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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I DIY everything I can, but wheel bearings are something I've just never really bothered with.

I just got this trailer in April, and it's been slinging grease on all four wheels since I got it. Only seems to be coming out the front side (the side with the zirk). Almost like there's no seal on that plate that goes in and out.

I've thought about just pulling all four buddies off and putting new ones on. But if this is simpler than that, I would like to know what to do about it. I've tried searching a bit and can't find a clear answer anywhere.

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Missing a rubber seal/plug thing. Don’t think those are bearing buddies, look like dexter, Napa has them

Maybe they are? Is there a spring pushing a metal plate in? Or does the grease come from the back side forward when you put grease in?



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Missing a rubber seal/plug thing. Don’t think those are bearing buddies, look like dexter, Napa has them

Maybe they are? Is there a spring pushing a metal plate in? Or does the grease come from the back side forward when you put grease in?



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O-rings have dried out and allow spring pressure to push grease out the front. If it was out the rear bearing seal you would have a mess on the inside of the wheel. I may have a couple of those taken off of project boats.
 

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Bearing buddies are a glorified cap, they really serve no extra benefit over a standard rubber plug or steel cap. In theory they keep pressure inside which could in theory keep water out in a perfect world. In reality they just end up slinging grease everywhere, blow out the rear seal when the operator pumps too much in, and giving the operator a false sense of security. A large percentage of bearing failures I've seen have been with Bearing Buddies installed, I don't/wont put them on anything. Caps are cheaper and no less effective.

Yours are likely just old and leaking. If they were mine I'd switch to oil bath, or move to a regular steel cap. With what sounds like zero maintenance history, I would also replace all of the bearings and seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bearing buddies are a glorified cap, they really serve no extra benefit over a standard rubber plug or steel cap. In theory they keep pressure inside which could in theory keep water out in a perfect world. In reality they just end up slinging grease everywhere, blowing out the rear seal when the operator pumps too much in, and giving the operator a false sense of security. A large percentage of bearing failures I've seen have been with Bearing Buddies installed, I don't/wont put them on anything. Caps are cheaper and no less effective.

Yours are likely just old and leaking. If they were mine I'd switch to oil bath, or move to a regular steel cap. With what sounds like zero maintenance history, I would also replace all of the bearings and seals.
Thanks for the info! So if I were to put together a shopping list, what would I be getting? When I say I'm ignorant on this, I really mean it. I've tried researching, but don't feel any more smart now than before I started.
 

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Thanks for the info! So if I were to put together a shopping list, what would I be getting? When I say I'm ignorant on this, I really mean it. I've tried researching, but don't feel any more smart now than before I started.
No one is born knowing this stuff. Basically you would want to take one hub off, get the number off the rear seal before you remove/destroy it, and then get the numbers off the bearings as well. That looks like a 3500lb axle, what brand of trailer is it? I'm guessing it has L68149 inner bearings, L44649 outer bearings, the seal is the variable based on trailer manufacturer. Once you have the numbers you can buy all of the parts and have it ready to go when you have time. I only buy Timken bearings (those are set 17 and set 4 respectively), they are only a couple bucks more and quality control is 1000 times better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No one is born knowing this stuff. Basically you would want to take one hub off, get the number off the rear seal before you remove/destroy it, and then get the numbers off the bearings as well. That looks like a 3500lb axle, what brand of trailer is it? I'm guessing it has L68149 inner bearings, L44649 outer bearings, the seal is the variable based on trailer manufacturer. Once you have the numbers you can buy all of the parts and have it ready to go when you have time. I only buy Timken bearings (those are set 17 and set 4 respectively), they are only a couple bucks more and quality control is 1000 times better.
It's a 2005 EZ Loader Trailer. When I can, I'll get those numbers. I'm pulling it to the coast in a week for my annual 10 day Ft. Stevens fishing week, so not sure I want to risk putting myself in a position where I have it apart and can't get it back together in time. WIll probably do it when I get back.
 

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Missing a rubber seal/plug thing. Don’t think those are bearing buddies, look like dexter, Napa has them

Maybe they are? Is there a spring pushing a metal plate in? Or does the grease come from the back side forward when you put grease in?

I was wondering the same thing, Dexter missing the cap? I’d try to get the rubber caps at least if you’ll continue trailering

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It's a 2005 EZ Loader Trailer. When I can, I'll get those numbers. I'm pulling it to the coast in a week for my annual 10 day Ft. Stevens fishing week, so not sure I want to risk putting myself in a position where I have it apart and can't get it back together in time. WIll probably do it when I get back.
I'll all but guarantee those are the correct part numbers for the bearings, the inner seal is most likely 168255TC. I agree though, it's time to fish!
 

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I'd like to recommend getting those lug nuts off, and cleaned up, while your working on it. Make them look like the image from SSPey's post.
I agree 100%. Doesn’t look like much if any preventative maintenance has been done. That’s not only a bearing killer but also a boat killer. No maintenance with salt water use doesn’t take long to be catastrophic. Those lug nuts look nasty. I would just replace them rather than try to clean them. I’d take a hard look at the whole wheel assembly. I live in Bay City and go down the launch periodically to look around. Some of the rust and corrosion on boat trailers is horrific. Saw one the other day that you could see thru the frame rails. Just crazy.😲😬🇺🇲
 
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I had my crash course on bearings earlier this year. I did a write up here:

If that was my trailer I would pull all the wheels off, yank the hubs, inspect the bearings and races and spindles. That thing looks neglected.
 

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Amazing the lack of maintenance on trailers. Years ago, I saw some really lucky fellows. As they pulled in to the launch ramp from the street, the rusty tongue broke off the trailer. Could have broken coming up the river road and trailer hit another car head on, or gone over the bank in to the river at the least.
 

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Amazing the lack of maintenance on trailers. Years ago, I saw some really lucky fellows. As they pulled in to the launch ramp from the street, the rusty tongue broke off the trailer. Could have broken coming up the river road and trailer hit another car head on, or gone over the bank in to the river at the least.
 

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What 77 said. That trailer has been neglected BADLY.
Really don’t want to rain on you parade R D Jr.
I would not pull that trailer 10 miles by the looks of things.
I ran bearing buddies for 26 years without a glitch.
You do need to add some grease periodically.
I did repack the wheel bearings every 2 years as I’m anal.(I’ll blame big brother)*
I also replaced the races, bearings, and seals at about year 15 as I’m anal.*
It’s not all that difficult. Google is your friend now days.
I would pull a wheel. The front bearing will be there for the taking. Take the back seal off of the hub, but first see if you can get the part #, the back bearing is then free to remove. The bearing part numbers should be visible, if not scrub them with a tooth brush. If you can’t identify the part #’s take the bearings and seal to NAPA or your favorite auto parts store, they will confirm what you need. If it were me I’d replace the races, bearings and seal. Timken is the way to go! Get new bearing buddies, pack them almost full with grease before putting them on, then top them off once installed. Pay really close attention to the cap movement,
once it is snug against the clip stop greasing. If everything is done properly there won’t be any grease getting slung around front or back. I believe those rubber caps are used to help prevent debri from gathering around the zerk fitting, spring and cap.
And for sure take a close look at the studs when replacing the lug nuts, making sure they are sound.
I’m not trying to be a downer at all, but I would have some serious safety concerns about that trailer. If your not comfortable doing the work yourself take the trailer into a shop and get it done. Your well being and others are at stake, no fish is worth the risk.
 
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