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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After upgrading to Kodiac disk brakes on my trailer I started having issues with losing the left side bearing buddy randomly after taking the boat out of the water. None of the remedies found online, except the bearing retainer fluid, which is basically lock-tight, worked so I decided to get a bit drastic ;-).

I designed little cages to fit over the ends of the bearing buddy. Fired up my CNC mill and used some 6061 aluminum to solve the issue once and for all.

I had to drill and tap the ends of the hubs to accept 6/32" screws. I used some stainless screws I had in the shop to secure them in place. So far they work great, I have made several hour-long trips to the Potomac and have no issues at all. No the "bra" won't fit but I liked bra's much anyway!

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Yes indeed, very nice work. That said, I would now be leery of blowing out your inner seal. The bearing buddy IMO was popping off due to pressure buildup for some reason. If you did not mitigate that reason, I think the next link in the chain is the inner seal.
 

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I've been trailering boats for about 40 years. Bearing buddies never made sense to me - the extra grease being pumped in has to go somewhere - most likely blowing past seal (s).

Too much grease will expand - this is likely why you are losing the bearing buddies.

I use bearing dust caps putting light coating of grease on the inside. These fit very tightly and do good job keeping water out. You can go extra step and seal the cap to hub with silicon.

 

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I've been trailering boats for about 40 years. Bearing buddies never made sense to me - the extra grease being pumped in has to go somewhere - most likely blowing past seal (s).

Too much grease will expand - this is likely why you are losing the bearing buddies.

I use bearing dust caps putting light coating of grease on the inside. These fit very tightly and do good job keeping water out. You can go extra step and seal the cap to hub with silicon.

Skip, my new boat came with the rubber caps. They don't hold up well if the sun is beating down on them stored on a trailer and quickly seem to dry rot. I will try those caps that you posted. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not a huge fan of BB but... the inner axle seal size is odd, and it's almost impossible to find a double seal in the size I need. On top of that one axle is scared so I need a repair sleeve. The axles have EZ lube hubs and I would prefer to use that system but the use of bearing buddy axle repair seals with those stainless rings prevents the use of EZ lube axles.

As for the grease pushing the BB off, that was not the case. The first time this happened I replaced the BB but added no additional grease. I was only going about 10 miles each way (had to go fishing) and planned on disassembling the hub anyway so the hub was not full of grease and there was about 1/2" of air space between the grease and the BB spring plate. The BB still came off and was lost. The hub could have simply been out of spec by a small amount but it was easier to fix it myself than try to replace the new hub.

I check the inner seals after every trip and no grease has escaped out of the rear of the axle so far after 5 trips to the river traveling about an hour in each direction.
 

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Had issues with bearing buddy's in past. Usually after removing and checking bearing before long trip. Few things I do now. First is clean grease from both mating surfaces. Second I create a small burr in several places are the bearing buddies with a small punch to give grip. Do not over grease. Haven't had an issue since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Believe me, I am with you guys! Yearly maintenance and EZ lube axles are my preferred method but this old 1996 trailer with unknown axles forced me into using the Bearing Buddy Spindle Seal Kit and that system blocks the EZ lube hole in the rear.
I honestly don't buy the hype about water being sucked past the seal due to warm hubs hitting cold water, OK maybe if the hubs are red hot! LOL. I check my hubs after towing and they are lukewarm at best.
I may have found the correct seal at Pacific Trailer and those are ordered. Next year I will pull this off and if those seals work I will put the BB's on the shelf.
As far as threading the hub and having screw-on caps, I agree this would be best, and really hate hammering on any type of cap. I looked at the oil bath systems and those look nice but I understand the risk of lost oil.
BTW, a paint can opener works wonder taking off those little sheet metal caps with minimal damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What trailer manufacturer? I just pulled the hubs off my Bear trailer and I think I'm going to have to pull the whole axle and clean up the crappy SUPAR CHINA mill marks.
If you just need the inner seal surface repaired you can get repair sleeves from SKF Speedi Sleeve in any size and still use the same size rear seal you currently have. The chart on the website has all the size info.
 

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Believe me, I am with you guys! Yearly maintenance and EZ lube axles are my preferred method but this old 1996 trailer with unknown axles forced me into using the Bearing Buddy Spindle Seal Kit and that system blocks the EZ lube hole in the rear.
I honestly don't buy the hype about water being sucked past the seal due to warm hubs hitting cold water, OK maybe if the hubs are red hot! LOL. I check my hubs after towing and they are lukewarm at best.
I may have found the correct seal at Pacific Trailer and those are ordered. Next year I will pull this off and if those seals work I will put the BB's on the shelf.
As far as threading the hub and having screw-on caps, I agree this would be best, and really hate hammering on any type of cap. I looked at the oil bath systems and those look nice but I understand the risk of lost oil.
BTW, a paint can opener works wonder taking off those little sheet metal caps with minimal damage.
Another place to get trailer supplies is right over in Newark, Delaware at Eastern Marine. They have all kinds of trailer parts and I mean all kinds, they had the parts in stock to repair my parents old trailer.
 

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If you just need the inner seal surface repaired you can get repair sleeves from SKF Speedi Sleeve in any size and still use the same size rear seal you currently have. The chart on the website has all the size info.
I'm not putting any more time or money into a trailer that's going to be sold in the spring, I hate it. It's been a miserable POS since the spring and the company is worthless at tits on a bull for support so it's gone. I'll pick up a galvanized trailer somewhere this winter. I had to wait until I got the title before I sold it. Both sides leaked after a month of ownership. I have Timken bearings and seals to replace the ones in it.
 

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After upgrading to Kodiac disk brakes on my trailer I started having issues with losing the left side bearing buddy randomly after taking the boat out of the water. None of the remedies found online, except the bearing retainer fluid, which is basically lock-tight, worked so I decided to get a bit drastic ;-).

I designed little cages to fit over the ends of the bearing buddy. Fired up my CNC mill and used some 6061 aluminum to solve the issue once and for all.

I had to drill and tap the ends of the hubs to accept 6/32" screws. I used some stainless screws I had in the shop to secure them in place. So far they work great, I have made several hour-long trips to the Potomac and have no issues at all. No the "bra" won't fit but I liked bra's much anyway!

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That'll work. I just peen the **** out of the opening till they stay in. I have a mill but ***** slapping things with a hammer works for me.
 
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