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Old 06-11-2018, 03:16 PM
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russlars russlars is offline
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Repacking Wheel Bearings

I have a 1999 205 that sits on a tandem axle DHL trailer with bearing buddies. I usually shoot new grease into the bearing buddies several times each season.
Is it necessary to replace the wheel bearings and repack them from time to time? If so, how frequently should this be done and how difficult of a task is this? I have called a couple of shops and it sounds like they want $250-300 to do this.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:23 PM
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I only repack mine when they are replaced.... if you have never replaced them - it would be a good idea.

do you have disc or drum... its a very easy diy project and you can get you drums or rotors with bearing and new races for a bit leas than that.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:23 PM
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I have drums. I had the bearings replaced and repacked about 8 years ago. I don't think anything has been done to the drums.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:31 PM
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I would repack every two years and replace the bearings every four years. Probably overkill, but if you blow a bearing once you'll understand.
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Last edited by Footin; 06-11-2018 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:30 PM
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Also, take a look at the back side of your hubs and see how your seal is doing. If you are seeing a lot of grease coming out, it is probably time to go to work.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:44 PM
Mastar Mastar is offline
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I use a cone shapped bearing packing tool cost around 5 dollars you can do it the old fashioned way but the tool works great and a fraction of the time. I do my outer bearings every few years depending on how much you tow. I grease before every long trip and check the hubs for heat after a short drive on the highway
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russlars View Post
I have drums. I had the bearings replaced and repacked about 8 years ago. I don't think anything has been done to the drums.
Prolly a good time to inspect brake cylinders and replace brake shoes and turn drums.

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Old 06-11-2018, 10:22 PM
chris4789 chris4789 is offline
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Boat: 1993 Prostar 205
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I am not a fan of the Buddy Bearing as it greases the front bearing, but unless you pack the hub with a pound of grease you will never squirt enough through the buddy bearing to reach the rear bearing. Some newer hubs are designed to move the grease from the outside buddy bearing to the rear bearing and keep it lubed.
-Since I have older hubs, I am with others in pulling them every 3-5 years depending on the usage and cleaning, inspecting and repacking.
-Be aware that a small nick & leak in the buddy bearing cap or “bra” will let in water that sits in the bearing and damage it, as I found out.
-The only cost to this bearing maintenance is a new seal for the rear bearing, $3 of grease and some time to remove the tires, cleaning, re-packing etc.
-The “bearing packing cone” or Lisle 65250 Bearing Packer, $14 at eTrailer or Amazon, does a good job and you can finish the job with grease in the palm of your hand.
-A YouTube search on: “hand packing of bearings” will show you how to do this and use the cone.
-I replace the bearing & race if there are any marks on it so I’m not “that guy” on the side of the road, with a broken trailer and disappointed family.
-A “lisle bearing race and seal driver set” for $28 will help you do a good job of pressing in the new races after you pound out the old ones with a punch and hammer.
-I have a 1993 DHL double axle trailer and kept track of all the parts (bearings, races, seals, brake shoes, etc.) so let me know if anyone wants my numbers to find parts.

Good Luck!
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2018, 10:59 PM
j2nh j2nh is online now
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My new trailer came with Vault Hybrid Lubrication bearings which are sealed, no greasing required, and are guaranteed for 5years with an extended protection plan of another 5 years for $50. There is no end user ports to grease even if you wanted to.

Not sure how I feel about this, weird not greasing and repacking on a regular basis. If these bearings work as advertised it's something I am going to be looking at retrofitting to my pontoon trailer.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:37 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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A lot is going to depend on what bearing system you have, how the trailer is being used, the age of the trailer and the quality of the components (including the grease). The grease and bearing components being used today are far advanced to those in the 60s / 70s. Higher quality bearings, synthetic blend oils/grease and better sealing systems can extend the maintenance cycle considerably. I kind of equate it to how cars were from back in the day where you did oil changes and lube jobs every 3000 miles.

I used to pull my hubs apart yearly back in the day and be greeted by the site of milky grease from water intrusion. Now with the oil bath hubs on my 07 X2 and inspection windows on the hubs I can tell if I'm having a water intrusion issue without pulling anything apart. My maintenance cycle now includes checking the condition of the hubs for any end play, inspecting the oil in the hubs for any water intrusion and changing the synthetic oil in the hubs every 2 - 3 years depending on how I intend to use the trailer that season. If I have a trip planed or have hit 3 years without changing the bearing oil, it's about an hour job to pull the Allen screws out of the hubs and change the oil.

As to the OP's original question.... On a 99 trailer with bearing buddies you're pretty much running an old school set up. If you haven't had them apart in a couple years doing so certainly isn't a bad idea. The problem with the system you have is that you can't tell what's going on inside without pulling it apart and people with bearing buddies tend to put too much grease in them resulting in a situation where you're putting stress on the grease seals. This can lead to seal failure, water intrusion and failed bearings. So yes, pulling this system apart every 2 - 3 years is probably a good idea if you're using the trailer regularly or are going to go on a trip of any significant distance.

So all that being said the next challenge is getting it done correctly. If you're doing it yourself get the replacement parts from the manufacture or a company that sells the OEM rated components. Cheap seals and automotive grease may work for a while but will shorten your maintenance cycle and increase your potential for a failed component. If you're having it done make sure the company doing it uses the correct components and materials.
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