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shawndoggy

Trailer gurus... Why would my bearing buddies fall out?

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shawndoggy

240 hours in the boat, probably 7500 miles towing. Bearings have not been repacked. Last weekend I lost a bearing buddy (actually a UFP branded trailer buddy) while towing. While pulling the boat out of storage this morning, plop, another one fell out. I've replaced both with the similar attwood product from my local boat store (walmart). Any clues on why they hate my trailer?

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Grant

Over filling with grease? If you pump grease in after the spring is fully compressed you could push the cap/bearing buddy out of the hub.

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robertstone9

over heated from bad bearing usually the bearings will fail shortly after

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Parrothead

Do you normally check the temp of your hubs when towing for a long haul? Bad bearing may be heating the hub (expanding) and then the beariing buddy could fall out.

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Asmodeus2112

I have had that happen as well. Two theories, the trailer was in the water longer than normal due to a crosswind that kept made us do multiple attempts to land the boat. I believe some water got in there and when warmed up directly after by driving it expanded and pushed them out. Another time I had just rebuilt the brakes and don't think I knocked it on perfectly straight and it was out of balance. In both cases the replacements never came off and the bearings were fine for hundreds of miles more until I sold the trailer. I would agree that an overheating hub could cause it as well, but I haven't had the pleasure of that happening yet, so can only speculate.

Edited by Asmodeus2112

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shawndoggy

Do you normally check the temp of your hubs when towing for a long haul? Bad bearing may be heating the hub (expanding) and then the beariing buddy could fall out.

Nope I've rarely checked them in 7500 miles of towing. The trailer buddies have a visual indicator that shows that there's grease under pressure, so haven't really worried about it.

This wasn't a particularly long haul... 50 miles, relatively flat (no heavy breaking).

I did repack the hub and bang a new cover on and did a 20 mile freeway lap with a couple of exits (breaking) and the hub in question was similarly warm to all the others. Certainly not burn your hand hot (am familiar with how hot they CAN get on a 5000' twisty descent).

The second one fell off spontaneously, cold. Weird. I banged them all with a 2x4 and hammer for good measure. And bought a second set of the walmart covers to leave in my pistol pete kit just in case.

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MalibuTime

Bumpy roads, specifically with an empty trailer, can bounce them out. Potholes on a dirt road work especially well.

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Bozboat

240 hours in the boat, probably 7500 miles towing. Bearings have not been repacked. Last weekend I lost a bearing buddy (actually a UFP branded trailer buddy) while towing. While pulling the boat out of storage this morning, plop, another one fell out. I've replaced both with the similar attwood product from my local boat store (walmart). Any clues on why they hate my trailer?

Towing at 85 mph with the 7.3 Excursion over the Donner Pass?

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Pistol Pete

bought a second set of the walmart covers to leave in my pistol pete kit just in case.

I used to carry a set of 2 bearing buddies in my tool box along with a grease pump because, if you lose one of those on one of my typical 300 mile one-way trips, you're screwed. I never had to install one.

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Nitrousbird

Those UFP Trailer Buddy bearings are garbage. Previous owner installed them on all 4 wheels. Two of them broke (luckily on the same axle), and I've replaced them with the real Bearing Buddies, which are clearly a better built product.

Not sure how it would have fell off unless you hit something with it. I had to smack mine a number of times with a dead blow hammer to get them off.

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shawndoggy

240 hours in the boat, probably 7500 miles towing. Bearings have not been repacked. Last weekend I lost a bearing buddy (actually a UFP branded trailer buddy) while towing. While pulling the boat out of storage this morning, plop, another one fell out. I've replaced both with the similar attwood product from my local boat store (walmart). Any clues on why they hate my trailer?

Towing at 85 mph with the 7.3 Excursion over the Donner Pass?

Ha ha! No actually our "local" 50 mile tow, though I confess I was pulling at 65 or so....

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Joeprunc

I have one bearing buddy that backs out of the hub constantly. I attest it to a trailer shop that repacked my bearings while the trailer was in for a few other things. I've lost two bearing buddies from that specific hub after the shop did the repairs. I've repacking and changed bearings twice since the shop had it, and never lost or even had the other side hub BB move (so its not over packing or over heating). Luckly I don't tow very often anymore, but when I do, every time I stop I have a hammer and piece of wood and pound the one BB back in.

My thoughts are the trailer shop pounded in that BB at a bit of an angle (or was too aggressive removing the BB from the hub), and widened the the ID of the hub slightly. Last time I changed the bearings I used some fine sand paper and smoothed out the hub where the BB seats, and then used a bit coarser to try to roughen it up (this helped quite a bit). I'm sure I could replace that hub and it would be fine, but I really don't care as I can drive 200 miles and it only backs out 1/8" to 1/4". And now I tow my boat once a year.

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shawndoggy

I have one bearing buddy that backs out of the hub constantly. I attest it to a trailer shop that repacked my bearings while the trailer was in for a few other things. I've lost two bearing buddies from that specific hub after the shop did the repairs. I've repacking and changed bearings twice since the shop had it, and never lost or even had the other side hub BB move (so its not over packing or over heating). Luckly I don't tow very often anymore, but when I do, every time I stop I have a hammer and piece of wood and pound the one BB back in.

My thoughts are the trailer shop pounded in that BB at a bit of an angle (or was too aggressive removing the BB from the hub), and widened the the ID of the hub slightly. Last time I changed the bearings I used some fine sand paper and smoothed out the hub where the BB seats, and then used a bit coarser to try to roughen it up (this helped quite a bit). I'm sure I could replace that hub and it would be fine, but I really don't care as I can drive 200 miles and it only backs out 1/8" to 1/4". And now I tow my boat once a year.

Well the surprising thing here is that I haven't had any recent maintenance. The hub in question is no hotter than the others. I've not towed over the pass since this issue has arisen though, and I know that's the true test. I've got discs on all four wheels and they will get hot coming down 20 and 49 no matter how you drive. It's just the nature of surge brakes. Even when freshly professionally repacked, you WILL burn your hand if you grab the hub or lug nuts when we get to the lake.

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Murphy8166

Maybe that is the man upstairs way of telling you it is time to get those bearings serviced. It sounds like you have dipped that boat in the water quite a few times and have really put some miles on it. If I were in your shoes - I'd repack those puppies and go with all new parts.

Pretty easy job to do yourself.

This is something that I did years ago and it worked. http://users.westco.net/~tandjlm/Information/describe.htm

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shawndoggy

Good thinking murph. Might have to try that.

A complete repack and bearing replacement is on the agenda for sure.... but I was hoping it'd be a winter project and that I could plastidip my trailer wheels at the same time....

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Murphy8166

Just go and get some cheap dust caps to suffice until you can do the re pack. Much lighter than the Beaing Buddies and must cheaper in the event that ones jumps of ship as your going down the road.

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MalibuTime

Well the surprising thing here is that I haven't had any recent maintenance. The hub in question is no hotter than the others. I've not towed over the pass since this issue has arisen though, and I know that's the true test. I've got discs on all four wheels and they will get hot coming down 20 and 49 no matter how you drive. It's just the nature of surge brakes. Even when freshly professionally repacked, you WILL burn your hand if you grab the hub or lug nuts when we get to the lake.

Could just be that cycling from really hot (just finished going down pass) to cold (dip trailer in lake) multiple times has thrown the tolerances off just enough to loosen up the fit.

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