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Kevin 89MC
08-29-2005, 10:24 AM
I am trying to get Bearing Buddies installed on my '89 trailer. It seems like the existing zerk fitting is in the way, and I called Bearing Buddy to see if they make deeper units. They don't, and said that this is somewhat common, and I need to remove the old zerk and also cap the hole in the axle. Sounds easy enough, but I couldn't get the zerk off! :mad: Anybody have any tips? I did get it loose, where I can spin it, but I've whacked on it pretty hard, and it will not come off. I don't want to really pound on it for fear of damaging the axle. My next thought is take a grinder to it, but just figured I'd ask to see if there is something obvoius I'm missing.
Also what are people's experiences with Bearing Buddies? I've only heard good things, any downsides? It seems odd to stuff the entire cavity with grease-it goes against what I've learned about repacking bearings, but I guess I do understand how the BB work.
Thanks,
Kevin

jimmer2880
08-29-2005, 04:43 PM
I am trying to get Bearing Buddies installed on my '89 trailer. It seems like the existing zerk fitting is in the way, and I called Bearing Buddy to see if they make deeper units. They don't, and said that this is somewhat common, and I need to remove the old zerk and also cap the hole in the axle. Sounds easy enough, but I couldn't get the zerk off! :mad: Anybody have any tips? I did get it loose, where I can spin it, but I've whacked on it pretty hard, and it will not come off. I don't want to really pound on it for fear of damaging the axle. My next thought is take a grinder to it, but just figured I'd ask to see if there is something obvoius I'm missing.
Also what are people's experiences with Bearing Buddies? I've only heard good things, any downsides? It seems odd to stuff the entire cavity with grease-it goes against what I've learned about repacking bearings, but I guess I do understand how the BB work.
Thanks,
Kevin

I'm a bit confused. Is what you're calling the zerk just the dust cover? Can you pls take a picture to see what's going on? Grease Zerk's are threaded like a bolt would be, so turning counter-clockwise would remove it. But - on an axel without bearing buddies - I've never seen a zerk.

Basically, the bearing buddy replaces the dust cover. It's spring loaded. The more grease you put in, the further out the "cap" - or inner portion of the buddy moves. The spring keeps constant pressure against the grease, hence (in theory), keeping constant grease pressure against the bearings.

bigmac
08-29-2005, 05:17 PM
I'm a bit confused. Is what you're calling the zerk just the dust cover? Can you pls take a picture to see what's going on? Grease Zerk's are threaded like a bolt would be, so turning counter-clockwise would remove it. But - on an axel without bearing buddies - I've never seen a zerk.

Basically, the bearing buddy replaces the dust cover. It's spring loaded. The more grease you put in, the further out the "cap" - or inner portion of the buddy moves. The spring keeps constant pressure against the grease, hence (in theory), keeping constant grease pressure against the bearings.


More to the point, I was under the impression that if the trailer hub had a zerk, then it didn't need a bearing buddy. Only advantage of a BB it's spring loaded and keeps a positive pressure in the hub area, thereby keeping water out of a hub that frequently submerged. However, there's some question about how well they lubricate the inside bearing, and there's some question about how well they actually work in terms of keeping postive pressure unless you put a seal on the rear of the hub (and change it frequently). If you don't do that, then the BB is just another way to keep the bearings greased, and probably doesn't do as good a job as the system/zerk that came on the trailer.

bigmac
08-29-2005, 05:18 PM
I'm a bit confused. Is what you're calling the zerk just the dust cover? Can you pls take a picture to see what's going on? Grease Zerk's are threaded like a bolt would be, so turning counter-clockwise would remove it. But - on an axel without bearing buddies - I've never seen a zerk.

Basically, the bearing buddy replaces the dust cover. It's spring loaded. The more grease you put in, the further out the "cap" - or inner portion of the buddy moves. The spring keeps constant pressure against the grease, hence (in theory), keeping constant grease pressure against the bearings.


More to the point, I was under the impression that if the trailer hub had a zerk, then it didn't need a bearing buddy. Only advantage of a BB it's spring loaded and keeps a positive pressure in the hub area, thereby keeping water out of a hub that frequently submerged. However, there's some question about how well they lubricate the inside bearing, and there's some question about how well they actually work in terms of keeping postive pressure unless you put a seal on the rear of the hub (and change it frequently). If you don't do that, then the BB is just another way to keep the bearings greased, and probably doesn't do as good a job as the system/zerk that came on the trailer. (Certainly does tend to be messier, though).

Kevin 89MC
08-29-2005, 05:35 PM
Yeah, it is a zerk fitting, sticking out the center of the axle. The original dust cap did have a rubber section in the middle so you could access the zerk with the grease gun. It doesn't do much, though, it just squirts grease in front of the front bearing, and doesn't get the grease anywhere near the back bearing. The zerks I've seen also usually were threaded, but this one wasn't budging until I really cranked on it. It seems like it must be pressed in, it spins around, but there's just not enough surface area to grab it with a big tool. I may see if I can wedge a crow bar onto it and pop it off before I grind it off. I'll try to take a pic tonight if I remember.
Thanks,
Kevin

Bigmac, just saw your post. I was wondering the same thing about keeping the grease from going out the back, when it's "under pressure" from the Bearing Buddy. When I re-packed them a few years ago, I remember thinking that the back wasn't very watertight either. The only reason I'm trying to upgrade is I lost a dust cap, and thought the BB might be better. The advantage of the BB (longer time between re-pack) is lost if water, etc is getting in from the back, requiring a yearly re-pack anyways. I think I might just find a new dust cap, and re-pack them this fall. Then I will look closer at the rear seal situation.
Thanks again,
Kevin

bigmac
08-29-2005, 07:18 PM
Bigmac, just saw your post. I was wondering the same thing about keeping the grease from going out the back, when it's "under pressure" from the Bearing Buddy. When I re-packed them a few years ago, I remember thinking that the back wasn't very watertight either. The only reason I'm trying to upgrade is I lost a dust cap, and thought the BB might be better. The advantage of the BB (longer time between re-pack) is lost if water, etc is getting in from the back, requiring a yearly re-pack anyways. I think I might just find a new dust cap, and re-pack them this fall. Then I will look closer at the rear seal situation.
Thanks again,
Kevin

There should be some kind of seal in the back. If not, you need one. Most places that sell wheel bearings should also sell seals, but make sure they'll work with your trailer if it has brakes.

Bearing Buddy does make a Spindle Seal. I've never used it, but I've heard that it works pretty well.

http://www.bearingbuddy.com/graphics/spindle.gif

Probably more info at their website http://www.bearingbuddy.com/

big2l4u
08-29-2005, 08:00 PM
Kevin,

I have an 89 with the same zerk on the tip of the axle. I had another 89 that did not have this so I was going to do the same thing that you are trying to do but I decided to change the entire hub and when I removed it, I saw that there were two holes for the grease to get to the bearings, front and back! I have left it on and just put bearing buddy bras over the tip to keep the grease from flying out. Hope this helps!

Bobby Dole

pup
08-29-2005, 10:54 PM
The axle with the grease fitting in the center of the spindle is a better set up than the bearing buddy. The axle is drilled from the grease fitting to behind the inner bearing , between the bearing & the seal. When you grease it , fresh grease is pushed through both bearings .

bigmac
08-29-2005, 11:00 PM
The axle with the grease fitting in the center of the spindle is a better set up than the bearing buddy. The axle is drilled from the grease fitting to behind the inner bearing , between the bearing & the seal. When you grease it , fresh grease is pushed through both bearings .

Yes, that's my understanding too. The pressure from the grease gun drives grease through both bearings, whereas the BB only fills the cavity around the front bearing and relies on the pressure from the spring to work grease into to the rear bearing. The positive aspect of the BB is that the space is kept at positive pressure by the spring which theoretically keeps water out of the bearing space when the wheel is submerged. I quit using Bearing Buddies, finding it just as easy to use the stock setup with the zerk to just keep both bearings greased.

Kevin 89MC
08-30-2005, 02:40 PM
Thanks guys for all the feedback. I'll have to look closer at the grease path from the existing zerk when I pull it all apart this fall. I thought it just exited near the front bearing. If it does get grease to the back bearing, I agree that is probably better than the Bearing Buddy. Regardless, I think I'll leave the existing zerks alone, return the bearing buddy, find a new dust cap, and repack them every fall. It's not really that hard. Here's a pic for anyone interested:
Thanks again! :D
Kevin