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Old 05 July 2013, 08:51   #1
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Too much grease

On the way back from Poole last Sunday I had the unpleasant experience of not having any brakes on the trailer.

Not having time to check them out myself I run the trailer into Banbury Trailers who showed me that I had been pumping too much grease into the bearing savers and it had gone all over the drums and impregnated the shoes so much that they needed replacing.

So having had the problem last year of my local car mechanic only applying a sparing amount of grease on the bearings and they lasted 9 months. To this year packing the bearings and then using the grease gun to pump in until the grease comes out of the bearing saver output hole. I thought this was the correct way to tell when you had filled the bearing cup and saver?

How do the rest of you know when you have the right amount of grease in there?
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Old 05 July 2013, 09:02   #2
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There's no such thing as too much Grease....

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Old 05 July 2013, 09:08   #3
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You nobbur!

Shouldn't you be sorting out your new action man boat for Sunday
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Old 05 July 2013, 10:05   #4
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On the way back from Poole last Sunday I had the unpleasant experience of not having any brakes on the trailer.

Not having time to check them out myself I run the trailer into Banbury Trailers who showed me that I had been pumping too much grease into the bearing savers and it had gone all over the drums and impregnated the shoes so much that they needed replacing.

So having had the problem last year of my local car mechanic only applying a sparing amount of grease on the bearings and they lasted 9 months. To this year packing the bearings and then using the grease gun to pump in until the grease comes out of the bearing saver output hole. I thought this was the correct way to tell when you had filled the bearing cup and saver?

How do the rest of you know when you have the right amount of grease in there?
it is.

How much came out of the hole? you only need to 'pop the top' on the anodised ones that my Rapide has.
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Old 05 July 2013, 10:17   #5
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Hey Nos,

Using the grease gun I pump it until I can see a small amount of grease coming out of the other hole in the bearing saver then stop.

I would have thought that the moment the grease "pops" out of the hole the pressure wouldn't be so much as to push the plastic bearing cap at the back of the hub and force it way into the brake area
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Old 05 July 2013, 10:44   #6
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The rear seals give way at far lower less pressure than what the bearing saver spring tends to push in at. When cold and not moving, you'll get a pool of grease under the bearing savers. Once you get going and the hub warms up, the bearing saver spring tends to push that pool of warm grease through the outer and inner bearings and then out through the rear seal. It only stops leaking out back there when the saver spring is no longer under pressure. If you then re-pump up the hubs so the bearing saver is under pressure again, the whole process repeats with new grease displacing the old which oozes out the rear seal...
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Old 05 July 2013, 10:50   #7
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The rear seals give way at far lower less pressure than what the bearing saver spring tends to push in at. When cold and not moving, you'll get a pool of grease under the bearing savers. Once you get going and the hub warms up, the bearing saver spring tends to push that pool of warm grease through the outer and inner bearings and then out through the rear seal. It only stops leaking out back there when the saver spring is no longer under pressure. If you then re-pump up the hubs so the bearing saver is under pressure again, the whole process repeats with new grease displacing the old which oozes out the rear seal...

These are a bit different to the sort you're thinking of-they're essentially a grease reservoir and rely on trapped air pressure inside.There's not a lot of pressure there, just enough to stop water getting to the bearing. There's a 'blow off valve' on them which releases pressure by dumping grease out of the outer face.

Essentially, you just need to pump them up slowly so you don't overpressure them. If you see the blow off valve top move, you've got enough in there.
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Old 05 July 2013, 10:51   #8
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Hey Nos,

Using the grease gun I pump it until I can see a small amount of grease coming out of the other hole in the bearing saver then stop.

I would have thought that the moment the grease "pops" out of the hole the pressure wouldn't be so much as to push the plastic bearing cap at the back of the hub and force it way into the brake area
Shouldn't be-maybe your rear seal is shot.
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Old 05 July 2013, 10:55   #9
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These are a bit different to the sort you're thinking of-they're essentially a grease reservoir and rely on trapped air pressure inside.There's not a lot of pressure there, just enough to stop water getting to the bearing. There's a 'blow off valve' on them which releases pressure by dumping grease out of the outer face.

Essentially, you just need to pump them up slowly so you don't overpressure them. If you see the blow off valve top move, you've got enough in there.
Got any pictures? I don't think we have such things over here. We basically have the conventional seals with bearing savers (where the bearing saver spring is almost always far straonger than the seals can tolerate). And oil filled hubs which have a clear cap and are 1/2 full of oil continually bathing the bearings. These are rather rare around my area.
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Old 05 July 2013, 11:05   #10
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Ya not greasing ya nipples correctly nobbur!!
Just a little tweakin every so often and then a damn good pumping!! Would you like me to show you how!??
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Old 05 July 2013, 12:56   #11
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The other thing you need to consider is that its the correct grade of grease, as they all have various melting points, and properties for example a moly grease is incorrect for that application (for faster bearings) and will dribble out easily when warm, a decent quality bearing grease or EP at least will work better, and not liquefy so easily
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Old 05 July 2013, 13:53   #12
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Drum brakes are so 1960's, disk is where it is at! Allows you to track seal damage before it becomes an issue.

A good quality double lip seal will easily hold better than the spring of a Bearing Buddy. I have been running bearing Buddies on my last three boats, and other than an occasional failure of the seal that left me with plenty of warning, I have never had a problem keeping them "rocking". By rocking I mean you pump a little grease into the Bearing Buddy until it comes off the bottom stop and has a little extra grease in it allowing it to rock back and forth. You don't want to pump it so full that it creates hydraulic pressure. (Grease gun pressure could pick the boat up off the ground in the right application.)
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Old 05 July 2013, 14:03   #13
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I use Fuchs Water Proof Bearing Grease Aqua 2 it is a thick consistency. By the sounds of it I am doing it right but maybe with a little less exertion with the grease gun!
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Old 05 July 2013, 14:52   #14
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Sounds fine then, the only other issue is why would the hub heat so much as to liquefy the grease. That would usually only be, if there are shoes binding on, to cause the heat, or if a bearing has been run up too tight on the castellated nut.

Ive used bearing savers over different trailers and to be fair.. the quality of the bearing seals varies a lot too .. some will leak where others dont.
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Old 05 July 2013, 15:45   #15
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How do the rest of you know when you have the right amount of grease in there?
Depends on the type of bearing saver you have. On mine, as the cap fills up, there's a little plastic ring that gets pushed out. To top up but not overfill, I pump the grease in until the plastic ring starts to move, but not so much as it seats against its limits. At the end I can still rock the plastic ring a bit.

If you have the type that has a plate the recedes in, put grease in until it's almost, but not quite, all the way out.

If it's solid, can't help, as I have no idea how to gauge how much is in there.

Bigmuz, all grease lubricates by melting to some degree. Grease is oil in a semi-solid carrier material (most trailer grease uses either lithium or aluminum soaps as a carrier.) Under pressure or heat, the carrier melts and releases oil to lubricate. If it's all liquid in there, well, yes, that would indicate something wrong; but you should be able to tell that by checking the exterior temp of the hub. Anything more than warm means a problem.

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Old 05 July 2013, 15:58   #16
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These should be the ones:-

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Old 05 July 2013, 16:25   #17
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These should be the ones:-

Too strong a spring? or failed rear seals?

At least on all my trailers the rear grease seals are not particularly robust against warming and expanding grease combined with spring pressure. If you "top them up" you definitely run the risk of it oozing out the back and splattering all over the inside of the rim (since I have no brakes). Or in the OPs case inside the drum.
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Old 05 July 2013, 17:16   #18
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Bigmuz, all grease lubricates by melting to some degree. Grease is oil in a semi-solid carrier material (most trailer grease uses either lithium or aluminum soaps as a carrier.) Under pressure or heat, the carrier melts and releases oil to lubricate. If it's all liquid in there, well, yes, that would indicate something wrong; but you should be able to tell that by checking the exterior temp of the hub. Anything more than warm means a problem.

jky
You are preaching to the converted .. but what I've often thought would be good is for someone to develop a system that alerts the driver to any change in the hub temps... For all we have as mod cons these days .. I'd like a display on my dash of all my trailer hub temps .. so then I'd know where to look for trouble before it starts
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Old 05 July 2013, 18:17   #19
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It may be worth checking that that plastic/steel disc is free and able to move forward and compress the spring, when you pump the grease in. If its not, then you'll pump grease in, it won't compress the spring and will just build up pressure and blow the rear seal. If its the chrome type ones, then I'm guessing you have an Indespension trailer? If so, also check that you
have the secondary 'super hub seals' fitted to the rear if the drum. They're a steel hub seal, that fits in to the rear boss of the drum. They're an interference fit, so they are far too strong a fit to be able to be pushed out.

It's something I always check in a service, as quite often the bearing savers are nice and shiny chrome, on the outside, but have become rusty on the inside. The black, plastic, disc that the grease nipple is mounted through I actually steel backed, ergo, it sticks to the inside face of the bearing saver.

Take the bearing saver off, clean it out, give it a squirt of WD and shove the disc back and forth, to ensure its free moving. If you're unsure feel free to drop me a line.

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Old 06 July 2013, 02:59   #20
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These should be the ones:-

Yep those are the ones.
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It may be worth checking that that plastic/steel disc is free and able to move forward and compress the spring, when you pump the grease in. If its not, then you'll pump grease in, it won't compress the spring and will just build up pressure and blow the rear seal. If its the chrome type ones, then I'm guessing you have an Indespension trailer? If so, also check that you
have the secondary 'super hub seals' fitted to the rear if the drum. They're a steel hub seal, that fits in to the rear boss of the drum. They're an interference fit, so they are far too strong a fit to be able to be pushed out.

It's something I always check in a service, as quite often the bearing savers are nice and shiny chrome, on the outside, but have become rusty on the inside. The black, plastic, disc that the grease nipple is mounted through I actually steel backed, ergo, it sticks to the inside face of the bearing saver.

Take the bearing saver off, clean it out, give it a squirt of WD and shove the disc back and forth, to ensure its free moving. If you're unsure feel free to drop me a line.

All the best
Arrh that makes a lot of sence. Well Banbury Trailers cleaned up the hubs on the inside, removed all the old grease and black crud, checked the Bearings, new shoes fitted. I will not add any more grease for the first trip as the hubs were warm on the trip back assume because the shoes are bedding in. So once they have settled I will take of the bearings saver and spray some Wd40 on the spring and make sure it is moving freely.

The Bradley bearing pack comes with the standard plastic seals, I will look into the super hub seals as they sound a better choice. With the trailer being towed on average 500 miles a month, it won't be long before the next inspection and I can swap them out.

Thanks everyone for your replies and advise.
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