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tireman9

How frequently should I lube the wheel bearings?

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Single axle box trailer with a Harley trike inside.

1. How often should the wheel bearings be lubed?     XX miles?    YY Months?

2. Have a recommendation for the best grease?  Synthetic or just any name brand?

3. Is there a mileage for replacing the bearings assuming I follow the mileage in #1. above?

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I have always used Buddy Bearings on my trailer hubs. They are replacements for your dust caps and you can grease the hubs through a zerk fitting in the cap. they are spring loaded and will always keep grease inside the bearing where you want it. They are used a lot on boat trailers and helps keep water out of the hubs. I check mine about once a year (when I remember to), add a bit of grease and go on my way. I use what ever the auto parts store has on sale. I'm not picky.

Herman

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6 minutes ago, hermanmullins said:

I have always used Buddy Bearings on my trailer hubs. They are replacements for your dust caps and you can grease the hubs through a zerk fitting in the cap. they are spring loaded and will always keep grease inside the bearing where you want it. They are used a lot on boat trailers and helps keep water out of the hubs. I check mine about once a year (when I remember to), add a bit of grease and go on my way. I use what ever the auto parts store has on sale. I'm not picky.

Herman

Thanks. Do you ever have a problem of grease coming out the seal and getting on the brakes?

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I would recommend  Sta Lube Wheel Bearing Grease. It does a better job of staying in the bearings where it does the most good. 
http://www.amazon.com/automotive/fluids

I would pack them before you leave and check them when you get  back. Make shure you set the pre load properly. Many don't get it right and blame the bearing failure on the grease. 

Bill

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22 hours ago, tireman9 said:

Thanks. Do you ever have a problem of grease coming out the seal and getting on the brakes?

 

22 hours ago, tireman9 said:

Thanks. Do you ever have a problem of grease coming out the seal and getting on the brakes?

If that happens the seals need to be replaced.

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5 hours ago, djsamuel said:

Dexter recommends every 12,000 miles or 12 months to repack the bearings.  

 

https://www.dexteraxle.com/Contact/FAQ/Bearings

I intended to post the same link. That refined paper includes information formerly in different places.

DO NOT use bearing buddy caps on axles with brakes unless the axle seal is designed for such use, like boat trailers. Regular trailer axle seals are not designed to be pressurized, and the bearing buddy has a spring inside to compress grease to keep water out of the bearings. It completely fills the hub with grease.

Since Dexter recommends manually cleaning, inspecting, and re-packing wheel bearings every 12K miles or 12 mos. To me it's useless to just add grease via a zerk fitting, even for the Dexter E-Z lube axles.

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1 hour ago, rayin said:

I intended to post the same link. That refined paper includes information formerly in different places.

DO NOT use bearing buddy caps on axles with brakes unless the axle seal is designed for such use, like boat trailers. Regular trailer axle seals are not designed to be pressurized, and the bearing buddy has a spring inside to compress grease to keep water out of the bearings. It completely fills the hub with grease.

Since Dexter recommends manually cleaning, inspecting, and re-packing wheel bearings every 12K miles or 12 mos. To me it's useless to just add grease via a zerk fitting, even for the Dexter E-Z lube axles.

I agree.  I've never used the EZ-Lube on my Dexter axles.  I've always felt better hand packing the bearings and taking a good look at the brakes and replacing the seals.

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The Dexter EZ-Lube is different than other products which are nothing more than a Zerk fitting stuck into the dust cap. The EZ-Lube hub is designed with ports to carry the fresh grease to the rear bearing and push the old grease out the front. When working properly, you should be able to see the fresh grease come out the front once all the old grease is forced out. I've seen videos showing it's helpful to spin the wheel slowly while adding the fresh grease, but I have not had to do mine yet so I have no first-hand experience.

All that said, I'm probably going to do a full repack on the bearings at the end of the first year to inspect them, and then I'll alternate using the EZ-Lube with a full repack on alternate years.

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Richard, if you  plan to inspect your brakes the outer bearings must be removed anyway, EZ lube or not.

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9 hours ago, rayin said:

Richard, if you  plan to inspect your brakes the outer bearings must be removed anyway, EZ lube or not.

True - but outer bearings don't require a new seal. That's on the back side.

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The problem with the EZ Lube is that a lot of people with them just grab a grease gun and pump the **** out of it then complain about the seals not stopping the grease. Personally, I pack them once a year if possible, but I have gone two years with no issues either. Every stop I walk around and put the back of my fingers on every tire and hub.

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