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Discussion Starter #1
i just replaced a wheelbearing about 3 month's ago since then it has gone 1000 miles. the one that i replaced is pooched again and i took the advice of many so called trailering gurues that said bearing buddies are ? well nfg. both 12" wheels used to have bearing buddies and then one bearing buddy fell off when the bearings went bad, now i see my dust cap is missing on the side that i replaced and the bearings once again as i said before pooched.
 who can say that their experiences of bearing buddies are good or bad ? with or without them ?
 

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I have not had a great deal of luck with bearing buddies either.If they aren't falling off someone is stealing them
I had a set on my boat trailer and after only 1000km the bearings on both sides were smoked and the trailer even has 14inch rims/tires
Them some as$hole was
nice enough to steal the ones off my sled trailer while i was in having dinner on my way home on a sunday night.The problem
was i didn't notice until i was almost home and both sets of bearings on both sides were gone.It also screwed both hubs as well as the spindle on one side of the axle.So now all my trailers have the nice old dust covers that don't come off and are so cheap no one will steal them.
 

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I may be wrong, but if you aren't careful when your greasing them, isn't it possible to blow the seal out behind the bearing?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
revrnd,
 i was told by a fellow to stick a scribe in under the seal when greasing a bearing buddy and when grease comes out then you have enough grease.
 

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I've used bb on all my trailers and never replaced a bearing. Many trips up north during the season. There's a relief hole so you can't overfill. I would pump em full after every trip. Last trailer I had for 8 years, fella I sold to pulled them apart and said didn't need replacing. Like I  said pump full after every trip.
 

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Bearing will last a lot longer if a bearing buddy is used.  In my experince any trailer with out a bearing buddy will smoke up somewhere on the highway within 1000km.  I have buddies on mine and after 6700km of highway and rugged roads there as good as new.  And every weekend before i head out i always pump them up and its scary how much is gone and theres no leaks.  It must just break down.

Use the buddies they will help.  I also never even heard of anyone having problems with buddies falling of or being stolen.  What can you do.  I cant belive some people are to cheap to buy there own buddies and have to steel yours.
 

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Bearings......I have had my trailer for ever and I travel all winter every weekend (180-300miles) round trip. My trailer is steel and doesnt have a skiff of paint left on it from all the road salt.........Maybe I have been lucky and should knock on wood but I have never had a problem..... or maybe I shouldnt be so lazy and check my bearings.....
 

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I've used bearing buddies 2 times, It came on my first used  boat trailer and lost them after 1000 km and lost them another time on an other trailer 30 klicks in a dirt road. I haven't used them since and I've logged on 4000 km on 1 fishing trip last year (1200 km or dirt road and the rest, open highway)with good old trusty dust caps. Bearings still look new. If you do put bearing buddies, put some duct tape around so they don't fall off, I do that also with normal dust caps.

For those of you who are wondering where does 3800km of highway and 1200 of dirt road brings you, well, at the end of the road at Caniapiscau reservoir.
 

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The biggest problem with the bbs is................pump them up and forget them.That is wrong.Bearings must be cleaned and inspected every 2 seasons at least.It takes less than an hour per axle to service the bearings and install new seals.Everybody relys on pumping up the bearings,well you don't know the condition of your bearings,grease does not help a bad bearing.Bearings can get so hot that it will turn the axle blue and weld the race to the axle and take out the hub as well. I've done hundreds of repacks at my shop and let me tell you,more bearing failures with the buddies on than just a dust cap.BBs to me are a joke because the person does not do normal maintainance.I could go on and on but you all get my point.Don't use lithium grease either.Use Mobil 1 synthetic grease,spend the x-tra 2 bucks you cheepos.
 

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We have them.  We also check the bearings each year or twice a year depending on use.  The one thing you have to watch for is the inside bearing.  BB don't pack the inside as much.  Sufficient grease still gets back there to do the job, but this is reason enough to check them.  Also bearings suffer more from not being used.  Condensation builds & doesn't get burnt off.  I don't think pumping them full of grease is all you need to do.  You should still pull them apart atleast once a year, clean inspect, repack, reinstall, then fill you BB up again.
 

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If you can keep them on, bearing buddies are the way to go. They are a valuable asset on something that sits around alot like a sled trailer, trailer bearings really need fresh clean grease especially the ones with the 8" rims because they are spinning so fast. I have noticed the newer trailers are coming with a "riflebored" spindle (like my 2000 US Cargo) where the grease travels all the way to just behind the rear bearing and pushes out to the front, the fitting is screwed into the end of the spindle and there is a grommet like "dustcap" that allows easy access to the fitting with no tools. After towing it 8000 miles last season, this past fall I pulled the bearings and such all out, and they looked great, I did not need to do it. Another suggestion is dont but 99 cent a tube grease, Buy someting like a good quality or synthetic that has good low and high temp performance because these wheels spin up to three times faster than the ones on your tow rig, it is no place to skimp. I would say it is a good idea to pull them apart and clean and repack every 2-3 seasons depending on how much you tow, and replace the seals at a minimum to keep out the crud. A side note, is I saw someone on a 4-lug trailer that had made a band that went under a lugnut, over the bearing buddy, and on to the opposing lugnut to keep his buddy on, there was an access hole for the grease gun in the middle......his dont fall off.
 

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A properly packed bearing with good seals and a dust cap that is sealing correct should be able to achieve around 6000km before another service is needed.Now i'm talking a sled trailer with the typical 12inchers on it.If i recall correctly from my days as a tech at a dodge dealer i think they had there bearing services set at 30 000km intervals.But that is automotive and with 14-15 tires.I personally don't care bb and think they are over rated and many just don't service and or install them correctly.And like mxz7 said a quality grease makes a world of difference.
 

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The reason people loose dust caps and bearing buddies (other than theft) is that something is rubbing on the buddies and spins them off.  This is almost always the cotter pin, which is not bent in enough.  They are touching the buddies, and all that spinning just turns them off.

The first time I did bearings, I lost 3 dust caps before I figured out this problem.

If you do a search on trailer bearings on "google" there is lots of good information.

FishHog
 

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I dont know how you guys lose the buddies.  Mine are in so tight that its next to impossible to remove them.  It must be that cotter pin.

Like slarson said.  Its always the rear bearing that goes and if you can pack that with grease then you will get really long life out of the bearings.   But the advantage of the buddies is that you can pump some new grease in before every trip just to help things a little.  You still need to check them every year.  Normally i just drive for 20km and then lift the trailer up and take the wheel of.  Just by spinning the hub you can tell if the bearing is ok or not by listening and feeling.  

But beware.  People that dont maintain there bearings will be sorry.  Ive seen on many occations a guys trailer wheel just start smoking and he had to pull over.  Then this year i saw the aftermath of a real bad case.  A guy was going snowmobiling using his tilt trailer with unmaintained bearings.  Right on the 401 (Major 5 lane highway) his hub fell of the axel and caused 4 cars to crash when they tried to avoid it.  The guys trailer looked like crap and he was over on the sholder trying to install a new bearing that he had with him with the supervision of 3 police officers who looked mad.
 

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As far as I am concerned if a person doesn't pull their wheel hubs apart and check the bearings at least once a year you are looking for trouble out on the cold open highway at night.
If you have to pump grease into your Bearing Buddy every time you use the trailer you are losing grease somewhere.  Look at the back of your tire it will be full of grease.  I say pack the bearings once a year.  Out on a dust cover and you will be set for many miles.
 

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I use bearing buddys on everything I tow.  The only problem I've had is pushing too much grease in when its cold and having it blow by the inside seal.  But hey....at least I know the grease is getting back there!
 

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I have the bearing buddys on my trailer.  It has seen two trips to Oregon,  Three trips to Idaho,  this is from mn and traviling at a hi Rate of speed and short amount of time.  On these long trips i grease them when i get where i am going.  I jack up the trailer before these trips and spinn them to make sure that my bearings are good(you can feel and hear when they are not).   I have never had a problem with them.  Normally if you keep your bearings greased and they are in good condition you wil.l not have a problem. It does make a diffrence what grease and bearings you you use.  I believe you get what you pay for.
 

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Machzzzzzz, that must have been me you saw w/the smoking hub.  I had to borrow someone elses trailer back in '92 and he swore it was maintained, & I trusted him.  About 2 hrs down the hwy on our way home, we pulled into a gas station for my buddy's g-friend to use the toilet (thank God she was w/us, we only stop for gas when it's just the guys).  Walking around the trailer, I noticed that smell.  One of the hubs was grinding on the axle.  Ended up buying a new trailer there;  imagine the old trailer upside down on new trailer, and sleds on top of that...what a day!!!  I haven't used buddy bearings...like the idea, but EVERY year I pull the hubs off, and haven't had a problem yet.  I feel safer taking it all apart.
 

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My bearings are cleaned and packed every other year. It's rare to need new ones. Probably the best advice I can pass on would be to stop after the first 15 or 20 miles every trip out and check the temp of your wheel hubs with your hand. Bad bearings run hot, good bearings run cold to luke warm, simple. Bigger trailers with brakes that have just been used will obviously be hot, to test these remember to just coast off to the side of the road, using brakes sparingly. While you're at it check your tire sidewalls the same way. Hot = bad. Caused by under inflation. Cool tires, cool bearings = no problems. Quick, easy way to put your mind at ease if you know nothing about the trailer you're pulling.

AL
 

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Discussion Starter #20
since then i have drilled and tapped a hole between the inner bearing and dust seal that i put a bolt in. greasing with the bearing buddies never seemed to get to the inner bearing unless i blew the dust seal. so now i grease without the bolt in place until grease comes out of the hole and then replace the bolt.
 
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