Packing Wheels With Grease from a Newbie - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-22-2012, 05:15 AM   #15
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Name: john
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yes by all means learn every bit of maint. yourself.
make it part of your spring, :" getting it ready" ritual.

that one might have bearing buddies on it. if not have them put on, much easier to care for it that way.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:17 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Rene View Post
I packed bearings for the first time ever last year. I would like to avoid having to do over and over. Anyone know anything about bearing buddies?
they basicly replace the little metal cap on the end of the hub, they have a grease fitting in them so you can just give a couple pumps og grease on each side and your done.
still everything should be inspected once in awhile.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:54 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by realgranola View Post
Well maybe the mechanic will let me watch...I do love learning and being able to do things myself.
I think that is a good idea. While greasing your bearings is a strait forward procedure, it needs to be done properly. It's also a good time to check the condition of the brakes, set them if required, and check the pressure and condition of the tires. A small shop should let you watch so you can see how it's done. Good luck, Raz
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:51 AM   #18
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Your post headline suggests that you're going to find a newbie, make grease out of him (or her) and use it to pack your wheel bearings. How do you do that? (Tongue in cheek.)
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:07 AM   #19
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The problem with bearing buddies is it only greases the front race... not the rear. Bearing Buddies are NOT the same as Dexter E-Z lubes. Here's a good video demonstration for repacking trailer hub bearings: Repack Trailer Hub Bearings Demonstration Video | etrailer.com
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:14 AM   #20
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I believe that the main function of a bearing buddy is to keep a slight pressure inside the hub to prevent water intrustion when a boat trailer is backed under water.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:45 AM   #21
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It's a chance to get your hands really, really greasy....
My top tip in dealing with this if you are miles from home (and so no fancy automotive handcleaners available) is odd, but it works:
- wipe off excess grease;
- use a big blob of margarine and work into your hands;
- if you like abrasive cleaners, add a spoonful of sugar to the margarine;
- wipe off excess;
- finally clean hands in dishwasher soap (I think that's the US term for what we Brits call detergent) and warm water;
- at a push, dishwasher soap and cold water will do.

It sounds implausible, but this really does work! It's good enough that I prefer it to automotive handcleaners even when they're available.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #22
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Clean car oil works also when in a pinch to clean your hands.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #23
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Thomas G has it right. I used to work for West Marine and that was exactly what I read on the bearing buddy package
It seems to me that adding grease would eventually force grease past the seal. In my mind that seems like it would then lead to loss of grease at high temperatures ( when the grease would be more liquid).
On our Compact II the side with the bad seal had tons of grease flung all around. Some PO had drilled a hole in the dust cap to keep it filled. Yuck!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:35 PM   #24
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Oh ! I forgot my comma. I don't want to pack my wheels from the grease of a newbie ! Hahaha !
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:21 PM   #25
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I swapped out my bearing buddies with regular caps when I regreased my bearings. Bearing buddies will just fill up the hub with grease to prevent water from getting in for boat trailers. There's not much mixing going on when you top off the bearing buddy plus there's the danger of overfilling. You really need to get the old grease out and fresh grease in to do the job properly.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:26 PM   #26
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I went and had the job done for $86. It would've been nice to learn to do it myself or to have watched the mechanic do it , but I had my three little boys with me. I feel much better now that it's done and I went on a one night trip with me,myself and I. Afterwards I even backed it into my storage space- by myself ! I'm feeling pretty proud tosay the least
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:58 PM   #27
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Julie, WELL DONE! Next time it will feel even better.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:04 AM   #28
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Packing your wheel bearings

Packing wheel bearings is easy. Having said that it is also an easy way to cause a bearing failure if it is done incorrectly.

Here is a list of the tools you will need:
1. Big flat blade screwdriver
2. Wrench that fits your axle nut
3. Pliers
4. Jack capable of safely lifting the trailer
5. Jack stand
6. Lug nut wrench (I recommend using a torque wrench for tightening)

Here is a list of other things you will need:
1. Axle grease
2. Solvent to clean bearings (mineral spirits or brake cleaner or both)
3. New grease seals
4. Clean rags or paper towels
5. Plastic gloves if you want to try to keep from getting your hands dirty
*6. New bearings if defects or damage is found

OK - I think we are ready to start.
* Important Note - ALWAYS THINK SAFETY - Take your time - Be careful

1. Position the trailer on a solid level surface (concrete is best) with plenty of room around each wheel ( I hate feeling cramped)
2. Chock the wheel(s) on the other side of the trailer both front and rear
3. Loosen the lug nuts 1/2 turn on the wheel you will do first. They may be very tight so be careful. Do not remove them yet just break them free.
4. Position the jack under the axle or near the axle on the frame. Make sure it is positioned so that it will not slip off.
5. Slowly lift the trailer until the tire is free to spin.
6. Immediately position the jack stand where it will support the axle and still allow the wheel to spin. Lower the jack until the weight is on the jack stand and the wheel still spin freely. *Make sure the weight of the trailer is safely supported before you take the wheel off.
7. Remove the lug nuts and the wheel and tire.
8. Remove the center hub cap with the large flat screwdriver. There is a lip on the cap where you can pry fist one side and then the other a little at a time until the cap comes off.
9. Wipe the excess grease off the axle nut. There will be either a cotter pin or a retainer clip that keeps the axle nut from loosening. If it is a cotter pin use your pliers to straighten the prongs and pull the pin. If it is a retainer clip you can pry it off with the screwdriver.
10. As you remove items from the axle, line them up on a rag or paper in the order you remove them so you can put them back on in the same order.
11. Remove the axle nut by turning it counter clockwise.
12. Remove the washer next.
13. Remove the outer bearing.
14. Grab both sides of the brake drum or spindle and pull it off the axle. *Be careful it may be heavy.
15. CAUTION Brake dust may contain asbestos - no not breath the dust.

This is a good time to inspect your brakes if you have them!

16. The inner bearing will be held inside the brake drum by the grease seal. To remove the seal you will have to knock it out from the inside. I use a brass rod so that I don't damage the brake drum or bearing. Tap around the diameter of the seal a little at a time until it falls out. Discard the removed seal and put the inner bearing on your rag.
17. Clean the bearings THOROUGHLY! Remove all grease and dirt. You can use mineral spirits or I like brake parts cleaner in the aerosol can.
18. Carefully remove all solvent from the bearings. If any remains it will break down your grease and lead to a lubrication failure. Repeat - remove all solvent!
19. Closely inspect the bearings for wear or damage. You should look for chipping, cracking or wear on the bearings. Use a magnifying glass if you have one to inspect. Replace the bearings if any abnormalities are detected.
20. Clean all of the rest of the parts removed and make sure they are clean and dry - NO REMAINING SOLVENT
21. Inspect all parts for wear or damage. Pay close attention to the bearing race where the bearing seats for wear or cracking.
22. Pack the bearings with grease. You must fill all of the voids in the bearings with grease. As a young man I was taught to put a glob of grease in the palm of my hand and press the bearing into the grease until it squeezed through the bearing. PACK IT FULL
23. Install the inner bearing into the brake drum and then carefully tap the new seal back into the brake drum. I like to use a small block of wood and be careful to tap it in straight.
24. Wipe a little grease on the new seal and carefully slide the drum, bearing and seal back onto the axle. Take care not to damage the new seal during reassembly.
25. With the drum in place fill the bearing cavity with grease and install the packed outer bearing, washer and axle nut. Do not tighten the nut yet!
26. Important step - tightening the axle nut - over or under tightening can result in premature bearing failure. Hand tighten or use a wrench with LIGHT pressure while turning the drum. You want to tighten enough to fully seat the bearings so keep turning the drum while you tighten until the axle nut is tight without a lot of force. Back the nut a little bit (maybe 1/16th of a turn) until you feel a small about of play in the brake drum - not too much.
27. Spin the drum to make sure you have the correct axle nut tightness. Reinstall the cotter pin and spread the prongs or press the nut retaining clip on over the nut.
28. Reinstall the cap over the end of the axle by tapping it until it is fully seated.
29. Reinstall the wheel and tire and lightly tighten the lug nuts.
30. Raise the jack and remove the jack stand.
31. Lower the jack until there is weight on the tire.
32. Tighten the lug nut in a star pattern until tight. ( I recommend using a torque wrench to 90 Foot pounds )
33. Remove the jack and take a break you are half done.
34. Repeat from step 1. on the other side.

And that is how easy it is to repack your wheel bearings. If you have never done this before I would recommend you ask around and try to find someone that has done it and is willing to help you or at least let you watch the first time. Usually a friend will do it for a nice dinner or a 6 pack (after completion)

Disclaimer: The process for repacking your wheel bearings is based on my personal experience and is intended to give you an idea of what is involved in doing it yourself. I am in no way responsible for the results of your work or any damage or injury resulting from following these steps.
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