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Old 11 September 2012, 06:58   #1
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Which trailer bearing grease?

I now understand why I shouldn't have asked about trailer bearing grease in another thread (both for my technical understanding and buckets of carp quoted on the internet "I have used brand x for years in low speed bearings so it will be absolutely fine in high speed, high temperature salt water exposed bearings etc")!

From other searches "Grease is a mixture of a oil, base thickener and additives like tackifiers, graphite, moly, teflon, dye, etc. It is the base thickener that may be incompatible with another greases base and creates a black runny mess that lets your bearings fail. It matters little whether the oil is conventional or synthetic."

I have found a few tables to indicate whether adding a different type of grease into bearings will cause the resulting mixture to stop working as a lubricant:
http://www.mobilindustrial.com/IND/E...patibility.pdf
http://thelubricantstore.com/custome...patibility.pdf

- Lithium or lithium complex base is the most common, and is moderately waterproof.
- Aluminum complex is much more waterproof and most are compatible with lithium.
- Calcium sulfonate complex grease is more water resistant than an aluminium complex"

So digging around the specification sheets for both heavy duty and marine greases, it appears that the vital specifications are around:
- Dropping point (effectively at what temperature the grease turns to a non lubricating liquid - higher seems better)
- 4 ball weld point (higher is better)
- Load index (higher is better)
- Timken OK Load (higher is better)
- Base oil viscosity (lower is better?)

Needing some real world examples I found quite a few places sell the Lucas X-Tra Heavy Duty Grease for use in trailer bearings (which I currently use).

I have now found Lucas Marine Heavy Duty Grease which appears to be Calcium Sulfonate based and has a low water washout, high weld point (500kg) and higher dropping point (turns liquid at over 300C) than many others.

The gold standard grease that TrailerGuy uses I think is the Grade 2 5517 Castrol Pyroplex Blue which is a lithium complex grease, but it looks like the Lucas calcium sulfonate grease may have the edge on this - are there any tribologists out there who could offer expert views?
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Old 11 September 2012, 07:21   #2
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Can you run that by me again?
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Old 11 September 2012, 11:31   #3
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I use "Marine Grease" for my trailer, and boat zerk fittings, that is made by Sta-Lube. Been using the same stuff for years. I have a dedicated grease gun with it. The trick is to catch a problem before it becomes a major problem. This means watch for grease spraying everywhere. When pumping fresh grease in look for water coming out. Most importantly check to see if the hubs are warmer than usual or even hot. If it is a braked axle, then they should be the same temperature left to righ.
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Old 11 September 2012, 11:54   #4
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The boats do lots of miles each month on their trailers, up and down Wales, in and out of the water. The Lucas Marine Heavy Duty Grease you mention is what we use /is the best we've found (haven't tried the Castrol Pyroplex)
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Old 11 September 2012, 11:58   #5
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Thanks - I should have outlined in my first post that I was trying to answer two questions:
- which trailer bearing grease should I use?
- will it have any effect on the bearing grease already in there if I top up with a different sort of grease?

Whilst there are a reasonable number of threads about how to replace bearings, I couldn't find any covering which types of grease you should actually use (and why - or more likely why not).
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Old 11 September 2012, 12:31   #6
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Car Lube Aqua-Slip from indespension here. Used in a new Avon axle with bearing savers from new 41/2 years ago and still doing fine. All local mileage and bearings never replaced.

I think what I'm saying is, if you can keep the water out of the hub in the first place then it's not so important what grease you put in there providing it's a waterproof one of course. Open bearings and it always leads to one speedy conclusion whatever grease you pump in IMHO
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Old 11 September 2012, 12:53   #7
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This stuff....
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Old 14 September 2012, 10:36   #8
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Ok - a flaw in my initial research above, the Lucas "Marine Heavy Duty Grease has a Lithium Complex" thickener which is not compatible with the Polyurea thickener in my existing Lucas X-Tra Heavy Duty Grease. Before digging into the subject, I have to admit that I would have just put some additional grease in without checking if it was compatible with the old grease (which thinking about it may have even been the initial cause of the problem ).

So it means that I will now have a fun afternoon washing the old hubs and bearings in petrol, drying them away from naked flames and packing the new grease in. I may not absolutely have to do this, but I would like the best possible life from the new hubs and bearings (and I need to buy more grease to fill the new bearing savers anyway).

Some very careful launches and recoveries since the incident have kept the hubs completely out of the water, which may be the best solution of all!
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Old 14 September 2012, 11:06   #9
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Hi

you are making this far to complex in my opinion. As long as it it marine waterproof grease then thats all it needs to be. how you look after the rest of the trailer will have a far bigger impact than buying a specific brand and how you look after the boat and engine will have an even bigger impact.
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Old 14 September 2012, 11:39   #10
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I use millers oils delta 2 ep just ring millers up they have something for everything

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