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View Full Version : Oil Bath to Grease


GoneBoatN
01-12-2013, 02:42 PM
While surfing the web I found - http://www.bearingbuddy.com/model.html. Notice the text

Our 2080T (threaded model 2080) will fit the Reliable oil bath unit that is on many of the EZ Loader trailers. on that page.

From the measurements I've taken on the threaded portion of my hub and the Oil Bath Cap I believe this would be the correct replacement.

I thought others might be interested in this so hence the post.

For me, I'm going to stick with the oil bath for a bit longer as I just did my annual inspection of the hubs/spindles/bearings/seals and dealing with the oil over grease is far easier.

If anyone has used this product, it would be good if you can post your experience.

Cheers!

FlatBoard
01-12-2013, 05:57 PM
Every boat trailer I have had before the Mastercraft had grease packed bearings and in my opinion, the bearing buddy is a must. I personally like the oil bath system and have experienced no problems. I change the oil every year during winterization.

monsterwake
04-21-2014, 03:11 PM
Bringing this old one back up.
Which one is better?
Why? and has anybody converted from one to the other?

CC2MC
04-21-2014, 04:05 PM
You will get many opinions on this. I just changed from the oil bath to the grease system. Not bc I wanted to, but bc I had to. I had no issues with the oil bath system, but I switched over to a completely different hub system that requires grease. I think the problems with an Oil Bath come from dunking the trailer right after you haul a distance and the hubs get hot. This can cause the water to condensate and get into the bearings through the seals. This can be avoided by letting the trailer sit and cool down before you put the boat in the water. The other big thing with the oil bath system is if you have a leak and lose all the oil, the problem will likely be catastrophic and could cause more damage than just the bearings. If you lose a bearing buddy, then the grease will likely at least stay in long enough to get to a destination or at least some place safe. Oil hubs are much easier when it comes to maintenance compared with the grease. Grease is also proven and has worked for years so if it ain't broke, right? Personally, I like the oil bath system, and I may eventually get another trailer that has the oil bath, but for now, I am good with the old grease method.

jsturvey
04-21-2014, 11:15 PM
You will get many opinions on this. I just changed from the oil bath to the grease system. Not bc I wanted to, but bc I had to. I had no issues with the oil bath system, but I switched over to a completely different hub system that requires grease. I think the problems with an Oil Bath come from dunking the trailer right after you haul a distance and the hubs get hot. This can cause the water to condensate and get into the bearings through the seals. This can be avoided by letting the trailer sit and cool down before you put the boat in the water. The other big thing with the oil bath system is if you have a leak and lose all the oil, the problem will likely be catastrophic and could cause more damage than just the bearings. If you lose a bearing buddy, then the grease will likely at least stay in long enough to get to a destination or at least some place safe. Oil hubs are much easier when it comes to maintenance compared with the grease. Grease is also proven and has worked for years so if it ain't broke, right? Personally, I like the oil bath system, and I may eventually get another trailer that has the oil bath, but for now, I am good with the old grease method.

I agree. Grease has proven itself for decades. Just helped a friend convert his oil bath hubs to grease after he discovered water intrusion in the hub. (Inner grease seal was the culprit). I have seen several trailers hubs loose their buddy bearing buddies or grease caps over the years. If that were to happen to a hub with an oil bath set up, then the trailer is either sidelined or destined for catastrophic bearing failure, as mentioned earlier. Grease might be a bit more messy, but to my mind, it's cheap insurance, comparatively speaking.

MattsCraft
04-22-2014, 02:03 AM
If you are going to switch, why not go with Vortex, this is what MC is using now since 2012, I think. No service for 5 years.:D

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Tie-Down-Vortex-Trailer-Hub-Kits-5-stud-1&i=81035

CC2MC
04-22-2014, 09:41 AM
If you are going to switch, why not go with Vortex, this is what MC is using now since 2012, I think. No service for 5 years.:D

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Tie-Down-Vortex-Trailer-Hub-Kits-5-stud-1&i=81035

That Vortex stuff sounds cool, but I didn't see the 6 lug option.

monsterwake
04-22-2014, 10:57 AM
Vortex sounds like the way to go. I had never seen this before. Thanks, Mattscraft..

MattsCraft
04-22-2014, 11:55 AM
That Vortex stuff sounds cool, but I didn't see the 6 lug option.

I would check around, I just saw that overtons was carrying them now. I am sure there are other dealers for them.

I can't tell you if they truly last for the long haul, only had the trailer with them for a year, no issues so far.

GoneBoatN
04-22-2014, 12:37 PM
Honestly, I'd go plain grease hubs with bearing buddy (bb). If using grease, you should be checking the hub for water intrusion annually at winterization. Simple to knock off bb, inspect, replace, re-pressurize the bb with grease. When I had grease hubs, I re-packed the grease every two years at which time I was inspecting the bearings, races and seals.

I essentially do the same thing with the oil bath - full inspection every two years. The sight glass allows me to easily see any water intrusion any time. I use to tow a lot. Now, it is less than 1/10 mile to the water from the storage unit so I worry a lot less now days.

Personally, I would not go 5 years without inspecting bearings, races and seals.

CantRepeat
04-22-2014, 01:05 PM
I don't tow very far so if the oil isn't contaminated or low I could see going a few years without changing it.

With grease, if you keep enough positive pressure with buddy bearings you really shouldn't have issues. Don't over fill them and blow out the back seal and they are pretty maintenance free. I've never failed to see water intrusion with just a good visual inspection. It's when people don't even look at their trailer wheels for long periods of time is when you see most of the carnage from dried out hubs.

jafo9
04-22-2014, 04:05 PM
while i won't get into the grease vs. oil debate, i'll throw in my feelings about bearing buddies. i understand the concept and it makes sense. i had some on a jet ski trailer and the pressure to hold the spring out after the hub was pressurized was enough to blow out the rear seal on one side. had to rebuild the hubs and ended up ditching the bearing buddies.

CantRepeat
04-22-2014, 04:36 PM
while i won't get into the grease vs. oil debate, i'll throw in my feelings about bearing buddies. i understand the concept and it makes sense. i had some on a jet ski trailer and the pressure to hold the spring out after the hub was pressurized was enough to blow out the rear seal on one side. had to rebuild the hubs and ended up ditching the bearing buddies.

That is a common user error with bearing buddies. You don't need to push the spring out very far but a lot of people keep filling them up until the blue disk is pushed almost all the way out. If you just fill them until the blue disk moves out maybe 1/4 inch you are good.

I used to make this mistake all the time and like everyone else I either had grease all over the wheel or blew out the rear seal.

monsterwake
04-22-2014, 04:39 PM
The reason I am studying this is one of my caps cracked around the threads by the O ring. I only noticed it because it was leaking. When I tried to tighten it - broke! I ordered the aluminum replacement but paid almost just as much for it as the grease BB's. So, the next issue I have with oil bath, I am probably going to convert to the vortex or BB's. Granted, I did order 2 aluminum caps so that will get the rest of my hubs off of the plastic caps.

GoneBoatN
04-22-2014, 04:45 PM
The reason I am studying this is one of my caps cracked around the threads by the O ring. I only noticed it because it was leaking. When I tried to tighten it - broke! I ordered the aluminum replacement but paid almost just as much for it as the grease BB's. So, the next issue I have with oil bath, I am probably going to convert to the vortex or BB's. Granted, I did order 2 aluminum caps so that will get the rest of my hubs off of the plastic caps.

That is a known issue with the plastic caps. The aluminum version does not have as many complaints. Thinking about it, plastic becomes brittle with exposure to heat (hubs heat up from braking and friction), exposure to sun and age. I remember reading where they were offering a free replacement of the plastic caps with the aluminum ones but that has long since passed.

GoneBoatN
04-22-2014, 04:51 PM
That is a common user error with bearing buddies. You don't need to push the spring out very far but a lot of people keep filling them up until the blue disk is pushed almost all the way out. If you just fill them until the blue disk moves out maybe 1/4 inch you are good.

I used to make this mistake all the time and like everyone else I either had grease all over the wheel or blew out the rear seal.

Don't even need 1/4 inch of movement. Instructions say "if you can rock or move the piston, the hub is properly filled." This is just exactly what I did and never had issues with the seals.

Instructions also say - "IMPORTANT: As you reassemble the components, fill the hubs completely with a high quality, multipurpose, no.2 grade lubricant (e.g., the type used for automotive suspensions). Don't use heavy, fibrous greases; don't mix grease types."

jafo9
04-22-2014, 05:48 PM
Don't even need 1/4 inch of movement. Instructions say "if you can rock or move the piston, the hub is properly filled." This is just exactly what I did and never had issues with the seals.

Instructions also say - "IMPORTANT: As you reassemble the components, fill the hubs completely with a high quality, multipurpose, no.2 grade lubricant (e.g., the type used for automotive suspensions). Don't use heavy, fibrous greases; don't mix grease types."

apparently i missed the instructions. story of my life.