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Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       09-13-2010, 12:44 PM Reply   
I've had a couple of instances this year of my bearing buddies puking grease despite the bras. Seems to only be on the front wheels of my dual axle trailer. The buddy has clearly lost grease because the piston is "in" towards the hub and no longer moves around.

This seems to happen on longer towing trips where there's a lot of heavy breaking (Bullards Bar, for instance). On a recent 2 hour trip on flat ground the bearings were fine.

Thoughts?
Old    Mattgettel (mattgettel)      Join Date: Jan 2009       09-13-2010, 1:11 PM Reply   
Do yourself a favor and get rid of your bearing "buddies". Just pull the bearings every winter and pack em with grease. It sounds like more work but your bearing buddies will keep puking. It's my experience that they just aren't worth it.
Old    Meathead (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-13-2010, 1:20 PM Reply   
The bearing buddies are most likely on the axle with the brakes. The heat from the brakes is causing the grease to expand and liquify (sp?), causing your issues.

To cure, you can: Use better grease with a higher melt point, be sure not to overfill the bearing buddy. if the piston is able to rock side to side, it's full enough. It doesn't need to be protruding clear out past the body of the unit like most think it does.
Old    Tom N (SangerTom)      Join Date: Aug 2010       09-13-2010, 1:27 PM Reply   
Don't put grease in before your trip. put them in just before you launch. this will stop the expansion. the buddies are only there to stop water intrusion that is cause when your hot bearings go into cold water and creates a suction.

putting grease in the buddies before a trip does nothing at all
Old    SamIngram            09-13-2010, 1:36 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by meathead65 View Post
The bearing buddies are most likely on the axle with the brakes. The heat from the brakes is causing the grease to expand and liquify (sp?), causing your issues.

To cure, you can: Use better grease with a higher melt point, be sure not to overfill the bearing buddy. if the piston is able to rock side to side, it's full enough. It doesn't need to be protruding clear out past the body of the unit like most think it does.
Meathead got it right! I would disagree with most of the other posts here....

The solution to your problem is to use HIGH QUALITY GREASE with a high melting temperature. Most auto parts stores do not carry the good stuff, and if they do, you will have to pay for it. Napa generally has it.

You should read this thread and follow the attached link over to Planet Nautique.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       09-13-2010, 1:57 PM Reply   
Thanks Sam. I'll confess that I've been using Pep Boys' "Marine Grease". It's not fancy stuff to my knowledge. I'll give some high temp grease from Napa a shot.

I wasn't sure if this was a problem with my bearings/seals or something else. Sounds like the behavior is to be expected with standard quality grease and heavy breaking?
Old    SamIngram            09-13-2010, 2:15 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
Thanks Sam. I'll confess that I've been using Pep Boys' "Marine Grease". It's not fancy stuff to my knowledge. I'll give some high temp grease from Napa a shot.

I wasn't sure if this was a problem with my bearings/seals or something else. Sounds like the behavior is to be expected with standard quality grease and heavy breaking?
This is what I use.....
Old    Derek (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       09-13-2010, 4:04 PM Reply   
Sam - I too like Amsoil. What do you make of the GWR product? As a synthetic I would think high temp is the key strength. The GWR is the boat trailer bearing recommendation... Anyway, a penny for your thoughts
Old    Meathead (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-13-2010, 7:00 PM Reply   
Along those lines, the number 1 cause of bearing failure I see on trailers in the last 20 years?

Over greasing bearing buddies. Grease gun happy owners pumping grease into the bearings every other trip...blowing out the rear seal, grease melts, runs out rear seal, destroys brakes while it waits for the bearings to fail.

Think about it...do you add grease to your trucks hubs every long trip? The bearing buddies are designed to provide a bit of positive pressure on the grease to keep them from sucking water when submerged. If you aren't loosing any grease, then you really shouldn't need to add any very often at all.
Old    Sparky Jay (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       09-13-2010, 8:30 PM Reply   
I may add grease to mine 2 maybe 3 times a year, and only a pump or two in each one. I use the high temp marine grease and have had zero come out ever since the boat was new in 06. Meathead is 100% correct. Dont over do it!
Old    mojo            09-13-2010, 9:40 PM Reply   
i use the kodiak dust/grease cap. they work great. only had one failure out of four wheels in 3 years.
Old    Tom N (SangerTom)      Join Date: Aug 2010       09-13-2010, 10:33 PM Reply   
I've been using SeaDoo grease - back from when I had doos. I missed the brand to buy at Napa - or is Napa's brand hi-temp bearing grease?-
Old    Eric (rowdy)      Join Date: Mar 2006       09-14-2010, 12:11 AM Reply   
My front axles were puking grease. I often tow to a lake that is a steep descent and drop the boat right in the water. I discovered that my brake pad had cracked in half. It could be related to the towing or the over packing of the bearings like meathead was saying. After new pads, I haven't had any issues with the grease. This may not be your specific case, but definitely check the condition of your brakes.
Old    JUST-IN-TIME (justintime)      Join Date: Mar 2009       09-14-2010, 1:07 AM Reply   
all you need is maybe 1 pump after you dip into water to force water out
Old    Big Nate (thesack)      Join Date: Mar 2008       09-14-2010, 2:44 PM Reply   
On behalf of the bearing manufacturers of the world, I would like to thank all of you who are using/switching to a high temp grease. Your outer race failures on your bearings are greatly appreciated.

Grease is oil in a solid state, its designed to liquify. All a high temp grease is going to do is keep your bearings from being properly lubricated and cause premature bearing failure. If you are "puking" grease, then you have over greased your bearings causing the seals to fail. If you really want to switch grease go with a AW or Sythethic EP, its the same stuff they use on the wet end rolls in a paper mil.
Old    Meathead (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-14-2010, 4:09 PM Reply   
Again, I respectfully disagree. Cage and roller style bearings in a boat trailer depend on the grease to form a film on the bearings. I can only assume that the end roll bearings you described are subject to a greatly increased weight load. EP, or Extreme Pressure lubes, are not intended for this type of bearing load we see in our trailers. We keep EP grease on hand here, but use it in jet pump applications on the thrust bearings. Boat trailer wheel bearing seals are designed to maintain and hold in grease, not oil. The exception would be oil bath systems, or the Vault system, which uses a hybrid lube that IS designed to liquify to some extend under increased heat loads. However, Vault and oil bath hubs use different sealing systems to contain the liquid matter. If the grease in your conventional packed cage and roller system does liquify, you stand the very high chance of leakage. Again, we recommend the use of quality, hi temp WHEEL BEARING GREASE for boat trailer applications. Grease is not grease, you need to use the proper type for the bearing type and the application.
Old    SamIngram            09-14-2010, 4:49 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesack View Post
On behalf of the bearing manufacturers of the world, I would like to thank all of you who are using/switching to a high temp grease. Your outer race failures on your bearings are greatly appreciated.

Grease is oil in a solid state, its designed to liquify. All a high temp grease is going to do is keep your bearings from being properly lubricated and cause premature bearing failure. If you are "puking" grease, then you have over greased your bearings causing the seals to fail. If you really want to switch grease go with a AW or Sythethic EP, its the same stuff they use on the wet end rolls in a paper mil.

Nope... puking happens for two reasons, you over filled the bearing buddy or over heated the grease. In both cases the bearing buddy will "walk out" against the spring because they are not perfectly balanced, under rotation and the grease will come out the little hole in the buddy bearing. Once the cheap stuff gets hot and turns to liquid it usually goes out the hole in buddy bearing... Under regular conditions the only way for standard grease to turn to liquid is either by heat from lots of braking or a failed bearing, it doesn't turn to liquid normally. READ THE MSDS for the grease... Most of the higher end bearing greases are tested and certified by the National Lubrication Grease Institute (NLGI) which also produces a report on various greases. If you really want to get stupid you can refer to ASTM D3527, D4290 and D4950 and see which grease actually performs.

I was a PE for 8 years before I gave it up... but I still have the degree and have packed probably 2,000 or more wheel bearings...
Old    Meathead (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       09-14-2010, 7:07 PM Reply   
Sam, I ain't got no fancy book learnin' like you guys.....but i think I was on the right track. thanks for verifying .
Old    Tony Medaglia (h2ohangtime)      Join Date: Aug 2002       09-14-2010, 9:14 PM Reply   
Sam, which NLGI grade is satisfactory? I use Pennzoil Marine grease which is "high melting point" and certified as NLGI grade #2. Does this qualify for the type of grease you'd recommend?
Old    Big Nate (thesack)      Join Date: Mar 2008       09-15-2010, 12:41 AM Reply   
Meathead the bearings in a paper mill are the same as in a trailer, they just have a range of sizes and applications. The ones I was referring too actually support a lighter load then those on a trailer but turn at a slightly higher rpm. And I guess I really should have gotten into more specific detail but the grease that is in direct contact with the rolling elements liquifies, not all of the grease. It is also something that you never really see unless you are able to tear the entire bearing apart before the grease has time to cool. And if all of it did liquify then you are correct that the seals for grease would not work.

And you are right a failed bearing can cause heat, but it can also stay cool. The wrong type of grease or too much grease can causing over heating as well as keep the rolling elements from turning properly. A bearing that has failed can be carried still by over greasing or the use of the wrong grease.

Just use a good quality grease that the manufacture recommends. And follow there greasing schedule.

Last edited by thesack; 09-15-2010 at 12:45 AM.

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