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Oil bath hub

Old 12-03-2020, 06:40 PM
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Default Oil bath hub

Hi all, I have an EZ Loader trailer with oil bath hubs that his less than 40miles on it. I have to run my boat to the dealer on Monday and just noticed that the oil/grease in the front passenger side hub is opaque-while the three others are transluscent grease color. The level on all 4 is about the same so there appears to be no loss of grease/oil-but I assume some water got into the one that is opaque. I am flat out with work and won't have time to pull the tire off and check the wheel. I live about 3 miles from where I launch my boat so I think it is very unlikely that I've burnt out the bearings-yet. I have to drive about 15miles to get to the dealers-am I crazy to do this without re-sealing/greasing that hub? Again, the grease/oil level is the same as the others so there's lube in there that got a bit of water into it. Thoughts/opinions?? In a bit of a spot as I've been waiting several weeks for a slot at this shipyard as it is the only one on my island that can service my outboard (Honda)

Many thanks for any input
Cheers
Old 12-03-2020, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dingo44 View Post
Hi all, I have an EZ Loader trailer with oil bath hubs that his less than 40miles on it. I have to run my boat to the dealer on Monday and just noticed that the oil/grease in the front passenger side hub is opaque-while the three others are transluscent grease color. The level on all 4 is about the same so there appears to be no loss of grease/oil-but I assume some water got into the one that is opaque. I am flat out with work and won't have time to pull the tire off and check the wheel. I live about 3 miles from where I launch my boat so I think it is very unlikely that I've burnt out the bearings-yet. I have to drive about 15miles to get to the dealers-am I crazy to do this without re-sealing/greasing that hub? Again, the grease/oil level is the same as the others so there's lube in there that got a bit of water into it. Thoughts/opinions?? In a bit of a spot as I've been waiting several weeks for a slot at this shipyard as it is the only one on my island that can service my outboard (Honda)

Many thanks for any input
Cheers
I would quickly pop the cap off to remove the nasty oil, put it back on and fill it up with fresh oil. That will buy u some time
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:45 PM
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My previous bass boat (21'Allison/225Merc) had the oil bath hubs. I owned that boat for 10yrs and towed it several times to TX plus I fish 12mths a year so there's no "off season" for my boats. Honestly I feared the oil system and probably stayed on top of the maintenance much more than I usually do, that could be why I had no problems. When less than 6mths old I noticed one day after dropping the boat into the water, as I walked away from the trailer I noticed "light chocolate milk" running down the back of one hub. Yep water intrusion. THATs when concern hits me with oil units, can you make it home? Home much "lubricity" is in there? Is this thing gonna burn up before I get home?

The idea of oil hubs came from over the road trucks but they don't have the problem of regularly being submerged in water like a boat trailer. While technically I suppose "grease and water" don't mix, "oil and water" certainly don't. Lose a hub cover or get a little leak with a grease setup and you likely will still make it home safely. But if you lose oil (worse being a hub flying off while doing 70 down the interstate!) you've got maybe a couple minutes before catastrophe! I always threatened to drain the oil from the hubs and replace the hub cover with a zerk cover and fill the hub with grease. The inner seal/double lipped feature of the oil system always appealed to me and I thought, "Why doesn't EVERYONE use that?" Many now do BTW! I never had anymore hardware problems with the hubs after that one leak but I DID adopt a habit of draining and replacing the grease every year at a minimum and usually twice a year. Think I used 50W Valvoline racing oil in the hubs.

I just like and prefer grease, ESPECIALLY the EZ-Lube setup. 4 yrs now, over 25k miles (about half salt vs fresh) and I usually replace the grease every year but no actual hardware/hub problems other than I DID lose a hub cover earlier this summer about 250 miles into a 500 mile run to our place on the coast. A quick dash into a nearby parts store, I had a new cover and I was on my way. As I said, lose that hub on a oil bath setup and you're screwed!
Old 12-03-2020, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Dingo44 View Post
Hi all, I have an EZ Loader trailer with oil bath hubs that his less than 40miles on it. I have to run my boat to the dealer on Monday and just noticed that the oil/grease in the front passenger side hub is opaque-while the three others are transluscent grease color. The level on all 4 is about the same so there appears to be no loss of grease/oil-but I assume some water got into the one that is opaque. I am flat out with work and won't have time to pull the tire off and check the wheel. I live about 3 miles from where I launch my boat so I think it is very unlikely that I've burnt out the bearings-yet. I have to drive about 15miles to get to the dealers-am I crazy to do this without re-sealing/greasing that hub? Again, the grease/oil level is the same as the others so there's lube in there that got a bit of water into it. Thoughts/opinions?? In a bit of a spot as I've been waiting several weeks for a slot at this shipyard as it is the only one on my island that can service my outboard (Honda)

Many thanks for any input
Cheers
I had the issue you described and probably did another 10/15 trips before changing the oil out. The manual recommends changing immediately once water has entered. Not
to bad to DYI with the proper tools.
Old 12-05-2020, 02:55 PM
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The transluscent covers on mine are screwed on with an O-ring seat. (EZ Loader from 2011)

I've had one look dark after a 600 mile tow, turned out to be a dragging brake.

Had one seeping oil on the front side, I thought the O-ring was bad, but it was just a little backed off. I screwed it back tight an all was good.
Old 12-05-2020, 06:46 PM
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thanks all, I''m going to drain the oil out and fill her with fresh 90W. Once I get the boat back in the water I'll jack the trailer up and replace the seal. Now I just need to navigate trailering the boat thru town and backing her into the yard...

all the best,
Dingo
Old 12-06-2020, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Dingo44 View Post
thanks all, I''m going to drain the oil out and fill her with fresh 90W. Once I get the boat back in the water I'll jack the trailer up and replace the seal. Now I just need to navigate trailering the boat thru town and backing her into the yard...

all the best,
Dingo
A quick suggestion would be to get a little hand pump from harbor freight and such as much out as you can at the yard so u don't have to bring it home if its an ordeal. The hope would be just to get enough oil content in it for when u take it the 15 miles
Old 12-06-2020, 01:12 PM
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I'm currently catching up on some maintenance on my EZ Loader with I assume the same hubs.
Don't mess with the translucent cap.
Pull the wheel and there is a threaded SS plug in the hub you remove with an Allen wrench. Grab a solo cup and some paper towels and after removing the plug, rotate the hub 180* to drain the milky oil out.
Once drained, if you have a lower unit hand pump that goes in a quart container this is a great way to get new oil in the hub.
Those hubs call for straight 50W oil, not 90W, but I doubt it matters that much. I put a Valvoline 50W VR1 racing oil in mine...lots of zinc in it. One quart will probably do 8-10 hubs. Leave some room for expansion. The translucent hubs are great for ease of filling.
After you get your boat back, fix the seals.

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