings to go back in the same race. Put a bit of grease in your hand and work the edge of the bearing until grease comes out of the top side and the repeat to the other side.

2 hours you should be done.

One point I have been told be a few over the years to not use gasoline to remove the old grease fromt he bearing, but its cheap and works. I have had just one failure in 45 years.
 

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This has always been an interesting topic with a wide range of opinions. Here's mine.

Buddy Bearings = Although a novel idea, one that has brought down more axles than anything else. When they came out, most users bought them up and quit servicing the axle. As already mentioned. Too much grease from frequently using the grease gun will always lead to the inside seal being pushed out. With that, water and grit enter and grease leaves. A good number of trailers at any launch ramp will have grease covering the inside wheels. Most of those will have buddy bearings. If a hub is properly serviced and greased upon assembly, there is no need to add additional grease. It doesn't evaporate. A check for end play and a leaking or pushed out inward seal is easy. Removal of the buddy bearing is required to inspect for water entry. (These hub caps aren't very good about their sealing ability. The spring loaded pressure cup relies on the grease to form a good seal. That's why you always notice grease leaking inside the cap.)

Newer style drilled and tapped spindle = Best recognized by the rubber grommet in the center of the dust cap. A slight improvement over the buddy bearing design. With the spindle having a passage leading from the front to the back, it would seem that the inward seal would be safe from being pushed out by over servicing. The biggest issue I have is that the rubber grommet used to seal the outer dust cap has a very poor water tight seal. If you have this type on a boat trailer, it's a pretty safe bet that you have water in the hub. A simple check for end play will indicate excessive wear. Removal of the rubber grommet and a visual inspection for signs of water entry is pretty straight forward.

Standard dust cap design = This is the old school design. Just a basic dust cap used to seal off the hub. There are times when novelty lures folks away from the basics. And as in this case, that is what I believe has happened. The basic dust cap has the best record for being able to seal out water and keep the grease in. Inward seal issues are related to fishing line or pitted surfaces and not over pressurization. Same design used by all the vehicle manufactures for years. I can't count the number of old trucks and cars of yesteryear that would run well into the 100k mile range without servicing the front bearings. (good grease and quality bearings played a big part in that) In all my years of being around the various types of axle designs, the problems I've seen with this design were limited to improper servicing, having the inner seal eat up by twine, mono line or rope and seal failure from no maintenance. Maintenance schedules will vary. A simple check for end play and a visual inspection for any signs of leakage will foretell of any impending problems.

Oil bath design = Very good design. If a seal issue develops, it should be quickly noted by a simple visual inspection. Requires nothing more than a visual inspection, a quick end play check and a high mileage maintenance schedule. But very pricy on the front end.

With that said, I will say that boat trailers should be watched and serviced more frequently because they are backed down in the water. It's pretty common to see boat trailers that have had no maintenance in 5+ yrs and still going strong. Utility trailers can go way beyond that. Water is your biggest enemy. If you can't seal off the hub, a yearly maintenance schedule should keep you off the shoulder of the road.

Well, that's my :twocents:
 

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Just pull and pack once a year with a quality grease. I prefer the old red grease but any standard grease or marine grease should work fine. Clean the bearings and old grease. Dont remove the race!!! Keep the bearings to go back in the same race. Put a bit of grease in your hand and work the edge of the bearing until grease comes out of the top side and the repeat to the other side.

2 hours you should be done.

One point I have been told be a few over the years to not use gasoline to remove the old grease fromt he bearing, but its cheap and works. I have had just one failure in 45 years.
People get a false sense of security from the greasable axles and bearing buddies. For reliability trailers need bearings packed on a regular schedule, especially if dunked in water frequently. It's not hard to do, doesn't require special tools, just a little dirty hands labor. Very little mechanical aptitude required. If you don't do your own it's a crap shoot. Being lax or lazy costs you in the end.
 

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People get a false sense of security from the greasable axles and bearing buddies. For reliability trailers need bearings packed on a regular schedule, especially if dunked in water frequently. It's not hard to do, doesn't require special tools, just a little dirty hands labor. Very little mechanical aptitude required. If you don't do your own it's a crap shoot. Being lax or lazy costs you in the end.
I used to sell boat parts and I actually had a dealer call me one day and ask if I've ever done a bearing job and then asked me to explain to him how to do it. Not all dealers are like that but don't just assume that since they own a shop they know their way around.
 
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