trailer bearing in oil bath

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by cliff n york, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. cliff n york

    cliff n york New Member

    Messages:
    221
    State:
    south carolina
    read an article i think in boat trailer about having your boat trailer bearing installed with an oil bath, so you could see if it is being luberacated ?:eek:oooh:
     
  2. cliff n york

    cliff n york New Member

    Messages:
    221
    State:
    south carolina
    this story is in trailer boats, its refered to as oil bath bearing protectors. does any one use these, are they better than packed wheel bearings
     

  3. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    I think alot of EZ Loaders are coming with the Oil Bath. I know mine did. It's only about 6 months old, but I haven't had any issues with it yet.
     
  4. oh no

    oh no New Member

    Messages:
    11,108
    State:
    Indiana
    Wow Thats like semi trailers!!!
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    On advice from someone I highly listen to and take their advice, I was told to stick with grease. You are backing those wheels into water.
    Seems to be a neat concept but bearing buddies will accomplish the same thing.
    I'm of the thought that trailer maintenance is just as important as boat maintenance. Tear those things down every winter and repack em.
     
  6. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    Mark, just curious as to why it would be better to stick with grease. I'm sure there must be a reason that I am overlooking. Seems to me it would be a whole lot easier to tell if you had water intrusion with the oil bath setup then with the regular or bearing buddy style.
     
  7. oh no

    oh no New Member

    Messages:
    11,108
    State:
    Indiana
    If the oil bath has a window, any dummy can see water in the oil. It would be a great improvement.

    As it is now I try to stick with syn. grease. Castrol has a purple grease that has to darn near wear off your hands. It is not syn. but it's real good. They bought out Drydene just to get that formula, it's good stuff.
     
  8. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
     
  9. cliff n york

    cliff n york New Member

    Messages:
    221
    State:
    south carolina
    gilmfam go to durahub.com read what they have to say,
     
  10. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    I personally would stick with grease. We have some trailers at work (heavier than most boat trailers, but still the same thing) that we have these on. Everytime you turn around they are leaking and need to be replaced or filled up. If somehow you lose one of them things (i've had a bearing buddy fly off just driving down the road once, or you might bump one somehow), there is NO lubricant in the bearings anymore. With grease there is still grease packed in them bearings. If you are doing your yearly maintenance on your bearings, you have nothing to worry about with the grease anyways.
     
  11. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    Forgot to add....Our mechanics at work (the ones working on said trailers) said that the only reason we are using the oil bath bearing keepers is because the trailers are old and they cant find the steel bearing caps for that hub size. They hate the oil filled hubs.
     
  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The weakest link in a hub is the inner seal.
    It doesnt matter if its grease or oil bath.
    Road grime and grit packs up around those seals and eventually invades the seal from abrasion. When that happens your oil is coming out and if its grease or oil bath water is getting in and bearing failure is close behind.
    The difference between the two would be a better chance of getting home with grease or stuck in a parking lot or beside a highway with no bearings and no tools.

    My second reason for grease over oil is heat. Alot of trailer wheels are alot smaller then semi wheels and some are even smaller then car wheels. They are turning at more revolutions at the same speed.
    My question is how well does the oil cope with heat? Does it disappate heat as well as a high temperature wheel bearing grease? How does the oil stand up to the heat?

    Grease has proven itself over alot of years. The verdict on oil bath hasnt come in yet.

    Out of curiosity. Do any of you carry a spare hub, bearings, grease and tools to change them?
    I learned my lesson along time ago on a trip.
    I had a bearing fail 3 hours from home on a Friday at 4PM. A BOAT DEALERSHIP BILLBOARD! Man I couldnt be so lucky. Atleast until I got the bill for a cracked hub and bearing replacement. Almost 200 dollars lighter I was on my way again.
    Fortunately this was a company outing for an entire weekend where we paired up with customers for an impromtu tournament and drinking binge away from home and they needed my boat to be there.
    I turned it in on my expense report and was reimbursed.

    For the pontoon boat. I have two spare hubs and two sets of bearings.
    That trip proved to be a valuable lesson.
    Keep the bearings greased and tear it all down over the winter to check or replace parts (always replace seals) as needed.
    Be prepared to change bearings and hubs on the road.
     
  13. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    Mark make a good point on this subject. The smaller the bearing the greater the heat as per revolation. This is why they say to use the 50 weight oil in it. All stores don't carry 50 wt. any more because of todays oils. Some stores won't order it either unless you buy a case of it. I have used STP in those hubs when an inner seal blows to make it on home. It has to be warm to inject it and it takes a few miles to get it worked into the bearings.
    When they go out going down the road it doesn't give you any warning either.
    On the change over kits they have useing your hubs they won't hold enough oil to keep those bearings alive for a long time so short trips won't be noticed but go on a long one and you will most likely have yourself some problems.


    BTW, Mark I do carry an extra hub and bearings because I to learned that the hard and expensive way.