View Full Version : bearings for beginner

12-11-2009, 06:48 PM
hey guys,

I purchased my boat just on a year ago (explorer 3.85 dunbier small trailer) and thought i better look at the bearings.
Ive used it most weekends, but normally only a 10 min drive and drop in the freshwater lake. I have done a few saltwater trips as well.

i dont have bearing buddies on the trailer (didnt come with any and didnt know about them early on in the piece). should i whack a set on...?
ive read all the threads on bearing buddies/durahubs on the forum and to be honest im pretty confused now.

some say bearing buddies, some say durahubs whilst others say nothing just strip em down every year.....to be honest i aint much of a mechanic either.

so my question is.....should i go fo bearing buddies or durahubs......?
and should i get them installed....or is it something i could do myself, keeping in mind my inexperience with bearings etc..

any help is appreciated and sorry to repost the same topic, just that im not clear on what to do after reading the others,

12-11-2009, 10:14 PM
Hello yellahunter (http://www.ausfish.com.au/vforum/member.php?u=38983) vbmenu_register("postmenu_1096256", true); ,

do you put the hubs in the water when you launch/retrieve?

12-11-2009, 10:32 PM
If it ain't broke don't fix it- but you need to check it ain't broke

Durahubs require a very good surface to seal on if the oil is lost you may have a bearing failure from no lubrication. .

Beraing buddies put in 10 times more grease than needed on teh theory that where there is grease there is no water. They can push out poorly fitted seals, brease all over your wheels and are a target to get stolen. Cheap ones are just that and the original seem better.

Both properly fitted with adjusted bearings and bearing should last for 30,000km but this is rarely the case

You need to check them either way. Jack up one side of trailer and spin the wheel, Should spin freely and without any substantial noise or grinding. This tells you the condition of your bearings - stuffed ones will feel like gravel and make noise. Then face the wheel and grab either side and push and pull at it and push one side pull the other. If there is is movement that makes a knocking noise they may need adjusting. If it is sloppy and wobbles they are stuffed possibly stuffed or well out of adjustment.

They are the easiest basic checks

Simply put there is only one way for water to get into bearings and that is via the seal at the back. That seal needs to be in good condition and run n a shaft with a good surface to do it's job.

If water gets in then the bearing rust and grind themselves into oblivion.

It isn't hard to pull of the hub cover and check that the grease in there is blue / black and not emulsified ( white and fluffy) due to water penetration.

I would get local mechanic to show you how to change and adjust them when it is required to be done so you know the basics of how it is done or a mate if he seriously does it regularly and knows his shit. Use high quality bearings. You may never need to do it yourself if your happy to pay others but worth learing especially if going to larger rigs and longer distances as carrying spares and doing it yourself saves being stranded.

The other good check to do is to feel the hub temperature with your hand after your journey - cool is good warm is normal on longer journeys and hot is not and a warning sign of possible failure ahead or bad adjustment

13-11-2009, 07:52 AM
g'day ben, like cormorant says, tap the bearing cap off with a mallet and check for water ingress. i personally reckon bearing buddies and the like are not really necessary considering that they shouldn't replace basic checking and maintenance. again like cormorant has said, the only place that water can really get in is via the seal on the back, keep this clean and put plenty of grease behind it and make sure you check your bearings for any excessive play and/or rumbling that might indicate something's not right. another thing is to try and let your bearings cool down a bit before dropping your boat into the water at the ramp, this will minimise water getting sucked in under sudden cooling.

13-11-2009, 08:04 AM
If it ain't broke don't fix it- but you need to check it ain't broke

jack up each wheel and check two things

1. spin the wheel and listen for noise, any growling at all and they need changing

2. grab the wheel at 9:00 and 3:00 positions, and rock the wheel from side to side. there should be a little bit of notoceable slack there, just enough to know the bearings are not too tight. If no rock, the nut needs to be loosened off, if too much rock, needs to be tightned. If tightened up, check step 1 again.



14-11-2009, 09:05 AM
For general bearing information and maintenance I have found this site helpful;


14-11-2009, 08:22 PM
Get some bearing buddies mate,I grease mine every couple of trips and have had the same bearings as it came with 2002 model.