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Author Topic:   replacing trailer bearing dust cap
Eric posted 07-07-2001 04:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for Eric   Send Email to Eric  
I've got the bearings packed, and decided to install dust caps rather than the bearing buddies. The problem is that I can't get the caps to seat. I believe that I'm compressing the air and grease in the hub when I try to hammer the cap on.

simonmeridew posted 07-07-2001 09:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
If they're the right size they should just slide on; you want to be pushing at a right angle to the hub, but since it's a tight fit, you need to ease it on. I usually push the cap on at a slight angle, then lightly tap the rim on the side that didn't seat as deeply, with a screwdriver and hammer, then switch 180 degrees and hit again with a hammer and screwdriver. Like I said if they're the right size, they're NOT airtight, so they go on. Never failed. JMHO
Dick posted 07-07-2001 11:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Why do away with the bearing buddies? Dust caps went out with the Mdl T.
Tom W Clark posted 07-08-2001 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

If you are saying the dust caps spring back because of the compressed air then you don't have the right size dust caps. You should have to use a hammer or mallet to install correctly sized dust caps (or bearing buddies)

But Dick is correct. Why, on Earth, would you not use bearing buddies?! They are inexpensive, easy to work with and they are the only way to keep water out of your bearings if the axle is ever submerged in water.

Eric posted 07-08-2001 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
I thought about this one for a while. It seems that a set of bearings that are maintained (repacked regularly) do better than those with the bearing buddies. The trailer shop I use reports most of the really trashed bearings and spindles they see have bearing buddies on them. There is a tendency for people to overfill them, and push out the rear seal, while the owner has a false sense of confidence.
triblet posted 07-08-2001 11:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
1. Most of the really trashed bearing they
see should have bearing buddies on them
because most boat trailers have buddies.

2. So don't overfill them.

3. If they push out the rear seal, there will
be grease all over the back side of the
rim. You should notice this when you
rinse the L rim from the R side, and
vice versa.

Sounds to me like the trailer shop is trying
to drum up repacking business.


browning20ga posted 07-18-2001 03:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for browning20ga  Send Email to browning20ga     
I wouldn't think of NOT having Bearing Buddies on my boat trailers. I just installed them on my new trailer last night. The new ones had a vent hole so when it is full of grease it vents out the hole instead of blowing out the seal. I put buddies on my other trailer when it was new (about 20 years ago) and they don't have the vent hole so I don't know if it is a rescent addition to the bearing buddies or if I just learned of this.
Just went out and looked at the package they came in, they arn't Bearing Buddies brand, they are made by Fulton Performance Products Inc.

lhg posted 07-18-2001 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Ditto to the bearing buddies. Wouldn't be without them.

It is not widely known that when using these, however, you should also have their "Spindo (inner) Seal" This is spring loaded and keeps the grease in against the pressure exerted by the Bearing Buddy. I am amazed at how many boat/trailer shops don't know about these. Haven't been able to find them in the catalog houses either.

whalerron posted 07-18-2001 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
Eric, I am with you. I don't like bearing buddies because they give you a false sense of security. Instead, I never submerge my hubs (that was covered last winter in another debate/thread) and I inspect and repack them every year. This works out to be a repack about every 1500 miles. But, keep an eye on those inner grease seals regardless of which type of dust/buddy cap you use. One time, I put too much grease in the hubs and a long run down the highway heated things up enough to pop out an inner seal. The hub wasn't completely full, but obviously it was too full.

Simon is right. Those dust caps should fit snug. If they are popping off, they must be too small. Remember that when you pack the hub, you should put a layer of grease in the hub that is thick enough to just reach the raised edge of the bearing races. Then, the only other grease required is what it takes to pack each bearing.

- ron

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