View Poll Results: How much grease in your hubs?

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  • I just pack the bearings.

    11 13.10%
  • I pack the bearings, and fill about half the empty space up.

    19 22.62%
  • I pack the bearings and fill the empty space.

    27 32.14%
  • I pack em, fill the space, and fill the cap, and pump more in every so often.

    27 32.14%
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  1. #1
    Senior Chief Petty Officer scooper77515's Avatar
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    Default How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    When you do a hub overhaul on your trailer, how much grease do you typically use? This is for use with dust caps, not bearing buddies. If you use a different amount with bearing buddies and wish to share, post in thread, please.
    2003 Glastron GX 185, with VolvoPenta 4.3GL, currently running Stilleto Baypro III 14.25X21 at 46 mph and 4400 rpms. Other props were 3-blade aluminum 14.3X23 at 43 mph and 4400rpm, and 14.3X21 at 49mph at 4800 rpms.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Pack the bearings and put a glob inside the hub. Filling the space is a waste of grease.
    You will find that when you repack the bearings the grease inside the hub is mostly unused.

  3. #3
    Admiral dingbat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    For best results, ample space is essential in the housing to allow room for excess grease to be thrown from the bearing and for heat dissipation. It is equally important to retain the grease around the bearing. Normally, the housing should be 1/3 to no more than 1/2 full of grease during bearing assembly.
    http://www.timken.com/en-us/solution...se_English.pdf

    I use maybe 3/4 of a tube of grease to repack all four wheels
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Just keep pumpin' 'til it oozes out the back!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Too much grease on tapered bearings is a BAD thing. I pack the bearings by hand and fill the cavity and dustcap about 1/4 full.....NO MORE!!!!
    I have seen over-greased bearings lock-up.

  6. #6
    Senior Chief Petty Officer scooper77515's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Thanks for your responses AND your poll choices.

    I asked this because I have had several caps and bearing buddies pop off recently, and doing searches on the web, recommendations from "experts" range from just packing the bearings all the way to the other extreme of filling all the voids and caps.

    I wanted to see what procedure "real world" guys use and their success/failure rates.
    2003 Glastron GX 185, with VolvoPenta 4.3GL, currently running Stilleto Baypro III 14.25X21 at 46 mph and 4400 rpms. Other props were 3-blade aluminum 14.3X23 at 43 mph and 4400rpm, and 14.3X21 at 49mph at 4800 rpms.

  7. #7
    Senior Chief Petty Officer BaileysBoat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdee View Post
    Too much grease on tapered bearings is a BAD thing. I pack the bearings by hand and fill the cavity and dustcap about 1/4 full.....NO MORE!!!!
    I have seen over-greased bearings lock-up.
    Huh?
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    On boat trailers only, I fill the hub completely with both buddy bearing caps or the caps with a rubber insert that you can remove to access the zerk fitting that greases the hub back to front. Just wipe off the water contaminated grease that you push out and replace the rubber insert. I believe the absence of air in the hub reduces or eliminates the vacuum caused by backing a hot trailer hub into cool water that can suck water past the seals or caps into the hub. On my utility trailer, I just pack the bearings and go, but I can't imagine any way too much grease could harm a wheel bearing.
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  9. #9
    Lieutenant Junior Grade 90stingray's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Found this on the offical bearing buddy website... says pack em full.

    http://www.bearingbuddy.com/install.html

    I didn't even know they had additional inner seals...

    http://www.bearingbuddy.com/spindle.html
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  10. #10
    Lieutenant SuperNova's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by chcliffb View Post
    On boat trailers only, I fill the hub completely with both buddy bearing caps or the caps with a rubber insert that you can remove to access the zerk fitting that greases the hub back to front. Just wipe off the water contaminated grease that you push out and replace the rubber insert. I believe the absence of air in the hub reduces or eliminates the vacuum caused by backing a hot trailer hub into cool water that can suck water past the seals or caps into the hub. On my utility trailer, I just pack the bearings and go, but I can't imagine any way too much grease could harm a wheel bearing.
    Absol-freakin'-lutely. I agree 100%. And for the exact same reasons.
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  11. #11
    Rear Admiral MH Hawker's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    I have seen over-greased bearings lock-up.

    In 40 plus years of doing mining and industral maintance I have never heard of any such thing.


    I have dexter hubs so it is pump them till the clean grease runs out the front.
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  12. #12
    Rear Admiral oldjeep's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    I pack the bearings, fill the cavity with grease, fill the cover with grease, pump a few shots into the spindle until it oozes a bit and then put the rubber cover on. I never add grease between repacks. Generally call it good for 2 years and then repeat process. In my book any void could get water in it and then you get a big mess.
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  13. #13
    Rear Admiral Scott Danforth's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    have bearing buddies on every boat trailer, and pump them full.

    on a utility trailer, pack it full, and install the dust cap.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by MH Hawker View Post
    In 40 plus years of doing mining and industral maintance I have never heard of any such thing.
    Overfilling may cause a rapid rise in temperature, particularly at high speeds because the rolling elements have to push the grease out of the way. This leads to churning in the grease, which produces heat. Adding more grease only worsens the problem.
    I appreciate your expertise in 40 years of industrial maintenance. That has also been my career for the first 30 years and industrial engineering for the last 15.

  15. #15
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Since Bearing Buddy advises to pack the hub completely full, where are all these trailers lined up along the road with locked up bearings from over greasing?

    Curious at what speed this is supposedly happening at. The reality is that trailer wheel bearings rotate at a fairly low speed compared to many bearing applications.
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  16. #16
    Admiral dingbat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruceb58 View Post
    Since Bearing Buddy advises to pack the hub completely full, where are all these trailers lined up along the road with locked up bearings from over greasing?

    Curious at what speed this is supposedly happening at. The reality is that trailer wheel bearings rotate at a fairly low speed compared to many bearing applications.
    It is a known fact that over greasing a bearing causes elevated temperatures in the bearing housing. In extreme cases enough to cause a catastrophic failure of the bearing system. Been there done that. A bearing failure on a 25K HP drive isn't pretty.

    Stuffing a bearing housing full of grease in a "sealed" housing does nothing but put additional pressure on the rear seal via thermal expansion ultimately causing a failure of the rear seal.

    Rear seal failures and contamination of the bearing lubricate as the result of that failure probably account for 95% of bearing failures on boat trailers. The real question is how many rear seal failures, and the subsequent bearing failures, can be attributed to over lubrication of the bearing housing?
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  17. #17
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by dingbat View Post
    It is a known fact that over greasing a bearing causes elevated temperatures in the bearing housing. In extreme cases enough to cause a catastrophic failure of the bearing system. Been there done that. A bearing failure on a 25K HP drive isn't pretty.
    I can imagine there would be an increase in temperature but with a bearing that is rotating at only 780 RPM for a 15" tire at 60 MPH it can't be that bad. The heat from the braking alone will contribute WAY more heat into the hub that any over greasing would contribute. I am talking trailer hubs here...not some industrial machine running at extremely high RPM.

    The bearing buddy has a spring that holds the grease at 3 PSI. With over 30 years of having bearing buddies, filling hubs until full, driving in 115° temps have never blown a rear seal or have ever had a bearing failure. This includes trips from Los Angeles to Canada(Over 2000 miles round trip) to Tahoe(1000 miles round trip) yearly.

    If you blow out a rear seal because you pump them with a shot of grease every trip, than that is another story but its not because you initially filled them too full. If you follow the directions then there isn't a problem.
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  18. #18
    Admiral dingbat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruceb58 View Post
    I can imagine there would be an increase in temperature but with a bearing that is rotating at only 780 RPM for a 15" tire at 60 MPH it can't be that bad.
    I agree, but according to Bearing Buddy there is a high enough delta T in the bearing housing to generate a pressure differential that sucks water past a seal rated to 6-8 psi. That would take a considerable delta T to generate. You have other problems that need to be addressed at that point.

    The way I look at, if you have a good seal there is nothing to worry about. A properly lubricated bearing runs cooler and there is less chance of blowing a rear seal due to expansion.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruceb58 View Post
    I can imagine there would be an increase in temperature but with a bearing that is rotating at only 780 RPM for a 15" tire at 60 MPH it can't be that bad. The heat from the braking alone will contribute WAY more heat into the hub that any over greasing would contribute. I am talking trailer hubs here...not some industrial machine running at extremely high RPM.

    The bearing buddy has a spring that holds the grease at 3 PSI. With over 30 years of having bearing buddies, filling hubs until full, driving in 115° temps have never blown a rear seal or have ever had a bearing failure. This includes trips from Los Angeles to Canada(Over 2000 miles round trip) to Tahoe(1000 miles round trip) yearly.

    If you blow out a rear seal because you pump them with a shot of grease every trip, than that is another story but its not because you initially filled them too full. If you follow the directions then there isn't a problem.
    BBs are not normally overgreased.....they have a spring and a relief that takes care of thermal expansion. Another consideration that factors into this is preload. If there is not sufficient play between the bearing and castle nut a tapered bearing can quickly become a taper-locked bearing.
    Grease and temperature can develop tremendous hydrostatic forces.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    We need to get Bond-O's thoughts on this subject!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    I put in enough grease to insure the bearings have an adequate supply …and that enough comes slingin out of the hub seal onto the underside of the fender to keep it from rustin……..whats one more pump gonna hurt?
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  22. #22
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by dingbat View Post
    I agree, but according to Bearing Buddy there is a high enough delta T in the bearing housing to generate a pressure differential that sucks water past a seal rated to 6-8 psi. That would take a considerable delta T to generate. You have other problems that need to be addressed at that point.

    The way I look at, if you have a good seal there is nothing to worry about. A properly lubricated bearing runs cooler and there is less chance of blowing a rear seal due to expansion.
    I agree with all of that! What I don't agree with is that the bearing hub being completely full of grease is going to raise the temp much in a trailer hub. I measure the temps of my trailer hubs with an IR tool. They stay pretty darn cool considering that I have just stopped using my trailer brakes.
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  23. #23
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdee View Post
    Grease and temperature can develop tremendous hydrostatic forces.
    At 780 RPM? Highly doubtful. Not not enough to lock things up. If it was spinning at 5K RPM my answer may be different.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruceb58 View Post
    At 780 RPM? Highly doubtful. Not not enough to lock things up. If it was spinning at 5K RPM my answer may be different.
    You won't find many applications running 5k rpm that use opposed tapered bearings with a fixed preload. Many trailers use 12” wheels that turn >1200rpm but even lower speeds can create problems if there is no compensation for preload.

    I quoted the following from literature I recieved while attending an engineering seminar on this very issue:
    50% OF ALL FAILURES ARE DUE TO LUBRICATION ISSUES (contamination, inadequate
    or excessive amounts, wrong lubricant)
    30% OF ALL FAILURES ARE RELATED TO MOUNTING ISSUES SUCH AS TOO LOOSE OR
    TOO TIGHT OF BEARING FITS
    10% OF ALL FAILURES ARE RELATED TO STORAGE AND HANDLING PROBLEMS

    REASONS FOR BEARING RUNNING HOT:
    Wrong type of grease or oil (check manufacturers
    specifications and maintenance records).
    Inadequate amount of lubricant (check oil level and
    grease amount or leakage through seals).

    "Excessive amount of lubricant (oil is churning and not
    draining or bearing and surrounding cavity are completely
    filled with grease)."

    Lack of internal bearing clearance (initial bearing internal
    clearances too small for operating conditions or wrong
    fits were used).
    Application design problem (misalignment between shaft
    housing bore, seats off taper or out-of-round, free-side
    bearing not able to float).
    External source (bearing is running hot due to proximity
    to other heat generating equipment).

  25. #25
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much grease do you put in your hubs?

    Why not provide a link from a manufacturer of tapered roller bearing to support your claims? If its an issue, they will have it documented.

    WOW...These guys totally missed the over greasing failure cause. This company must not know much about bearings:http://www.timken.com/en-us/products...ments/6347.pdf

    Here is an company that sells products that have tapered roller bearings that tout being completely filled with grease:
    http://resources.kamandirect.com/wor...r-bearings.pdf
    "Grease filled labyrinth acts as a filter to exclude cantaminants"
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