Bearing buddies

Submitted: Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:56
ThreadID: 32645 Views:8687 Replies:15 FollowUps:11
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what are peoples thoughts on putting bearing buddies on a camper trailer, how would they go with dusty conditions would they be likely to let more dust and grit in on dirt roads or would they give the bearings longer life by being able to keep the grease packed up in the bearings???

regards
Dave
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Reply By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 13:16

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 13:16
A mate who has a Tambo the same as mine did this experiment for me... He paid the $$ for a pair of stainless BB's and found that even though they seemed a very firm fit, they vibrated out somewhere between Snobbs Ck and Jamieson... I decided to just check mine regularly.

Blue
AnswerID: 165582

Reply By: Mr Fawlty - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 13:46

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 13:46
I agree, when they stay on the wheels they do a great job...I put a set on a boat trailer because I wanted the hubs full of grease but alas they fell out at some stage & I replaced the dustcovers with the new bearings....
What about the similar things that have a window in them & are oil lubricated, anyone tried them...
AnswerID: 165584

Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:03

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:03
If you're refering to the bearing oilers, there have been mixed reviews on this site... They do allow the bearing to run in a favourable environment but if your seals leak, the oil can get to brake linings and componentry(elec) and cause a few issues... The lip seals on most if not all bearing set-ups are designed to keep grease in, not oil...
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FollowupID: 420449

Reply By: The Boy - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:04

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:04
I run the hub oilers or DURAHUB as called now on my CT and on my 7x4 trailer, have done approx 15000Km on the CT and no problems so far. My CT does alot of rough (gravel) road travells as well as the black top.
Not had any problems with them at all.
Have heard a lot of people complain that they leak oil and refuse to use them but from investigating further I found that they had not repaired the seal running surface. That is not a fault of the hub oilers in my view, most manufactures of trailers do not design the axles to run on oil but grease so they dont have to machine the seal running area to a higher standard.

I love them and wont be changing back to grease ever again..if I can help it haha
I do how ever carry a spare set of bearings, some grease and a old hub cap just in case murphy decides to stick his head in.

Hope it helps.

The Boy
AnswerID: 165588

Reply By: pmacks - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:23

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:23
Hi
Use bearing buddies on the boat trailer and would not be without them fantastic things only use the stainless jobbies and not the plastic, BUT on my goldstream i use dust caps because because the bearing buddies can,t handle the corrugations.

pmacks
AnswerID: 165591

Reply By: Shaker - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 15:00

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 15:00
Bearing buddies are absolutely useless!
AnswerID: 165599

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 16:04

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 16:04
its got something to do with the bearings cooling down when immersed in water creating a partial vacuum sucking water in eh shaker
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FollowupID: 420471

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 17:28

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 17:28
Exactly, they have no seals on the piston!
In time grease even finds its way past.
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FollowupID: 420489

Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 14:36

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 14:36
Hi

The Bearing buddies I run on the CT have a o-ring on the piston

The grease that passes the piston is the relief valve, so you don't pump the axle seal out.

I have run them since 2001 with out problems

Richard
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 15:11

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 15:11
What brand?
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 16:16

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 16:16
BEARING BUDDY®

www.bearingbuddy.com/why.html
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FollowupID: 420886

Reply By: hl - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 18:05

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 18:05
Hi,

We met some people at Mungerannie. They were towing a box trailer all the way from Brisbane and heading for WA. They had NO dust caps on the bearings, the grease looked nice and gritty.... don't ask me how they got that far!!!
I think the standard dust caps are fine. We have done more than 50,000k with our box trailer on some pretty intersting roads with no hassles.

Cheers
AnswerID: 165622

Reply By: luch - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 19:23

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 19:23
Dave

They arnt worth it !
Best thing to do is make sure the dust cap is a good fit and the hub seal is in good condition ! Don't forget water is the biggest killer of bearings

you can only put so much grease in then it starts to leak out

Keep in mind car manufactures have a periodic repack usually every 20,000km
its no different !
AnswerID: 165635

Reply By: lizard - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 22:17

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 22:17
We fitted BB's to our Cavalier Off Rd Deluxe when we travelled to Cape York in 2003 ..... mainly because of the water crossings we expected . Had no problems - did a lot of dirt - from Pinjarra ->Marble bar->Halls Creek->Top Springs->Borroloola->Mareeba->Seisia->Cooktown->Longreach->Gurig->Home......
AnswerID: 165689

Follow Up By: GU-r-the-best - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 09:37

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 09:37
hey lizard , if you have time i wouldnt mind knowing what your thinking is of your cavalier, does it have the gaffa suspension. bought mine late 2005 ready to go to sharks bay, steep point .later this month. thanks in advance
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FollowupID: 420651

Follow Up By: lizard - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 22:13

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 22:13
Cavalier was excellent - went on 6 outback trips with ..... there are better CTs around - but they are very expensive ...... it suited our purpose .....
Moved onto off rd caravan now - older & need comfort ....
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FollowupID: 420779

Reply By: Member - Barry C (NT) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 22:32

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 22:32
I'll wade in here,,

I have bearing buddies on current tandem boat trailer,, they have done over 10,000km with no problems including dirt roads in NT,,, this is what they are designed for - boats.

If not doing creek crossings or launching boats etc you don't need em. Fullstop.

Good maintenance always beats fitting a product not required.

Barry
AnswerID: 165694

Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 23:16

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 23:16
Can't help re: the BB's, but I've just done up my tandem box trailer and you can buy new hubs with bearings, seal, split pin and wheel nuts for $26 each. About 15 minutes per wheel and you've got a new, and what's more important, a KNOWN set of rolling stock on your trailer.

Cheap as chips (not too mention cheap 'insurance' too). If it aint broke, fix it before it is I reckon.
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FollowupID: 420566

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 23:34

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 23:34
If they suck in air, they will suck in water!
All they do is give you a false sense of security.
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FollowupID: 420575

Reply By: Brian B- Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 00:36

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 00:36
I have them on my CT no problems on the GRR or Oodnadatta track, I still repack the bearings after each long/wet trip though.

See Ya

Brian B
Brian B (NT now Bris)

Lifetime Member
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AnswerID: 165717

Reply By: Darian (SA) - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 08:44

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 08:44
I have them on the boat trailer -excellent for that application. My Campomatic CT has large HD axles and hubs and there seems no buddies available for that size. Anyway, they are a great idea for water applications - in theory, you keep the hub full and pressurised at all times and you might not need to service the hub until the bearings are worn and loosening - could be ages. But they do have the drawback of being messy, in that the grease we pump in to keep them full and under slight pressure seeps out of the rear seal while travelling - the inside of the wheels is coated in a mixture of grease, dirt and small stones - and it gets on other componentry nearby as well. There is that !
I'm happy with the annual hub maintenance on the CT, because I need to check the electric brake setup anyway. Being a knock in too, the possibilty of falling out on 'some' hub types, as mentioned, could be significant.
AnswerID: 165761

Reply By: Gu_Patrol - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 00:13

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 00:13
I did an experiment with my dual axle boat trailer. one axle had bearing buddies and the other without, the one without had silicone around the dust cap . after 2 years of dunking the trasiler into the water i found the normal dust cap with silicone didn't have any sight of water, the bearing buddy had heaps.
I think they are a waste of money. why don't they fit them to cars, the reason can't be the extra cost, BMW or other expensive cars have them .
AnswerID: 165885

Reply By: Member - Barry C (NT) - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 00:50

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 00:50
Gu agree with your dust cap sealing method, I've used this previously also with good results. The purpose of bearing buddies is to minimise the risk of water entering past the seal in the inner hub side (and of course the outer side) and they can do this well.

Prior to bearing buddies some keen people had 2 seals on inner hub for boat trailers and some off road applications, one facing in to keep grease in and one facing out to keep water and bulldust out. Some were leather and some were rubber seal faces. Hub was either machined to allow 2 normal size seals to be fitted of if this was not possible you could buy 1/2 width seals to use in existing hub. Generally buggers to fit but very good sealing method.

Later seals had inner and outer neoprene (I think) riges to imitate twin seals, and bearing buddies are another option.

Barry
AnswerID: 165888

Reply By: geordie4x4 - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 01:05

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 01:05
Bearing Buddies are not a low maintenance alternative, on a boat trailer you need to keep them topped up with grease. On a camper they can fall off.

I tow and launch a heavy work boat every day. Have done about 30,000 km last year with Bearing Buddies on dual axle boat trailer. They work well (for a boat trailer) if you keep the grease topped up and have propper marine seals at the back. I replace the bearings once or even twice yearly and top up grease every month.

I agree with comments that they do let water in, but IMHO, only if the grease is not topped up. They also let dust and sand in by the pistons when I do a lot of beach launches with the boat. So need to be removed and cleaned at least yearly.

On my camper trailer one fell off somewhere in the southern Flinders Ranges so I put the caps back on both. I have fitted marine rear seals to the camper trailer axle and do not get any leaks or dust problems now.
AnswerID: 165891

Reply By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 14:39

Sunday, Apr 09, 2006 at 14:39
David

Try there site
www.bearingbuddy.com/why.html

Richard
AnswerID: 165951

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 23:37

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 23:37
Richard, I stand corrected in regard to the genuine article.
Unfortunately the name Bearing Buddy has become a generic term for all of them.
The ones sold by Repco are a pos, the grease oozes out beside the piston almost before the spring starts to compress, they also have plastic dust caps that I noticed were very concave after a river crossing, indicating that they suck in air & therefore water. They are currently gathering dust in my workshop.
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FollowupID: 421758

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