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Old 20 April 2006, 01:57   #1
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Wheel bearings

Suggestions please?

I am needing 2 sets of bearings for my un braked De Graaff trailer. Now I have contacted De Graaff who are looking for £68. Now call me tight but that sounds like a load of cash when the wheel bearings for my Audi where only £20 odd. And they are a lot more complicated than the wee things I am needing from De Graaff.

So any suggestions as to where else one could get these or am I just adding to the preconception that we Scots are all tight?

many thanks

Matt
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Old 20 April 2006, 02:35   #2
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If you take the old bearings out there will be a number on the side of the bearings. If you can find a local bearing supplier he should be able to match the numbers, don't forget you will also need the seal at the back of the hub. There is / was a good bearing shop on London Road (A3) in Portsmouth for those down sarf.

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Old 20 April 2006, 02:52   #3
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Wyco or BSL are the companies that I use, both are national concerns. I have Bearing Buddies fitted to my current trailer. I'm not sure what they cost as the trailer came fitted with them, but the peace of mind and hassle saved in bearing renewal would make them worthwhile in my view.
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Old 20 April 2006, 02:58   #4
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what are

Bearing Buddies?

The worrying thing is, the trailer is 20 months old and was fine when I got it. Since I have had it I have dipped it in the salty stuff once or twice a week. But have only towed it 50 yards each time. And the bearings are totally shot.
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Old 20 April 2006, 03:13   #5
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It's a nightmare, a mate of mine bought a new hardboat at the Southampton show one year, on a 4 wheel trailer. He was ready to sue when he lost a wheel after one season. Bearing Buddies are a cunning US device which are effectively a sealed hub with a grease nipple on the end. It keeps the bearings under a positive pressure of grease and hence the water out. It leaves you free to worry about the brakes.
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Old 20 April 2006, 03:30   #6
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Old 20 April 2006, 05:41   #7
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Matt, BSL are Bearing Services Ltd and they're in Livingston. They are the people I've used for years but I've heard of a company down Leith way. Ask Donald. There is also Indispension at Meadowbank. If it's a pair of taper rollers each side, you're going to be paying 10-15 kwid each bearing. Indispension also sell Bearing Savers at about £17 a pair and they are worth getting. However, they are an interference fit into the end of the hub and they only come in one size. You must use water resistant grease and completely fill the hub. This is not normal bearing lubricating practice but it's essential if you're dunking the trailer. The oil seal at the inside of the hub needs to be A1 and there also needs to be plenty of grease around the stub axle or it will rust under the lip of the seal. If the bearing savers are just a little bit under or over size, it's possible to modify them to fit. I had to do this to my ones. Get in touch if you need to do this.
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Old 20 April 2006, 06:17   #8
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This is probably a stupid question (like maybe SS can't be made hard enough) but with the market there must be out there for waterproof wheel bearings, the obvious thing seems to be for somebody to make stainless steel bearings running in waterproof grease, then it doesn't matter if water gets in or not.

If that isn't possible then the next best thing (which ought to be possible) would be a stainless oil seal track on the hub/stub axle, because I bet half the problems with seals failing is down to the seal getting chewed up by a corroded seal track.
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Old 20 April 2006, 10:02   #9
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Quote:
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with the market there must be out there for waterproof wheel bearings,
There is even a bigger market if you sell bearing and brakes that rust and need replacing every year
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Old 20 April 2006, 13:26   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdt
Since I have had it I have dipped it in the salty stuff once or twice a week. But have only towed it 50 yards each time. And the bearings are totally shot.

Have you flushed/rinsed the bearings with fresh water each time?
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Old 20 April 2006, 14:03   #11
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errrrrrrr no

........have washed down the whole rig down and yes rinsed off the the wheels and as ran water into the sections of the trailer that you can. But really could not see how I could get to actually rinse the bearings out. I did know that the salt water and the bearings would not get on but I am shocked as to how quickly they have gone. Especially as it is50yards to and from the slip. And twice back to the house less than a mile away.
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Old 20 April 2006, 14:08   #12
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My father has a small Wayfarer type sailing dinghy in Greece and the trailer for that is a cunning two-part thing, basically you take off the bits that you don't want to dunk in salt water and wheel the rest (the frame supporting the boat) into the water on a set of slave wheels which are just like a plastic wheel on an axle, no bearings or anything. Can't remember how it works exactly, but it wasn't hard to use. Can you get things like that for a RIB? It would be one way around the problem...
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Old 20 April 2006, 14:12   #13
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That's really about as much as you can do- I guess you need to dry them out somehow as you can't realistically rinse them totally clean of salt.
A 50 yard trip isn't going to do that

I seem to remember having the same discussion about brakes on here last year and those of us that tow further seemed to have less problems with trailer brakes too.
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Old 20 April 2006, 15:40   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogMonster
My father has a small Wayfarer type sailing dinghy in Greece and the trailer for that is a cunning two-part thing, basically you take off the bits that you don't want to dunk in salt water and wheel the rest (the frame supporting the boat) into the water on a set of slave wheels which are just like a plastic wheel on an axle, no bearings or anything. Can't remember how it works exactly, but it wasn't hard to use. Can you get things like that for a RIB? It would be one way around the problem...
It's known as a 'combination trailer'. I have one in the garage with a Laser Pico sitting on it. I did once see a Rib sized combo trailer, I would imagine it would be a P in the A thing to use, trying to get the Rib on the trolly and then the trolly and Rib on the trailer.
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Old 20 April 2006, 15:53   #15
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Matt - I have oil bath bearings these are supposed to help reduce this problem. Not sure if they can be retro fitted or not.
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Old 21 April 2006, 11:49   #16
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Questions...

Do you:

1) Pump the hub full of grease often? If so, how do you tell when it's full? If you can't tell when it's full, you'll eventually blow the rear seal, which stands a good chance of allowing water intrusion. Of course, this only applies to hubs fitted with zerk fittings (hard to overfill if you're packing by hand.)

2) Arrive at the ramp, and immediately dunk the trailer? Bearing surfaces heat up as you're running down the highway, causing the grease to expand somewhat. Immediate dunking causes rapid cooling, which can create a slight vacuum within the hub. That vacuum is relieved by whatever is around the bearing; in that case, seawater. You should allow a bit of time in the lot for things to cool down prior to immersing the hubs.

3) Occasionally pull whatever you have for a bearing dust cover and take a look at the bearings (or, ideally, the grease, as you won't see the bearings)? Grease color will be a fair indicator: If it's milky, you've had water intrusion, and will have a problem. If it smells burnt, you've already got a problem. If there's no grease, it's likely that you have a problem.

4) Also occasionally (once every year or two) disassemble the hub, and wash and inspect all the bits and pieces, repack with grease, and reassemble? Probably should.

5) Check hub temperatures while trailering? An occasional stop to verify temps is a wise thing to do. On my trailer, after an hour of running, the hub will be just warm to the touch. If it's hot, you've potentially got a problem. If the grease is smoking, there's definitely a problem. Some people use an infrared temp guage to scope this out. Probably cleaner than my way.


FWIW, I don't think that hosing off the trailer is going to do anything for the bearings. They're too sealed up for a rinse to do any good.

Usually bearings fail due to water intrusion (and either the resulting salt encrustation or corrosion, either of which causes more friction, which in turn overheats the grease), or from maladjustment (too tight creates a ton more friction than having it set just right - this burns off the grease, leading to failure.) Too loose allows slop between the pieces, which will eventually cause flat spots on the bearing rollers, leading to failure.

If you need info on how these things all go together, there are a number of resources on-line. Here's a few, though:

http://www.performancetrailers.com/B...eplacement.pdf
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...03/ai_n9207791
http://www.championtrailers.com/techsup.html#packhubs
http://www.championtrailers.com/tech...e-loadbearings


Luck;

jky
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