Jump to content

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

Wheel Bearing and hub temps?

Recommended Posts

I'm having an issue on my Extreme trailer with my 2000 Wakesetter. I have replaced all the bearings and seals on both axles. I have the bearing buddy things that came on the trailer, they expose a blue ring when full of grease. The issue is I have had a few of these come off the rotor going down the road. Normally the wheel center cap catches them. I drive them back into the hub, and 20 miles later they are loose/free again. The trailer has disc brakes on both axles. The wheels are very hot to the touch. Can anyone tell me what temp they should run when they are ok? I plan on buying a infrared temp gun to check them with. I was using Citgo Marine plus grease. I have pulled the bearings down and checked them. They weren't overtighten, they seemed correct. I pump the bearing full of grease before I go to the lake. Could the grease be expanding and popping the bearing buddies off? My grease is rated to 250F. Is that too low for use with the disc brakes?

There has to be something I'm doing wrong?

Link to comment

No idea, but something for you and others to keep in mind, that farther up I pull my boat the cooler the rear hubs feel. Once you figrure out your current issue then you need to find that "sweetspot" to keep all 4 hubs at a managable temp.

Link to comment

I cant answer too many of your questions, just that mine dont get real hot even on long journeys. I have oil bath bearings but the hubs and wheels should not be hot to the touch. They should feel about the same as your truck wheels, tires, and hubs.

You can try to reset your emergency breaking on the trailer to see if that helps, you may be dragging the breaks a little (creating the heat). There is a tab on the actuator for this. some one else may be able to give you more information on how to do that.

Good luck finding the cause

Link to comment

If the bearing are tight, and the buddies are in good shape, im not sure. Are you sure the bearings are good? I've seen a tire shake caps off before, so make sure that they are balanced. I hope you can find the problem, let us know when you do. Usually if a cap comes off. it is being shook off one way or the other.

Oh, the bearing buddies have a pressure relief that lets excess grease pressure above 3 psi to go out the cap, so i don't think that would cause it, as long as the buddies have a tight fit.

Link to comment

My tires are in good shape and balanced. I went and took a second look at my wheel grease. It is Citgo Marine Plus, blue in color. The can says its the ultimate for boat trailer wheel bearings. In small print it says not for auto front disc brakes. Its rated to 250F. Since my trailer has disc on all the hubs, I'm afraid the grease may be getting too hot from the disc braking. The heat may cause the grease to expand, possibly popping the bearing buddies off. ??

My plan is to pull the offending hub off, clean out all of the Citgo marine wheel bearing grease, replace it with Mobile One grease, lock the trailer brakes out where they do not engage with my oval insert, and drive the boat trailer loaded for 15 minutes down the freeway. Then I'll pull over and use the infrared thermometer gun thingy to measure the temp in all of the hubs. This way I should take the brakes out of the equation, unless they are dragging.It will be interesting to see if the synthetic grease runs cooler, the same, or hotter in actual practice. I will also raise each wheel off the ground with the brakes not applied and spin the wheel by hand to see if it feels like the brakes are dragging. These are discs with fairly new pads, I recently replaced all 4 set of bearings, seals, and pads with hopes I would not have any more trailer issues. Last year I lost a bearing and it trashed the axle spindle in less than 9 miles. It was a very expensive repair, had to have an axle made, etc.. I'm trying to avoid a repeat disaster. I often pull this boat 120 miles each way to a private lake. I'll then remove the over ride on the brakes so they function, repeat the test and see how hot the hubs get.

Yesterday on a 20 mile trip, all 4 wheel hubs were so hot I could not touch them, very hot. I cant quantify the temp they were, yet. The wheels spin freely off the ground, the bearings are not too tight, the seals are holding well. I pump the hubs full before every trip. I don't drive the trailer over 65 mph.

Does anyone glue their bearing buddies into the hud with silicone? When I tap mine in with a hammer, they fit nice and snug. I have no idea why it would come out. Below is a photo of what came on my trailer.

I have considered oil bath hubs, but read many posts of individuals having leakage issues on the inner seal, as the oil is much thinner than grease. Many of the trailer manufactures have gone away from oil bath hubs. I'm sure it works well for many. My dad's fishing trailer has oil bath hubs and he has no issues, buy his boat is much lighter and travels only short distances.

I'll report back what happens....


Link to comment

could your brakes be dragging a little? Here's why I ask...

One of the lakes we go to involves the world's twistiest (is that a word) road for about 20 miles (highway 49 north from Nevada City CA to Bullards Bar). It's a long descent and you have to be on the brakes a lot. Anyhow, whenever we go there, the hubs get smoking hot to the touch, and more often than not they will puke a little grease as soon as the trailer goes in the water.

On the other hand, another lake we go to involves a 60 mile flatish tow at highway speeds. The hubs are cool to the touch and stay clean.

Link to comment

I had the same issue on my new to me trailer where I kept losing a bearing buddy. It turns out that the castle nut was just a little bit loose. I found this out when I jacked up the trailer and tried to shake the wheel. There was just a little bit of play compared to the other wheel. I took out the cotter pin, tighted the castle nut all the way and then backed off about a half a turn so there was no more play in the wheel and no drag on the hub. This solved my problem.

Link to comment

I would bet on a brake dragging causing the heat. I have had the bearing buddies on many tailers and they are a good product. I have found that they will be warm to the touch. I think breaks produce more heat than the bearings. However, it shouldn't cause the bearing buddy to come off. Contact the trailer manufacture and ask them whats up. They see all kinds of stuff.

Link to comment

Before I try trouble shooting anything on a trailer that old I would pull all of the hubs off clean and inspect the bearings and grease them. It would not be a bad idea to just change the bearings and the rear seal then install properly making sure that you don't over tighten the nuts. I have the same trailer on my 2000 escape lsv and instead of taking everything apart and doing it right I tried to just grease the bearings and I did not get away with it and lost one of the bearings yesterday. Instead of spending 5$ on grease and 2hrs of time now Im having to spend over 100$ in parts and several hrs doing the work plus I missed out on taking the boat out this weekend.

Link to comment

Yes, I have already changed out all four sets of bearings, seals, and grease.

Today I pulled the bearings out of the hub that the bearing buddy keeps coming out of. I wiped all the blue "marine grade citgo " grease and after checking the bearings, repacked them with Mobile 1 synthetic grease. The Mobile one is red in color.(not that it matters, only FYI) I put it all back together and once the brakes were on spun the wheel to ensure there was no drag. All was good. The wheel bearing showed no play. I tapped on the bearing buddy, it fit solid. I pumped it up with mobile 1 grease, all looks good. I drove the trailer loaded about 20 miles, hopped out and all bearing buddies were still attached.

I took out my new laser thermometer and checked the 4 hubs. The bearing all were about 110F to 115F. Not bad. The wheels were pretty hot, about 165F right after I stopped. It was obvious the brakes were generating the majority of the heat.

The next test will be to block off the brakes so they don't come on, and drive the trailer and see that the wheel and hub temps are. This should identify any brakes that dragging. So far I have no idea why the bearing buddies came loose...so far.

More to come after additional testing.

Edited by WakesetterE
Link to comment

Either way if your hubs are hot to the touch you have a problem, warped disks? castle nut too tight? On a hot day after a long pull, they should feel warm to the touch or cooler, anything else and you might wind up with a problem.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...