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View Full Version : Hub not completely full of grease. Should I be concerned?


Jeff d
12-27-2011, 10:46 PM
I've been replacing my bearings and seals on a '00 ('99 built) Maristar 230 VRS tandem axle trailer. On one of them I forgot to fill the hub between the inner and outer bearings with grease before sticking in the outer bearing and reassembling everything else. I did this on the other two and will do it on the last hub when I do the bearings on it.

The inner and outer bearings are both fully packed and I have the original Trailer Buddy bearing protectors on there. My question is can I expect that the air will make it's way out when I start towing it and I will just need to top off the protector a few times over the first few miles? Or do I need to pull it apart and fill that with grease?

Thanks,
Jeff

psychobilly
12-28-2011, 03:02 AM
IMHO I wouldn't worry about it. My thinking is, assuming you packed your bearings properly and then once it's all together, greased it like you explained with the BB, it should be OK. When that wheel starts spinning that grease is going to be slung against the hub walls all through your bearings... Not to mention grease gets a bit thinner as it heats up. I ain't no expert or guru on this, it's just the way I've always done it, and that don't make it correct, but,,,,,, knock on wood, I ain't had no issues and I don't pre-pack the hub, I only do the bearings and then pump it to the bearing buddies.

I will say that I also keep a grease gun in my tool box and I'm constantly checking that they are topped off....

I'm curious to see what others say here.

gatorguy
12-28-2011, 12:04 PM
IMHO I wouldn't worry about it. My thinking is, assuming you packed your bearings properly and then once it's all together, greased it like you explained with the BB, it should be OK. When that wheel starts spinning that grease is going to be slung against the hub walls all through your bearings... Not to mention grease gets a bit thinner as it heats up. I ain't no expert or guru on this, it's just the way I've always done it, and that don't make it correct, but,,,,,, knock on wood, I ain't had no issues and I don't pre-pack the hub, I only do the bearings and then pump it to the bearing buddies.

I will say that I also keep a grease gun in my tool box and I'm constantly checking that they are topped off....

I'm curious to see what others say here.

1+ for me too. The only difference is that I do try to fill the hub like the OP did. However, you should still be fine. But then again I'm an MD not a mechanic.

mikeg205
12-28-2011, 12:06 PM
I put new backing plates on my 1995 trailer and wiped out the old grease in my bearings this spring. Did not pre-pack bearings. I pumped in the grease via the bearing buddy and have not had any problems. Later in the summer I wanted to re-inspect the lining of my old 1995 drums and there was more than enough grease in the bearings. I wiped the spindle to inspect while it was apart and all looks great.

Works for me...

Jeff d
12-28-2011, 12:08 PM
Ok, I guess I will leave it as is and just expect to have to top off that protector a bit more than the others once I start towing it in the spring.

Thanks.

thatsmrmastercraft
12-28-2011, 12:10 PM
Pumping grease in through the bearing buddy will fill the void left by not packing the entire hub. As Psycho said, just make sure to grease it a few times on the first couple outings until it isn't showing that it needs more.

http://www.bearingbuddy.com/faqs.htm#3

CantRepeat
12-28-2011, 12:21 PM
I put new backing plates on my 1995 trailer and wiped out the old grease in my bearings this spring. Did not pre-pack bearings. I pumped in the grease via the bearing buddy and have not had any problems. Later in the summer I wanted to re-inspect the lining of my old 1995 drums and there was more than enough grease in the bearings. I wiped the spindle to inspect while it was apart and all looks great.

Works for me...

Not trying to bust you nuts here but, are you saying you put the bearings and races in dry and then pump in the grease? If that is the case I would strongly recommend not doing it like that again.

Packing the wheel bearings prior to assemble is a basic DO when installing them. Part of the process for adjusting the hub nuts is rolling the hub or wheel around and you really don't want to do that on a dry bearing.

You don't need to fill the entire hub with grease before installing it. The spindle takes up room in the hub so you'd probably over pack it and then just end up pushing most of it out when you install the hub. Once you have the hub installed you can grease the hub with the buddy bearings. Remember, you do not need to keep pumping the grease in until the buddy bearing is completely extended. Just add enough until the buddy bearing comes out about 3/4 of an inch. If you constantly over fill the hub all you do is push grease out onto the wheel and blow the inner seal.

mikeg205
12-28-2011, 01:21 PM
Not trying to bust you nuts here but, are you saying you put the bearings and races in dry and then pump in the grease? If that is the case I would strongly recommend not doing it like that again.

Packing the wheel bearings prior to assemble is a basic DO when installing them. Part of the process for adjusting the hub nuts is rolling the hub or wheel around and you really don't want to do that on a dry bearing.

You don't need to fill the entire hub with grease before installing it. The spindle takes up room in the hub so you'd probably over pack it and then just end up pushing most of it out when you install the hub. Once you have the hub installed you can grease the hub with the buddy bearings. Remember, you do not need to keep pumping the grease in until the buddy bearing is completely extended. Just add enough until the buddy bearing comes out about 3/4 of an inch. If you constantly over fill the hub all you do is push grease out onto the wheel and blow the inner seal.


never dry...3/4's of an inch extension? Bearing buddies should only come out an 1/8 of an inch. The bearing buddy relieves pressure if you over fill. At least, that's the way they sell the product and mine have worked over the years on other trailers...have yet to blow a seal.

For a complete re-build or replace of the bearings in the hub I would pre-pack the bearings... but not just to inspect the backing plate or drum.

Thanks...grateful for all advice and correction....

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

CantRepeat
12-28-2011, 01:34 PM
never dry...3/4's of an inch extension? Bearing buddies should only come out an 1/8 of an inch. The bearing buddy relieves pressure if you over fill. At least, that's the way they sell the product and mine have worked over the years on other trailers...have yet to blow a seal.

For a complete re-build or replace of the bearings in the hub I would pre-pack the bearings... but not just to inspect the backing plate or drum.

Thanks...grateful for all advice and correction....

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

They can come out as much as an inch. If you continue to over pump the buddy bearing your are going to squeeze grease out of both ends, I used to do it before I knew how to use them.

Your post led me to believe you installed new bearings dry, sorry.

mikeg205
12-28-2011, 01:46 PM
They can come out as much as an inch. If you continue to over pump the buddy bearing your are going to squeeze grease out of both ends, I used to do it before I knew how to use them.

Your post led me to believe you installed new bearings dry, sorry.

Hey no prob...love the discussions...

GoneBoatN
12-28-2011, 02:00 PM
A thing to consider is that you left a large air void. You may want to consider making sure your hubs have cooled before dropping the trailer/boat into the water until your bearing buddies stop taking additional grease (indicating that they have replaced the air void). This will reduce the chance you draw in water from de-expansion of the air when it cools.

Actually, this is good practice anyways.

mikeg205
12-28-2011, 02:18 PM
didn't think the break seals were air tight - hence how water gets sucked in when hubs are warm enough to cause a vacuum and draw water in when immersed in cool water...

FrankSchwab
12-28-2011, 03:35 PM
The Bearing Buddy doesn't fill the hub with grease - you pump in grease to create a positive pressure in the hub, but there's no way for more than a slight amount of that grease to get past the front bearing. Remember, there's air in there that you're pressurizing, and it pushes back. The grease also doesn't flow - it's not an oil. If the grease gets hot enough to flow, you've probably destroyed your hub/axle already.

You could probably fill the bearing buddies with air rather than grease, and get similar protection, as long as you didn't try to use a 100 PSI air hose to do the pressurizing. One advantage of grease is that it helps fill the space around the bearing buddy piston to prevent the internal pressure from leaking out. Grease is a lot harder to push past an O-ring than air is.

My understanding is that you SHOULDN'T fill the hub with grease - it doesn't help keep the bearings lubricated because it doesn't flow into the bearings, makes a g******ned mess the next time you take them apart, and actually increases bearing temperatures slightly.

My SOP is to properly pack the bearings, make sure the rear seal is seated well, insert the bearings and preload them, put a layer of grease around the outer edge of the piston to keep internal air from leaking out, pound the BB in, squirt in the grease, and be done.

/frank

GoneBoatN
12-28-2011, 04:32 PM
The Bearing Buddy doesn't fill the hub with grease - you pump in grease to create a positive pressure in the hub, but there's no way for more than a slight amount of that grease to get past the front bearing. Remember, there's air in there that you're pressurizing, and it pushes back. The grease also doesn't flow - it's not an oil. If the grease gets hot enough to flow, you've probably destroyed your hub/axle already.

You could probably fill the bearing buddies with air rather than grease, and get similar protection, as long as you didn't try to use a 100 PSI air hose to do the pressurizing. One advantage of grease is that it helps fill the space around the bearing buddy piston to prevent the internal pressure from leaking out. Grease is a lot harder to push past an O-ring than air is.

My understanding is that you SHOULDN'T fill the hub with grease - it doesn't help keep the bearings lubricated because it doesn't flow into the bearings, makes a g******ned mess the next time you take them apart, and actually increases bearing temperatures slightly.

My SOP is to properly pack the bearings, make sure the rear seal is seated well, insert the bearings and preload them, put a layer of grease around the outer edge of the piston to keep internal air from leaking out, pound the BB in, squirt in the grease, and be done.

/frank

From Bearing Buddy installation instructions at - http://www.bearingbuddy.com/installation.html

IMPORTANT: As you reassemble the components, fill the hubs completely with a high quality, multipurpose, no.2 grade lubricant

From http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wheelbearingpack.aspx

•There is no need to grease the entire hub unless you are working on a boat trailer.
◦On boat trailers, grease is used not only to protect the bearings but also to help keep water out.

thatsmrmastercraft
12-28-2011, 04:35 PM
From re-reading this thread, it would appear that we are all saying the same thing........just in different ways.

CantRepeat
12-28-2011, 05:18 PM
tbh: grease does make it's way into the hub. There's no way the bearings could keep it from getting in there. The grease does displace the water, to a degree.

psychobilly
12-28-2011, 05:40 PM
From re-reading this thread, it would appear that we are all saying the same thing........just in different ways.

no s%@#, lol That's why I was saying it would be interesting to hear what everyone had to say...

ahhudgins
12-28-2011, 05:48 PM
Any time my hub(s) come off, the bearings get cleaned and repacked. I put as much grease in the hubs as possible when they are reinstalled and then add grease via the BB and I've never had any grease leak out.

My trailer goes in the water twice every weekend during the summer (at the least). When I repack the bearings for winter storage, there is always a VERY SMALL amount of water mixed in with the old grease. I just want to make sure I have the proper grease to water ratio. :D

mikeg205
12-28-2011, 05:57 PM
Any time my hub(s) come off, the bearings get cleaned and repacked. I put as much grease in the hubs as possible when they are reinstalled and then add grease via the BB and I've never had any grease leak out.

My trailer goes in the water twice every weekend during the summer (at the least). When I repack the bearings for winter storage, there is always a VERY SMALL amount of water mixed in with the old grease. I just want to make sure I have the proper grease to water ratio. :D

oh...tooo funny...:headbang:

beer for everyone....!!!!!

mikeg205
12-28-2011, 06:02 PM
I've been replacing my bearings and seals on a '00 ('99 built) Maristar 230 VRS tandem axle trailer. On one of them I forgot to fill the hub between the inner and outer bearings with grease before sticking in the outer bearing and reassembling everything else. I did this on the other two and will do it on the last hub when I do the bearings on it.

The inner and outer bearings are both fully packed and I have the original Trailer Buddy bearing protectors on there. My question is can I expect that the air will make it's way out when I start towing it and I will just need to top off the protector a few times over the first few miles? Or do I need to pull it apart and fill that with grease?

Thanks,
Jeff

The question is - will your brain let you forget that you forgot and hope it will be ok... or will you take the 20 minutes to fix the one wheel...:D:D:D:D

GoneBoatN
12-28-2011, 07:06 PM
The question is - will your brain let you forget that you forgot and hope it will be ok... or will you take the 20 minutes to fix the one wheel...:D:D:D:D

I agree,

For me, I know it would drive me absolutely bonkers every time I drove down the road and heard a rattle and/or squeal. Like trailers don't do that as is.

:popcorn:

FrankSchwab
12-28-2011, 07:26 PM
From Bearing Buddy installation instructions at - http://www.bearingbuddy.com/installation.html

IMPORTANT: As you reassemble the components, fill the hubs completely with a high quality, multipurpose, no.2 grade lubricant

From http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wheelbearingpack.aspx

•There is no need to grease the entire hub unless you are working on a boat trailer.
◦On boat trailers, grease is used not only to protect the bearings but also to help keep water out.

Well, now I'm embarrassed. I'd still like to know what the extra grease does, because I don't buy "keep the water out" - isn't that what the "positive pressure" from the spring in bearing buddy supposed to do?

/frank

mikeg205
12-28-2011, 07:45 PM
Well, now I'm embarrassed. I'd still like to know what the extra grease does, because I don't buy "keep the water out" - isn't that what the "positive pressure" from the spring in bearing buddy supposed to do?

/frank

My understanding based on all the stuff printed out there is... that the 3psi exerted on the grease produces enough force on the grease to keep the order out during a rapid cool down - i.e. trailer in water immediately after long transport.

The pressure plate on the bearing buddy puts a pressure on the grease if enough grease is in the BB. When the wheel spins around the hub the grease turns as well. With a little pressure and the turning motion the grease will travel down the hub. This is at least what I observed today. I was curious on what I would observe so I did a little experiment. So I cleaned off the hub wiped out some of the grease in the drum. Re-assembled, loaded BB and started spinning the wheel manually. The grease did not flow like oil but it did start traveling down the hub. I then did reassemble the hub and bearings using BB's instructions. :D

It makes sense to load the bearings and hub with grease assemble and then load the BB. This way grease is kept up against the bearings and rear seal. I tow my boat to 1600 miles every summer so I check my bearings twice a season. My hub bearings and races look great - even though I have a 1995 trailer.

GoneBoatN
12-28-2011, 08:24 PM
My understanding based on all the stuff printed out there is... that the 3psi exerted on the grease produces enough force on the grease to keep the order out during a rapid cool down - i.e. trailer in water immediately after long transport.

The pressure plate on the bearing buddy puts a pressure on the grease if enough grease is in the BB. When the wheel spins around the hub the grease turns as well. With a little pressure and the turning motion the grease will travel down the hub. This is at least what I observed today. I was curious on what I would observe so I did a little experiment. So I cleaned off the hub wiped out some of the grease in the drum. Re-assembled, loaded BB and started spinning the wheel manually. The grease did not flow like oil but it did start traveling down the hub. I then did reassemble the hub and bearings using BB's instructions. :D

It makes sense to load the bearings and hub with grease assemble and then load the BB. This way grease is kept up against the bearings and rear seal. I tow my boat to 1600 miles every summer so I check my bearings twice a season. My hub bearings and races look great - even though I have a 1995 trailer.

Wow, very industrious. :headbang:

GoneBoatN
12-28-2011, 08:32 PM
Well, now I'm embarrassed...

You should not be. These forums are great; a bunch of people just helping each other out, voicing opinions and courteous debating. Sometimes you give and sometime you receive. It does not get much better that that. And it is sort of self correcting like Wikipedia. It was a forum much like this one that got me started on how to replace and maintain my trailer bearings at a time when I knew little to nothing about it.

mikeg205
12-28-2011, 08:41 PM
You should not be. These forums are great; a bunch of people just helping each other out, voicing opinions and courteous debating. Sometimes you give and sometime you receive. It does not get much better that that. And it is sort of self correcting like Wikipedia. It was a forum much like this one that got me started on how to replace and maintain my trailer bearings at a time when I knew little to nothing about it.

+1 on that.

psychobilly
12-28-2011, 09:33 PM
My understanding based on all the stuff printed out there is... that the 3psi exerted on the grease produces enough force on the grease to keep the order out during a rapid cool down - i.e. trailer in water immediately after long transport.

The pressure plate on the bearing buddy puts a pressure on the grease if enough grease is in the BB. When the wheel spins around the hub the grease turns as well. With a little pressure and the turning motion the grease will travel down the hub. This is at least what I observed today. I was curious on what I would observe so I did a little experiment. So I cleaned off the hub wiped out some of the grease in the drum. Re-assembled, loaded BB and started spinning the wheel manually. The grease did not flow like oil but it did start traveling down the hub. I then did reassemble the hub and bearings using BB's instructions. :D

It makes sense to load the bearings and hub with grease assemble and then load the BB. This way grease is kept up against the bearings and rear seal. I tow my boat to 1600 miles every summer so I check my bearings twice a season. My hub bearings and races look great - even though I have a 1995 trailer.

I never actually "know" this but this is exactly the way I thought it worked, well except for filling the hub.... I will from now on. :-) In the past I figured I am constantly pumping grease in there.... MOF, I usually drive around the block after reassembly and then pump some more. Usually you can do this a couple of times as the BB will spring back in. Packing the hub full initially would eliminate my ole school method... Good stuff. :-)

Thank you for taking the time in research today. That's good stuff!

psychobilly
12-28-2011, 09:49 PM
From http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wheelbearingpack.aspx

•There is no need to grease the entire hub unless you are working on a boat trailer.
◦On boat trailers, grease is used not only to protect the bearings but also to help keep water out.

FYI, just so you know that the spindle that's described here in this link is not a bearing buddy. It's actually totally different set up and the alimite or grease filling if you will is actually in the spindle, unlike a bearing buddy. I just rebuilt one like the one described in this link for my neighbor and the spindle is drilled down the center and the in the middle of the spindle it's cross drilled so that the grease is distributed in the center of the hub. These styles just have a dust cap on them and you have to remove the dust cap to pump grease in, unlike a BB. Purdy kewl deal, but I like the old school styles with BBs. I couldn't believe the guy in the link that did the pictorial didn't have a seal puller, he actually used a screw driver, effective but not as nice as have'n a seal puller. :-) Did I mention I LOVE tools!!! hehehe


One other thing that I saw years ago was I had a seal that didn't fit snugly and I actually pumped it out with the BB so make sure your seals fit snuggly when replacing them.

GoneBoatN
12-28-2011, 10:52 PM
FYI, just so you know that the spindle that's described here in this link is not a bearing buddy. It's actually totally different set up and the alimite or grease filling if you will is actually in the spindle, unlike a bearing buddy. I just rebuilt one like the one described in this link for my neighbor and the spindle is drilled down the center and the in the middle of the spindle it's cross drilled so that the grease is distributed in the center of the hub. These styles just have a dust cap on them and you have to remove the dust cap to pump grease in, unlike a BB. Purdy kewl deal, but I like the old school styles with BBs. I couldn't believe the guy in the link that did the pictorial didn't have a seal puller, he actually used a screw driver, effective but not as nice as have'n a seal puller. :-) Did I mention I LOVE tools!!! hehehe


One other thing that I saw years ago was I had a seal that didn't fit snugly and I actually pumped it out with the BB so make sure your seals fit snuggly when replacing them.

I watched a YouTube video where the guy used some tin snips to cut the lip of the seal and then just pulled it inwards and out with some pliers. Worked just fine for me as well. Better then prying with a screw driver.

When I replaced my bearings on an old trailer, I went to a local boat repair shop for the parts. They recommended a seal that had some adhesive (if I remember correctly they said it was some form of loctite) as that was what they liked to use to better help the seal to stay in place. It was not that much more than seals without and I would certainly use them again.

psychobilly
12-29-2011, 12:47 AM
I watched a YouTube video where the guy used some tin snips to cut the lip of the seal and then just pulled it inwards and out with some pliers. Worked just fine for me as well. Better then prying with a screw driver.


That sounds kewl too but I'll stick with my seal puller. Mine was under 10 bux. That's purdy cheap to me. I don't know how to post pics off the net like you guys do on the "1..." thread or I would post a pic of it. Not many people even know what a seal puller tool looks like. My neighbor didn't and he has every tool known to man, so I thought. heheheheh When he said, "what's a seal puller?" I said to him, "CALL THE NEWS PAPERS, HOLD THE PRESS, I have a tool Bill don't have! lmao He too laughed...

73987

mikeg205
12-29-2011, 10:12 AM
that seal puller looks nasty...make sure PETA does not find out...:D :D :D

psychobilly
12-29-2011, 08:47 PM
Yeah I find it doubles as a great tool for sorting out theives that take tools out of your box!!! :D;)