Originally Posted by rbw156
Have you experienced a wheel bearing failure? If so, when? What do you think caused it? Was it covered by warranty? How much did it cost to recover? How much did it cost to repair? How often do you service your wheel bearings?
I read this post Friday last and thought thankfully no, or rather not yet given the environment we subject wheel bearings to. Heat 'em up, dunk in corrosive medium, leave to season, etc.
Yesterday, Sunday, I carefully ready the boat for the first outing in over a month due to work, including checking the wheels for play and greasing the bearings via the fitted nipples. 10 miles down the road I'm snaking through a roundabout and, force of habit always looking at the trailer wheels on any corner that affords a good view, think I see the right side wobble. I pull over immediately and find the innner bearing is destroyed and things are hot, very hot. I get out the jack and socket set and of course it begins to rain - hard! At least it cools the mess down but I find myself having to remember that I need to be even more careful of getting knocked down in the reduced viz so wait it out.
I put out my triangle as I'm only a 100m past the roundabout with a blind exit and station my 16 year old nephew at roundabout exit to ensure people see it and the boat. Meanwhile I remove the wheel/hub and replace what's left of the outer bearings. I managed to limp to safe parking (in a factory car park with 24 hour security -so not all bad) making the worst noises you can imagine. I've sourced what I hope are the correct hubs (Hu004 for a Snipe) and will hopefully replace and recover this evening. As ever thankful no-one was hurt and everything is fixable however I'd better not get a puncture in the car as the jack is under the boat!
My contribution to the original post is I recovered as above and the trailer is well out of warranty. I do think I might have actually been better off limping to secure parking before the damage assessment as the hub went back on in worse condtion than it came off as the outer race came apart with the hub removal but that's hind-sight for you! I check and grease the bearings start of every season and replace if required. I learned the hard way before never to tow without a proper socket set and a scissors jack. The bearing hub was still full of grease with no signs of rusting anywhere although the whole thing was a pretty well destroyed. I regularly grease and check my wheels but this gap in use was unusally long so my conclusion is leaving the trailer stationary for a long time was my undoing with the inner race getting some corrosion at the contact points. What was astonishing was the rate of and scale of the bearing failure - possibly hastened by hitting a builders poorly refilled trench across the road near my house.
I have used bearing buddies but as much of my use involves trips of less than a mile to the slip I don't think they work in that situation and prefer a grease nipple and gun. However I do find that the bearing cap tends to 'hydraulic' out before the hub is properly packed with grease. My experience is buddies work only when the hubs heat up and thin the grease. I have used them on a braked trailer and had no problem with them contaminating the shoes. In fact I wished they would leak a little into the drums given the rust in brake systems!