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Oil bath bearings

Old 02-18-2019, 10:31 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
I have oil baths on my 2011 trailer, and this is always in the back of my mind when I'm pulling it.
Carry spare caps, O-rings, and a small container of gear lube w/a pointed spout. If they're installed properly, you shouldn't have any issues unless you hit something and break a cap. A little thread sealant, in addition to compressing the o-ring a bit, will keep them from unscrewing unintentionally.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:22 PM
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All the concern about the dust cap/front of the hub. How about the grease seal at the back? Those don't really seal tightly.
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:21 PM
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Over the road trucks all run on oil bath bearings but they run a very sophisticated seal made by Chicago Rawhide called a Scott Seal. Oil bath hubs are superior to grease hubs, but they are only as good as their seals.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Bamaskeetshooter View Post
Over the road trucks all run on oil bath bearings but they run a very sophisticated seal made by Chicago Rawhide called a Scott Seal. Oil bath hubs are superior to grease hubs, but they are only as good as their seals.

Made by SKF. Same people who make the wheel brgs
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:06 PM
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Thing Iíve noticed on trailer spindles is the machine work where the inner seal meets the spindle is often abysmal. Nothing seals good, or lasts, if the case.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Thalasso View Post
Made by SKF. Same people who make the wheel brgs
Did you know bamaskeetshooter spent a career at skf? He just retired last year I think.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:23 PM
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I have Vault bearings on my 2005 Prestige trailer. They come with 10 year warranty and s sure enough one failed in 2016. Looking to replace the other 3 this season. I believe you have to replace the entire hub, yes?

When mine failed, it was in the idle axle and got the entire torsion arm assembly.


Last edited by richeerich; 02-18-2019 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cajflynn View Post


Did you know bamaskeetshooter spent a career at skf? He just retired last year I think.

I new he worked for a company that produced bearings but didn't know who
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Thing Iíve noticed on trailer spindles is the machine work where the inner seal meets the spindle is often abysmal. Nothing seals good, or lasts, if the case.
My current trailer came w/SS sleeves where the inner seal rides. One of those "why didn't someone think of this sooner" improvements. A company called UFP (who makes the original Bearing Buddies) used to make a product called "Spindo-Seal" which was a SS sleeve for installation over pitted spindles and came w/slightly oversized seals to use w/them. I put a set on one of my older trailers and never had a leaky seal again.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:39 PM
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There's probably a good reason why the vast, vast majority of boat trailers sold in this country have greased, not oil immersion, wheel bearings. Before you say it's a money thing realize that a premium builder would equip all of their trailers with them and brag about the added value of their system if it were truly better. Biggest negative seems to be that if your seal goes the bearing and spindle will follow very shortly and then your tire goes rogue. And apparently this is not a terribly uncommon problem, especially if you clip your hub on something while towing.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by flcatcher1 View Post
There's probably a good reason why the vast, vast majority of boat trailers sold in this country have greased, not oil immersion, wheel bearings. Before you say it's a money thing realize that a premium builder would equip all of their trailers with them and brag about the added value of their system if it were truly better. Biggest negative seems to be that if your seal goes the bearing and spindle will follow very shortly and then your tire goes rogue. And apparently this is not a terribly uncommon problem, especially if you clip your hub on something while towing.
Here's some food for thought, all of the 8k and up axles have oil bath hubs. It's only the little axles that use grease. You are right about things going wrong quickly but it isn't a very common activity in my experience.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:08 PM
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No first hand experience with oil bath hubs. However the best lubrication for bearings is oil over grease especially if the oil lube system has filters to help keep contamination out of the oil such as in many industrial machinery applications.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by cajflynn View Post
Why do you think would they be more prone to failure? With oil batch, you can see the condition of the oil in the hub. You can't see grease in a greased hub. All the high capacity axles are oil bath.

If there is a problem with oil bath hubs. it's that they when they go, they tend to destroy everything because all he oil leaked out and it happens all at once. Greased bearing fail more gradually,
That's exactly my point. With a grease hub system and some common sense checks now and then, you never have to worry about a sudden end to your trip. Why make things more complicated?
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Thing Iíve noticed on trailer spindles is the machine work where the inner seal meets the spindle is often abysmal. Nothing seals good, or lasts, if the case.
This 100% . My trash trailer (road trailer) bearings failed from water entering around the seal from rain water.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:42 AM
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I had the oil bath and grease i liked the oil bath but the key is the rear seal. Saltwater would get in and oil would turn milky. Went back to grease.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:11 AM
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In order to get good bearing life from boat trailer bearings you have to keep the water out. Obviously good sealing practices are important. If you can't keep all the water out, frequent regreasing is your best course of action but your bearings will have a reduced life.

Many of the grease suppliers are like used car salesmen, they will tell you want you want to hear, so you buy their product. Any water significant reduces the oil viscosity in the grease and it doesn't take much water to start corrosion in high carbon bearing steel.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bamaskeetshooter View Post
In order to get good bearing life from boat trailer bearings you have to keep the water out. Obviously good sealing practices are important. If you can't keep all the water out, frequent regreasing is your best course of action but your bearings will have a reduced life.

Many of the grease suppliers are like used car salesmen, they will tell you want you want to hear, so you buy their product. Any water significant reduces the oil viscosity in the grease and it doesn't take much water to start corrosion in high carbon bearing steel.
This information right here has been the most helpful thing I've ever gotten from this forum. BSS (Bamaskeetshooter is too long to type) explained to me that grease is oil suspended in a binder. When water gets in, all you have left is binder. It may look like grease, but it isn't doing much.

Now, I have a cordless grease gun and I flush all the old grease out of my hubs are least once a month. I have far less break downs and my hubs are lasting way longer. I buy grease by the case on Amazon and I'm saving money everywhere.

Amazon Amazon

Or,

https://www.amazon.com/Mag-723-10PK-High-Temp-Bearing-Grease/dp/B0077K8ZI0/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=mag+one+grease&qid=1550690402&s=gateway&sr=8-2 https://www.amazon.com/Mag-723-10PK-High-Temp-Bearing-Grease/dp/B0077K8ZI0/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=mag+one+grease&qid=1550690402&s=gateway&sr=8-2

I can't tell the difference other than the color.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rpt50 View Post
That's exactly my point. With a grease hub system and some common sense checks now and then, you never have to worry about a sudden end to your trip. Why make things more complicated?

With grease hubs, I'm always maintaining them and I'm always dirty. With oil. I very rarely have to touch them.
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Last edited by cajflynn; 02-20-2019 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:27 AM
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I switched to air-tight bearing protectors 3 years ago and haven't had a problem since. Never get water in the hubs now and my maintenance consists of removing the front rubber plug and pumping in some new grease once a year. the old grease comes out without any water contamination. Easy to see if there are leaking as the rubber cap will show if any air is leaking out of them.
Air-Tight Hubs: Products
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:08 PM
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I will never go back to greased bearings on a boat trailer. I'm sure it's happened, but I've never seen or heard of a cap falling off or breaking, and oil bath hubs are very common around here. I've never had a rear oil seal last less than 6 or 7 years, and even at that point it's just mild seepage, just enough to look damp. I've seen some seriously contaminated oil on neglected trailers, but don't remember seeing any failures. Greased hubs in my experience are higher maintenance, have less room for error, give little warning of failure, along with higher chances of failure. Sure, maintenance make a difference. Everyone has a difference of experience and opinions, but myself and everyone I know is batting a thousand on oil bath, that's never been the case with grease.
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