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Rockin Rod

Losing bearing buddies

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Had a problem at an access the other day where my trailer went off the side of the concrete pulling my boat out. Got it out ok, but noticed that I had lost a bearing buddy in the process, or at least that's when I noticed it missing. Anyway, I put a new one on, pulled my boat out to the lake, and noticed it was again gone. Replaced it with another, made darn sure it was tapped in good, and lost it on my way to or from the access on my lake, approx. 3 miles or so of travel. I had one left, so I put it on before I pulled the boat home, this time really rapping on it hard and checking it over good before I left. Needless to say, it was gone within 10 miles when I pulled over to check it.

Anyone have any clues why I keep losing the bearing buddies? What can I check? thx.

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I've heard of guys using a center punch on the inside of the hub to push some material up to help keep the bearing buddy in there.

marine_man

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Its possible your hub on you trailer was machined a little large and the press fit isn't quite enough between the hub and the bearing buddy thus the buddy falling out. Centerpunching at 3 places would help but I would use a retaining compound "Loctite".

I use Loctite #60931 retaining compound for press fits for added strength. They even make a thicker formula for worn .030"+ oversize fits. A Red permanent strength Loctite will work also. Clean the bearing buddy with brake cleaner where it presses into the hub and clean the hub with brake cleaner also. Smear the loctite (Light film)around both mating surfaces (hub and bearing buddy) and tap the bearing buddy in. Allow it to dry for at least 12 hours before you use it, it shouldn't come out on you. If you ever have to remove it and are having a hard time, a little heat from a small torch will dissolve the loctite enough to remove it.

Also, a word of advice. Buy the Bearing Buddy brand bearing buddys. I bought a set of Masterlocks because they were cheaper but they are [PoorWordUsage]. Now I have to get a set of Bearing Buddies anyway.

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Marring the surface as suggested by others usually does the trick. The loctite thing also sounds good. I have never tried it but will keep that one in mind too. Good suggestion.

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I lost one this spring on our wonderful bumpy highway! Of course it was on the wheel that I removed to check the bearings. I bought a new one and put it on. It seemed tight. I used a wood block and hammered it in. I then only filled it with grease until the metal plate began to move out. It has stayed on and the hub has remained cool. I read that over-filling with grease can cause failure. How much grease are you filling them with?

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The Bearing Buddies and the Masterlock knock-offs are designed to shed grease if you over fill them. I usuall fill them with grease until it starts coming out of the relief hole. By doing that it forces some of old grease and water out of the hub.

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They are, but in my opinion, if you're filling them to the overfill level you're overfilling them, and at risk of pusing the oil seals out the back side. I'd stop filling them when the floating collar gets close to the outside of the bearing buddy.

marine_man

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The bearing buddy site tells you to only pump grease until the piston is about 1/2 the way out. The grease expands as it warms up when driving, and you need the extra expansion to handle this and prevent the buddy from coming off.

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I needed 3 bearing buddies for my tandem axle trailer, so I followed you for a while.... grin

Sorry, I couldn't resist !!!

Anyway the suggestions above are excellent, the punch is a great idea, I had same issue once but I sold the boat, never fixed it.

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The masterlock buddies I have are a little different than the bearing buddies. The spring is roughly half way out on mine, theres a lot of spring travel left. Never lost one, but I got to get rid of those masterlock buddies, they arn't so great.

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Usually when you start throwing these it's because you bearing is seated true. I've seen in on a couple of different trailers now. Pulled the bearing and reseated then square and the problem went away.

I have used the locktite approach and it does correct the issue until you can pull the bearings and really fix the issue, (if that is the issue).

What is scary is what happens to your bearing as your traveling down a two lane hyw at 60 mph. I sure hope there isn't a car coming from the other way when it came off. eek

Good Luck!

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